Seaside Towns And Country Views: The Cantii Way Cycle Route Through Kent

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 10 months ago
Seaside Towns And Country Views: The Cantii Way Cycle Route Through Kent
Three cyclists pedalling along a tarmac path, with bushes either side

Helmets on! An official cycle route in Kent, which opened in 2022, winds 145 miles through the Garden of England via rolling countryside, seaside towns and chalk cliffs.

The Cantii Way begins and ends in the village of Wye, close to Ashford. It passes through the towns of Ashford and Canterbury, as well as seaside locations including Dover, Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Margate and Herne Bay. It evens dips into Sussex, passing through Rye and Winchelsea, all via traffic-free cycle paths, bridleways and quiet roads.

A row of four cyclists cycling along the seafront

If you're out of breath just thinking about it, why not tick off a section at a time? Many of the towns and villages along the route have railway stations with easy access to London, so you can dip in and out rather than doing the whole, calf-burning 145 miles (233km) in one go.

Three cyclists standing next to their bikes, admiring the view from the top of a hill

If you are a serious cyclist and looking to tick it all off in one go, it's recommended that you take three to four days. The route has been designed to be conquered by anyone with reasonable levels of fitness, not just hardcore cyclists.

Highlights of the Cantii Way

A map of Kent, with the Cantii Way route shown on a purple dotted line
The Cantii Way route map. Click here for a zoomable version.

Kent's replete with beautiful views, from hop farms and traditional oast houses, to the world famous White Cliffs of Dover. Here are a few of our favourite landmarks along, or very close to, the Cantii Way route:

Two cyclists riding on a gravel path past a golf course

These are just a few of the many interesting landmarks along the route — the official guide has plenty more suggestions — not to mention the fascinating towns and cities such as Canterbury and Rye, which have plenty to offer. Also look out for Kent's coastal castles, and the county's finest tea rooms (the Herne Bay and Canterbury cafes are right on the route).

The Cantii Way route is the work of Cycling UK, and its May 2022 launch tied in with the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, who was Patron of the charity. It's one of a series of long-distance cycle routes launched in recent years, including King Alfred's Way in Hampshire, the West Kernow Way in Cornwall, and the Great North Trail in Scotland and Northern England. Parts of the Cantii Way make use of the existing North Downs Way cycle route, which runs from Surrey to the Kent Coast.

A row of cyclists riding single file on a narrow path next to a fence, with the sea on the other side of the fence

As for the name, the Cantii were a Celtic tribe encountered by Julius Caesar, a tribe which gives both Kent and Canterbury their names.

Tempted? The official starting point is in Wye — get there on the train in about 1 hour direct from St Pancras, or 1 hour 45 minutes from London Victoria. Just note the restrictions on bikes on trains. That said, it's a circular route, so there's nothing to stop you picking anywhere else along the way as a start and finish point. See The Cantii Way on the Cycling UK website for more information. You can also download a GPX file of the route.

Cycling too much like hard work? Why not take a 75km stroll from London to the Kent Coast instead?

Last Updated 27 June 2023

Continued below.