Park Tool Course Canterbury Kent UK
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Local Rides

 rides we have created in the local area for you to enjoy.

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A Canterbury Trail

This is a short ride around the main city of Canterbury visiting many attractions outside the main pedestrianised area including Westgate Tower, Westgate Gardens, Eastbridge Hospital, Greyfriars, Canterbury Heritage Museum, Canterbury Castle, St Augustineís Abbey, Lyndon Gate, St. John Boyes House and Blackfriars.


A visit to Herne Bay                                                                                       (23 Miles)

This is a 23 mile ride visiting the seaside resorts of Herne Bay and Whitstable and giving you the option of visiting the ruins of the Abbey and Roman Fort at Reculver. This ride is described as moderate with one or two small sections where you may encounter some traffic. The return route uses the dedicated cycle route called the Crab and Winkle Way, following in parts the second oldest passenger railway line in the world.


Cathedral to Coast Route, Canterbury to Dover             (21 miles/ 35 Kilometers)

A cycle ride to one of Kentís most famous attractions, Dover Castle. Visit the Norman Castle with its Roman Pharos (lighthouse), see Hellfire Corner (an underground second world war command centre. Other attractions include the Grand Staircase, a unique triple staircase linking a Napoleonic Period Fort to the Town a Victorian Goal.


Castle to Cathedral (Dover to Canterbury)                  (21 miles/ 35 Kilometers)

Dover is mainly known as a cross channel ferry port, but it is a town steeped in history. It has one of the finest Norman Castles in the country with a commanding view over the straits of Dover. In the cliffs underneath is Hellfire Corner, which was a wartime command post controlling the straits of Dover, Other places to visit in the town include the Roman painted house, Victorian Gaol, the White Cliffs Experience and the Grand Redoubt. On the return you will pass Kearsney Abbey, if your ride is on a Sunday, the East Kent Railway Steam Train at Shepherdswell, and past Higham Park Gardens.


Country Ways (Moderate Ride)                               (15.2 miles/ 25.3 kilometers)

This is a pleasant rural ride along parts of Chartham Downs. It explores several Downland villages and hamlets tucked away in valleys. This route is beautiful for riders looking for picturesque scenery and a pleasant route for a picnic. It passes Higham House and Garden near bridge, which is open on Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 6pm.


Crab and Winkle                                                              (12 miles/ 20 kilometers)

The Crab and Winkle Line was the second railway line that George Stephenson built in the early 19th century and runs from Canterbury West Railway Station to Whitstable. It was demolished in 1952/3. A cycle route, following as closely as it can to the path of the original railway was built by Canterbury City Council. The route opened on Sunday October 3rd 1999. This route is dedicated to use for Cycles. The distance is about 6 miles and it should be possible to ride this route in about an hour. If you wish to extend the ride you can along the coast to Herne Bay and the ruined Abbey and Roman Fort at Reculver.


Cycle by the Shore                                                           (50 miles/ 80 kilometers)

This tour traces the course of the River Stour from Canterbury to the ancient Cinque Port of Sandwich. It then follows the coastline using part of the National Cycle Route 1 via Deal and Dover. The return ride passes through a number if interesting villages, the last few near Canterbury are particularly attractive. The total distance of the ride is 50 miles / 80 kilometers. Most of the route is easy to moderate to ride but there are some hilly stretches around Kingsdown, Dover and Lydden. The route can be ridden in its entirety it can be ridden to Dover and then catch the train back to Canterbury. If riding the whole route the midway point for overnight accommodation is St. Margaretís at Cliffe or Dover. If only riding to Dover the midway point can either be Sandwich or Deal.


Mount Ephraim Gardens                                                (18 miles/ 30 kilometers)

Mount Ephraim Gardens in Hernehill are open from 11am to 6pm except Tuesdays. It is a terraced garden with fine views and famous for its topiary and Japanese Rock gardens. Riders if they wish can go onto Farming World, a traditional farm where you can see rare breeds, heavy horses and farming bygones.


Oyster and Hops                                                          (23.5 miles/ 39 kilometers)

This route lets you see two things Kent is famous for, its hop fields and Whitstable Oysters. The route follows the valley of the River Stour to the picturesque village of Chilham and then through orchards to the North Kent coast and the port of Whitstable. Your return route uses the new Crab and Winkle Cycle Path.


Ride to Sandwich                                                             (35 miles/ 58 kilometers)

The ride to Sandwich and back is about 35 miles/ 58 kilometers. The whole route is fairly flat and you should not encounter any bad hills. Your ride will take you out to the ancient Port of Sandwich. Leaving Canterbury by a dedicated cycle route across the water meadows to Fordwich, you ride to Stodmarsh and on to Grove. Follow the course of the Little Stour to more orchards and an area of market gardening along stretches of the Great Stour River. You will pass the remains of a Roman Fort at Richborough Castle.

The return ride takes you through Woodnesborough to Staple and some of the vineyards of East Kent. From there you visit the beautiful gardens of Goodnestone Park House which was regularly visited by Jane Austin, the novelist, but is now in the hands of Lady Fitzwalter. When you have finished exploring the gardens, have refreshments in the stable block before continuing your ride to Higham Park House and Garden near the village of Bridge. Continue through Patrixbourne back to Canterbury.


Ride to Stodmarsh                                                            (13 miles/ 22 kilometers)

A gentle ride to two small villages with pubs renowned for food, drink and hospitality. See views of the Magic River (from Rupert Bear), visit Stodmarsh Bird Sanctuary.


Sole Street Ride                                                                (15 miles/ 23 kilometers)

This ride takes you to Chartham, through Denge Wood with its numerous Badger Setts and onto the hamlet of Sole Street. The Compasses Inn is one of the few Inns on this route. The return takes you through Petham and back into Canterbury.


