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Canterbury Culture Crawl

Canterbury Culture Crawl
Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral Aerial – John Fielding via Flickr

Welcome to all Freshers. You probably already know that Canterbury hosts a great deal of pubs and clubs suitable for a great night out. But before you spend three years getting to know whether you are a Cuban-goer or a Venue-veteran, you should also check out the legendary cultural and historical locations that Canterbury has to offer. This guide will provide you with a route of attractions starting from the Whitefriars Bus Station. One final tip before we get going, if you are staying on campus or in the city, then you should apply for a resident’s card. It gets you into most museums and attractions for free!

So you’re off the bus and at the top of the high street near Whitefriars. Walk into the main section past Boots and Tiger, and follow the route around to the right to reach the main high street. As you’re walking, have a look down. You should be able to see an archaeological plan of the Big Dig, which took place from 2000-2003 and uncovered Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Medieval artefacts. In fact, as you reach the high street and turn left you should see Fenwicks, the shop that is thought to have been built on the area of the home of Christopher Marlowe himself.

Roman Museum

(Turn right at Butchery Lane)

The museum itself is small and was built around the remains of a Roman Villa that were uncovered by a WW2 bomb explosion in 1942. This is great for those studying Classics, and highlights include the villa’s hypocaust heating system and mosaic floor. The information is concise and entry costs £6 for students, or is free for those with a resident card.

Cathedral

(Continue down Butchery Lane, turn left and enter the Buttermarket)

This is a vital part to the Canterbury Culture Crawl, with free entry on presentation of your student card! If you want time to take in its history, I recommend going before the tourist season starts in May. The Cathedral boasts occupation as a place of worship since the Roman Occupation, and has seen St Augustine in 597 AD become the first Archbishop of Canterbury. It’s definitely something not to be missed.

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral – Jean Mottershead via Flickr

Canterbury Tales

(Exit the Buttermarket down Mercery Lane and cross over down St Margaret’s Street)

Step back in time and experience five of Chaucer’s tales as the characters make their way on a pilgrimage to Thomas Becket’s shrine. Audio and guided tours are available, with costumed characters along the route.  The stories are a mixture of debauchery, poetry, comedy, and love. Student prices are £7.95, but if you book online you can save 15%. This attraction is perfect for English students.

The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge

(Head back to the high street and continue left)

The Beaney combines an art gallery, museum, and library all in one building and has free entry. Inside, there is a permanent collection of Thomas Cooper’s work, as well as various Egyptian artefacts. There’s a curiosity collection of items collected by amateur enthusiasts, which date back to the founding of the Canterbury Philosophical and Literary Institution. For art students, check out The Beaney’s visual wall of amateur and professional work. The current special exhibition (on until November) is The British Wildlife Photography Awards.

Marlowe Theatre

(Back onto the high street and turn right on The Friars Street)

The new Marlowe Theatre is the third reinvented theatre since its founding in 1920. Set in the heart of historical Canterbury, the modern architecture by Keith Williams strikes quite a contrast. The Marlowe Studio is home for experimental companies and comedy shows that are perfect for the budding drama student, whereas the main auditorium features a lot of well-known touring companies.

Canterbury Marlowe Theatre

Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury – Jacqueline Poggi via Flickr

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