Free or Cheap Parking Hacks for Canterbury

Parking in Canterbury is difficult and expensive at the best of times.

Covid has added another spanner in the works, and things are just starting to open up again.  Most of the council-run car parks charge around £1.90 per HOUR 07:00-21:00. The Park & Rides at Sturry, Wincheap and New Dover Road will set you back £3.50 per day 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/or 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 – 1.5 hours – 24-hour operation, so no return for 4 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

Making a quick getaway

Don’t park in Pound Lane or St Radigund’s if you’re going to the theatre (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 2QY) – always loads of spaces, pay beforehand and get away fast. It’s cheaper too.  It’s a 10-minute walk to the Marlowe.  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.
  • 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.  Great parking for weekend visitors.
  • 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, and there seem to be plenty of spaces, even on week days.
  • Canterbury West Railway Station (CT2 8AN) – at most times more expensive that Canterbury East, but on Sundays and Bank holidays it’s £1.00 for the day.
  • University of Kent (CT2 7NB)  Free parking at weekends in Gulbenkian 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.

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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