North Downs Way

The riders’ route for the North Downs Way National Trail takes you 153 miles through the stunning Kent Downs and Surrey Hills

The North Downs Way is a 153-mile route running from Farnham in Surrey to Dover on the Kent Coast. It takes in beautiful rolling hills and woodlands, castles and cathedrals, vineyards and breweries, and travels along part of the ancient Via Francigena pilgrimage route.

Until 2018, the official National Trail route could not be fully ridden, because many parts were on footpaths. Cycling UK worked with the British Horse Society and North Downs Way trail manager to propose an alternative rideable route. It links together bridleways, byways and quiet roads to detour from the footpath sections and create a continuous trail which can be used by cyclists and horse riders.

The Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which looks after the North Downs Way, has been working to improve and enhance this route over the past few years, funded by the European Regional Development Fund EXPERIENCE project. The updated version is now ready to ride.

Want to extend your ride? Cycling UK has also created the Cantii Way. This 147-mile loop explores the coast and countryside of east Kent, and connects with the North Downs Way.

Prepare for your ride

Head to our bikepacking pages for tips and advice.

Would you like to see more off-road routes?

Developing new off-road routes like the Great North Trail is only possible because of the support of our 70,000 members.

You can help us continue campaigning for off-road access by becoming a member or making a donation.