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Prime Location Canterbury Area Guide

The district of Canterbury lies in Kent, in the South East of England. At its heart is the historical Cathedral city of Canterbury, a popular tourist destination for both UK and overseas visitors.

Parts of this beautiful city have been listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site. Following the murder of Thomas Becket in the city’s Cathedral in 1170, the city has also been something of a pilgrimage for millions of Christians. One of these pilgrims was none other than Geoffrey Chaucer, whose visit inspired his 14th century ‘Canterbury Tales.’


The 2011 census listed the population of the district of Canterbury at 151,200. Around a third of the population lives within the city itself. With three universities in Canterbury, it’s no surprise that around 20% of the population of 16-74 year old in the city are students. That doesn’t hinder employment statistics, however. In fact, Canterbury’s unemployment rate is just 2.1%, compared with a national average of 7.7%.

It’s not a particularly diverse area, however. Over 92% of residents classify themselves as ‘white,’ with most of the small ethnic minorities within the city itself. The diversity would most likely be even lesser were it not for the student population.


Canterbury sits with the local education authority of Kent. In 2012, 61.2% of students within this LEA achieved 5 A*-C grade GCSEs. This compares favourably with the national average figure of 59.4%.

The LEA of Kent has over a dozen schools rated outstanding by Ofsted, though none of them are located within Canterbury itself. Canterbury does, however, have more than 10 schools including independent ones such as King’s School and Kent College. As mentioned earlier, Canterbury also has three universities. There is Canterbury Christ Church University, the Canterbury Campus of the University of Kent and the Girne American University.


Canterbury sits just off the A2, a road running from London to Dover. It’s just 45 miles from the M25. Getting around within Canterbury has been made more convenient with the introduction of three park and ride sites outside the city itself. This eases congestion. Much of the transport within the city is by bus.

In terms of public transport to and from Canterbury, much is dependent upon the rail network. The area has 2 rail stations; Canterbury East and Canterbury West. You can get a direct train to London from both stations, though the service from the West station operates a high speed service that gets passengers from Canterbury to London St. Pancras in less than an hour. Kent International Airport at Manston is just 13 miles from Canterbury, Gatwick is 66 miles away and Heathrow is 91 miles away.

Amenities and shopping

The biggest shopping centre in Canterbury is Whitefriars shopping centre on Gravel Walk in a very central area of the city. It has 70 shops, which include the High Street names you’d expect to see; Boots, BHS, Clinton Cards, Ernest Jones, HSBC, H&M and Monsoon. Canterbury’s High Street also boasts a large number of shops, while smaller shopping areas include Marlowe Arcade and the King’s Mile.

There’s a small Odeon cinema in Canterbury, several bars and eateries as well. Many of the bars cater to the student population. Other means of entertainment include theatres; the Marlowe Theatre and the Gulbenkian Theatre.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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