Cantii Way: FAQs

Sophie Gordon's picture

Cantii Way: FAQs

All you need to know about the Cantii Way to help you plan your ride

 

 

Why has Cycling UK developed this route?

The Cantii Way has been created as part of the EU-funded EXPERIENCE project, which aims to develop sustainable year-round tourism experiences in six pilot regions in England and France – one of which is Kent.

Along with developing promoted routes and cycle hubs in the county, Cycling UK is also supporting hospitality businesses to become accredited Cycle Friendly Places, so you can be sure of a warm welcome and everything you need.

 

What is the EXPERIENCE project?

Cycling UK is one of 14 partners collaborating to deliver innovative and sustainable new off-season tourism experiences in six pilot regions in England and France, focusing on sustainable, low-impact tourism activities to secure the future resilience of the region’s natural and cultural assets.

This project will harness the experiential tourism trend to extend the season, generating 20 million new off-season visitors spending €1 billion across the Channel region by June 2023.

EXPERIENCE is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg VA France (Channel) England Programme 2014-2020.

 

How hard is the route?

The route is designed to be manageable by anyone of reasonable fitness on most types of bike, and makes a great introduction to multi-day cycle trips. It uses a combination of cycle paths, country lanes, forest tracks and bridleways, and has mostly flat terrain (although there are a few climbs around Wye and Dover).

 

How long does it take to ride?

The 234km (145 mile) route can be ridden in one go over three to four days, or with regular train stations along its length it can also be easily split up over several weekends.  

 

Which kind of bike is best?

The route is suitable for most types of bike, apart from road bikes with very narrow tyres which might be tricky on some of the gravel tracks. Most of the route is well-surfaced, so hybrid, touring or gravel bikes are ideal.

 

Can I ride it on an adapted cycle, or with a child's trailer?

We test-rode the route with a one-wheeled rear trailer, which made it round fine. We haven't tested it yet with an adapted cycle or two-wheeled trailer, but there are no narrow 'A-frame' barriers along the route which would be an obstacle. There are a few zig-zag barriers to manoeuvre around in Canterbury and Ashford. If you ride the route on an adapted cycle or with a trailer, please let us know your feedback.

 

Is the route suitable for e-bikes?

This route is ideal for electric bikes. Although there are few big hills, the added assistance along flat, straight sections (especially into a headwind) is an efficient and helpful use of the battery. There are also plenty of locations, such as at refreshment stops, where you could potentially recharge the battery during the day, if required.

 

What kind of kit should I take?

Pannier racks or bikepacking bags are a good way to transport your cargo, as there are many facilities along the route, as well as excellent rail connections, and it is possible to ride the route safely and easily unsupported and with minimal baggage. Although you would be unlucky to suffer punctures along this route, bike shops are not always easy or quick to come by, so be prepared.

 

Is the route signposted?

The Cantii Way route is not signposted, but most of this ride is easily navigated, either following the coastline or signed local, or National Cycle Network (NCN) routes. Where this is not the case, the route follows straightforward trails, minimising head scratching and gazing at screens or maps along the way, so you’ll have maximum time to cruise and enjoy the scenery.   

 

Is there a printed guidebook available?

Unfortunately, due to the complex rules and requirements of the funding for this project, we're not able to produce and sell a printed route guide for the Cantii Way. There is an online PDF route guide. The printed route guides for the other routes will continue to be available.

 

Is there information about accommodation and facilities along the route?

The online route guide contains a table with distances between the villages and towns along the route, and details of which facilities are available in each.

As part of the EXPERIENCE project, Cycling UK has been supporting hospitality businesses along the route to become accredited Cycle Friendly Places, so you know you’ll receive a warm welcome and everything you need.

 

Can I take my bike on the train to start the route?

Wye is easy to access by train, just a five-minute journey from Ashford International station. You can take your bike on Southeastern trains without a reservation, but bear in mind that you can't take a bike on trains to Ashford which leave London at peak times (4-7pm). See Southeastern's cycle policy for more details.

 

Is there somewhere I can hire a bike?

There are several cycle hire centres along the route, including:

 

What’s Cycling UK doing to encourage responsible cycling and access?

Exploring the outdoors is fantastic, and it’s essential that all of us play our part in protecting nature and looking out for others. Cycling UK is aiming to remind riders of that both in the guidebook and with our online information about the Cantii Way.

We are working with Natural England to promote the updated Countryside Code in England, and with the British Horse Society to share the Be Nice, Say Hi campaign and raise awareness of how to pass horse riders safely.

 

Has Cycling UK developed any other long-distance routes I can try?

In 2018, Cycling UK proposed a rideable route for the North Downs Way, which is in the process of becoming an official alternative National Trail route.

In 2019 we launched the Great North Trail, which connects the Pennine Bridleway with the An Turas Mor trail to form an 800-mile route linking the Peak District with the north coast of Scotland at Cape Wrath and John o’ Groats. 

In 2020 with King Alfred’s Way, a 220-mile loop which connects the South Downs Way, North Downs Way riders’ route, and the rideable parts of the Ridgeway and Thames Path.

We followed this in Autumn 2021 with the West Kernow Way, a 230km circular bikepacking route in Cornwall, taking in the highlights of the western half of the Cornish peninsula.

 

What route are you doing next?

As part of the European Regional Development Fund EXPERIENCE project, in autumn 2022 we will be launching a long-distance circular route around Norfolk. Sign up for our off-road updates to be the first to hear more.

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