New Long Distance Cycle Route - Cantii Way

Published: 27/05/2022
People cycling through fields

A new long-distance cycling route; the Cantii Way, in Kent, has launched by Cycling UK taking people cycling through the diverse scenery and history of the ‘Garden of England’.

The Cantii Way is a 145-mile (234 km) route beginning and ending in the village of Wye, close to Ashford in Kent. It is designed to be a perfect introduction to multi-day cycling and can be ridden in one go over three to four days as it passes through Canterbury, Whitstable, Folkestone and Dover. With regular train stations along its length it can also be easily split up over several weekends.  

The Cantii were an Iron Age Celtic tribe that Julius Caesar encountered on his abortive conquest of England in 54 BCE. The famous Roman described the Cantii as “the most civilised” of the British tribes; it is from them that both the county of Kent and city of Canterbury derive their names.

Sophie Gordon, Cycling UK’s campaigns officer who is behind the creation of the Cantii Way, said:

“The Cantii Way is a perfect introduction to the wonders of cycling around Kent, and is ideal for those looking to try cycle tourism for the first time. It’s not just great for beginners though, Kent is rich in history, rich in culture and rich in cuisine – it’s a perfect location for cycling, and the Cantii Way gives you the very best of the Garden of England.”

Using a combination of quiet ways, country lanes, byways and bridleways, the route is designed to be manageable by anyone of reasonable fitness on most types of bike. Making use of part of the North Downs Way Riders’ Route that Cycling UK launched in 2018 in collaboration with Kent Downs AONB, the Cantii Way takes riders deep into Kent’s rich history, vibrant modern culture and natural beauty.

The route is also designed to open up the ‘Garden of England’ to the cycling traveller. As they pass through well-known destinations such as Canterbury, Whitstable and Dover, there are plenty of opportunities to make the most of the local produce available, with the orchards, vineyards, hop-drying oast houses and local farms making the Cantii Way equal parts culinary and cycling tour.

As part of its role in the European Regional Development Fund’s EXPERIENCE project which is operating in Kent, Cornwall and Norfolk as well as three other regions in France, Cycling UK has worked for the past two years on the Cantii Way. During its development the charity has spoken with the council, Kent Downs AONB, landowners, local businesses and cyclists to link together a route that shows off the best of Kent.

In preparation of the expected increase in cycling over the summer, the charity is already working with the hospitality and accommodation sectors in Kent. Cycling UK is providing businesses with advice and free equipment bundles worth up to £400 as part of its Cycle Friendly Places initiative. You can find out more on their website.

The Cantii Way is the fifth long distance cycling route Cycling UK has launched since its riders’ route for the North Downs Way was unveiled in 2018. A sixth route will be launched at the end of summer in Norfolk.

Cantii Way map