Kent Cycle Routes
Kent has plenty of attractive cycling options with attractive countryside and coastline.
Dubbed the Garden of England it has some of the country's most memorable scenery including the rolling hills and valleys of the North Downs.
One popular trail for cyclists is the Viking Coastal Trail which runs along the Kent coastline passing through Birchington, Margate and Ramsgate. Also, be sure to explore the coast around Folkestone, Deal and of course Dover with its famous white cliffs while leaving time for a trip to Canterbury to see the beautiful Cathedral.
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Kent Cycle Map
There are several National Cycle Network signed routes in the county many of which have been mapped and can be viewed and downloaded below.
For more information on NCN routes in the county (including free cycle maps) please click here
For more information on cycle routes in Kent including tips, advice and free cycle maps please click here
|Ashford to Canterbury||19 miles (30 km)||This ride takes you along National Cycle route 18 with some splendid views of the Kent countryside and the North Downs.|
You start near Ashford International Station and then follow the Great River Stour out of Ashford. You'll then follow a series of country roads to Wye before a short stretch through Eggringe and Denge woods. The final stretch takes you past the lovely Larkey Valley Wood Nature Reserve before finishing in the famous cathedral city near the train station.
|Ashford to Rochester||31 miles (50 km)||This super ride follows National Cycle route 17 and sections of the North Downs Way and the Pilgrim's Way. There are several off road sections along these two trails making for a largely traffic free ride through the beautiful Kent countryside.|
The route starts off near Ashford train station and follows the River Great Stour towards Kennington. You then head into the fabulous North Downs countryside, passing Eastwell Park - a former royal residence where the original gatehouse of Eastwell Towers is a popular photo shot. You then head through Westwell downs on your way to Charing where you will find the interesting Archbishop's Palace, said to contain the stone on which John the Baptist was beheaded.
The route continues through Harrietsham and Detling, before heading into Rochester where you finish near the iconic castle by the River Medway.
|Barton's Point Coastal Park||5 miles (8.5 km)||Enjoy a leisurely stroll or ride along the Queenborough Lines canal and the Isle of Sheppey Coast on this circular route in Bartons Point Coastal Park. The route begins on the coast near Sheerness train station and follows the canal path before returning to the start point through Minster Park.|
|Bedgebury Forest||6 miles (10 km)||Bedgebury is a great place for cyclists with miles of family cycle tracks and a more challenging mountain bike trail. The gentle 10km trail is perfect for exploring the 2000 acre forest at a leisurely pace on generally flat surfaced paths. Adrenalin junkies can enjoy 13km of single-track mountain biking. It's generally graded as a red trail and has fast sweeping gradual descents and some challenging climbs. There's also cycle shop where you can hire a bike.|
The forest is also great for walkers with miles of peaceful woodland trails to follow. You can enjoy a stroll around the beautiful Bedgebury Pinetum. This recreational and conservational arboretum has 10,000 trees growing across 320 acres including the most complete collection of conifers on one site in the world.
If you would like to extend your exercise then you can head to the nearby Bewl Water and enjoy a splendid 12.5 mile cycling and walking trail.
|Bewl Water||12 miles (20 km)||This is a walking and cycling route around the beautiful Bewl Water reservoir near Lamberhurst. The route runs alongside the reservoir for most of the way though there is an inland section on quiet country lanes around Tolhurst. It runs for about 12.5 miles with great views of the High Weald AONB. |
Bike hire is available during the summer months from the Boat House Bistro.
The area is also great for wildlife watching with Goldcrests, Long Tailed Tits, Wagtails, Skylarks and Lapwings in the woodland. Also look out for Kingfishers, Herons and the Great Crested Grebe on the water.
Please note the route is not always open for cyclists during the winter months - please check the Bewl Water website before setting off.
The Sussex Border Path runs past the reservoir so you could pick this up if you wanted to continue your walk.
Just to the east of the lake you will find Bedgebury Forest. The 2000 acre woods are an excellent place for extending your cycle or walk. There's miles of mountain bike trails with jumps and fun descents. For walkers there's the delightful Bedgebury Pinetum with 10,000 trees growing across 320 acres.
The National Trust owned Scotney Castle is also nearby and well worth a visit.
|Birchington to Sandwich||19 miles (30 km)||Travel along the Viking Coastal Trail from Birchington to Sandwich and enjoy the lovely Kent coastline and coastal towns.|
The route starts at Grenham Bay near Birchington and follows the coastline through Westgate on Sea, Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate before turning inland and finishing at the tourist information office in Sandwich.
