Garden of England cycle route

This beautiful route sets out eastward from Greenwich, London, along the Thames and into Kent, turning south to the port town of Sandwich. From there it turns back westward along the southern English coast, joining National Cycle Network Route 2 at Dover and going on to Hastings.

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 landmass 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 clifftop 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.

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.

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Please note

We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.

To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water, please ensure you follow the Towpath Code.

Please help us to protect this route

The Garden of England cycle route is part of the National Cycle Network, cared for by Sustrans. Your donation today will help keep the Network safe and open for everyone to enjoy.

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