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Eight reasons to visit Canterbury this Christmas

Canterbury Christmas Markets

Step into Christmas and see Canterbury transformed into a winter wonderland as our biggest ever Christmas market returns! A delight for all the senses as you saunter through the 65 huts and 40 local craft and produce stalls. Plan your festive playlist whilst enjoying an array of live music performances and indulge in delicious yuletide treats whilst staving off the cold winter air. Leave with Christmas gifts, decorations and seasonal must-haves, as well as your very own wish list.

Santa’s Grotto

Why book a flight to Lapland when Santa Claus is coming to town? He’ll be taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Whitefriars, Canterbury, so take the whole family for a magical treat to visit Santa in person. Children (and the young at heart) will be enchanted by the Grotto where you’ll be greeted with all the sights and sounds of Christmas.

Canterbury Cathedral

Within the five miles of twinkling Christmas lights, you’ll find the centrepiece of our Christmas celebrations, Canterbury Cathedral. Embrace the traditional Christmas carol services and concerts which fill the Cathedral with festive joy and thanksgiving. Spend family time looking at the crib — spot the mice, spider and robin if you can!

Canterbury Bars & Restaurants

It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas, so make your dinners and parties extra special in our buzzing restaurants, brasseries and bars filled with Christmas atmosphere and cheer. Simply take a break from your Christmas shopping or perhaps indulge in a pre or post- theatre Christmas dining experience.


Head over to Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre, which has a reputation for producing some of the best pantomimes….. oh yes it does. This year is no exception with a medley of fairy tale, dance, jokes and song, where hope triumphs over misfortune. With a star studded cast, Cinderella opens on 23 November and runs until 6 January.


Craving festive retail therapy? Canterbury boasts 417 retailers — that’s 87 more than Bluewater! As well as the popular High Street names, discover our independent retailers including jewellers, chocolatiers, designers, potters and brewers. Judge our Christmas window competition for yourself, all them unique, warm and inviting.


10 minutes drive from Canterbury is the bohemian seaside town of Whitstable, spectacular all year round but a magical destination during the festive season. Enjoy the coastal charm of its streets, followed by a winter warmer in one of Whitstable’s micro-pubs. Whether you’re looking for seafood restaurants, boutique shops or art galleries, visit Whitstable for a truly special Christmas.

Herne Bay

Two miles from Whitstable is the characterful Victorian seaside town of Herne Bay with its 80 ft clock tower. Find your perfect Christmas gifts at the traditional market stalls along the pier offering gifts, crafts and produce. Enjoy a coastal winter walk and venture up to Reculver Towers and Roman fort for a perfect way to blow away those winter cobwebs.