South Coast Cycle Route
This epic cycle route makes use of signed cycle paths to take you from Southampton to Dover along England's south coast. The 160 mile route has many traffic sections running right along the coast with the remainder running as close to the sea as possible.
The ride starts at the docks in Southampton and heads east to Portsmouth, Chichester, Bognor Regis, Worthing and Brighton where there's a nice traffic free section along the famous sea front.
You continue to Seaford where there's an inland section to Eastbourne where you rejoin the coast and head to Bexhill, Hastings and Rye. There's a nice section here past Rye Harbour to the popular Camber Sands.
You continue to Lydd, Hythe and Folkestone before a nice final section takes you to the famous port of Dover.
Most of this route uses National Cycle Network Route 2 which you can also follow in a westerly direction from Southampton, though this does not run as close to the coastline. There is a nice traffic free run along the front from Christchurch to Sandbanks in Poole though.
South Coast Cycle Route Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
South Coast Cycle Route Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
South Coast Cycle Route OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
South Coast Cycle Route Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
There's some good choices for refreshments in the Rye Harbour area. The William the Conqueror pub is located right on the harbour and worthy of investigation. Recently refurbished, it’s a smart, friendly, traditional pub, boasting real ales, hearty pub food and a friendly welcome. There’s a large outdoor area here, with plenty of alfresco seating on the banks of the River Rother. It's a great spot to enjoy lunch while looking out for some of the local wildlife that make this a Site of Special Scientific Interest. You can find the pub near the car park on the eastern side of the reserve at postcode TN31 7TU.
The delightful Avocet Tea Room is located in the same area as well. The tea room also includes a lovely art gallery showcasing the talent of local artists. The gallery is run by award-winning photographer Peter Greenhalf and former journalist Morgan (who makes all the cakes). The gallery reflects the artists’ love of the natural world and is well worth seeing if you have time after your walk.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
At the northern edge of Rye harbour there's the Rye Castle Museum or Ypres Tower. The museum has lots of interesting artifacts and exhibits to see including locally-made medieval pottery, an embroidery depicting many aspects of Rye life and history, medieval artifacts, activities and town maps. You can also climb to the top of the tower and enjoy fantastic views over the harbour and the river. It's a nice place to visit after your walk if you have time.
Above: Ypres Tower or Rye Castle. A worthy addition to your outing.