Cycle rides - Crab and Winkle Way

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Ride information

Start point postcodes: Canterbury CT1 2AH - get directions or Whitstable CT5 1SD - get directions
Length: 7.5 miles (12km)
Duration (estimated based on 7-8 mph cycling): 55 minutes
Amount of off-road cycling: 51%
Route layout: linear

Ride summary

With 7 miles of almost traffic-free cycling, the Crab and Winkle Way between Canterbury and Whitstable explores a delightful slice of east Kent, packed with history and nostalgia. 

Maps and guides

Download the Crab and Winkle cycling guide (PDF, 695.3 KB).

Ordnance Survey Explorer map 150 covers this route. Available from the Ordnance Survey shop.

Find out more about cycling in the area by downloading the Canterbury version of our Cycle breaks in Kent leaflet (PDF, 1.5 MB)

Follow this sign

 National Cycle Route 1 sign


About the route

The path, which caters for riders of all abilities, takes its name from the pioneering railway line which ran between Canterbury and Whitstable from the early part of the 19th century. It was one of the first to be built in Great Britain.

With an area designated as a World Heritage Site, there is a lot to see and do in Canterbury. From visiting the cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey and Canterbury museum, to exploring the city's lanes and countless historic buildings.

On the way to Whitstable, the path passes through the Blean, with its 13th century Church of St Cosmus and St Damian, and Blean Woods, a delightful RSPB nature reserve covering more than 11 square miles.

The journey also takes you through the conifer-dominated woodland of Clowes Wood, one of the best places in the country to hear the remarkable song of the nightjar.

Once in Whitstable, seafood is high on the agenda and places to consider include the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company, East Quay Shellfish Bar, Wheelers' Oyster Bar, Birdies Eating House and the Crab and Winkle restaurant.

Whitstable's vibrant contemporary arts scene has led to the growth of colourful craft shops in the town. The Whitstable Museum and Gallery has permanent and touring exhibitions, many reflecting the town's seafaring traditions.

A stroll along the Saxon Shore Way and the cliff-top lawns of Tankerton Slopes, with their colourful wooden beach huts, offers perfect views of `The Street' - a narrow shingle ridge stretching half-a-mile out to sea at low tide. 


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.