Canterbury is famous for its historic cathedral and its relaxed riverside walks. Here, Quingo Scooters explores the city’s accessible attractions as part of our Accessible Getaways blog series.
With its historic cathedral and connections with Chaucer, its fascinating history and beautiful open spaces, Canterbury feels like a town from another age. But it is also home to some great shops and restaurants, as well as plenty of other accessible attractions to keep the modern-day pilgrim entertained. Here are our top picks.
Take a trip back in time
We’re going to start with The Canterbury Tales attraction. Of course, Chaucer’s famous tales are one of the city’s most famous exports: a collection of vivid medieval stories about the many pilgrims who flocked to this religiously significant city. The magic of Chaucer’s tales are captured beautifully in this attraction that has been running since 1988. It is a real must-visit if you ever come to Canterbury and will give you a real insight into the characters who have visited this city over the centuries. It is also accessible to those of us using mobility scooters and wheelchairs too, with lifts, ramps and accessible toilets. The team recommend giving them a quick call on 01227 696002 before you visit to arrange any specific requirements. Find out more here. Pound Lane is your nearest car park: it has a number of Blue Badge spaces but you will have to pay.
Feel the peace of Canterbury cathedral
Pilgrims have been visiting Canterbury cathedral for hundreds of years, and it really is a wonderful place to spend time exploring. It is the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Church of England, but it has also been a place of worship for over 1,400 years. It is obviously one of the most popular attractions in the city, with over a million visitors a year, but it is also remarkably peaceful, despite the crowds. If you’d like to visit with your mobility scooter the team at the cathedral will be happy to help you, whatever your needs. The cathedral’s accessibility page here is a great place to start planning your visit. If you’re coming by car and want to park nearby, then just call the team on 01227 762862 to secure a spot.
Spend, spend, spend!
Canterbury is an ancient, historic town, but it is also packed with plenty of great shops to keep even the most demanding modern visitor entertained. You can head to Whitefriars open-air shopping centre which has all the big high street stores, but there is also plenty going on in Canterbury’s indie scene too. The King’s Mile area is the place to go for independent shopping, with lots of places to eat and drink too. It’s tucked in near to the cathedral, and is a warren of winding streets including Sun Street, Palace Street, Guildhall Street and Orange Street, all of which have plenty to offer. There are lots of car parks in Canterbury city centre and we’d recommend using the handy tool here to find the one that suits your needs. The car park at Orange Street is Blue Badge parking only, and has 18 spaces. It’s also conveniently close to the cathedral and other major sites.
Enjoy some tranquillity in the city’s parks
Canterbury is blessed with plenty of peaceful open spaces. There can’t be many city parks that have their own 1st century burial mound like Dane John Gardens, but then Canterbury is just that kind of town. The gardens themselves have been around since at least the 15th century, all the paths are paved and it is mobility scooter accessible. Across town, Westgate Parks is a gorgeous network of green spaces: we loved Tannery Field in particular, with its peaceful meadows alongside the scenic River Stour. There is a handy map here that shows the routes you can take your mobility scooter on.
Eat, drink and be merry
Canterbury also has plenty of places to enjoy great food and drink, and many of them are accessible. We’re big fans of Prezzo, for cheap and cheerful Italian food. It’s fully accessible and is open Monday to Sunday from midday to 11.30pm. Whitefriars car park nearby has a number of Blue Badge spaces, although you will need to pay. For something a little more intimate, try the Cafe du Soleil. It’s situated in a beautiful riverside building, and serves fresh, locally sourced Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Access is over a wooden bridge, but the restaurant is fully open for all. Give the team a call on 01227 479999 to discuss any individual requirements you might have. The Blue Badge-only car park on Orange Street is not far away. Another great option is The Ambrette, which is fully accessible too. The food is simply beautiful, and head chef Dev Biswal draws on influences from around the world. Again, Whitefriars’ car park will be your closest.
Canterbury is an ancient and historic town, with lots of old buildings that were not designed with the needs of mobility scooter users in mind. That said, this is also a city that has welcomed visitors for millennia, and that tradition continues with many of Canterbury’s most famous sites being fully accessible to all. A great place to start your visit is the Euan’s Guide page for the city as well as Visit Kent’s accessibility page here.
Getting to Canterbury
Canterbury is used to visitors, and so all roads lead here. If you’re coming from London, the North and East Anglia then leave the M25 at junction 2 onto the A2, leaving at junction 7 for Canterbury. If you’re coming from the West and South-West then you’ll need to leave the M25 at junction 5, continue on M26(M20) before leaving the M20 at junction 7, then onto the A249, then the M2 before leaving at junction 7 again for the city.
It’s also just under an hour on the regular train from St Pancras in London. Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton airports are all a couple of hours away by train: you’ll need to take the shuttle into central London before heading out to Canterbury.
About Quingo Scooters
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