Free & Paid Parking in Canterbury

Free & Paid Parking in Canterbury

Canterbury is a walled cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kent that sits on the River Stour. Occupied since the Palaeolithic era, the city has a long, storied history including Viking sieges, William the Conqueror’s 1066 invasion, the plague, and the Peasants’ Revolt.

Many saints have come from Canterbury. This combined with the martyrdom of Thomas Becket, and Canterbury being home to the titular Archbishop, make it an important city for Christianity. Many Christians make a pilgrimage to the shrine dedicated to Becket, and it was this pilgrimage that laid the groundwork for Chaucer’s famous Canterbury Tales.

Historically, Canterbury has been famous for trading in silk, hops, and wheat. The Canterbury & Whitstable Passenger Railway was the first in the world, and the city is also home to the oldest still-existing school in the world (King’s School, operating since AD 597).

Heavy bombing during the Second World War levelled a lot of the city, but there are still lots of historical buildings to see today. Several 16th-17th century half-timbered houses remain, including the famous Crooked House on Palace Street. Other buildings of note are the Gothic-style Canterbury Cathedral, and Canterbury Castle – a stone structure dating back to the 1200s after William the Conqueror’s original wooden motte-and-bailey castle was destroyed. There are also ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey and the Roman city wall that was rebuilt in the 14th century.

As well as being seen throughout the city, Canterbury’s history is well documented in its many museums including the Roman museum and Westgate Jail museum.

Today, Canterbury has a small population of a little over 55,000. However, it’s one of the most visited cities in the UK, with around 7.8 million annual visitors. The population is further bolstered by a large student community from the four universities based in the city – University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University, the University for the Creative Arts, and the Girne American University Canterbury campus.

The arts are well-represented in Canterbury too. The main theatre in the city is named after the playwright Christopher Marlowe, who was born in Canterbury. The annual Canterbury Festival is an international arts festival including performances of music, dance, theatre, comedy, and more. Many orchestras and choirs are based in the city, and an entire music genre – called Canterbury Sound – was born there.

With its rich history and thriving arts scene, it’s no surprise that Canterbury is a hugely popular city. This can make parking there very difficult – doubly so when you factor in the ancient city walls and narrow streets of the city centre. On this page, we’ve put together all of the free and lowest-priced parking options for your trip to this brilliant city.

Free Parking in Canterbury

Table of Contents

Free Car Parks in Canterbury
  • Sainsbury’s, Kingsmead Road CT1 1BW – customers only, maximum 2 hours
  • Victoria Recreation Ground CT2 8PZ – maximum 2 hours
  • Dunelm, Wincheap Road CT1 3TT – customers only, maximum 2 hours
  • Morrisons, Ten Perch Road CT1 3TQ – customers only, maximum 2 hours
  • B&Q Sturry Road CT1 1FX – customers only, maximum 2 hours

Residential Streets

One of the best options for parking in any city is to find residential streets without restrictions. As long as you observe the usual on-street parking rules, it’s fine to leave your vehicle there (though this is done at your own risk). Keep noise to a minimum, don’t block entrances or driveways, and remember to check for signs restricting parking before you leave. In the list below we’ve arranged the available residential streets into cardinal directions from the city centre, including postcodes and walking distances.


Parking to the north of Canterbury will put you closer to the University of Kent and Blean Woods National Nature Reserve. The walk to the city centre takes you via Canterbury West train station and through the Westgate. You will also cross the Great Stour River by travelling this way.

• St Stephens Road CT2 7HU – 0.5 miles
• Forty Acres Road CT2 7HJ – 0.6 miles
• Pine Tree Avenue CT2 7TD – 0.8 miles
• Dextor Close CT2 7JB – 0.8 miles
• Market Way CT2 7JG – 0.8 miles
• Foxdown Close CT2 7RR – 0.9 miles
• Willow Close CT2 7PS – 1 mile
• Cadnam Close CT2 7SD – 1 mile
• The Terrace CT2 7AJ – 1.1 miles
• Manwood Avenue CT2 7AE – 1.1 miles
• Moorfield CT2 7AN – 1.2 miles
• The Crescent CT2 7AQ – 1.2 miles
• Ulcombe Gardens CT2 7QY – 1.3 miles
• South Street CT1 1EB – 1.3 miles
• Tenterden Drive CT2 7BH – 1.3 miles
• Downs Road CT2 7AY – 1.3 miles
• Headcorn Drive CT2 7TR – 1.4 miles
• Uplands CT2 7BL – 1.4 miles
• The Close CT2 7NS – 1.4 miles
• Highfield Close CT2 9DX – 1.6 miles
• Rough Common Road CT2 9DL – 1.7 miles
• Oaks Park CT2 9DP – 1.8 miles


The streets to the east of Canterbury are convenient for Canterbury Golf Club and St Martin’s Hospital. The walk into town passes several educational institutions including Canterbury Christ Church University. You will also pass St Augustine’s Abbey before you get to the city centre.

