Garden of England

Route Details

  • Route: London to Dover & Dover to Hastings
  • Distance: London to Dover is 113 miles. Dover to Hastings is 52 miles.
  • National Cycle Network: Routes 1 and 2

Route Description

This beautiful route travels between London and Hastings, but for those wanting a shorter journey you could break the ride at Dover.

1. London to Dover

The route starts in Greenwich and takes you on a traffic free path along the Thames, past the Thames Barrier and onto Dartford.  The route continues onto Gillingham, Sittingbourne and Faversham.  From here you head towards Whitstable where you join the largely traffic-free 'Crab and Winkle Way'. This section of the route does feature some hills, with a 61m (200ft) climb into Canterbury. However, there are fine views over Whitstable from the highest point of the ride. 

Leaving Canterbury you travel through Fordwich, Britain's smallest town and then the route follows the coast to Sandwich and Deal before arriving in Dover.

2. Dover to Hastings

Starting in Dover, with its famous white cliffs, this section of the route travels all the way down the Kent coast, providing you with fantastic views. Between Dover and Folkestone (known locally as the Chalk and Channel Way) you can take a short detour to Samphire Hoe, a land mass that reaches out into the English Channel which was created from the material from digging the Channel Tunnel.  It's a great place to spot wildlife and a good picnic spot. 

The cliff top path then descends to Folkestone Harbour and Hythe, where it follows the Royal Military Canal, built as a supply route and line of defence in Napoleonic Wars, before crossing Romney Marsh into Sussex. The route passes two other ports; Rye, with its history of smuggling, and Winchelsea. The descent into Hastings is on minor roads with views over the old town and the English Channel.
Art trail
The Chalk and Channel Way is a Sustrans Art Trail between Dover and Folkestone, artists Jony Easterby, Pippa Taylor, Rob Kestler and Tim Clapcott produced artworks inspired by the surrounding landscape, including the iconic 'Samphire Tower'. More info...
Extending the route

There is the opportunity to venture west of Dover and link up with the Downs and Weald Route, offering the possibility of combining the Downs and Weald with the Garden of England to complete a round trip from London for a 239 mile journey.

More information

For the London section of the route please order the TfL cycle maps of London.

Things to see and do

  • Dover Castle
  • Samphire Hoe
  • Camber Castle, Rye
  • Canterbury Cathedral
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The route follows the coast to the Cinque port of Sandwich to the north of Dover, and to Hythe and Romney to the south.

113 miles