Anyone done this yet? Seems like it would be a good one for new riders/reluctant GFs?
Nice write-up from pannier.cc here https://www.pannier.cc/journal/kent-downs-coast-loop-bikepacking-the-cantii-way/
Did most of this anti-clockwise over the weekend.
Day 1 - Started in Pluckley and quickly joined route down to Rye, did loop to Winchelsea which was nice, stopped at Charles Palmer vineyard just off route in Winchelsea, good wine and nice views. back to Rye and on to Camber (shite), Lydd and Dungeness... All terribly uninspiring. Took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up with a looong bit of dragging bike across shingle beach in Dungeness then behind nuclear power station, much dystopian vibes. 25-30kt headwind from there past Greatstone (shit seafront road) and stopped at Dymchurch. Bit grim there but good seafood platter and friendly service at City of London pub.
Day 2 - inland for a bit was nice, Royal Military Canal was lovely and on to Hythe, climb up behind Folkestone, but through a golf course (byway), golfists weren't pleased but couldn't say shit. Down to Dover then up again behind Dover castle. On to Deal and Sandwich, nothing remarkable, lot of road and shared paths, some sandy bits by another golf course. Made it to Pegwell Bay and mate had had enough of headwind so we bailed on going whole way round coast to Margate and followed inland Viking Trail to Reculver, some ok lanes, nothin spectacular. Then shared path to Whitstable. Oysters, seafood linguine and stayed in a fisherman's hut, lovely sunset.
Day 3 - Crab and Winkle Way out of Whitstable was nice, some gravel, through Uni of Kent grounds then to Canterbury, went off route from here and picked up bits of North Downs Way to Hollingbourne and then NCN 17 to Rochester. Probably best day of riding this, some rough stuff, fair bit of route on Pilgrims Way, an absolutely gopping bit of cycle route next to A229 near Rochester but was then rewarded with a rolling downhill bit of byway to Rochester, really nice.
It's an alright route, there's better and there's worse, still had a brilliant time.
got a strava link?
They are v brakes not cantiis. You will have to start again.
Lovely photos though.
Thanks. Should have snapped the A229 for balance.
As someone now pretty familiar with this section of Kent I'm going to draw up an alternative route that has better off roads and nicer lanes
yes please. Cycling uk routes are abit shit
This one seems a bit vanilla, but KAW is good fun?
Right this is CW route but works the same CCW. IMO the Cantii Way is for hybrids or gravel bikes with like 30c. This way takes you on some actually nice off road and quieter and more interesting lanes. But ultimately it's still in the spirit of the Cantii Way - a This Is A Way Better Off road Kent route exists but this is not it.
1) Why start in Wye? This starts in Canterbury where there are fast trains from London and gets you north very nicely on some awesome fire roads and then onto the Crab and Winkle.
2) Marshes SE of Whitstable and Herne Bay are beautiful and not to be missed so takes them in.
3) I'm not into Margate / Broadstairs / Ramsgate for cycling. Cool costal path but built up and full of walkers and facilties and towns. This takes you inland via cycle lanes to Sandwich and skips what I think is 6mph hybrid pootling. If you like it great follow NCN15 but if you want Kent Lanes then this is way better.
4) Route is pretty much all the same as Cantii to Hythe - there is lots to see around here but is the South Downs around Dover so the stakes are high so it sticks lanes and NCN2. I think cycleway 17 is better but is 100% lanes and not Hybrid Gravel which NCN 2 is so have kept it.
5) Following the coast road from Hythe to Romeny is maschosist so head inland for wonderful albeit exposed lanes. People are one way or the other about Romeny Marsh - I fucking love it but it's pan flat and exposed so can be v hard work. I'm also a big fan of Lydd, Camber and Rye. If you don't like it then stay north but you'd be wrong to do so.
6) There's a loop around Winchelsea beach - dunno why they did this. It's more exposed Kent coast. Enjoy or or skip (I would enjoy).
7) Big debate - this follows the Royal Military Canal which I hear is nice off road. It is bang straight on the road and misses out other awesome marshland lanes, but in the spirit of Cantii I've kept it. There is the Instachurch near Fairfield and canals and beaten down Weald around here and so I love it and would go elsewhere, but the military canal must be OK and is mad efficient so it's in.
8) More fun mixed surface on the way North but I'll admit some is untested. Might be gates. Definitely some awesome bridleways and singletrack and heathland. Doesn't look like too many gates but this can be hard to judge. Kings Wood is especially lovely, I'd suggest adding extra loops and exploring around there, that whole place is great. Then it takes back on the Great Stour Way (boring but pleasant hybrid bullshit) into Canterbury for a train home.
thanks, is this a 35c hybrid kinda ride?
Yeah when it's dry defo, in the colder wetter months you'll want proper tread of some kind.
I'm planning to do this in a few weeks on my wanker hybrid, Friday afterwork to Sunday with two rubbish nights sleep due to terrible bivvy spot choices.
Might be gates
LOL I can hear Clement groaning in Paris.
I would like you to test this section please. Cat would like to do the Cantii way over a weekend but your route looks better apart from the gates.
I said MIGHT. Yes I will test hopefully inthe next few weeks
We (@Chalfie and I) will test your 8) option on Saturday, as we're planning to do the Pilgrims Way to Canterbury (and on to Whitstable) again and the bit around Wye is dull and this looks way nicer.
If you start or finish in Canterbury then can I recommend Floc Brewery.
I think it's not far from the route.
We didn't do that part of it, when we hit a T-Junction off the Pilgrims Way at Westwell, in theory there is a path across the Eastwell Manor estate, but there is no signage and no obvious sign of a path, so we stuck with our usual route, of skirting around the south of Eastwell Manor and picking up the A251 for a short spell, before heading off right towards Wye.
If you look on streetview there is a 'no cycling' sign right by the footpath.
Wye coop is the business for a food stop, just after the tickled trout pub (which looks good but didn’t stop).
Route now launched on our doorstep (kind of...)