There's some splendid coastal scenery on this route with St Mildred's Bay and Botany Bay real highlights.
|Blean Woods National Nature Reserve||6 miles (9 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking paths in the ancient woodland of Blean Woods near Canterbury.|
|Brockhill Country Park||4 miles (7 km)||Brockhill Park has a number of waymarked woodland trails, a lake, open grassland and meadows. The park is rich in wildlife, with marbled white butterflies, green woodpeckers and carpets of snowdrops. There are also excellent facilities with picnic areas and a cafe. Brockhill is located near Hythe on the Kent Coast.|
|Capstone Farm Country Park||6 miles (9 km)||Enjoy several cycling and walking trails in this delightful country park near Gillingham. The park is located in the beautiful North Downs with ancient woodlands, old orchards, a freshwater lake and wildflower meadows to explore. There's excellent facilities with a Visitor Centre, cafe and picnic areas.|
|Clowes Wood||3 miles (5.5 km)||Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this area of woodland near Whitstable. The site is also a nature reserve and includes attractive mixed woodland, heathland and wet meadow. Look out for wildlife which includes woodpeckers, Woodcock and if you're lucky an owl. |
Part of National Cycle Route 1, known as the Crab and Winkle Way, passes through the woods. You could follow this lovely traffic free path from nearby Whitstable to reach the woods.
The walk can be extended by heading east through Thornden Wood and West Blean Wood to the splendid Wildwood Forest Park. Here you will find a wonderful collection of animals including badgers, foxes, otters, pine marten and red squirrels. Also in Thornden Wood you can climb Knockhimdown Hill for nice views over the area.
|Crab and Winkle Way||7 miles (10.5 km)||This lovely short route runs from Whitstable on the Kent coast to Canterbury along National Cycle route 1. It is largely flat and traffic free running along a disused railway line for part of the route while also passing through Blean Woods on the way.|
Highlights on the route include the attractive harbour at Whitstable and the splendid Blean Woods National Nature Reserve which is the largest ancient broadleaved woodland in southern Britain. The magnificent Canterbury Cathedral is also a major attraction on this trail.
This route is also easily accessible with train stations at Whitstable and Canterbury.
|Darenth Country Park||1 miles (1.5 km)||This country park in Dartford has some nice cycling and walking trails to try. The park has a decent sized car park just off Gore Road, near Darent Valley Hospital. From here you can pick up the 1 mile circuit around the park. The park has nice wide lawns, picnic areas, meadows and pockets of woodland. The area is popular with dog walkers and joggers.|
You can extend your walk by heading east and exploring Darenth Wood. Eventually you will come to Bean and the pretty Beacon Wood Country Park. There's more nice woodland trails here.
About 1 mile to the west of the park you can pick up the Darent Valley Path. This splendid long distance trail will take you along the River Darent to Farningham where you will find the pretty Farningham Woods Nature Reserve.
|Dover to Canterbury||32 miles (52 km)||Starting in Dover follow National Cycle route 1 along the coast through Kingsdown to Deal where there a views of Deal Castle. You then had inland through Sandwich (home of open golf) passing the River Stour and heading west to Canterbury via Westbere Lakes. You finish in Canterbury with its splendid cathedral and grounds.|
The route is largely flat with only a couple of ascents making it quite a leisurely ride.
|Dover to Sandwich||14 miles (22 km)||This ride takes you along Regional Route 15 between these two historic Kent towns. |
You start on the sea front at Dover and head through Guston, Whitfield and Eastry along quiet country lanes before finishing at the centre of Sandwich. There are train stations at either end of the route making it easily accessible.
|Fowlmead Country Park||5 miles (7.5 km)||Fowlmead country park is a 200 acre site with a number of walking and cycling trails located in Deal on the Kent coast. The park has eleven zoned areas with each one offering something different for visitors to explore, including rolling woodland and small lakes, superb walks and fabulous views over the east Kent coast. |
For cyclists there is a 2 mile Tarmac road cycling track which can be used by the general public, while there are also mountain bike trails to try out. Cycle hire is available in the park for reasonable rates.
|Gravesend to Sittingbourne||28 miles (45 km)||Starting in Gravesend on the banks of the river Thames follow National Cycle route 1 to Sittingbourne via Rochester and Gillingham. |
The route starts by heading east to Upnor where you join the River Medway and pass the impressive Upnor Castle. You then head through Rochester with its splendid castle before continuing along the river through Riverside Country Park in Gillingham. The final stretch is mostly on road taking you into Sittingbourne and finishing with a pleasant spell along Milton Creek.
|Greenwich to Gravesend||27 miles (43 km)||Starting in Greenwich on the banks of the river Thames follow National Cycle route 1 to Gravesend via Dartford. |
The first section of the route takes you along the Thames path to Erith with views of Canary Wharf and the Millennium Dome as you go. You then join the Darent valley path taking you along the River Darent to Dartford. You continue to Gravesend on more off road tracks passing the enormous Bluewater shopping centre on the way.
|Heron Trail||13 miles (21 km)||This is a lovely circular route around the Hoo Peninsula which is bounded by the River Thames to the north and the River Medway to the south.|
The route starts at Higham and follows the trail to Upnoor via the villages of Cliffe and Cooling. The ride passes near the RSPB Northward Hill Reserve where you can see 150 pairs of grey herons-hence the trail name.
