In YouGov’s new profile data, Canterbury was ranked the “8th best city in the UK”. Of the 55,000 residents surveyed, 79% said that they enjoyed living in the city. So why is it that everybody loves Canterbury so much?
Could it be the city’s rich history?

A birds eye view of the city.

Canterbury is a charming city known for its historic interest – which attracts 7.2 million visitors annually. Tourists enjoy soaking up Canterbury’s culture by wandering the ‘toy-town’ leaning buildings and streets that give a glimpse into England’s past.

Little actually remains of the original cathedral built in 1070.

The city’s most iconic sight is Canterbury Cathedral – one of the oldest structures in England, known as the Mother Church of England and shrine to Thomas Becket, the first Archbishop of Canterbury (1162-1170).

The Canterbury Tales consists of 24 stories that runs to over 17,000 lines written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer between 1387 and 1400.

But it is not just the Cathedral that makes Canterbury such a historic city, it is also filled with literary history. For example, Christopher Marlowe – an English playwright and poet – has given essence to The Marlowe Theatre, an astonishing venue in Canterbury bringing you some of the best shows, musicals and comedies in the country. Furthermore, The Canterbury Tales is one of the city’s favourite attractions which celebrates the famous work of Geoffrey Chaucer – author of one of the first major works of English literature; ‘The Canterbury Tales’.

Canterbury’s glorious location

HS1’s Operating speed‎ is over ‎300 km/h (186 mph).

Canterbury with it’s proximity to the Capital makes it a fantastic location, becoming more and more sought-after due to the financial pressures of residing in London. The average price of a semi-detached house in London is £578,716 compared to £302,288 in Canterbury. It is not surprising, then, that a lot of Londoners are escaping to the Garden of England, especially with the new High-Speed train routes that take only fifty minutes to arrive at the capital. But it is not only Canterbury’s close proximity to London that makes it such a good location. It is a short distance to other popular locations like Ashford (16 mins), Maidstone (55 mins) and Whitstable beach (20 mins). It looks like London’s out of the equation and Canterbury’s in.

It is also an amazingly affordable place to live as a student; NatWest even ranked Canterbury as the UK’s 4th cheapest city for students!

A cultural blend of past and present

The city has an incredibly diverse culture which definitely plays up to this standard with its funky bars, clubs and festivals.

Morris Dancers at the Canterbury Festival.

Canterbury Festival celebrates the city’s local talent, including over two-hundred events spanning music, art, performance, talks and science.

Club Chemistry is owned by Distinctive Bars, who also own Tokyo Tea Rooms.

Canterbury is also bursting with clubs, bars and events for people of all ages.The major clubs are Club Chemistry, Cuban, Tokyo Tea Rooms, Ballroom, The Loft and of course The Venue on campus. Each has different events for alternative music types including Chart, House, Grime/R&B/Trap and Garage with not-to-miss special guest music artist appearances.

The Penny Theatre on Northgate.

But there are also some great pubs you have to visit like The Penny Theatre – which is popular with students for its grub, drink deals, quiz and karaoke nights. Also, check out The Cherry Tree before you head out (you will thank me later) and The Pound if you want delicious cocktails and a great atmosphere.

If you are thinking of doing something for the day or the evening, Canterbury has two cinemas: The Odeon, which is in town, and the Gulbenkian, which is located on the University of Kent campus, next to the library, showing all the new film releases.

The commercial buzz

Canterbury High Street.

Canterbury’s high street also has a range of shops, from department stores like Fenwicks to popular fashion retail shops like Topman, Zara, H&M and many more. However, Canterbury also prides itself on its independent stores and local produce. But it is not just shopping; there are also rustic cafes and restaurants from your cheeky Nandos, to the popular Café des Amis, Pinocchio’s, Wagamama’s and even Tacos Locos if you’re up for a bit of spice.

So there you go. Filled with fantastic events, history, culture and all-wrapped-up in a great location, you now have an insight into Canterbury’s and why it is also such a great place to live as a student.