Introduction to Westgate Parks

Westgate Parks are four distinctly different landscape character areas. Together they form a delightful stretch of recreational land which follows the Great Stour river from the heart of Canterbury’s busy city centre into the countryside.

You can start to enjoy the riverside walks from the medieval Westgate Towers in the city centre. They begin in picturesque formal gardens and wind through picnic sites and a children’s play area to water meadows and an ancient island full of wildlife.

  • Westgate Gardens – once the splendid home and gardens of a notable Canterbury family.  The area can be traced back to the Roman occupation of 2,000 years ago, and beyond.
  • Toddlers Cove – once Canterbury’s water park with swimming, paddling and boating pools and possibly the site of  Roman occupation. It is now a starting – or finishing – point for the Great Stour Way, a three mile path for walkers and cyclists.
  • Tannery Field, a riverside meadow and woodland beside Rheims Way.
  • The wild, wooded Bingley Island where there is evidence that Stone Age men and women once walked.

Together these sites amount to 12 hectares of historic riverside parkland – enough space for about 15 football pitches.

Canterbury City Council HLF