To explore the peninsula on foot you can try the Hoo Peninsula Path or the Saxon Shore Way.
|Isle of Harty Trail||7 miles (11 km)||Starting at Leysdown on Sea on the The Isle of Sheppey, follow a series of quiet country lanes and off road tracks to the Isle of Harty. Highlights on the route include the coastal Leysdown Country Park, the 900 year old Harty Church and the Ferry House Inn near to the Ferry Landing.|
|Jeskyns Park||2 miles (2.5 km)||Explore the woodlands, ponds, orchards and wildflower meadows in this country park near Gravesend. Walkers can enjoy a number of waymarked surfaced paths and an 8km grass trail. There are also easy surfaced paths for cyclists. These are good for families looking for a safe ride. |
There's lots to see with 100 acres of meadowland with over 40 species of wildflower. You can also explore the orchards with apple, plum, cherry and pear trees. At Henhurst Lake you can look out for water loving wildlife while the woodland area and glades are a lovely tranquil place for a stroll too.
If you'd like to extend your outing then you could head to the nearby Shorne Woods Country Park where you'll find 288 acres of rolling woodlands, wetlands and meadows.
|Joydens Wood||4 miles (6.5 km)||Explore these ancient woods near Bexleyheath on this easy walk on the border of London and Kent. The area is historically and archeologically significant with remains found from Roman times. This is represented with a series of impressive wooden sculptures. Look out for the Saxon Warrior and Roman Soldier pieces in particular. There's lots of wildlife to see also. Look out for bats, woodpecker, owl and dormouse all of which are represented by a sculpture.|
The wood has lots of good waymarked footpaths and nice wide bridleways for cyclists to follow. It's a peaceful place for walkers to visit on the outskirts of the city. With over 136 hectares (325 acres) to explore on miles of paths there's plenty to keep walkers and mountain bikers busy.
You can start your walk from Bexley train station just to the north of the woods. Then follows paths south to the site. As well as the extensive woodland there's an area of open heathland with ponds and picnic tables. Look out for pretty plants and flowers including bluebells, lily-of-the-valley, honeysuckle and wood sage.
The London Loop passes close to the woods so it's to extend your walking in the area. You can follow it to a number of parks and nature reserves close to the wood. At Foots Cray Meadows nature reserve you can enjoy a waterside walk along the River Cray while at Scadbury Park you can explore the ruins of Scadbury Manor. The popular trails at Petts Wood Circular and Jubilee Country Park are also close by.
|King's Wood Kent||2 miles (4 km)||This large area of woodland near Challock has miles of good walking trails to try. There's a good sized sculpture trail with a series of interesting wooden sculptures and pretty bluebells in the springtime. The ancient woodland is comprised of Sweet Chestnut, Beech, Corsican Pine and Douglas Fir. It's a great place for wildlife with species including fallow deer, adders, nightjars and green woodpeckers. |
The forest is located just to the east of Challock with a parking area on White Hill Road. It is not too far from Canterbury and Ashford.
This route is designed for walkers to explore the sculptures but there are also lots of good cycling trails on the hard forest roads and mountain bike trails in the woods. The North Downs Way also passes through the eastern end of the woods so you can pick up this bridleway section too.
|Leybourne Lakes Country Park||4 miles (6 km)||Enjoy peaceful, waterside walking and cycling at Leybourne Lakes Country Park, near Maidstone in Kent. In the park you will find 230 acres of lakes and woodland providing a peaceful location for wildlife and birdwatching.|
The expansive park includes several lakes with the River Medway running along the eastern section of the park. You could extend your walk outside the park by picking up the Medway Valley Walk and heading along the riverside path. Following it south will take you into nearby Aylesford while heading north will take you past Burham Marshes to Wouldham.
