City of Canterbury
—  Non-metropolitan district, Borough, City  —
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury shown within Kent
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country England
Region South East England
Non-metropolitan county Kent
Status Non-metropolitan district, Borough, City
Admin HQ Canterbury
Incorporated 1 April 1974
 • Type Non-metropolitan district council
 • Body Canterbury City Council
 • Leadership Committee system, Ben Fitter-Harding (Conservative)
 • MPs Rosie Duffield
Roger Gale
 • Total 119.24 sq mi (308.84 km2)
Area rank 137th (of 326)
Population (2006 est.)
 • Total 150,600
 • Rank 121st (of 326)
 • Density 1,300/sq mi (490/km2)
 • Ethnicity 93.4% White
2.2% S.Asian
1.6% Chinese and other
1.4% Mixed Race
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 • Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
ONS code 29UC (ONS)
E07000106 (GSS)
OS grid reference TR145575

The City of Canterbury ( /ˈkæntərbəri/)[1] is a local government district with city status in Kent, England. As well as Canterbury itself, the district extends north to the coastal towns of Whistable and Herne Bay.


The district was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the existing city of Canterbury with the Whitstable and Herne Bay Urban Districts, and Bridge-Blean Rural District. The latter district entirely surrounded the city; the urban districts occupied the coastal area to the north.



Within the district are the towns of Herne Bay and Whitstable, which, with the rural parishes and the cathedral city itself, make up the district of the City of Canterbury. There are 26 parishes within the district, as follows:[2]

  • Adisham
  • Barham
  • Bekesbourne-with-Patrixbourne
  • Bishopsbourne
  • Blean
  • Bridge
  • Chartham
  • Chestfield
  • Chislet
  • Fordwich, which has town status
  • Hackington
  • Harbledown and Rough Common
  • Herne and Broomfield
  • Hoath
  • Ickham
  • Kingston
  • Littlebourne
  • Lower Hardres and Nackington
  • Petham
  • Sturry
  • Thanington Without
  • Upper Hardres
  • Waltham
  • Westbere
  • Wickhambreaux
  • Womenswold

Swalecliffe is an unparished area within the district.

The district is largely rural, with a coastal strip taken up by the almost unbroken spread of seaside towns and beaches from Seasalter, west of Whitstable, to Herne Bay. Between them and the city the hills rise into the wooded area of Blean, south of which the Great Stour flows from its source beyond Ashford.

Twin towns[]

The district participates in the Sister Cities programme, with links[3] to Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, and Vladimir, Russia.

The Three Towns Association was founded in 1985 on the initiative of three local clergymen to promote person-to-person contact between ordinary people in the UK, the U.S. and Russia. The name was subsequently changed to the Three Cities Association. The Association chose Vladimir as the twin city in Russia because it is the seat of Christianity in that country as Canterbury is the seat of Christianity in England. Vladimir was already twinned with Bloomington-Normal. Among other activities, the Association arranged home-stay exchanges between the two Simon Langton Schools in Canterbury and School No. 23 in Vladimir, where the teaching was conducted in English.

Several towns and villages within the City of Canterbury have their own twinning arrangements:[3] see the articles on Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay.


External links[]

Coordinates: 51°17′N 1°05′E / 51.28, 1.08