Friday, 28 September 2018
Cycling UK’s Riders’ Route for the North Downs Way is a largely off-road route which will take you over 150 miles from Farnham in Surrey to Dover in Kent.
Cycling UK led a group of journalists from MBUK, Singletrack and Cycling Weekly on the inaugural trail blazing ride of this route on 28 September 2018, taking part in the celebrations of the North Downs Way 40th anniversary.
The national cycling charity hopes that in time this will eventually be the new cycleable route for the North Downs Way, and we have been working closely with the North Downs Way National Trails to help make this happen. The route you can download below is under constant development as we open up new access opportunities, but what we have below is the legal rideable route which will let you cycle from Farnham to Dover, roughly 150 miles, of which less than 34 miles is on road, and much of that quiet little used lanes. This Riders’ Route makes NDW the latest national trail to be made fully cycleable, since the Pennine Bridleway was officially launched in 2012, and means that three out of the 15 (or 16 if including the English coastal path) can be ridden by either bike or horse.
The route takes you through the Surrey and Kent counties, and provides a wide variety of riding that would suit hard tail mountain bikes and gravel bikes. The Surrey half, with its steep climbs and descents, holloways and narrow wooded tracks is probably best suited for a mountain bike, while the less tumultuous landscape, quiet lanes and gravel tracks of Kent have great potential for a blast on your gravel bike.
The 150 miles can be ridden in one go as a bikepacking adventure, or alternatively Cycling UK has broken the journey down in to three roughly 50 mile stages. Each section has a railway station at both the beginning and end that is serviced with direct trains to London.
Cycling UK’s suggested route itinerary over three days going west to east is as following, and each stage can be downloaded below:
Farnham to Oxted
Oxted to Hollingbourne (two routes: MTB and gravel alternative)
Hollingbourne to Dover
The Oxted to Hollingbourne MTB route has now been updated to avoid a short stretch of footpath close to Bayley’s Hill.
GPX route and download
• NDW Day 1: Farnham to Oxted (format GPX / 38 KB)
• NDW Day 2: Oxted to Hollingbourne (corrected) (format GPX / 25 KB)
• NDW Day 2: Oxted to Hollingbourne (gravel alternative) (format GPX / 25 KB)
• NDW Day 3: Hollingbourne to Dover (format GPX / 21 KB)