|Lower Leas Coastal Park||2 miles (4 km)||This coastal country park is located in Folkestone and has fabulous views over the Kent coastline. National Cycle Route 2 also runs through the park.|
|Maidstone to Rochester||11 miles (18 km)||This route follows National Cycle route 17 through the wonderful scenery of the North Downs. Starting on the River Medway in Maidstone you will head north through the town to Sandling. The route follows a mixture off road paths and quiet roads through the North Downs to Rochester finishing near the castle by the river.|
|Mereworth Woods||5 miles (8 km)||These large woods near Sevenoaks have miles of mountain bike trails and woodland walks to enjoy. The ancient woods consist of mixed broadleaf woodland, acid heath and some conifer plantations. The woods include wide bridleways with some steep descents and nice jumps to try. There's also good footpaths for walkers with lots of wildlife to look out for.|
The Wealdway long distance trail runs through the western edge of the forest so you can pick this up to extend your walk into the surrounding Kent countryside. Heading north takes you to Platt and Wrotham Heath, while heading south takes you to West Peckham and the Grade II listed Oxon Hoath manor house. Around here you can pick up the Greensand Way which runs to the south of the woods.
Also nearby is Oldbury Hill where there are some good bridleways for mountain bikers and the pretty Igtham Mote which has good walking trails.
|Milton Creek Country Park||3 miles (4.5 km)||A short circular cycle or walk around Milton Creek Country Park near Sittingbourne in Kent. The park is set in 128 acres and contains Milton Creek, fishing lakes and a network of well laid out paths. The Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway also runs though the Park. The nearby Kemsley railway station makes for a good access point for the route.|
|Miners Way Cycle Trail||30 miles (48 km)||This circular cycle route has been created by The White Cliffs Countryside Project and accompanies the Miner's Way Walking Trail. The trail passes through beautiful Kent countryside linking a number of interesting mining villages. The route begins and ends at Sandwich and visits Woodnesborough, Eastry and Eyethorne with splendid views of the North Downs as you go.|
|Mote Park||1 miles (2 km)||This 450 acre park in Maidstone has a lovely lakeside cycling and walking track running through it, using National Cycle Network number 177. It's perfect for a safe family cycle ride or a short, peaceful stroll. In 2013 it was voted the nations third favourite park in the Green Flag People's Choice Awards. The park includes the former stately home Mote House, a miniature railway, a pitch and putt golf course and a boating lake. |
The Medway Valley Walk runs near the park so there is scope for continuing your walk along the River Medway. If you're on a bike you could follow the Maidstone to Rochester cycle route to Rochester.
|Oyster Bay Trail||7 miles (10.8 km)||Enjoy a flat, coastal ride from Reculver to Swalecliff, via Herne Bay. The ride includes a great traffic free stretch through Reculver Country Park where there are splendid cliff top views over Herne Bay. There's also a lovely run along Herne Bay promenade and a woodland section around Bishopstone. The route is well planned and signed so makes for a good family ride.|
|Pegwell Bay Country Park||2 miles (4 km)||This park is located near Ramsgate and has splendid views over Pegwell Bay and Sandwich Bay. In the bay is a large nature reserve, known for its migrating waders and wildfowl. A local cycle route runs right through the park so you can take your bike.|
|Reculver Country Park||4 miles (6 km)||This country park is located on the Kent coast at Reculver. The cliff top views over Herne Bay are fantastic with a wide variety of wildlife and plantlife to see. The Reculver Towers are also located in the park. They are an important local landmark and are listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. |
The route below is designed for walkers as it takes you along footpaths around the park but there is a cycle route running right through the park.
|Redhill to Tunbridge Wells||36 miles (58 km)||Starting in Redhill first travel south through Gatwick airport (easier and more pleasant than it sounds!) and then onto the off road Worth Way, Forest Way and Sussex border paths that will take you through East Grinstead and some lovely countryside before finishing in Royal Tunbridge Wells.|
The ride follows National Cycle route 21 and has a number of traffic free sections making it an attractive, leisurely ride.
|Riverside Country Park||3 miles (5 km)||Explore the Medway Estuary in 250 acres of country park in Gillingham, Kent. The estuary is a haven for wildlife with ducks and waders thriving on the invertebrate-rich mudflats, while the reedbeds are an important breeding area for birds such as the sedge and reed warbler. The park includes waymarked walks, cycle and bridle routes, play areas, and picnic areas while there is also a visitor centre with natural history displays and information panels.|
|Royal Military Canal||12 miles (19 km)||This short cycle route takes you along a lovely cycleable section of the Royal Military Canal near Hythe. |
There's much to enjoy on this route as there are lovely sections along the coast and the canal with views of Port Lympne Wild Animal Park an added bonus. You'll also pass interesting historical landmarks with the Portus Lemanis Roman Fort and the medieval Lympne Castle other noteworthy highlights on the route.
