Christmas in Canterbury

Christmas in Canterbury

There’s so much to do in Canterbury this Christmas… made even better with a trip to The Canterbury Tales!

Christmas in stunning historic Canterbury.  The Cathedral sits proudly in the centre, with pedestrianised streets for exploring and strolling.  On foot, explore the Kings Mile and Cathedral Quarter, filled with artisan shops and unique fashion.  In Whitefriars you will find the traditional Christmas market, known for its unique gifts and delicious food.

Then, take a break from shopping and visit us at The Canterbury Tales Visitor Attraction – the perfect literary experience in historic Canterbury, we will introduce you to five of Chaucer’s famous tales with a mixture of live actors and audio guide narrated by famous voices including Robert Powell and Prunella Scales.  We present Chaucer in a fun and engaging way and today we remain the only attraction in the world devoted to The Canterbury Tales.

With easy transport links by train, bus or car, we are conveniently located in Canterbury City Centre.  Coach drop off available outside the Christmas Market. Canterbury Tales audio guide available in seven languages.  Fully wheelchair accessible.  Tours last 40 minutes.

Ask us about our complimentary meet and greet service for pre-booked groups of 15 or more!

 Christmas Lights Switch-On Friday 16th November

The annual tradition of the Christmas Lights Switch-On in November marks the start of the festive period and late night shopping in the city.

The switch-on creates a focus on Canterbury which benefits the city as a whole and is a favourite family event on the festive calendar.


Canterbury Cathedral Events and Christmas Services

There is no better time to visit Canterbury than December as the Cathedral prepares itself for one of the most important events in the Christian calendar. The life size crib, designed and made by Cathedral staff and ‘Holy Stitchers’, is worth a visit and the music sung by the Cathedral choir at Services can only be described as ‘heavenly’.  Visit for more information.

23 December – 15.00 hrs
Christmas Carol Service* (doors open at 14.00 hrs)

24 December – 11.00 hrs
Crib Service

24 December – 15.00 hrs
Christmas Carol Service* (doors open at 14.00 hrs)

25 December – 11.00 hrs
Main Christmas Eucharist (Preacher: The Archbishop of Canterbury)

25 December – 15.15 hrs
Choral Evensong with Carols

28 December –  15.00 hrs
Children’s Society, Christingle Service**

29 December – 15.00 hrs
Procession and Evensong to mark the martyrdom of Archbishop Thomas Becket on 29.12.1170

Whitefriar’s Christmas Market

The popular Whitefriars’ Christmas Market will be back again this year with a host of colourful cabins and stalls selling seasonal food and drink, gifts and decorations – many handmade by local artisans. The market runs from 16 November to 24 December with Santa’s Grotto open from 1 December.

Special Welcome for Coach Drivers: On arrival at the Christmas market receive a complimentary Bratwurst and hot drink!  Please show your coach driver ID to receive gift.  Courtesy of Nikki at Rockhopper events.

The Canterbury Ales – adults only!

Our exclusive evening of local Ale Tasting based on The Canterbury Ales.  Each Ale has been cheekily given a Canterbury Tales character name reflective of its unique personality.  Enjoy a special evening of brewing history, references to Ale in medieval England and lots of delicious tasting.  Ticket includes a 3 bottle selection to take home!

Available to book year round. 18 years and over only.  Perfect to enjoy before evening dining in the City. Duration 1hr.  Capacity 15 people every 15 minutes.

Magical Medieval Christmas family event

On the 15th & 16th December, The Canterbury Tales holds its most Magical Medieval Christmas family event.

Families will join a mission to save Santa from the past and bring him back to the present day!  Discover your spirit of Christmas at our annual festive event!


Find out more or call our reservations team on 01904 261262

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Call: 01904 527700
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Registered in England No: 1969044
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