If driving from London to Canterbury plan on a journey of about 90 minutes. The distance is only 60 miles or so, but if leaving from central London it will take some time to get out of the city.
You should head out of London to the south-east, picking up the A2 (the New Kent Road which becomes the Old Kent Road) which leads to the M2 motorway. As you approach Canterbury the M2 motorway ends and you revert to the A2, following signs for the city centre. Look for signs directing you to Car Parking (below), as the city centre itself is closed to traffic but you can still park fairly close to the centre.
You don't need to rent a car just to go to Canterbury for the day as the bus and train services are frequent, fairly quick and inexpensive. If you have a rental car already then the drive out to Canterbury is straightforward, and a car would also enable you to break the journey more easily and perhaps visit some of Kent's many other attractions along the way.
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