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Living in Canterbury
The University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University are both based here, and Canterbury is probably most well known for having an Archbishop and featuring in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.
Canterbury is about as far south-east in England as it’s possible to get, but somehow still manages to be in the middle of everything interesting. There are beaches only twenty minutes drive away, and London can be reached in an hour, but the immediate area is still pretty peaceful, and definitely a good-looking place to live if you’re a fan of open fields, green woodlands, and golden sands.
Nights out here are pretty chilled, with most nightly hangouts being pubs and bars and as usual some will be more studenty than others. The main club is Club Chemistry. Canterbury is known for being one of the safest student areas in the UK, so you’re pretty much guaranteed a hassle-free night out.
In the daytime you’ll find a good amount of shopping for a town of Canterbury’s size. One of the universities is slightly closer to the town centre than the other, but both are easily within walking distance
There’s a mix of chains and big names with local and traditional shops, and most of it is located around the famous cathedral. Like most of the surrounding architecture it’s a beautiful building, and in a few years time you could be having your graduation ceremony here, so you’ll get to run around it waving your gown and feeling slightly like a giant vampire bat. Enjoy!
Canterbury makes the most of it’s heritage with lots of music events, theatrical performances and comedy. There’s also an Odeon in the town centre (isn’t there always?) but the Gulbenkian and Marlowe Theatres have a good variety of performances, live music acts and standup comedy on offer, as well as the occasional art house film or new release. Finally, make sure you get along to some arts festivals. The Canterbury Festival in particular draws some world class acts and lasts for almost two weeks
- Beach: The best and closest are Whitstable and Herne Bay. Grab your inflatable shark lilo and let’s go!
- London: Trains from Canterbury West put in at St Pancras or Charing Cross, while trains from Canterbury East end up at Victoria station. Most of the time it shouldn’t take you longer than 1hr 40mins to get there.
- Calais: You’re only half an hour from the Eurotunnel train shuttle, and you can use the travel time brushing up on your high school French.
Good to know
- Train: Don’t forget that there are TWO train stations here. Canterbury East and Canterbury West. For goodness’ sakes make sure you’re going to the right one, especially when giving directions to taxi drivers!
- Taxi: Andy’s Taxis
- Car?: Nope. There’s not much parking and the public transport can get you around easily.
Read Canterbury Reviews
Canterbury is an excellent place to live, work and study. There are two universities that rival each other in their excellency. There are plenty of shops and a great nightlife scene. The only drawback would be public transport, it sucks! I found that the best way to get around is by taxi, as the city is fairly small the taxis are extremely cheap. The best service without a doubt is Canterbury Taxis.
Unibus is really good but not great at night. Bit of a trek to campus and lots of hills. Shopping is good but expensive, lots of nice resturants that aren't too badly priced and good take away via just eat. Always check the hygiene rating though.
You can get food cheap (as long as you go Aldi). Compared to Essex I don't really like to go out to Canterbury at night. My favourite shop is Forever21 and the closet one is a 50min drive from town (Bluewater). Public transport is great as long as you stick with the green uni bus. Bus ticket is £2.80 for the WHOLE DAY! There's loads of places to eat out, but I order food online instead.