Free or Cheap Parking Hacks for Canterbury

Updated 11 August 2021
Parking in Canterbury is difficult and expensive at the best of times.

But if you’re canny and flexible on timings, you can still save on parking.  Most of the council-run car parks charge around £2.30 per HOUR 07:00-21:00. There’s a minimum fee of one hour, so if you picking up, dropping off, or just nipping out for a couple of minutes, it’s going to cost. Overnight (21:00-07:00) the charge is £2:00. The Park & Rides at Sturry, Wincheap and New Dover Road will now set you back £4.00 per ticket and buses run 07:00-19:30, but they don’t operate on Sundays. If you live near the city centre and have friends to stay, parking a car for the weekend can be a nightmare.  In 2021, the number of parking spaces in Canterbury reduced and most prices increased – in some cases, dramatically.

So GoMunkee has put together parking hacks which will save you money and hopefully make your day less stressful.

Free parking

  • Sainsbury’s at Kingsmead for 2 hours – just enough time to nip into town, walking along the river. Camera-operated 24-hour restrictions, with no return within 4 hours.
  • Waitrose – 1.5 hours’ free parking. You can park for free in the outside car park at night with no time restriction, from 20:00.
  • Morrisons/Boots at Wincheap – 2 hours – 24-hour operation, so no return for 4 hours.
  • Dunelm Wincheap (CT1 3TT) Free for customers for 2 hours.
  • Asda, Sturry Road (CT1 1DG) Free for customers for 2 hours.
  • It’s free to park all weekend and after 6:00 pm at Canterbury City Council’s offices in Military Road, Canterbury, CT1 1YW.
  • There’s free parking in Queens Avenue (CT2 8BA) which runs parallel with Rheims way (leading off London Road roundabout and on the opposite side of the road to Canterbury High School… turn opposite Pilgrims’ Hospice).  Free for four hours, free after 4.30 pm and free all day Sunday.

Cheap(ish) parking

If you’re spending the day in Whitstable

Most weekends, Bank Holidays and school holidays there’s a charity car park at Whitstable Junior School (21A Oxford St, Whitstable CT5 1DB).  Pay any amount by donation and park between 9am and 5pm. 

Making a quick getaway

Don’t park in Pound Lane or St Radigund’s if you’re going to the theatre/Curzon (or getting back about 10:00 pm). You’ll pay a premium price, you’ll have to queue at the slowest ticket machines, and then join the log jam getting out. At peak times, it can take 25 minutes just to get on the road. It’s also difficult to find a space after 18:00. Park instead, at Castle Row car park in Castle Street (CT1 2PT). £2.30 per hour with a minimum fee of 1 hour.  Overnight £2.00 until 7:30 am.  Max £20 per day. Always plenty of spaces, pay beforehand and get away fast. Works out cheaper than the Marlowe/Curzon car parks. It’s a 10-minute walk to the Marlowe.  Also Castle Street Multi-Storey CT1 2QD is £1.80 per hour on the same basis as Castle Row, but with a £10.00 maximum fee per day. Or for a slightly longer walk, use Canterbury East or Canterbury West Railway Station’s car parks (above) after 18:00 – only £1.50.

Weekend parking hacks

  • It’s free to park all weekend at Canterbury City Council’s offices in Military Road, Canterbury, CT1 1YW.  There’s also free on-street parking in that area, but big competition for spaces for the courts and council.
  • Canterbury College, New Dover Road (CT1 3AJ) – Park on the college campus for £3 across weekends and Bank Holidays. Secured, 24-hour car parking, five minutes’ walk from town. All weekend is any time of the day or night Saturday-Sunday.  
  • Canterbury East Railway Station (CT1 2RB) is a bargain for weekend parking: On Saturdays, it’s £2.80 for the whole day (cheaper than Park & Ride).
    • Sundays and Bank Holidays, it’s £1.00 for the day.
    • Canterbury East is just a short walk over the bridge into Dane John Gardens.
  • Canterbury West Railway Station (CT2 8AN) – at most times more expensive than Canterbury East, but £1.50 for evenings after 18:00 and on Sundays and Bank holidays it’s £1.00 for the day.  Close to Marlowe/Curzon/city centre.
  • University of Kent (CT2 7NB)  Free parking at weekends in Gulbenkian theatre car park and in Giles Lane car park, opposite. Regular bus service into Canterbury.

  •  Check out this national site to rent parking spaces on someone’s drive on a day by day basis. Great for visiting friends and family.

You have been warned…

Canterbury West Railway Station £4.60 per hour during the day.  £1.80 per hour for electric cars.

St Radigund’s Street (CT1 2AA) £2.30 per hour, minimum fee of 1 hour 7.30am to 9pm
£2 overnight charge (9pm to 7.30am) Maximum fee £20 per day.

£1.80 per hour for electric vehicles.

Queningate (CT1 2HJ)  £2.80 per hour, minimum fee of 1 hour 7.30am to 9pm.  £2 overnight charge (9pm to 7.30am). Maximum fee £20 per day.

Whitefriars (CT1 2TF)  The tariff is £2.30 per hour*, with a minimum charge of £2.30 weekdays and Sundays and £4.60 on Saturdays. There is an evening flat rate charge from 9pm to 7am of £2 per hour. *Charged at 10 minute intervals after the minimum payment period.

Watling Street Car Park (CT1 2UA) £2.80 per hour, minimum fee of 1 hour 7.30am to 9pm. £2 overnight charge (9pm to 7.30am) Maximum fee £20 per day.

Longport (CT1 1DU) £2.30 per hour, minimum fee of 1 hour. 7.30am to 9pm. £2 overnight charge (9pm to 7.30am). Maximum fee £20 per day.

Check out the link for up-to-date travel and parking information in Canterbury.  And remember, if you want to have fun with the kids in Canterbury, check with GoMunkee to find out what’s going on, and then do a nifty bit of parking and save £££.

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