Route 2

Route details

Route Description

Many sections of the route are fully open and signed. The only major gaps in this route are between Dawlish and Totnes, and Plymouth and St Austell. Between Exeter and Poole the route is also signed as part of the Tour de Manche circular cycle route which links the South West of England with Cherbourg and Roscoff in Northern France. Maps can be bought from our shop. The route is described here from Dover to St. Austell but is signed in both directions.

The route is currently 359 miles long.

Route Sections

1. Dover to Hastings
National Route 2 starts or finishes in Dover following a cliff top route to Folkestone and crossing Romney Marsh to Lydd and Rye.

Printed maps: This section of National Route 2 is covered on the South Coast East map.

3. Brighton to Worthing
National Route 2 continues west of Brighton to Worthing via Shoreham.

Printed maps: This section of National Route 2 is covered on the South Coast East map.

4. Worthing to South Mundham
National Route 2 in West Sussex is still being developed and currently open sections exist between Littlehampton and Bognor Regis only.

Printed maps: Open sections are shown on the South Coast East map.

5. South Mundham to Christchurch
Short unopen sections exist through central Portsmouth; south of Southampton; out of Brockenhurst (New Forest), and within Christchurch but otherwise Route 2 is continuous across Hampshire.

Printed maps: The open sections of National Route 2 in this area are shown on the South Coast West map and South Coast East map.

6. Christchurch to Lyme Regis
Along Bournemouth seafront and over on the Poole Harbour ferry, National Route 2 continues to the east of Dorchester and then begins again on the west of Dorchester to Raymond’s Hill, north of Lyme Regis.

Printed maps: This whole section is covered on the South Coast West map.

7. Axminster to Dawlish
The route travels from Axminster through Seaton, Sidmouth and circumnavigates the Exe Estuary via Exeter to Dawlish. Devon County Council have completed the last link between Exmouth and Dawlish Warren with the opening of the new bridge over the railway at Powderham. Constructed to span the main railway line to Plymouth, the bridge is in a Special Area of Conservation and next to an internationally important bird reserve.

Printed maps: The whole of this section of National Route 2 is shown on the South Coast West map.

8. Dawlish to Plymouth
The proposed Route 2 via Newton Abbot is under development so Route 2 restarts at Totnes and continues via a moorland route through Ivybridge to Plymouth. A coastal alternative route from Totnes to Plymouth is fully open as far as Malborough near Salcombe. 

Printed maps: The whole of this section of National Route 2 is shown on the South Devon Cycle Map.

9. Plymouth to St. Austell
The main Cornish section of the route will link the Cremyll Ferry in Plymouth with Lostwithiel via Looe and on to St. Austell. At present this section is only open between Par and St Austell.

Printed maps: The short open sections are shown on the Cornwall Cycle Map

Onwards to France?

For those of you interested in continuing onto France, we have been working in partnership with Cycle West to develop three cross-channel cycling routes connecting Devon and Cornwall with Brittany and Normandy. Each itinerary takes you through some breathtaking and diverse scenery on both sides of the English Channel. 

Things to see and do

Related maps

Route Development

  • Stop Line Way (Axminster to Seaton) - Devon County Council are continuing to push ahead with the route and the next section to be built will be the section south of Colyford with a resolution of the route through Colyford - which has been an issue for a long time - will begin on the ground in the summer. It was delayed to protect over-wintering birds on the marshes last autumn.
  • The Promenade is closed all of July and August every year, between 10am and 6pm, due to the volume of pedestrians at the beach.  It’s between Shore Road (Sandbanks) and Bournemouth Pier, and between Boscombe Pier and Harbour Road (Southbourne).


Route 2 along the Prom between Bournemouth and Poole is closed to cycling in July and August 2018 between 10am and 6pm. Redirection signs to an alternative route are in place.

Zoom level: 
Route sign image: 

A long distance cycle route which, when complete, will link Dover in Kent with St. Austell in Cornwall via the south coast of England.