The North Downs Way is 130 mile (208km) walking trail between Farnham and Dover. The route traces the high chalk ridge and offers extensive views across the Weald and the ‘Garden of England’. This short break offers three circular walks from Canterbury, crossing over some of the North Downs Way with options to experience gardens, historical buildings and enjoy a range of food & drink experiences.
Getting to Canterbury
By Rail: Canterbury West is a Grade II listed railway station, on the South Eastern Rail line. There are regular services from London Charing Cross and London St Pancras International Stations with the journey taking around an hour. London Victoria and St Pancras International also run services to Canterbury East Railway Station.
By Car: The area is served by excellent roads. The M2 motorway from M25 (London) provides fast, easy access.
B&Bs, Hotels and Inns (3*)
This grade of this tour is easy to moderate.
Daily Distance Range
- Walking–Minimum: 3.2 miles / 5 km Maximum: 10.1 miles / 16.3 km
This tour has a variety of durations from 2 nights to 4 nights.
This tour is available from January until December.
What is included in the tour
- Bed & Breakfast Accommodation
- Fully comprehensive tour pack with colour coded routes on local maps
- Emergency Telephone Assistance
- Smart Phone GPS App with Routes
What is NOT included in the tour
- Meals Except Breakfast
- Transport to and from Canterbury
Arrive Canterbury and stay overnight.
For centuries, Canterbury has been where great stories are told. Made famous by Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the university city boasts some of England’s finest medieval architecture, including one of its oldest cathedrals. A UNESCO heritage site due to St Augustine’s Abbey, St Martin’s Church and Canterbury Cathedral, which houses a famous shrine to medieval archbishop Thomas Beckett.
A: Circular route from Canterbury via Bekesbourne & Littlebourne (10.1 miles / 16.3 km) Shorter routes available.
This is a beautiful walk through a quiet corner of Kent, taking in a series of ancient villages, each with a similarly ancient church, and passing a series of charming rural pubs. The terrain is most flat, with only a few gentle hills. The walk has a variety of landscapes, from woods to arable fields, and from a farm growing strawberries in polytunnels to fields with grazing cattle.
Stay overnight in Canterbury.
B: Circular route from Chartham (5 miles / 8 km)
Starting in the village of Chartham (a short bus or taxi ride from Canterbury), this circular walk takes in the River Stour, woodland pathways and No-Man's Orchard, the first community run orchard in the country. The route uses the Stour Valley Walk, before meeting up with the North Downs Way. Chartham Vineyard produces award-winning wines and their shop is well worth a visit with free tastings; a wonderful way to complete your day. (Only open on Saturdays)
Stay overnight in Canterbury.
C: Canterbury Sculpture Trail (3.2 miles / 5 km)
This unique outdoor trail moves you through the City of Canterbury and its historic, picturesque public open spaces. The artwork ranges from figurative statues of people who have played important roles in connection with the city, to patterns etched into paving.
A wide range of artists have been commissioned to produce work using materials as diverse as bronze, stone, timber, and even railway tracks.
Spend the day discovering Canterbury and all it has to offer.
Stay overnight in Canterbury.
Depart Canterbury after breakfast the following morning.
Places of interest
There are a variety of places to visit along the route. We have picked out the highlights and can arrange entry / tickets for customers as required.
Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. Pilgrims and visitors have made their way to Canterbury Cathedral since the Middle Ages. It remains one of the most visited places in the country, and, just as importantly, a working, living church and community.
St Augustine’s Abbey
Situated just outside the city walls, St. Augustine’s Abbey was originally created as a burial place for the Anglo-Saxon kings of Kent, and is part of the Canterbury World Heritage Site, along with the cathedral and St Martin's Church. Explore the tranquil ruins and discover the rebirth of Christianity in Kent after the departure of the Romans.
A family run vineyard and producer of award-winning wines. The vineyard is only open on a Saturday, offering free tastings in the vineyard shop, as well as wines available to buy by the bottle.
The Westgate Parks are located to the north-west of Canterbury, with the historic landmark Westgate Towers forming the main entrance to the parks. The park is made up of four distinct areas: Westgate Gardens, Tannery Field, Toddler’s Cove and Bingley Island Local Nature Reserve.
The River Great Stour runs through the centre of the park linking the urban and rural landscape, which is rich in heritage and wildlife. There is plenty to see or do in this gem of a park located in the heart of Canterbury.
The routing will be as follows using the Route letters above:
The 5 day, 4 night holiday will be routed A B & C
The 4 day, 3 night holiday will be routed around 2 routes of your choice of A, B or C
The 3 day, 2 night holiday will be routed around 1 route of your choice of A, B or C
The correct clothes are important to ensure comfort during each walk. We suggest avoid anything with seams and buttons in sensitive areas. Clothing should take moisture from the body to the outside. Sweatshirts, thin pullovers and breathable jackets are ideal companions during the cooler days. Take light, waterproof jackets and trousers in case there is rain. On hot days we suggest a cap or hat and sunglasses to protect from the sun.
- Canterbury Cathedral
- St Augustine's Abbey
- Chartham Vineyard
- Westgate Parks
- River Great Stour
Please note, not all of these will be visited on the shorter tours. If you particularly want to see something on the list please inform us at the time of booking.