Christmas in Canterbury

Christmas in Canterbury

There's so much to do in Canterbury this Christmas to keep your groups entertained!

Christmas in stunning historic Canterbury. The Cathedral sits proudly in the centre, with pedestrianised streets for exploring and strolling. On foot, explore the Kings Mile and Cathedral Quarter, filled with artisan shops and unique fashion. In Whitefriars you will find the traditional Christmas market, known for its unique gifts and delicious food.

Take a break from shopping and visit The Canterbury Tales Attraction – the perfect literary experience in historic Canterbury, we will introduce you to five of Chaucer’s famous tales with a mixture of live actors and audio guide narrated by famous voices including Robert Powell and Prunella Scales. We present Chaucer in a fun and engaging way and today we remain the only attraction in the world devoted to The Canterbury Tales.

With easy transport links by train, bus or car, we are conveniently located in Canterbury City Centre. Coach drop off available outside the Christmas Market. Canterbury Tales Audio available in seven languages. Fully wheelchair accessible. Tours last 40 minutes. Photo Credit Canterbury Connected BID

Ask us about our complimentary meet and greet service for pre-booked groups of 15 or more!

Standard Attraction Entry:

Adult £11.45 £7.95
Child £9.45 £6.55
Student £10.45 £7.95
Senior £10.45 £7.95

Festive Highlights in Canterbury

Christmas Lights Switch-On Friday 16th November

The annual tradition of the Christmas Lights Switch-On in November marks the start of the festive period and late night shopping in the city. The switch-on creates a focus on Canterbury which benefits the city as a whole and is a favourite family event on the festive calendar. Photo Credit Canterbury Connected BID

Canterbury Cathedral Events and Christmas Services

There is no better time to visit Canterbury than December as the Cathedral prepares itself for one of the most important events in the Christian calendar. The life size crib, designed and made by Cathedral staff and ‘Holy Stitchers’, is worth a visit and the music sung by the Cathedral choir at Services can only be described as ‘heavenly’. Visit for more information.

23 December 15.00 hrs Christmas Carol Service (doors open at 14.00 hrs)
24 December 11.00 hrs Crib Service
24 December 15.00 hrs Christmas Carol Service (doors open at 14.00 hrs)
25 December 11.00 hrs Main Christmas Eucharist (Preacher: The Archbishop of Canterbury)
25 December 15.15 hrs Choral Evensong with Carols
28 December 15.00 hrs Children’s Society, Christingle Service
29 December 15.00 hrs Procession and Evensong to mark the martyrdom of Archbishop Thomas Becket on 29.12.1170

Whitefriar’s Christmas Market

The popular Whitefriars’ Christmas Market will be back again this year with a host of colourful cabins & stalls selling seasonal food and drink, gifts and decorations – many handmade by local artisans. The market runs from 16 November to 24 December with Santa’s Grotto open from 1 December.

Special Welcome for Coach Drivers: on arrival at the Christmas market receive a complimentary Bratwurst and hot drink! Please show your coach driver ID to receive gift. Courtesy of Nikki at Rockhopper events.

The Canterbury Ales

Our exclusive evening of local Ale Tasting based on The Canterbury Ales. Each Ale has been cheekily given a Canterbury Tales character name reflective of its unique personality. Enjoy a special evening of brewing history, references to Ale in medieval England and lots of delicious tasting. Price includes a 3 bottle selection to take home. Photo credit: Beth Roo Photography

Available to book year round. 18 years and over only. Perfect to enjoy before evening dining in the City. Duration 1hr. Capacity 15 people every 15 minutes. £45 per person –10% discount for groups of 30 or more.

Magical Medieval Christmas

On the 15th & 16th December, The Canterbury Tales holds its most Magical Medieval Christmas family event. Families will join a mission to Save Santa from the past and bring him back to the present day!  Discover your spirit of Christmas at our annual festive event!

Pre-booking essential for this event. Allow 45 minutes – 1 hour for your visit. No queues for pre-booked guests.  Prices include quality gift from Santa. Adult: £10.95, Child: £13.95, Under 2 years: £5, Family (2 adults & 2 children): £40.50.  Speak to us for special group rates.

General Information about The Canterbury Tales

Starting location: Yes, all activities take place at our attraction, St Margaret’s Street, Canterbury CT1 2TG. For groups of 15 or more we can arrange a meet and greet from the coach park or coach drop off point.

Coach Parking: Canterbury has a coach park approx. 15 mins walk from the attraction. This carries a charge of £15 per day. There is also a coach drop off point at St Georges Place, just 3 minutes’ walk from the attraction. A complimentary meet and greet service is available from both locations. Your guide will bring the group directly to the attraction.

Audio Guide Languages: English, French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese. A children’s version of English is also available.

Open days: April – October – open 7 days.  December – March – closed Monday and Tuesday. We may be able to open by request if you need us to (normally this is possible). On the 15th and 16th December 2018 & 14th and 15th December 2019 we will be running our Christmas event and the normal Chaucer tour will not be available.

Opening times: April – August, 10:00 – 17:00.  September – March, 10:00 – 16:00.

Tour capacity: Our capacity is 12, larger groups will depart in 10 minute intervals.

Do we need to pre-book a time? Yes, we operate a tour system. When you book you will be allocated a tour time which fits with your itinerary.  We will do our best to accommodate early or late time requests.

How to book: Over the phone: +44 1904 261262 (reservations team) / 44 1227 696006 (direct with attraction).  Email: /

Cancellation Policy: For any amendments or cancellations, we require 48hrs notice.

Payments: Non-invoiced customers must pay 48hrs prior to the visit.  Invoiced customers will be sent their invoice on the day of their visit. The invoice will be based on the booking, therefore any amendments should be made to the booking in advance. We may be able to offer a voucher scheme with prior arrangement.

Images: Please contact Lyndsay directly for images:

For more information contact:

Lyndsay Ridley – General Manager, The Canterbury Tales 01227 696005 / 07920493969

Jon Bagby – Group Sales Development Manager, Continuum Attractions 01904 527708 / 07896732684