The Canterbury shopping experience with a spectacular Cathedral backdrop is one of the South East’s best with specialist shops, local produce markets and side streets lined with antique and collectables emporiums mingling with tasteful modern shopping centres. The city centre is largely pedestrianized so you can browse at your leisure without any interruption from traffic. If you’re looking for that unique shopping weekend away, Canterbury won’t disappoint.
The King’s Mile & Specialist Shops
Hubs for specialist and independent shops are around Westgate Towers and St Dunstan’s, around the famous King’s Mile and in the Northgate area. The King’s Mile is a collection of charming streets centred around the Cathedral walls and is a treasure trove for unique gifts, crafts, jewellery, artwork, antiques and collectables. Chic independent cafes including a chocolate café and bistro style restaurants, pantries and some great takeaways are also here along with a choice of fine old Kentish inns and hair/ beauty studios. Around the city centre from Burgate to Beer Cart Lane and Palace Street sit many more than your average number of specialist independent shops in a city centre ranging from wonderful designer boutiques to interior design outlets. Some like The Chaucer Bookshop on Beer Cart Lane have been trading in Canterbury for decades.
Museum shops are also top spots for unique gifts and souvenirs linked to museum collections. Visit The Canterbury Tales attraction’s shop for medieval and Chaucer themed gifts or the Canterbury Heritage Museum’s shop for great Rupert the Bear memorabilia and gifts. The Canterbury Cathedral Shop is brimming with beautiful Canterbury and Cathedral themed gifts and souvenirs including Canterbury Cross replica jewellery, pilgrim’s badges and must have cuddly Archbishop teddy bears.
Fine food lovers won’t want to miss a visit to the daily farmers market with onsite food hall and restaurant at The Goods Shed on Station Road West. Canterbury’s premier food market, The Goods Shed is a showcase Kent larder with fish stall, artisan cheeses, seasonal vege, fine wines, best bottled beers, vegan and vegetarian food, butchery selling traditionally reared meats and much much more. Canterbury’s weekly street markets based around St Georges Street takes place on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8am to 5pm and feature stalls selling everything from flowers and gifts to fresh local produce and fashions.
Whitefriars Shopping Centre
So named after the ‘white’ friars once in residence on the site of this stylish modern shopping centre, Whitefriars seamlessly blends in to Canterbury city cente and is where to head for all your high street brands and a choice of eateries. Department stores include Fenwick and M&S, and fashion favourites including Topshop and H&M mingle with a range of well-known speciality brands.