Plan the Perfect School Trip to Canterbury, England

You’re looking for a school trip that’s both educational and fun for students? Then look no further than the historic city of Canterbury in Kent, England!

Perfect for teachers, parents and education leaders searching for inspiration, this guide will give you the inside scoop on planning the ideal school tour of Canterbury.

From visiting the magnificent Canterbury Cathedral to exploring the medieval streets and soaking up centuries of history, we’ll share how to craft an unforgettable educational experience. Packed with tips on everything from booking accommodation to mapping out an itinerary, you’ll discover how easy it is to organise an inspirational school trip to this charming English city.

So get ready to take notes – you’re about to discover how to effortlessly plan the perfect school tour to Canterbury!

Why Choose Canterbury for Your Next Educational Tour

Canterbury is a historic city in Kent, South East England, just a short journey from London. It has been a place of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages and was once the centre of power for the Church of England. For students, Canterbury offers a glimpse into British history and culture.

A Wealth of Historical Attractions

Canterbury Cathedral, founded in 597 AD, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Anglican cathedral. It’s considered the birthplace of Christianity in England and where Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered. The cathedral runs educational tours and workshops for students.

The Roman Museum lets students discover Canterbury’s ancient history, including a Roman marketplace and mosaic.

River Tours and Outdoor Activities

For a unique perspective of the city, take a boat tour along the River Stour. Canterbury Historic River Tours offers fun, educational tours on open-air boats with live commentary from insightful guides.

Canterbury has many parks, nature trails and sports facilities for outdoor activities. Students can go punting on the river, explore the Canterbury Heritage Coastal Trail or play sports at the Kingsmead Leisure Centre.

Cultural Experiences

Attend a show at the Marlowe Theatre, a modern venue that hosts West End productions, comedians, music acts and more. Take a backstage tour to see behind the scenes.

Visit during a festival like the Canterbury Festival, City of Canterbury Half Marathon or Whitstable Oyster Festival. Students can experience English culture, food, music and entertainment.

With its wealth of attractions, activities and culture, Canterbury provides an exciting and meaningful educational experience for students discovering English history and heritage.

Enjoy a River Tour Along the Stour to Discover Canterbury’s History

Explore the City’s Origins

Canterbury Historic River Tours offer fully guided tours along the picturesque River Stour. The 45-minute trip provides insight into the city’s origins and historic architecture. Flowing through The Weald, the Great Stour river passes Ashford to Canterbury before reaching the North Sea by Sandwich.

Learn About Canterbury’s Past

As your open-top boat gently glides down the river, an experienced guide will highlight landmarks like the Westgate Towers, parts of the old city wall, and St Martin’s Church. They’ll share stories of Canterbury’s history, from the Romans to the Tudors.

Appreciate Stunning Scenery

While discovering Canterbury’s past, you’ll also appreciate the area’s natural beauty. Lush greenery lines the riverbanks, ducks and swans float by, and herons can sometimes be spotted in the reeds. It’s a relaxing way to see the city from a new perspective.

An Educational Experience For All

Whether you’re a teacher looking for an engaging school trip or a parent wanting to make learning fun over the holidays, a river tour is an excellent choice. People of all ages will enjoy this glimpse into Canterbury’s rich history and culture.

Planning Your Visit

Canterbury Historic River Tours run from March to early November, weather and river conditions dependent, with tours departing every 30 minutes. Tickets can be purchased on the day, but for larger groups, it’s best to book in advance via the website. After your river adventure, continue exploring Canterbury by visiting the cathedral, museums, shops and more. A perfect day out for curious minds!

Take a journey back in time with a walking tour in Canterbury

Explore the historic cathedral city

Canterbury is a city steeped in history, and an excellent way to immerse yourself in its captivating past is on foot. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Canterbury’s medieval architecture and cobblestone streets transport you back centuries. Walking tours led by expert local guides offer an intimate glimpse into Canterbury’s most famous landmarks and lesser-known hidden gems.

Discover Canterbury Cathedral and beyond

No trip to Canterbury is complete without touring its magnificent cathedral, the seat of the Church of England and Anglican Communion for over 1,400 years. Walking tours explore the cathedral’s immense interior and share stories of its role in history. After visiting the cathedral, your guide will lead you through the city’s winding lanes and alleyways, pointing out landmarks and fascinating buildings of old.

With so much history and culture to uncover, a walking tour is the perfect way to plan an exciting and educational school trip to Canterbury. Students and teachers alike will enjoy journeying back in time to experience all this captivating city has to offer.

Planning Your Canterbury Educational Tour: FAQs

So you’ve decided to take your students on an exciting trip to historic Canterbury. Brilliant! This UNESCO World Heritage Site has so much to offer for learners of all ages. To make the most of your visit, here are some frequently asked questions to consider in your planning:

How do we get there?

The closest major airport is London Gatwick, about 75 minutes by train or coach from Canterbury. Many school tour operators can arrange transport for your group to and from the airport. Once in Canterbury, most attractions are within walking distance of each other in the city centre.

What are the must-see attractions?

No trip to Canterbury is complete without visiting the Canterbury Cathedral, a stunning example of medieval architecture and the site where Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered. The Canterbury Roman Museum showcases ancient artifacts from the city’s Roman origins. And a River Stour boat tour with Canterbury Historic River Tours is a fun way to learn about Canterbury’s history and see key landmarks from the water.

How long do we need?

To see the major highlights at a relaxed pace, two to three days is ideal. If your time is limited to one day, focus on the Cathedral, River Tour and Roman Museum. Leave time for students to explore the charming cobblestone streets, shops and cafes.

Where should we eat?

There are many affordable options for student groups. Cafe’s, fish and chips and restaurants are plentiful. Picnics in the Dane John Gardens or along the River Stour walkway are also lovely on nice days.

Where should we stay?

Most student tours stay just outside the city center for budget-friendly accommodation. Options include campsites, youth hostels and budget hotels. If your budget allows, staying within the city walls offers a more immersive experience. The Canterbury Cathedral Lodge and ABode Canterbury are popular choices located in the heart of the city.


So there you have it – Canterbury offers so much for school trips of all ages and interests. With its rich history, beautiful cathedral, engaging museums, fun activities and theatre workshops, and great transport links, it has something for everyone. The key is planning ahead, thinking about your curriculum links and group needs, and working with reputable tour companies to create an itinerary that will educate and inspire your students. They’ll come home buzzing with new knowledge and eager to explore more. You can feel confident that a school trip to Canterbury will create memories to last a lifetime. Time to get planning!

Book Online Now