Canterbury: a cyclist’s paradise!

Canterbury is a wonderful medieval city, full of hidden gems and historical delights. But there is more to discover in its surrounding countryside, and the optimal way to explore this is by bike. We’ve put together some of the best cycle routes which start in Canterbury to whet your appetite!

Great Stour Way

Perfect for beginners and those with families, the Great Stour Way is a 3-mile-long traffic-free trail (National Cycle Network Route 18) which runs between Canterbury and Chartham. Following the River Stour, the route is flat and ideal for a gentle cycle as you take in the surrounding meadows and marshes. Stop at the idyllic village of Chartham and enjoy a picnic on the green in the shade of St Mary’s Church before you make a return journey back to Canterbury.

Crab and Winkle Way

The Crab and Winkle Way is a beautiful scenic route that winds its way through the ancient broad-leaved woodland of Blean Woods to the harbour town of Whitstable. Part of the national cycle network (Route 1), this 7.6km trail is mostly traffic-free and is great for beginners and families who wish to explore the countryside surrounding Canterbury. There are a few hills enroute, but these offer some fantastic views of Whitstable so are well worth the effort! Once you reach Whitstable, take some time perusing the gift shops and perhaps treat yourself to some of their famous oysters. There is a plethora of eateries in Whitstable in both the town and at the harbour which offer the perfect resting point before your return cycle to Canterbury.

If you fancy a longer route, continue from Whitstable along the harbour front and link up to the Oyster Bay Trail (Route 15). With the sea glistening in the sun on your left, you will follow the coastal path through Herne Bay until you reach Reculver Country Park which features a Roman fort. There is also a lovely café here for you to rest at whilst you take in the beautiful sea views.

Pilgrim’s Progress Trail

For the more advanced cyclist, why not follow the Pilgrim’s Progress trail on a 50-mile circular ride linking Canterbury, Folkestone and Dover. Begin the journey via Route 16 which starts from St Augustine’s Abbey and pick up Route 17 at the old village of Patrixbourne. This scenic path winds its way through the village of Bridge, to follow quiet valley lanes to Elham and Hawkinge, eventually reaching the iconic white cliffs of Dover. After a steep incline which leaves behind stunning views of Dover Castle, continue onto Route 16 which joins quiet country lanes meandering through the idyllic east Kent countryside. The route is

certainly for the advanced cyclist but can also be broken down into smaller routes with the possibility of the return leg via the train from Folkestone and Dover.

Kent Cycle Hire

If you don’t want to bring your own bikes to Kent, why not use Kent Cycle Hire based in Canterbury? Daily and weekly rates are both available as are family discounted rates for two adults and two children. Even better, Kent Cycle Hire offer a pick up and drop off service so you can go one-way, return or simply ride for as long as you wish and choose where to end your journey as you go!


Whichever cycle route you choose to explore the beautiful Kent countryside, feel relaxed in the knowledge that awaiting your return is a hot shower and a comfortable bed for you to sink into at your Property by Polygon holiday home.

Click here to book direct with us for your stay in Canterbury.