Things to do in Canterbury – retail therapy

Whether you want to indulge in some retail therapy during your lunch break or have a few free periods to fill, Canterbury’s shops provide plenty of choice for a shopping spree.

Looking to use your student discount?

As a Canterbury College member you will already be enrolled as part of the Students’ Union which entitles you to a free NUS card. Enjoy the student discounts in many high street retailers while you can. Accessorize, New Look and Jack Wills are just a few of the retailers who accept an NUS card in Canterbury (and there are also plenty of online stores that accept it too). 

Check out Canterbury's history hotspots and sightseeing opportunities here.

The bare necessities

If you are looking for a few necessities at a cheap price then there is no better than Wilko for homeware, stationary and toiletries. It is a gold mine for the bare necessities, which will allow you to save some pennies for what you really want.

Primark is great for picking up essential clothing options, as is H&M. Need some new socks, or a strappy top? Pop into these retailers for good prices and easy to source necessities.

Has an unexpected birthday arisen this month? Canterbury’s Card Factory and Cards Direct has you covered. Pick up cards from just 50p if the homemade route really isn’t your thing. You can even pick up small gifts and wrapping paper. 



Whitefriars is the largest shopping centre in East Kent and is just a five-minute walk from the College campus. Fenwick Canterbury is a large department store within Whitefriars which holds plenty of fashion retailers. It is the spot to pick up some Mac makeup and, if you fancy a bit of aspirational shopping, it also holds artwork, sofas and beds on the top floor.

You can also find Zara, Topshop/Topman, River Island and Deichmann in Whitefriars for all your fashion needs, and Tiger for all alternative homeware and stationary solutions.

In December, Whitefriars hosts a varied Christmas market which offers plenty of food options from Ostrich burgers to crepes, and niche crafts from jewellery to woodwork. Wandering around under the bright lights is a great way to keep warm over the festive period.

After College

Whitefriars’ Christmas market is paired with Canterbury’s late night shopping experience, which takes place on Thursday’s from mid-November to mid-January. This is a great time to grab your friends and experience all that Canterbury’s shopping centres have to offer.

Alternatively, for a year-round late night shopping experience, why not visit Bluewater or the Ashford Designer Outlet? There are plenty of buses that will take you straight to each venue and if you’re stuck for something to do over half-term you could even combine your shopping trip with a visit to the cinema or a trampoline park.