• Spring Lane CT1 1SP – 1 mile
• Russett Road CT1 1FL – 1.1 miles
• Forrester Close CT1 1DZ – 1.1 miles
• Sturmer Close CT1 1FB – 1.1 miles
• Warwick Road CT1 1RQ – 1.1 miles
• Fiesta Walk CT1 1FP – 1.2 miles
• Laxton Way CT1 1FT – 1.2 miles
• Sussex Avenue CT1 1RT – 1.2 miles
• Kent Avenue CT1 1RR – 1.3 miles
• Devon Road CT1 1RP – 1.3 miles
• Surrey Road CT1 1SS – 1.3 miles
• Cumberland Avenue CT1 1SL – 1.3 miles
• Hampshire Road CT1 1SJ – 1.4 miles
• Pilgrims Way CT1 1YA – 1.4 miles
• Dorset Road CT1 1SF – 1.5 miles


Coming into the city from a southerly direction means you will pass the Canterbury East train station as well as Canterbury Castle, before the route takes you right into the central shopping area. You will also go by the Dane John Gardens. The streets further from the centre are convenient for the Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

• Old Dover Road CT1 3JB – 0.5 miles
• Gordon Road CT1 3PL – 0.6 miles
• Tudor Road CT1 3SY – 0.6 miles
• York Road CT1 3TA – 0.6 miles
• Martyrs Field Road CT1 3PU – 0.7 miles
• St Mildreds Place CT1 3SR – 0.7 miles
• Victoria Road CT1 3SG – 0.7 miles
• Simmonds Road CT1 3RA – 0.7 miles
• Oxford Road CT1 3QP – 0.8 miles
• Bristol Road CT1 3QN – 0.9 miles
• Durham Close CT1 3QL – 0.9 miles
• Zealand Road CT1 3QB – 0.9 miles
• Cromwell Road CT1 3LB – 1 mile
• George Roche Road CT1 3FF – 1 mile
• Winchester Gardens CT1 3NA – 1.1 miles
• Mount Road CT1 1YE – 1.4 miles
• Barton Road CT1 1YQ – 1.4 miles


If you park to the west of Canterbury city centre, you will be near several large parks and green spaces including Victoria Recreation Ground, Greyfriars Gardens, and Bingley Island. You can enter the city via the Westgate, beyond which is The Marlowe Theatre and the shops and museums following.

• Miller Avenue CT2 8PA – 1.1 miles
• Shipman Avenue CT2 8PD – 1.2 miles
• Squire Avenue CT2 8PF – 1.2 miles
• Franklyn Road CT2 8PR – 1.2 miles
• City View CT2 8PT – 1.3 miles
• Priest Avenue CT2 8PJ – 1.3 miles
• Wife of Bath Hill CT2 8PQ – 1.3 miles
• Merchants Way CT2 8PN – 1.4 miles
• Pardoner Close CT2 8QB – 1.4 miles

Although parking in residential streets is free, some people may not find it convenient to do so because of the walking involved to get to the city centre. Elderly and disabled people as well as younger children may find it difficult to walk from the car, which makes it impractical for these groups. There are other options for parking in Canterbury.

Free Overnight & Weekend Parking in Canterbury

Council Offices car park CT1 1YW – free after 6pm Monday-Friday, all day Saturday & Sunday
Victoria Recreation Park CT2 8PZ – 9pm-7am all week
All University of Kent car parks – free from 5pm-7am Monday-Friday, all day Saturday & Sunday

Park & Ride Services in Canterbury

Another option for getting into the city centre is using the Park & Ride services. It only costs £4 for all-day parking, with up to 6 people per vehicle. The buses are equipped with heating, free WiFi, and individual charging points for phones/laptops. The buses are convenient, running every 8 minutes from 7am-7:30pm on Mondays-Saturdays, and every 20 minutes from 9:45am-5:00pm on Sundays.

There are two Park & Ride sites to the south of Canterbury, as follows:

  • Wincheap Park & Ride CT1 3TQ – southwest of city – 726 spaces, 10 disabled bays and electric car charging available
  • New Dover Road Park & Ride CT1 3EJ – southeast of city – 590 spaces, 20 disabled bays, no height restrictions, motorhome parking, and coach parking are available

Cheapest Paid Parking Options in Canterbury

If you would prefer the security and convenience of a central paid car park, the following list includes the cheapest options we could find in or near the city centre.

  • Castle Street CT1 2QD – £3.60 for 2 hours
  • Toddlers Cove CT2 8BG – £3.20 for 2 hours (free for up to 30 minutes)
  • Station Road West CT2 8AN – £3.60 for 2 hours
  • Maynard Road CT1 3RH – £2.40 for 2 hours
  • Cow Lane CT1 3RT – £2.40 for 2 hours

Canterbury is a fascinating, beautiful, and exciting city to visit. We hope the information on this page will help you to make the most of your time there by making parking much less of a hassle (and cheaper!).

Free Parking Near Popular Canterbury Locations

Free Parking near Canterbury Cathedral

Free Parking near University of Kent

Free Parking near Canterbury West Train Station

Free Parking near Canterbury East Train Station