Cycle rides - Coast to Cathedral

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Ride information

Start point postcodes: Canterbury CT11 8LN - get directions or Dover CT16 1QR - get directions
Length: 50 miles (80km)
Duration (estimated based on 7-8 mph cycling): 6 hours and 15 minutes
Amount of off-road cycling: 0%
Route layout: circular

Ride summary

Undertake your own Pilgrim's Progress on this marvellous 50 mile (80km) circular ride using Regional Routes 16 and 17 linking Dover, Canterbury and Folkestone.

Maps and guides

Download the Coast to Cathedral cycling guide (PDF, 497.7 KB).

Ordnance Survey Explorer maps 138 and 150 cover this route. Available from the Ordnance Survey shop.

Find out more about cycling in these areas by downloading the Canterbury version of our Cycle breaks in Kent leaflet (PDF, 1.5 MB) or the Thanet version of our Cycle breaks in Kent leaflet (PDF, 2.4 MB)

Follow these signs

 National Cycle Route 16 signNational Cycle Route 17 sign


About the route

The route passes along leafy lanes and bridleways amid rolling hills, wide skies, woodland, country villages and hamlets; the perfect recipe for a cycle holiday or a mixture of great day rides.

It is advisable to start the journey anti-clockwise via Route 16, as the climb out of Dover is short and steep compared to the longer, harder climb out of Folkestone.

Leaving stunning views of Dover Castle behind, the route joins quiet country lanes. It meanders through fine east Kent countryside and old villages to Patrixbourne, where the North Downs Way leads to Canterbury.

The return leg from Canterbury branches off Route 16. Pick up scenic Route 17 through the village of Bridge, to follow quiet valley lanes past Lynsore Bottom to Elham.

At Elham, you can visit Park Gate Down Nature Reserve, a popular grassland site that has two orchid reserves - entrance is free and it is open all year round.

Good en-route signage enables the cyclist to join the journey at any point. One-way day riders can let the train take the strain on the return leg thanks to convenient stations at Folkestone, Dover and Canterbury.

The route is 21 miles from Dover to Canterbury, 17 miles from Canterbury to Folkestone and 12 miles from Folkestone to Dover.


If you need to report a problem on this route please call 03000 41 71 71 or use the online reporting tool. You can then choose to receive regular updates about the progress of your report.