10 Reasons To Study English In Canterbury

For nearly a thousand years, pilgrims have been treading a well-worn path to come to Canterbury. Some would travel from far reaches of the world to visit the shrine of Archbishop Saint Thomas Becket, who was murdered by the king in 1170. Canterbury was further immortalised in the 14th century Canterbury Tales by William Chaucer and since then pilgrims have not stopped their journey to this sacred city. Apart from its religious significance, Canterbury as a UNESCO world heritage site has become one of the most visited cities in the United Kingdom due to its history dating back to prehistoric times, its picturesque gardens and beaches. Nowadays, modern Canterbury has become one of the UK's top study locations with three universities within its city walls. So, here are ten reasons to come to Canterbury:

1. Immerse yourself into Canterbury’s rich history

When you first enter the city, cobbled streets welcome you as you transport yourself to medieval England and follow in the footsteps of pilgrims and knights. Around every corner, a piece of history follows you with Tudor dwellings that have been preserved from the times of Henry VIII and William Shakespeare and architecture from the times of Feudal kings. 

2. Take a closer look at Canterbury Cathedral

Only four minutes away from our centre in Canterbury, the Cathedral can be seen from almost every angle as it towers over the city. The spectacular Gothic structure contains England's largest collection of stained glass with over 1,200 square metres depicting inspirational stories of men and women. If you look closely at its walls and ceilings, you can see heraldic shields, faces and animals carved into the stonework. Canterbury Cathedral is also a place full of intrigue and mystery after the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket and if this is of interest to you then you can still see the atmospheric cloisters where Becket was killed.

3. Marvel at a UNESCO World Heritage site

Both St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church along with Canterbury Cathedral form a UNESCO world heritage site. Built in the 6th century, St Martin’s is the oldest church still used as a place of worship in the English-speaking world. Older still are the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey where you can walk through ancient burial sites of Anglo-Saxon Kings.

4. Explore the city on foot…

Canterbury is a unique city in offering so much to visitors within easy walking distance.  You can tread the same cobbled streets as the Romans or take a stroll by the river and see seasonal flowers in bloom by Westgate Gardens. Or perhaps you would like to walk through an avenue of lime trees and roam the ruins of the city walls in Dane John Gardens; these are just the highlights as Canterbury has plenty of open parkland to explore. 

5. …or with a historic river tour

If you want to rest your tired feet, then punt through the sights of Canterbury with a Riverboat Tour.  

6. Taste fresh, locally sourced food

The Goods Shed, housed in a converted warehouse, is recommended by everyone in our Canterbury centre as a unique place to eat with its daily farmers market on-site and all food made with this fresh produce. However, if you love the thought of healthy eating to suit a variety of diets, then Skinny Kitchen is the place to go.

7. Talking of food… why not visit a quintessentially British pub from 600 years ago? Or go directly to the source and explore a micro-brewery

Pubs are great for many things, whether it is to grab some food or to drink locally sourced ale. A pub that those in our Cantebury centre recommend is The Parrot. Housed in one of Canterbury’s oldest buildings, The Parrot caters to those who are looking for a quaint experience with local ales, local food and beautiful Tudor beams running through the building.

However, if you would really like to see how your favourite local brew is made, then visit a micro-brewery. If you do not want to walk far, then there is The Foundry, a micro-brewery which you can be found within the city walls.

8. Browse the heart of Canterbury: The historic Butter Market

Right in the middle of Canterbury and opposite the Cathedral entrance, is Canterbury’s commercial hub of the last century. With family run jewellery shops and silversmiths, along with a selection of cafés, gift shops and restaurants, you can take a break from all the sight-seeing and wander around the courtyard and its side streets. Like everything in Canterbury, the Butter Market also has a significant place in history; it is built over Roman ruins and secret tunnels which used to hide monks.

9. Hop on a bus and you’re only 10 minutes away from Britain’s best beaches

With seaside towns of Whitstable, Joss Bay and Dover close by, there are plenty of opportunities to explore England’s natural beauty.

  • Eat fresh oysters by the sea in Whitstable
  • Surf in Joss Bay
  • Walk through the sandy beaches of Broadstairs. The seaside town is also home to Bleak House, which is where Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield. We may be a little biased, but Broadstairs has the prettiest beach in England with Botany Bay. With its white cliffs, little pools for swimming and exposed fossils that can be hunted, Botany Bay is worth a visit.
  • If you’re looking for the chance to go yachting or to see some local seals, then Ramsgate Harbour provides you with these opportunities. Ramsgate also has the one of the biggest pubs in England, Weatherspoon, so you can sip your drink and sit on the terrace while facing the sea.
  • And of course, Dover. The White Cliffs of Dover are one of the most iconic landmarks in Britain. You can hike along the cliffs and have cream tea at Mrs Knott's tearoom within the South Foreland lighthouse, or tour further along the cliffs to The Coastguard Pub. Here you can look out at the English Channel and see the house where the author of James Bond, Ian Fleming lived. On a clear day you can even see France from the cliffs!

10. See gorillas monkeys, elephants and other wildlife at Howletts Wild Animal Park

With the largest elephant herd in England and more lions, leopards and monkeys than any other zoo in the UK, Howletts Wild Animal Park is a place where you can learn about their committed conservation work, including the reintroduction of rare animals like the Javan Gibbon back into the wild.    

If our guide has inspired you, then why not visit Canterbury? With great transport links, whatever the method, Canterbury is easily accessible from within the UK and from outside the country. It is an hour’s train ride from London, has an international airport a few miles away, or if you would like to take a road-trip then there are also great motorway links to Canterbury.

To find out more about our English language centre in Canterbury then just contact us and we will be happy to answer your queries.   

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