8 Fun Things To Do In Canterbury With Your Pals This Weekend

Canterbury might be small, but it’s fairly mighty on the activity front! We know your student accommodation is pretty sweet, but sometimes, getting out with your mates is the best thing for a great weekend.

Not all activities have to break the bank or be steeped in history; we’ve got a list that blends the finest of this historical city with what you need most on a weekend: relaxation.

So without further ado, here are 8 things you have to do this weekend in Canterbury…

1. Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine Abbey

canterbury cathedral

You’ve probably noticed the behemoth that is Canterbury Cathedral, you know, living in Canterbury. Well it’s a historical beast that needs attention. 

Standing for over 1500 years, it is one of the oldest cathedrals in England. With gothic towers and stained glass windows, you can get lost in it for hours. 

As well as admiring the stunning architecture and gorgeous ceilings, make sure you look at the breath-taking stained glass windows that are as stupefying now as they were a thousand years ago. 

Here you’ll find the Tomb of the Black Prince, one of the most notable Medieval warriors, snoozing in marble and drowning in the breath-taking light from the windows. 

Part of the Canterbury World Heritage Site, St Augustine’s Abbey will also transport you in time. Originally built as a burial place for Anglo-Saxon kings, you can walk about these serene ruins and get sucked into the city’s origins.

2. Westgate Gardens

plants in cantebury

Now that you’ve seen one of the oldest cathedrals, why not head down to one of England’s oldest parks? 

With all this beaut weather, and only 1.2 miles away from your student accommodation, get the gang together and head out for a picnic. 

Not only is it one of the prettiest spots in Canterbury, there are also some hidden treasures to seek out. 

Check out the Victorian Tower House, the garden’s Roman roots and the Physics Garden that’s full of medicinal plants and flowers.

3. Blean Wood National Nature Reserve

sightseeing things to do Canterbury

Ok, so this might not be a walk away from your student accommodation, more of a bus ride, but don’t let that put you off. 

Blean Wood Nature Reserve is 11 square miles of ancient woodland (yes woods can be old too!) where you can horse ride, walk, cycle and marvel at some incredible wildlife. This is a perfect (and free) activity for any outdoorsy type.

4. Canterbury Tales

roads you can walk down to hear the Canterbury tales

For English literature buffs, you need to check out this cheesy homage to one of England’s literary greats. The Canterbury Tales, written by Medieval poet Chaucer, is all about a group of people on a pilgrimage to Thomas Becket’s tomb.

As one of Canterbury’s quirkiest tourist attractions and only a short walk into the city centre from your student accommodation, The Canterbury Tales museum is not to be missed. 

Set in the jaw-dropping St Margaret’s Church, costumed guides will take you on a journey from the Tabard Inn to Canterbury cathedral whilst regaling five of Chaucer’s most beloved stories. Oh, these aren’t just any pilgrims, these are raucous, cheating, bawdy pilgrims. 

It’s bound to be one of the most immersive things to do in Canterbury so deffo give it a go.

5. Beany House of Art and Knowledge

arts and knowledge centre in canterbury

Another free but fabulous weekend activity in Canterbury is the Beany House of Art and Knowledge. An art gallery, museum and library all in one, it’s brimming with stuff to do.  

Full of Victorian taxidermy and Canterbury’s most famed artist, Victorian Thomas Sidney Cooper, the juxtaposition of gothic and modern architecture make the building, arguably, more intriguing than most in the city. 

If you’re more into modern art, no problem. Amongst the artwork that spans 500 years, you’ll see acclaimed and distinguished works from the likes of David Hockney. On top of that, discover beloved childhood characters like Rupert the Bear and Bagpuss also making a home within the museum. 

6. Tiny Tim’s Tearoom

tims tea room for things to do

There is nothing tiny about this tea room. 

Decorated with ostentatious chandeliers, Art Deco exterior and 1930s tunes, Tiny Tim’s Tearoom has cakes, scones, breakfast and sandwiches galore, all using locally sourced produce. 

There is something for everyone here with over 50 types of tea and coffee and a gorgeous courtyard for when that glorious sun is shining .

7. One Pound Lane

one pound lane in canterbury

You could spend an entire weekend just at One Pound Lane. 

Lying within England’s largest surviving Medieval gateway and Canterbury’s historical prison and police station, you’ll find Kent’s best bar, two Escape Rooms, a cinema and a museum.

The bar in One Pound Lane uses local botanicals, spirits and ales to create award winning cocktails and the kitchen serves up the best of British too including a mean roast. 

Again, at only a 20 minute walk away from your student accommodation, this cornucopia of activities will have you and your mates busy for hours.

8. The Skinny Kitchen

lady cooking in the kitchen

The problematic name is the only thing wrong with this place. 

An insta worthy stop on your weekend, this healthy, Aussie vibes café has acai bowls, beautiful avo on toast, stacks of pancakes, poke bowls, loads of vegan options and more. 

If that isn’t enough to wet your whistle, check out the bottomless brunch complete with prosecco and pornstar martinis. 

Catching up with friends, old and new, over some good food and drink is the best start to a weekend in Canterbury. To top it off, it’s only a mile away from your student accommodation!

So there you have it: 8 activities for the weekend that won’t blow your student loan, all pretty close to your student accommodation and all definitely fun. Don’t forget, there is also a wonky house home to a bookshop, retro games emporium and incredible farmers market to do next weekend. Heading home through town? Why not pick up some fish and chips for dinner? We’ve got a list of Canterbury’s finest here.