Please support the National Cycle Network this Christmas Donate now

Cycling in the South East of England

Brighton Pier

Beautiful Brighton Pier

Whitstable

Visit Whitstable on the Crab and Winkle Way

Boats at Deal

Deal on National Route 1

Canalside life

Cycling along the Kennet and Avon Canal

We’ve picked out some of our favourite rides on the National Cycle Network that showcase the best of the South East region.  From canals to beaches and cities to countryside, these rides are easily manageable for families with young children and novice cyclists. 

1. Crab & Winkle Way

The route does feature some hills, with a 61m (200ft) climb out of Canterbury and an undulating middle section. However, there are fine views over Whitstable from the highest point of the ride.

2. Cuckoo Trail

The Cuckoo Trail is one of the most popular family cycle rides in the South East and gained its name from an old Sussex tradition of releasing a cuckoo at the Heathfield Fair.

3. Kennet and Avon Canal

With its gentle gradients and the close-up view of canal side life, this route is a wonderful way to explore this corner of Berkshire. Linking Newbury with the modern centre of Reading, the route follows the canal towpath, with an occasional on-road detour.

4. Kent Coastal Castles Ride

This recommended route is perfect for all ages and abilities and for walkers and wheelchair users as well as cyclists.

5. Rottingdean to Shoreham Port

The ride begins at Rottingdean on a path between the A259 and the sea, with the ups and downs and spectacular views you would expect from a clifftop path. The path takes you down to Brighton Marina, where luxury yachts are moored alongside small pleasure craft, and into the vibrant and cosmopolitan town of Brighton.

6. The Jubilee River, Eton Dorney

This splendid family friendly circuit takes in Windsor Castle, Eton College, Dorney Lake, the Jubilee River and the River Thames.

7. Tonbridge to Penshurst

This route offers an excellent, almost entirely traffic-free ride from the heart of Tonbridge alongside the River Medway, out into the countryside as far as the glorious buildings of Penshurst Place, some 5 miles to the west.

8. The Phoenix Trail

The Phoenix Trail links the two market towns of Thame and Princes Risborough, providing an ideal traffic free ride for all the family. This is a fantastic Art Trail with over 30 artworks commissioned by Sustrans. There is also the opportunity to admire the magnificent views of the nearby Chiltern Hills and spot Red Kites, the impressive birds of prey that thrive in the area.

9. Oxford to Blenheim Palace

This great 10 mile route takes you from the historic city of Oxford out to Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The Churchill exhibition gives a fascinating insight into the ‘Greatest Briton’ including personal letters, photographs and paintings.

10. Forest Way

Running from East Grinstead to Groombridge, the Forest Way is perfect for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. This route follows a disused railway line and is flat and traffic-free.

Discover the National Cycle Network

Whether you walk, cycle, run or ride a horse, there's plenty of opportunity for adventure and getting involved!

children cycling

Cycling is a great way to have fun as a family and these routes have lots of things to see and do along the way.

cyclist admiring route view

Love the National Cycle Network? Sponsor your favourite mile and help us keep it in top condition.

Check out our volunteer vacancies in your area.

kids out on a bike ride

Your donations will help maintain the National Cycle Network and provide safer routes for everyone to enjoy.