The Country of the Magic River                                  (12.5 miles/ 21 kilometers

Mary Tourtel was a resident of the Canterbury area. She was also the creator of the Rupert Bear stories in the Daily Express. In some of her stories she referred to a Magic River. It is said she was describing the River Nailbourne, a chalk stream which flows through the Elham Valley and eventually joins the Little Stour. The River only flows after very wet winters. Hence it appears to disappear during dry periods. This is a short ride, using an orchard route, out to Patrixbourne. There you can if you wish take a short diversion and visit Howletts Wildlife Park at Bekesbourne. From there return to Patrixbourne and follow the River Nailbourne through the village of Bridge to Bishopsbourne. On your return route to Canterbury you can if you wish visit Higham Park House and Garden, an English Palladian style country house once occupied by Count Zborowski the creator of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


The Garden Path                                                          (20 miles/ 33.3 kilometers)

Goodnestone Park is approximately 14 acres. The garden is divided into four sections, an 18th century parkland, a formal garden, a mature woodland and a beautiful walled garden. Jane Austin was a frequent visitor to this house. The Gardens are closed on Tuesdays and Saturdays. They are normally open from 11am to 6pm. There is a tearoom serving home made cakes in the grounds. If your ride is between Tuesday and Thursday there is a second garden that you can visit, Higham Park near Bridge. The garden is set around a beautiful English Palladian home. It is renowned for its Gardinio d'italiano, profusion of water lilies, secret garden and terraced rose garden. There is a tea room and the gardens are open from 11am to 6pm. Higham Park House is now also open to the public. The property has lain derelict for some years and the new owners are restoring both the House and Garden.


The Tiger Trail                                                (8 or20 miles/ 15 or 33 kilometers)

Howletts Zoo Park is probably one of the finest zoos in this part of England and John Aspinal has done much to protect endangered species by returning zoo bred stock to the wild. Gorillas and Tigers are the main attraction at Howletts. This ride also lets you pass along parts if the Little Stour River and visit the pretty villages of Littlebourne, Wickhambreaux, Stodmarsh and Fordwich. Some of the village inns are worth visiting.


The Vineyard                                                             (25.5 miles/ 42.5 kilometers)

The wine industry in England has in the past been treated as a bit of a joke but in Kent vineyards are starting to gain worldwide recognition. This ride will take you out to two vineyards near Staple and sample their produce. On the outward trip you will have the opportunity to leisurely wander along the sides of the Little Stour River visiting the villages of Littlebourne and Wickhambreaux. The return journey gives you commanding views over the downs before you pass through the very attractive village of Patrixbourne. This is a fairly easy ride with very few hills worth mentioning.

Three Day Ride                                                               (57 miles/ 94 kilometers)

Day 1

Your ride will take you out to the ancient Cinque Port of Sandwich. Leaving Canterbury by an orchard route you pass through the villages of Littlebourne and Wickhambreaux and follow the course of the Little Stour River to more orchards and an area of Market Gardening along stretches of the Great Stour River. You will pass the remains of a Roman Fort at Richborough before entering Sandwich. Take time to explore this quaint little town. Take a stroll along the Strand by the side of the river and see the yachts moored on the river. After leaving Sandwich you will ride past a golf course into Deal.

Day 2

The ride starts by following the coast to Kingsdown. From there you have a steady climb on a chalk road across country up Otty Bottom to St. Margaretís Bay. From there take a country lane to Langdon Cliffs where you can look out over the channel and see the Port of Dover at work and see on a clear day, the coast of France. Finally enter Dover the side of its famous Castle as it stands overlooking the Straits of Dover. If time permits visit the castle and Hell Fire Corner, (the Wartime Command Bunker built under the cliffs), the roman painted house, the White Cliffs Experience, Victorian Gaol, and the Grand Redoubt. From Dover follow cycle route 17 as it climbs out of Dover towards Folkestone. This section of the route is quite strenuous in short stretches. Pass the battle of Britain Museum at Hawkinge and eventually descend into the Elham Valley to the picturesque village of Elham.

Day 3

On your final day you will follow the road along the Elham Valley. Ride with care as the road can attract an amount of traffic. Just as you leave Elham you can visit Parsonage Heritage Farm opposite Hillbrook House. Further up the valley you will come to the Elham Valley Vineyard adjacent to the Dolls House Restaurant. A short off-road route from Kingston will take you to the small village of Bishopsbourne. Climb out of the village to Higham Park House and Gardens. Descend into the village of Bridge and follow the cycle route back into Canterbury


Viking Trail Tour                                                          (58 miles/ 96.5 kilometers)

The first part of your route will follow the old Crab and Winkle Railway Line from Canterbury to Whitstable. This railway line was the second to be built in the world and was turn up in 1953. It is now being preserved as a dedicated cycle route. Whitstable itself is famous for its oysters and if you visit the harbour area you can get some fresh oysters when they are in season. Your route then follows the North Kent Coast through the seaside resort of Herne Bay to the ruined Abbey and Roman Fort at Reculver. At Reculver you ride along the sea wall along the recently created Viking Costal Trail to Birchington and the Isle of Thanet. At Birchington continue on the Viking Trail. Continue past Westgate, Margate, Cliftonville, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. At Cliffsend you have a choice to either continue to follow the Viking Trail to Minster and catch the train back to Canterbury or you can ride to Sandwich and ride along National Cycle Route 1 back to Canterbury. The distances are 35.5 miles/ 59 kilometers and 58 miles/96.5 kilometers respectively.

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