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Canterbury Cathedral
Ranked #2 of 105 things to do in Canterbury
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The first Church of England, this historic gothic-style cathedral dates back to 597, which served as a rich and powerful monastery of Benedictine monks in the 12th century.
Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

One of the best cathedrals in UK which is a delight to visit. Visited the cathedral today and it was a great experience. The architecture was impressive and the site is well maintained with some renovations taking place at the moment. But the glory and the beauty remains along with the history which it carries. The entry was free but this could be only for Easter Sunday.

2  Thank Sanka1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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80 - 84 of 5,709 reviews

Reviewed 1 April 2018

I made the mistake of trying to visit here on Easter weekend so it was closed to tourists on Good Friday, then very busy on Easter Saturday.
I felt the £12.50 admission fee was a bit steep especially as it didn't include a tour. However looking at how much renovation was going on in this ancient building I felt pleased to be making a financial contribution to maintain it for future generations.
I invested in a £4.00 audio guide which really enhanced my experience. I went round once following the guide then went round again at my own pace just to absorb more of the ambiance.
The overall experience was marred by large parts of the cathedral being shrouded in scaffolding and plastic as a big renovation is going on at present. It was also heaving with tourists, some of whom didn't observe requests for quiet in the crypt where people were praying ( one man's mobile even went off and rather than just muting it he answered it and continued talking within hearing of people trying to pray!)
When I took time to really look and "feel" the place, it really is incredible how much history is packed into the place. Religion aside, as a piece of ancient architecture it is hard to parallel. The foot worn steps and stone pillars worn shiny by millions of hands over the last 900 years,make it really atmospheric. The site of St Thomas' murder is also something worth spending time over, but would probably be more atmospheric at a quieter time than a bank holiday weekend!!!
Top tip, when looking around, occasionally find a seat and just "be" in the space, and look at the details of the stones, the windows and think about the people who made them many hundreds of years ago with none of our modern tools or knowledge. Quite humbling ....!

1  Thank Jill F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018

Canterbury Cathedral for those who do not know is the mother church of the Anglican Communion. Not the oldest church, but the most important. There's so much history associated with this church. The audio guide do a good job of telling the history and stories associated with the cathedral. If there's any questions you still have, there's plenty of volunteers dotted around the church who are more than happy to try and answer.

Personally, I'm interested in history and it's amazing to see the tombs of the Black Prince and various past kings of England like Henry IV.

Overall, it was a great albeit very expensive visit.

Thank macedonboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018 via mobile

We enjoyed the short but free talks given by various guides on everything from church hierarchy to the history of the area. The talks last about half an hour and questions are welcome. I should point out that we went on a week day, off season, on a damp and dreary day so there were no crowds. We walked by on the following Saturday and there was quite a que. The church is generally wide open and you are free to wander about at will. Yes, there is a bunch of scaffolding around the outside and a little bit inside but it did not detract my eyes from the incredible architecture.

2  Thank donbob1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 March 2018

I feel Canterbury Cathedral is making a poor job of trying to balance its earthly need for money with its ecclesiastic obligations. Despite the clear necessity to raise funds, £12.50 is, I feel, too much, especially when, as in our case, two areas were not available. One of the two main routes from the apse to the nave was blocked unannounced: the alternative route for us (at least one of us was disabled) would be a long detour back up some steps. Some officious and rude female stood in our way, and then manhandled us and others and pushed us out of her way. Whether she was an official or a volunteer at the Cathedral, or an over-enthusiastic religious zealot I do not know. She made it abundantly clear that tourists’ money is welcomed there, but not tourists.

Thank Rob-Pendragon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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