If you’re bored of Canterbury, then you need to visit these places

Get out

I like Canterbury, the way you like an old aunt that you rarely see, but have to be nice to. It’s great here for a while, but it gets a little old. I’ve been here a while, and moving from London has been a huge culture shock. It’s so slow moving.

First of all, it’s basically an old man’s paradise, over-run with students. Have you noticed this? If you aren’t a student, you’re probably a French tourist, or a pensioner. There are some residential people between 20-65 here, but they are savagely out-numbered. Where I come from, there is an ample mix of anyone and everyone. Getting on the Southeastern train, once you pass the border of Ashford, the passengers get more and more diverse, until you hit Stratford Intl where there’s an eclectic mix of basically everyone.

Canterbury is a Cathedral, dozens of restaurants and pubs, bars and a few shops. Throw in the UKC campus, a few CCCU buildings and a splash of the elusive UCA.  After a long library shift, or a string of seminars, what would be grand is having a city at your fingertips with endless activities on offer.

Herne Bae

So, discovering that Canterbury was getting played out I started looking to the surrounding areas for entertainment… cue endless day trips! There’s a choice of 3 beaches to visit that aren’t too hard to get to. (The Triangle bus actually hits all 3, you can get it from Keynes or from the bus station in the city centre). Whitstable, Herne Bay and Margate. Cute little sea-side towns, with gorgeous sky lines and views to make your heart melt. Each of these places has a few locally sourced fish and chip joints, and ice-cream stands to get your beach food fix.

Whitstable’s stony beach has a few lovely restaurants serving fresh oysters and other seafood, and the beach is beaut to enjoy a few bevs on. Stoney, but beautiful.

Herne Bay has a vintage feel, with a  promenade decorated with cafes and arcades. There’s plenty of places to sit, and it even has an outdoor cafe, serving anything you could ask for at the beach.

Margate,  (a little further off than the first two, but so worth the journey) is your typical seaside town, with a long sandy beach, rimmed with a promenade and real sand, a few huge arcades, tonnes of choice for food, and if it’s warm enough, a place to lay in the sun. Just a few more stops from the beach lies Margate’s outdoor Westwood Mall – which has 10X the outlets Canterbury does.

If beaches aren’t your thing, why not catch the campus shuttle down to Medway. There’s actually stuff going on down there. A few minutes walk away from the campus, there’s a huge Odeon cinema, with more than one screen… (bout time) and like Canterbury, the surrounding area is awash with restaurants.

dreamy Margate

Last, but not least. There’s a warehouse sized laser tag building in Whitstable (LAZER RUSH), just by the Tesco. It’s easy to get to, and reasonably priced. You can play about 3 times for a tenner. It’s better in a large group, and a great way to blow off some steam.

For me, Canterbury is played out. The beaches and towns just outside of it, are lush.