Canterbury is often said to be the jewel in Kent's crown. It is buzzing with a youthful vibe due to its universities. It has a magnificent cathedral parts of which date back to the 11th century. Along with the Cathedral, nearby St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church form a UNESCO World Heritage Site; walking trails and a guided tour with Canterbury Guided Walking Tours. The Chaucer-themed Canterbury Tales; Norman Canterbury Castle; Canterbury Roman Museum; treasure-filled Canterbury Heritage Museum; the home of Rupert the Bear creator Mary Tourtel and the recently refurbished Beaney House of Art and Knowledge. You can also explore Canterbury’s hidden gems by boat with the award winning Canterbury Historic River Tours.
There is fine dining at Michael Caines at the Abode, or the Goods Shed; a restaurant-meets-permanent Farmers' Market that flies the flag for seasonal, local food. Meanwhile, Canterbury's boldly modern Marlowe Theatre.
You can encounter big cats, elephants, rhinos, and cheeky monkeys at the Howletts Wild Animal Park south of town. At nearby Goodnestone Park Gardens you will discover the place where Jane Austen penned parts of Pride and Prejudice in 1796. There is an eighteenth-century Whitstable Castle that has spectacular grounds, while the Oyster Festival each July is a fabulous celebration of molluscs and much more. It is home to one of England's largest ancient woodlands at The Blean or cycle the nostalgia-rich Crab and Winkle Way, a tranquil 7 mile route linking Whitstable with Canterbury.
Herne Bay is just a couple of miles away which has been a hit with visitors since the Victorian era, that legacy lingers in the bandstand, fragrant seafront gardens and distinctive 80ft Clock Tower. Further eastwards, the Reculver Towers and Roman Fort cling to sandstone cliffs; the two 12th-century church towers sitting amid the remains of a Roman 'Saxon Shore' fort.