Canterbury Tales

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Buster's Book Club

Buster's Book Club

The Canterbury Tales Visitor Attraction is proud to be supporting the KM Charity Group’s home reading initiative – Buster’s Book Club!

The aim of the initiative is to encourage home reading, with each child being set targets dependent on their year group. Subsequently incentives are given within the school such as ‘Top Readers of the Month’ with prizes handed out to encourage classes to work together. The scheme has been particularly successful with engaging not only pupils but their parents with reading, and has seen particular engagement with boys.

Literacy is at the heart of The Canterbury Tales Visitor Attraction, and we are proud to be offering 30 free child tickets to each school that signs up as prizes for children’s achievements, to compliment vouchers from other leading attractions, book tokens and storytelling visits. To find out more about the scheme, please visit

Whitefriars Christmas Market


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Did you know that if your second toe is longer than your big toe, it’s highly likely that you are

Anglo-Saxon? Or that if your surname is Campbell, you are probably a descendant of someone who had a crooked mouth?

You can discover more fun facts at this year’s Whitefriars Christmas Market in Canterbury, where staff from The Canterbury Tales will be offering you the chance to explore the fascinating origins of your family name.

Lyndsay Ridley, General Manager at the award-winning visitor attraction, says: “We’ll be giving visitors to our festive cabin an insight into the history behind their surname, including spelling variations, where their name was first recorded and some of the first settlers who had that name.

“Does your family name have a coat of arms, or a motto? Where does it derive from? What does your name mean in Old English? Come along and find out!”

Some fun facts about common surnames found in Kent…
•    Taylor – derived from the Old French word ‘tailleur’, meaning ‘tailor’
•    Baker – from the Saxon word ‘bacan’, which literally means ‘to dry with heat’
•    Smith – metal worker or blacksmith, derived from the Old English word ‘smitan’, meaning ‘to smite or to hit’
•    Collins – Gaelic origins from the word ‘cuilein’, meaning darling – a term of endearment applied to young animals
•    Robinson – literally ‘son of Robin or Robert’
•    Bailey – derived from the Middle English word ‘baili’, meaning ‘bailiff’

Did you know…?
•    The name Campbell derives from the Gaelic words ‘cam’, meaning ‘crooked’, and ‘beul’, meaning ‘mouth’, hence meaning  ‘a person with a crooked mouth or smile’!
•    There are at least 45,000 different surnames in the UK
•    Surnames were often applied because of a person’s characteristics – i.e. Short, Long, Small
•    Some surnames were occupational (e.g. Archer) or topographical (e.g. Bridge or Dale); others were quite literally descriptive, such as White, meaning ‘of light or fair complexion’
•    Spellings of surnames varied greatly – the same person may have different spellings on their birth, marriage and death certificates!
•    The first census documenting all surnames (The Domesday Book) was carried out in 1086 by William The Conqueror
•    Coats of arms have been registered at the College of Arms since 1484

Visitors to The Canterbury Tales’ Christmas market cabin can buy a framed Hall of Names certificate as a Christmas gift, detailing the full history and meanings of a family surname and family coat of arms.

The Whitefriars Christmas Market opens on November 28 and runs until Christmas Eve. For more details, visit

To find out more about The Canterbury Tales, and other gifts available at its medieval shop, visit


Artisan Christmas Fair


The Canterbury Tales is throwing open its doors in November for the return of its popular Christmas Artisan Gift Fair – a special festive market with a medieval twist.

On Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 November, shoppers will be able to enter the attraction free of charge and enjoy some authentic mead at the famous Tabard Inn, before stepping back in time to the streets of 14th-century England and browsing gifts from a host of talented Kent artisans and crafters. Confirmed stallholders so far include Yarns from the Bolt Hole and Black Wolf Survival & Bushcraft.

The stalls will be set among the attraction’s vibrant tableaux, which depict five of Chaucer’s most famous stories. Entrance to the fair will be free and visitors will be given discount vouchers for a future visit to the attraction, so they can return with family and friends and experience The Canterbury Tales over Christmas and the New Year.

The attraction’s general manager, Lyndsay Ridley, says: “Our Christmas Artisan Gift Fair is a unique experience, offering quality gifts that showcase the very best of local craft and design. Last year’s event was a huge success, and we are looking forward to throwing open our doors again and welcoming festive shoppers from across the country.”

The Canterbury Tales’ Christmas Artisan Gift Fair is taking place between 10am and 4.30pm on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 November 2015. For more information, visit

The Canterbury Tales provides a great introduction to the cathedral city and its famous literary connection as well as being a hugely entertaining day out for the whole family. The Canterbury Tales remains one of Kent’s ‘must see’ attractions.

The Canterbury Tales is a Continuum Heritage Attraction. Discover the hidden stories within famous historic cities at Continuum Heritage Attractions.

Continuum Attractions offer a host of cultural visitor attraction experiences across the UK, from the hallowed cobbles of Coronation Street to Edinburgh’s underground history told under the Royal Mile.


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The Canterbury Tales
St. Margaret's Street,
Tel: 01227 479 227
Fax: 01227 765 584
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.