Why move to… St Dunstan’s, Canterbury
Why move to… St Dunstan’s, Canterbury
Beloved by Canterbury locals, St Dunstan’s is a small enclave located to the west of Canterbury.
Lined with independent shops, bars and restaurants, there’s a safe community-feel to St Dunstan’s. The magnificent Westgate Towers and River Stour create a natural barrier from the buzzing high street, making this area seem like a welcome retreat from the hubbub.
It’ll come as no surprise that St Dunstan’s is popular with students, largely thanks to its great transport links and equidistance to the two main universities, the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church.
So, what else does this quirky area of Canterbury have going for it?
Distance to campus: St Dunstan’s is roughly a 10-15-minute walk to Canterbury Christ Church. It’ll take a shade longer to walk to the University of Kent but bear in mind, this will involve a hill so it’s not for the faint hearted.
Bus links: A reliable and widely-used Unibus service to the UKC campus runs every few minutes from two bus stops in St Dunstan’s – one opposite the Bishop’s Finger pub and the other by the Church. After midnight, the service still runs, albeit on the hour.
By far the most economical way to travel is to purchase a Unirider annual bus pass which allows unlimited travel on any Kent and East Sussex Stagecoach bus, throughout the academic year. So, whether you fancy a paddle in the sea at Whitstable or even a day trip to Rye, this pass will have you covered. Prices start from £180 but bear in mind, this will increase if you purchase it once term begins.
Transport to London: Canterbury is blessed with not one, but two train stations, each taking you to the north and south of London, respectively. St Dunstan’s has Canterbury West train station on its doorstep which runs regular HS1 trains to London St Pancras, a journey which takes roughly an hour.
Local amenities: St Dunstan’s is well-served with amenities. There’s a supermarket, a couple of corner shops and a greengrocer for your fresh produce, as well as an Asian supermarket which has an unrivalled selection of instant ramen. For foodies, The Goods Shed will be a regular haunt. Go there for the fresh, locally-sourced meat and veg, stay for their passionate cheesemongers and glorious beer shop. Nightlife: If you enjoy a night on the tiles, there are a wealth of fantastic pubs, bars and restaurants frequented by students and locals alike. Westgate Wetherspoons (affectionately known as ‘Bottom Spoons’ by locals) is an obvious meet-up venue for those on a budget, however you’d be remiss if you didn’t make time for a bevvie or two at The Unicorn, The Bishop’s Finger or Canterbury’s very own gin palace, Pegasus.
Where to eat: Café des Amis is a Canterbury institution, offering up a plethora of Mexican dishes (and some pretty killer tequila). Vegans and vegetarians certainly won’t starve either – St Dunstan’s is home to one of the city’s entirely plant-based gastropubs, The Monument and the other, Lady Luck, is located just a few yards away.
Green space: The Westgate Gardens are a great spot for impromptu picnic or to decamp with your laptop to pick up some sun while you work.
Average rental prices: Students can expect to pay around £400 pcm for a house share in St Dunstan’s.
Case for St Dunstan’s? Great transport links, walking distance from the universities, safe, community feel.
Case against? None really. It’s probably a shade more expensive than some areas of Canterbury, but with so much on your doorstep, it’s well worth paying that little bit extra. Parking is also a bit of a nightmare, but the same can be said about most parts of Canterbury.
What do the locals say?
“St Dunstan’s is so close to the train station and with its great links to London, it’s perfect if you want to go home at weekends. There’s easy access to universities and some great pubs and coffee shops.”
Frank, Station Road West.
“There’s a real villagey feel to St Dunstan’s. It’s full of independent shops and restaurants and so there’s a real sense of community. Locals take a real pride in where they live and even at night, it feels very safe.”
Jenny, Kirby’s Lane.
Want to move to here? Take a look at all current rental properties in St Dunstan’s Canterbury.