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Ride through 1000s of years of history on the magnificent North Downs Way National Trail Riders' Route.

Suitable for mountain bikeNational cycle routeSuitable for families
Route type
169 mi272 km
Ride easy
Over several weekends
Ride steady
3-4 days
Ride strong
1-2 days
Kent Downs AONB
Nearest train station
Dover Priory

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Take the time to explore the North Downs Way National Trail Riders’ Route on two wheels, or four legs!

Our famous national trail through the Kent Downs and Surrey Hills National Landscape’s has undergone enhancement works in the past year to make it more accessible for both keen and amateur cyclists and our equine friends, so there’s never been a better time to tackle the breathtaking route. It’s easy to follow, family friendly and – above all – absolutely beautiful.

Winding through the Kent Downs and Surrey Hills Areas of Natural Outstanding Beauty, the linear Riders’ Route is almost traffic free with challenging sections for those who like big hills, and plenty of flat paths for laid-back outings by bike or on horse back. The route can also be broken up into manageable chunks for a shorter breaks and family days out.

The trail offers a diverse range of terrain suitable for hardtail mountain bikes and gravel bikes. While the Surrey half, featuring steep climbs, descents, holloways, and narrow wooded tracks, is best enjoyed with a mountain bike, the gentler landscape of Kent, with its quiet lanes and gravel tracks, provides a perfect setting for exhilarating rides on your gravel bike. During the winter months, the trail can get quite muddy, adding an extra layer of challenge and adventure to the experience!

You’ll find accessible trails along ancient routes that pass eight castles, three cathedrals, three archbishops’ palaces, award-winning vineyards and breweries, sculpture trails, chocolate-box villages, and plenty of cosy country pubs and cafés for pit stops.

It’s also easy to hop off and on the trail with great accommodation options to choose from and numerous train stations nearby, so you can zip down from London with your bike and be immersed in natural beauty in less than an hour.  

You will also find Cycling UK’s accredited Cycle Friendly Places along the way, so you know you will be greeted with a warm welcome and everything you need. And if you’re not a seasoned cyclist, there are lots of cycle hire options available for people visiting for the day.

The North Downs Way Riders’ Route is also available to horse riders. Further consultation work is underway to enhance the route for these audiences in the future. We advise horse riders to assess the routes based on their own requirements and knowledge.

As we all look for more sustainable ways of travelling, cycling and horse riding is a great way to get out and about in nature and discover new places. 

If you want to experience the beauty of the Kent Downs and Surrey Hills, the North Downs Way Riders’ Route is ready when you are.

Riders' Route Google mapPlan your trip and find pit stops, accommodation and sights along the way


You can download the GPX map file for the entire route and key sections: Riders’ Route Full GPX

If you prefer to break up the route into sections, you can access the files on the North Downs Way Riders’ Route website in the maps section.

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