Is there too much traffic?
The North Downs Way is, at times no more than 15 miles from the centre of London and it does pass through some of the most heavily populated countryside in England. As a result there is probably more traffic than on other National Trails. Areas where the noise can be a bit obtrusive are at Reigate Hill, Near Oxted and alongside the M2 (whilst crossing the River the Medway) and the A2 between Canterbury and Dover. Several road crossings have been improved over recent years but do take care in crossing any road along the route.
Isnít it a route for softies?
As with all National Trails there is a variety of terrain. Much of the Trail is along relatively level ground but remember the North Downs Way follows the scarp slope of the North Downs and does go up and down it a few times. Try the route from Guildford to Reigate with St Marthas, Albury Down, White Down, Box Hill and Colley Hill and you will find out the North Downs Way can offer quite a challenge!
Are there any parts that are accessible for all?
Yes! There is an all ability access trail at Box Hill from the visitor Centre to the Viewpoint and at Reigate Hill the National Trust (both with a little help from us!) have put in a better surface path from the car park to the open Downland above Reigate. Trosley country Park also has a relatively easy walk along the North Downs Way. We are always looking to improve access for all so do give us a call for up to date information or new improvements we are making.
Can we camp on the North Downs Way ?
There are not many campsites along the trail and wild camping isn't allowed.
However owners of public houses and farmers may allow you to camp on their land if you can obtain their permission first, check on CampInMyGarden.com
There are also few other low cost options eg camping barns.
- Puttenham Camping Barn Nr Guildford (indoors only) 01306 877964
- Tanners Hatch YHA, Nr Dorking (hostel and camping) 0845 371 9542
- Cold Blow Camping Barn at Thurnham Nr Maidstone 01622 735038
- Camping Dunn Street Farm at Westwell Nr Charing 01233 712537
I've completed the North Downs Way, how can I get a certificate?
Follow this link to the Visit Kent website, where you will find an order form.
Can I run an event on the North Downs Way?
Yes! We welcome event organisers because they bring money and people to the Trail and its communities.
All National Trails are public rights of way, so free to use, always.
In the interests of maintaining the excellent quality of the Trail, and linked routes, we always ask for three committments:
1) ensure participants are aware of the Countryside Code.
2) arrange for a 'sweeper crew' after the last person has gone through, picking up any litter and temporary signage left on the Trail or other rights of way that you're planning to use.
3) report any problems and their locations, such as damaged surface, overgrown vegetation or broken / missing signage.
In return, we'll help publicise your event through our online presence and provide local contacts (if you need them and if we have them).
If your event is using roads, or is likely to take over whole villages or car parks, please consult the Highways Authorities (Kent, Surrey or Medway), local Borough or District councils, and local Village or Town Councils.