|Rye to Dover||39 miles (62 km)||This largely flat coastal ride takes you along National Cycle route 2 from Rye in East Sussex to Dover and its famous white cliffs.|
You start in Rye and head to Camber where there is a lovely coastal stretch with views of Camber sands. The route continues inland through Romney Marsh. to Hythe where you can enjoy a lovely spell along the Hythe Military Canal followed by a cruisy strech along the prom. More lovely coastal scenery follows as you head to Folkestone and then onto Dover where you can see the famous white cliffs before finishing the ride in the town centre.
|Samphire Hoe Country Park||2 miles (3.5 km)||This coastal country park is located near Dover on the Kent coast. The park was created by using chalk marl from the Channel Tunnel excavations. There are fabulous views of the stunning Shakespeare Cliff and the Strait of Dover. The park is a Nature Reserve with a huge variety of wildlife and a number of nationally rare plant species including the Early Spider Orchid.|
|Sheerness Way||6 miles (9 km)||Opened in 2011 this super, circular cycle and walking route, follows a series of safe, traffic free paths around Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey.|
You will run along the attractive Isle of Sheppy coast and Sheerness beach, while there is also a pleasant waterside section along the Queenborough Lines or the canal bank as it is known locally.
This is a nice family cycle ride as it takes place on flat, off road paths. Walkers looking for an easy circular walk will also find it suitable.
The route is easily accessible, starting and finishing at Sheerness-on-Sea railway station.
|Shorne Woods Country Park||2 miles (4 km)||This park near Gravesend has 288 acres of rolling woodlands, wetlands and meadows that can be explored via a variety of waymarked trails, suitable for cyclists and walkers. The park has excellent on site facilities including a visitor centre, cafe, a sensory garden, fishing lakes, a trim trail and picnic and play areas.|
If you'd like to extend your outing then you could head to the nearby Jeskyns Park which has woodlands, ponds, orchards and wildflower meadows to explore. You can also find more walking trails at the nearby Camer Park which is Meopham.
|Sittingbourne to Canterbury||29 miles (46 km)||Follow National Cycle route 1 through Kent from Sittingbourne to Canterbury. |
The route starts by heading east to Faversham and then onto Whitstable berfore turning south to Canterbury. Highlights include the partly off road Swale Heritage trail at the start followed by a lovely coastal stretch through Seasalter and Whitstable with splendid views of Whitstable Bay. The final approach to Canterbury is also pleasant, passing through Clowes Wood on off road tracks before finishing in Canterbury at the train station.
|Sittingbourne to Sheerness||11 miles (18 km)||This short route follows National Cycle route 1 to the Isle of Sheppey from Sittingbourne. Starting in Sittinbourne the route heads north through the countryside to the Kingsferry bridge which will take you over the Swale and onto the Isle of Sheppey. The route then heads through Queenborough and onto Sheerness where the route finishes by the beach.|
|Trosley Country Park||4 miles (7 km)||Enjoy magnificent views of the North Downs in 170 acres of beautiful woodland and chalk downland at Trosley Country Park. There are three waymarked trails of varying difficulty and a trim trail for those looking to get super fit! The Woodland walk trail and the Trosley Trail are both open to cyclists - click here for more details. |
There's plenty of wildlife in the park - look out for green woodpeckers, tawny owls and sparrowhawks.
The park also has an excellent cafe, picnic area and a play area.
Trosley Country Park is located about 6 miles from Sevenoaks.
See the video below from Kent Council for more information.
|Tunbridge Wells to Ashford||42 miles (68 km)||This ride takes you along National Cycle route 18 through Kent from Tunbridge Wells to Ashford via Tenterdon. |
The ride starts on Tunbridge Wells Common near the train station and heads East towards Pembury. A series of quiet country roads takes you onto a pleasant off road section through Bedgebury Forest where you can find the beautiful Bedgebury Pinetum which is worth stopping to explore.
You'll then continue on road to Tenterdon before a nice off road section along the Stour Valley Walk takes you into the finish point in Ashford near the train station.
|Viking Coastal Trail||32 miles (51.4 km)||This signed circular route takes you on a tour of some of Kent's most beautiful coastline and interesting seaside towns. The route begins at Birchington and visits Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate, Minster and Reculver. Most of the route takes place on traffic free paths many of which run directly along the coastline. |
Route highlights include two splendid coastal country parks. First is the delightful Pegwell Bay Country Park with splendid views over Pegwell Bay and Sandwich Bay. Next is Reculver Country Park, which has magnificent cliff top views over Herne Bay and a wide variety of wildlife and plantlife to see. Other highlights include the beautiful Botany Bay, Broadstairs beach and the impressive Ramsgate harbour.