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Canterbury is situated just 60 miles/100km south-east of London. There are good road and rail links so visitors planning a trip to Canterbury have many options for how to get there.
Parking: City centre car parks are considered expensive. On-street parking is mainly pay & display. There are some free on-street parking bays on streets slightly further from the centre, these usually have a time limit during the daytime. On Sundays, one can park on single yellow lines on streets. City centre traffic can get very congested along the ring road and main routes in/out of the city. Streets within the city walls can be confusing, narrow, often one-way and dead-ends.
Park & Ride: Park outside the city centre and travel in by bus. Operates between 07.00-19.30 Monday to Saturday and 10:00-18:00 Sunday except where stated below. Buses arrive and depart from St George's Lane alongside the bus station, running approximately every 8 minutes (every 15 minutes on Sundays). There are 3 Park & Ride locations:
Wincheap: for arrivals from Ashford (A28). Arrivals from London (A2) will still have to go via the city centre ring road first but can leave Wincheap directly onto the A2. No service on Sundays.
Sturry Road: for arrivals from Margate (A28) and Herne Bay (A291). Service finishes at 18:00.
New Dover Road: for arrivals from London & Dover (A2). From London, leave the A2 at the Bridge/Patrixbourne exit and follow Park & Ride signs.
Domestic services are operated by Southeastern Trains. Canterbury has two stations, Canterbury West and Canterbury East which are both a 5-10 minute walk to the city centre. A quick and easy journey planner is available from National Rail Enquiries.
From London: frequent services, the fastest being the hourly Southeastern Highspeed from London St Pancras to Canterbury West taking 1 hour. Slower but cheaper trains running every half an hour (hourly on Sundays) depart from Charing Cross via London Bridge to Canterbury West and from London Victoria to Canterbury East, taking between 90 minutes and 2 hours. These sometime split en-route so ensure you are in the correct portion of the train.
From Dover: Trains depart from Dover Priory station and arrive at Canterbury East station, taking 20-30 mins.
Both the East and West stations are a 10 minute walk to the city centre. Costs vary according to the time of day - avoid rush hour. Train timetables, fares, 2-for-1 offers, other discounts and engineering works can be checked at Southeastern Trains or National Rail Enquiries
Travel from Canterbury East on to local towns such as Dover, Faversham or Rochester. Travel from Canterbury West on to Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate, Ashford, Maidstone & Tonbridge and to Rye and Brighton by changing at Ashford.
International services are operated by Eurostar. This offers services from France and Belgium with limited stops at Ashford International station. From here it is a 20 minute journey on a Southeastern trains service to Canterbury West station. When the Eurostar does not stop at Ashford, travellers can alight at Ebbsfleet International and board a Southeastern Highspeed service to Canterbury West taking 40 minutes.
National Express provides daily connections between central London and Canterbury Bus Station in the city centre. Services also operate from the London airports requiring a change at London Victoria coach station. This is often a cheaper option than the train, but journeys take longer. You should book well in advance for the best deals. From Dec 2015 there is a direct coach from Gatwick Airport to Canterbury.
Local bus services from within east Kent and East Sussex are operated by Stagecoach. Buses terminate at Canterbury Bus Station.
P&O from Calais, France to Dover is the only cross-Channel ferry service that allows foot passengers. From Dover take either a train or bus to Canterbury (see above).
Main international airports:
near Crawley in West Sussex, south of London, is the second
largest airport in England and the closest main international airport to
Canterbury. A little more than an hour's drive away, many people
choose to rent a car and drive. Trains run
to London Victoria (30 mins) which has services to Canterbury East and West stations taking a further 90 mins. Trains via changes at Redhill and Tonbridge to Canterbury West avoids London and are cheaper. Trains to London Bridge have onward services to Canterbury West. From Dec 2015 there is a direct National Express coach service from Gatwick Airport to Canterbury.
is the country’s largest and busiest airport. It is located to the west
of London, almost two hours away by car. There are no direct trains
but the London Underground (1 hour) will take you to Kings Cross-St Pancras Station
where there are fast trains from St Pancras to Canterbury West (1 hour). National Express coach services operate via a change at London Victoria Coach Station.
Airport Connections operates an airport transfer shuttle service from Gatwick & Heathrow to Canterbury.
Other international airports: