Is Canterbury Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On December 20, 2023
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Safety Index:
79
* Based on Research & Crime Data

If you’re planning a trip to Canterbury, United Kingdom, and wondering how safe the country is for travel — this is the guide for you!

Canterbury is located in the United Kingdom, just under an hour southeast of the world-famous city of London.

This popular tourist destination in Kent, England, is known for its medieval architecture that draws boatloads of tourists from around the world.

The city is the home of around fifty thousand residents, of whom almost thirty thousand are students.

Canterbury houses the University of Kent, which offers undergraduate and graduate programs as a research-based institution, and the Canterbury Christ Church University, which is a modernized school that emphasizes teaching and religion.

Our guide provides an overview of warnings and dangers for travelers to Canterbury, along with some of the safest places to visit in Canterbury and areas to avoid.

Warnings & Dangers in Canterbury

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

Online reports from national and international websites like Numbeo show that the city of Canterbury in Kent is considered relatively safe for residents and tourists. Travelers planning on visiting Canterbury can stay safe by following local rules, regulations, and adhering to common sense travel safety tips for international travelers.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: MEDIUM

While traveling around to the many tourist attractions in Canterbury is relatively safe, disoriented travelers can reduce the risk of ending up in the wrong location miles away from their intended destination or being overcharged for transportation by renting their own cars from a reputable agency and only using well-known rideshare and transportation services.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: HIGH

National and international reports from US news outlets like USA Today and local information from the British Transport Police show that pickpocketing crimes are rising along public transportation routes in nearby cities like London. UK-bound travelers should be aware of the latest rash of public pickpocketing incidents and remain vigilant while traveling abroad — especially when using public transportation.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

Travelers visiting Canterbury for the first time may be unaware that the area is seismically active and many sections of the city are prone to flooding. Local reports from the British Geological Survey show that the area has experienced moderate earthquake activities, with the latest seismic bout measuring at just over 4 on the Richter Scale. The city's location near the River Stour and River Great Stour place certain areas of the town at substantial risk for flooding.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM

While most areas in Canterbury are considered to be relatively safe from incidents of violent crimes like robbery or assault, numerous reports are showing that violent crime is on the rise in Canterbury. Rising crimes mean that the area is still relatively safe. Residents and tourists should follow common sense safety tips to help you and your fellow travelers avoid becoming the victim of a mugging or other crime in Canterbury.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: HIGH

While the city of Canterbury is generally considered a safe place to live or visit, the latest reports from The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre and the UK Security Service, known as MI5, currently report a SUBSTANTIAL threat level from terrorist attacks. This designation means there is a high probability of terror attacks happening in this area. The UK Government has put several preventative and responsive measures in place to respond to threats. Travelers needing fire or police services while visiting Canterbury can reach local emergency services by dialing 999 from their phones.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: HIGH

Online reports indicate that scamming activities have been on the rise since COVID, and scammers are targeting victims in some of the following areas. • Purchase Scams - local scammers sell products that don't exist to customers at a deep discount. • Investment Scams: UK-based scammers trick unsuspecting victims into investing in property or businesses that aren't real. • Remote Access Scams: These cybercrimes happen when local scammers convince potential victims to allow them remote access to their cell phone or computer for a seemingly legitimate reason.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM

Canterbury usually has a much lower crime rate than other large metropolitan areas nearby, like London. However, reports show that a variety of violent crimes and petty crimes like pickpocketing and petty theft are on the rise in the area. Solo female travelers should follow common sense safety tips and avoid sightseeing in unfamiliar areas or walking alone at night.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

Health-conscious travelers concerned about water safety in Canterbury will be happy to learn that the city's water has been deemed safe to drink by the Drinking Water Inspectorate, which is responsible for regulating the area's drinking water quality. Canterbury's water is sourced from underground aquifers and travels through a combination of barriers that filter, disinfect, and monitor the water quality before it reaches residential water supplies.

Safest Places to Visit in Canterbury

  1. Canterbury Cathedral
  2. St. Augustine’s Abby
  3. Westgate Gardens
  4. City Centre and High Street
  5. The Marlowe Theatre
  6. Whitefriars Shopping Centre

Places to Avoid in Canterbury

The city of Canterbury is considered relatively safe and has a low crime rate, which makes most areas of the city easily accessible.

As such that means that it is safe to visit most areas during normal operating hours and daylight hours.

Visitors should keep in mind that even the safest areas have pockets of crime and be mindful of the following places to avoid.

Avoid the following places when traveling in Canterbury. 

  • Avoid Visiting Overly Crowded Areas – Overly crowded areas can be a breeding ground for pickpockets and purse thieves.
  • Exercise Caution in Deserted Public Places – Steer clear of places that have boarded-up windows and no noticeable foot traffic.
  • Red-Light Districts – Many countries have areas of the city designated for adults only. Families traveling with children should steer clear of these areas.
  • Unfamiliar Neighborhoods – Never visit or tour unfamiliar areas or neighborhoods alone — especially at night.
  • Isolated or Poorly Lit Areas – Stay away from isolated and poorly lit areas that can harbor unsavory elements waiting in the wings for distracted tourists.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Canterbury

Following common sense travel tips and adhering to local rules and regulations are the best ways to stay safe when traveling abroad.

Below are ten more travel safety tips for adventure seekers headed for Canterbury in Kent, England.

  1. Don’t Walk Around the City Alone at Night. One of the best ways to avoid becoming the next victim of crime while traveling in Canterbury is to avoid unfamiliar locations and walk around the city alone at night.
  2. Avoid Flashing Valuables and Cash. Nefarious thieves and criminals are always searching for their next victim. A common sense travel tip for Canterbury, UK-bound travelers is to avoid flashing valuables like cell phones, watches, expensive bags, and cash to reduce the likelihood of being targeted for theft.
  3. Beware of Your Surroundings When Getting Cash at ATMs. Many petty thefts and crimes in popular cities happen near banks and ATM machines. As such, it is important for travelers to try to travel in pairs or with an escort when taking out cash and never visit ATMs alone at night.
  4. Register with the US Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. US travelers heading to Canterbury for business or leisure travel can register their trips with the Smart Traveler Enrollment system to make it easier to reach local authorities and resources in the event of an emergency.
  5. Beware of Lurking Pickpockets. One of the crimes that has been on the rise in Canterbury lately is pickpocketing. Nearby cities like London are reporting a large number of pickpockets striking local subway routes and public transportation.
  6. Trust Your Instincts. If your instincts are telling you that a place or a person is “off,” trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to err on the side of “being rude” vs. becoming the victim of a life-threatening violent crime or property crime while traveling abroad.
  7. Pay Close Attention to UK Traffic Patterns to Avoid Mishaps. Traffic safety is an essential topic of concern for US travelers in the UK. Their traffic patterns include reverse traffic flows and traffic circles that can have traffic coming at tourists from all directions if they aren’t careful.
  8. Use Reputable and Reliable Transportation Services. Always use reliable and well-known transportation providers and car services if you aren’t able to secure a private mode of transportation like a rental car when traveling in Canterbury. For example, popular US-based rideshare services like Uber operate in the UK, Canada, Australia, and France.
  9. Stay Informed about Local News and Events Online. The best way to know what’s going on in Canterbury is to get connected with local news outlets and stay on top of current events before and after you arrive. Local news outlets provide social media and television news reports that can alert travelers of any local emergencies or breaking news events.
  10. Save a List of Emergency Contacts in Your Phone, Wallet, or Purse. Don’t wait until an emergency happens to save important contact information for local fire and police departments in your cellphone or cloud-based storage account. US-based travelers should also have a list of regional embassy offices where they can receive emergency travel support.

So... How Safe Is Canterbury Really?

Canterbury, United Kingdom, is generally considered a safe city to live in or visit.

The city has a relatively low crime rate, which makes it easier for tourists and newcomers to feel relaxed while they explore local customs and attractions.

This tourist-friendly environment is designed to welcome visitors with open arms, and they have security measures in place, like local police patrols and surveillance cameras set up in strategic locations around the city.

How Does Canterbury Compare?

CitySafety Index
Canterbury79
London68
Northern Ireland56
Belfast56
Edinburgh70
Scotland71
Glasgow55
Melbourne (Australia)80
Montreal (Canada)81
Sydney (Australia)80
Santiago de Chile (Chile)71
Vienna (Austria)88
Hong Kong (China)70

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

US Tourists without any criminal history and those who have never been denied entry into the UK can visit the country for up to six months without a Visa. Other travelers can apply for a Standard Travel Visa by visiting the UK Visas and Immigration Website. Standard Visitor Visa fees range between £115 and £963 based on long-term or short-term application status.

Currency

Currency

The British Pound (written as GBP) is the standard currency in Canterbury, UK. Travelers can exchange USD currency for local currency at ATMs, banks, hotels, online currency exchanges, and by using credit and debit cards.

Weather

Weather

Online reports from global information providers like Numbeo and regional UK-based sources show that the area generally experiences a warm and temperate oceanic climate with very little rainfall.

Airports

Airports

Travelers looking for the closest airport will find three within driving distance of Canterbury. The largest and most popular airport is London Heathrow (LHR), which is around 90 miles west of the city. London City Airport is a medium-sized location which is about 65 miles from Canterbury. Mansion Airport is a smaller location that offers limited flight service just 15 miles outside of the city.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Get travel insurance from reputable insurance companies, travel agencies, or online travel service providers who can provide financial protection for trip cancellations, trip interruptions, emergency medical expenses, and the loss, theft, or damage of luggage or rental cars.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Canterbury Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 5° C
Feb 5° C
Mar 7° C
Apr 8° C
May 12° C
Jun 14° C
Jul 17° C
Aug 17° C
Sep 15° C
Oct 12° C
Nov 8° C
Dec 6° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
771011161821211814107
Low
°C
2344810131211954
High
°F
454550526164707064575045
Low
°F
363739394650555452484139

United Kingdom - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Aberdeen63
Bath81
Belfast56
Birmingham44
Bradford42
Brighton67
Bristol58
Cambridge78
Canterbury79
Cardiff64
Coventry41
Dundee60
Edinburgh70
Exeter77
Glasgow55
Inverness73
Leeds56
Leicester43
Liverpool56
London68
Manchester44
Newcastle upon Tyne72
Northern Ireland56
Nottingham56
Oxford66
Peterborough70
Salford43
Scotland71
Sheffield74
Southampton65
Surrey77
York83

Where to Next?

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