Train London to Canterbury

We are considering a day trip from London to Canterbury by train. There are two stations in Canterbury and which one we arrive into doesn't seem to matter. We plan to arrive late morning, take a look around, have lunch, visit the sights, have afternoon tea and head back to London.
Has anyone done this? Any tips/suggestions? Thanks!

Posted by Abe
Rick Steves' Europe
319 posts

Depending on what time of day you leave, there are some direct trains from various London Stations to Cantuerbury. Both stations are about a quarter mile from the Cathedral so it really doesn't matter which one you come into. Since Canterbury is relatively small it would be easy to do it as a day trip and then take an afternoon train back to London. When you are in Canterbury the Cathedral is the most obvious site to see but there are a few other minor sites that you could take or leave. if you are looking for something traditionally English for lunch, you might try either "Old Weaver's House" or the "Foundry Brew Pub." Both have good food. "The Dolphin" is another pub with food a little bit better than pub grub. I don't know of any good places in Canterbury for Afternoon Tea, but you could always ask the tourist information office when you get there or just do a google search online before you go. You can buy train tickets at advanced purchase discounts on www.nationalrail.co.uk. I hope this helps some.

Posted by Ann
New York, NY, NY
76 posts

I can do lots of research on line but a it always helps to hear from someone who knows! I will check out the restaurants you suggested and make a stop at the TI!

Posted by Pauline
BROADSTAIRS, Kent, United Kingdom
83 posts

You might like to try "Tiny Tim's Tearoom" for afternoon tea. I would also suggest you travel to Canterbury West station from London.
From the station turn right along the road outside and walk up to the main road, turn left here and walk along the road through the towers that straddle the street into the pedestrianised area and keep walking, the Old Weavers restaurant is on the left hand side just before the bridge over the little river, the Cathedral is further along on the same side. Tiny Tim's is the little land that runs down the side of Lloyd's Bank and it is on the right hand side opposite the Marlowe Arcade. Tiny Tim's has some lovely Kentish specialities.
It's one of my favourite stops for coffee when I am in Canterbury.

Posted by Nancy
London, UK
168 posts

I just did this trip on Saturday! We took the fast train from St Pancras to the Canterbury West station. Easy walk to the main attractions. The city center is vibrant with lots of dining options. We tried to get into Tiny Tim's but it was going to be a long wait. Your time line for this trip would be about right - spending a long afternoon is perfect. We did take advantage of hearing evensong at the Cathedral and that was wonderful!

Posted by Ann
New York, NY, NY
76 posts

Thank you for the replies. Canterbury was a great day! The train from St Pancras to Canterbury West was definately the way to go, especially since, from the west, you enter the city through the old gate. We did get to have tea at Tiny Tim's Tea House (with just a short wait) so an extra thanks for that suggestion.