After a wonderful/heavy weekend back in Canterbury, it is safe to say that it has been a struggle to survive my 9-5 life this week (hence, the delay in part two of this post). However, I made it through, and here are my final seven things I think all UKC students should do before graduating (if you haven’t read part one of this post, have a read of it here before continuing to read this one):
Have a picnic by the river
In the summer, Canterbury’s riverside blooms with bright and beautiful flowers. Therefore, with the view of colourful, manicured gardens and charming, traditional houses and the relaxing sound of punters gliding down the river and cute ducklings bobbing along the water, what better way to soak up these sights than with a cheeky glass on vino and a picnic on the grass?
Stock up on some sausage rolls, sandwiches, scotch eggs (those are for you Lauren aka. The Student Travels) and sangria and enjoy a lazy day by the river – the perfect remedy to unwind after a stressful week in the library!
Go punting down the river/float down the river on airbeds
Once you have appreciated the river on-land, it’s time to get on or in it (depending on how brave you are) off-land…
I spent the majority of my second and third year of university trying to force someone to come punting with me – I was unsuccessful. However, I did get to float down the river on airbeds, which, in my opinion, is way cooler!
Although we got papped most of the way down and angered a few of the punters who had to skillfully punt around us (we had no steering device), it was hilarious! Accompanied by a few alcoholic beverages and Morrison’s £1 snacks, we threw ourselves belly first onto the airbeds (literally) and enjoyed the sights of Canterbury from a squishier and wetter angle.
SO, head to the Wilko’s, buy a couple of airbeds and get floating!
Watch a performance at the Gulbenkian and/or Marlowe theatre
Unfortunately I never made it to the Marlowe theatre however, I did get the opportunity to watch a great rendition of The Great Gatsby (one of my favourite books) at the Gulbenkian.
Even if you’re not an avid theatre-lover, it is definitely worth making the most of having a cinema/theatre in such easy reach and at such reasonable prices (£5 for students).
Not many universities have the luxury of a cinema on campus and I wish I had made more of an effort to make the most of it while I was there! Therefore, you’re just going to have to make the most of it for me…
Check out the upcoming performances and films that you can watch, here.
Cafes, cafes, restaurants, restaurants, cafes
There are so many great restaurants and cafes in Canterbury (have a read of my post on my favourite cafes in Canterbury here) therefore, it makes sense to go to as many of them as you can!
From Mexican and Moroccan to British, British, British, there is a restaurant to tantalize anyone’s taste buds.
Some of my favourite restaurants are: Cafe des Amis, Cafe Mauresque, The Olive Grove, The Old Buttermarket, Tacos Locas, The Shakespeare, Club Burrito and La Trappiste.
As you can probably tell, I’m quite the foodie so, instead of making my way around the men of Canterbury, I made my way around the restaurants. A wise decision I’d say, although perhaps not for my waistline…
Go for a walk/picnic/run on the Crab and Winkle walkway
The Crab and Winkle way was a railway, which opened in 1830 and ran between Canterbury and Whitstable. Since closing in 1953 due to flooding, the walkway has transformed into a picturesque stretch of countryside, ideal for a walk, picnic or run.
As well as the impressive scenery, there is also an enchanting, little church, a rustic, man-made swing and a field of bluebells (if you catch it at the right time of year) to admire on the way. All, also great excuses to stop for a breather if you’re dying on a run…
Situated behind Parkwood (first year accommodation), Crab and Winkle used to be my go-to route to walk or run along to de-stress before an exam.
Go and check out its relaxing beauty for yourselves!
Go to Bramley’s and The Ballroom
With their quirky decor, scrumptious cocktails and 1920s jazz atmosphere, Bramley’s and The Ballroom are two ‘exclusive’ cocktail bars you must go to whilst in Canterbury.
The cocktails here don’t come cheap (approximately £7 a drink) however, the grand, sparkling chandeliers, vintage bath tubs turn tables, classic sewing machine centre pieces, rustic candles and cocktails served in cute, ornate teacups, all make stretching your budget more than worth while. These bars transport you into a scene from The Great Gatsby – and who wouldn’t want that?
Holding jazz, folk and open mic nights, student club nights and 2-4-1 cocktails on selected evenings, there is something to entertain everyone at these bars. And if you choose your night right, it can even be done on a budget – bonus!
The prickly pear and rose petal martini are two of my favourite, so, if its 2-4-1, you may as well make the most of it and try one of each…
Both bars are located on Orange Street in the same building – Bramley’s downstairs and The Ballroom upstairs. Therefore, making the transition between the two a lot easier after a couple of potent cocktails may have impaired your eyesight/stability.
Visit the coastal areas close to Canterbury (Whitstable, Herne Bay, Broadstairs etc.)
I’m like a kid at Christmas when it comes to going to the seaside. As I live near Oxford (apparently one of the furthest cities from the sea in England), it is no surprise that when I hear the trill of seagulls, the chime of an ice-cream van and smell salt in the air, I get overly excited.
It took me a good term to realise that Canterbury is so close to the coast (I know, bad from me). But once I discovered this important piece of information, I took every day of sunshine as an opportunity to head to the beach, sink a few ciders, scoff some fish and chips and, when the parents were visiting, to try out some of the seafood restaurants (which weren’t so student budget friendly) on the seafront.
Whitstable is fab for oysters, sailing and trundling around the harbor, Herne Bay aka. the coastal graveyard is worth going to, to admire the rainbow coloured beach huts and Broadstairs has the best beach around, offering real sandy sand (the others are stone beaches)!
I had the BEST time whilst living in Canterbury and urge you to branch out from the four walls of the Venue and explore as much of this beautiful city and surrounding area as you can.
Get drunk, party and tick off as much of this UKC bucket list as possible and you are guaranteed to have the best three years of your life!
Enjoy! From the crazy girl who floated down Canterbury river on an airbed with some her fellow crazy friends…