North Downs Way
News from the Trail
The North Downs Way is now home to 9 beautiful permanent artworks that celebrate the nearby inspiring views, local heritage and wonderful communities as well as acting as sculptural seats for quiet contemplation.
It’s time to explore the The Great ARTDOORS!
Did you know 9 works of public art are dotted along the North Downs Way, including some brand new ones? Stretching from Surrey to Dover, the sustainably made sculptures allow walkers and riders to pause and soak up the scenery and local history.
All sculptures are in place as of March 2023, so now is the time to get out into the Great ARTdoors and discover them for yourself.
Learn about the sculptures here
The North Downs Way National Trail is now explorable on two wheels or four legs, thanks to the creation of a new Riders’ Route itinerary.
The 153 mile national trail through the Kent Downs and Surrey Hills Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has undergone enhancement works in the past year to make it more accessible for riders of all abilities.
The historic linear trail is now rideable, in sections, and people are being encouraged to head out this autumn and winter to discover this beautiful part of the South East for themselves.
The Riders’ Route can be broken up into three easy to manage sections thanks to a collection of new itineraries, making it perfect for families looking for a fun day out and for keen cyclists or horse riders looking for a scenic challenge.
The improvement works have been carried out by Kent Downs AONB and Cycling UK to improve the quality and accessibility of key rural parts of the trail. Routes that were previously inaccessible while cycling have been improved to allow enthusiasts to ride the entire way, and new maps have been created to improve navigation along the trail.
The North Downs Way Riders’ Route is also available to horse riders, and further consultation work is underway to enhance the route for our four-legged friends in the future. We advise horse riders to assess the routes based on their own requirements and knowledge.
After a series of online workshops, outdoor practical sessions and lots of homework we now have 42 new ambassadors!
Our ambassadors are absolutely amazing, they love promoting the trail, enjoy spending as much time as possible outdoors and often have a range of top tips, interesting facts and local knowledge up their sleeves.
Now we’ve recruited and trained another group of enthusiastic and passionate people eager to share their knowledge with you and encourage more people to get active outdoors and respect, protect and enjoy our glorious countryside.
We’ll be sharing more about all our ambassadors over the coming weeks and months so watch this space for the latest news.
The North Downs Way will soon be home to 8 beautiful permanent artworks that celebrate the nearby inspiring views, local heritage and wonderful communities as well as acting as sculptural seats for quiet contemplation.
We’re excited to announce the launch of a new art trail including a total of 8 permanent artworks along the 153 mile North Downs Way with locations in Kent and Surrey. With 2 pieces already in place in Surrey – Optohedron at Newlands Corner and Radius at Denbies Vineyard Estate – the rest are scheduled to open in Autumn 2021, Spring 2022 and Autumn 2022. Inspired by the surrounding countryside and made from sustainable materials the pieces will be supported by new walks and bike rides of varying length to enable visitors to find their way to the artwork really easily.
Find out more about these exciting plans here, we can’t wait!
The Lonely Planet panel praised the Kent’s Heritage Coast commitment to sustainable tourism initiatives, including our sustainable rural tourism project, EXPERIENCE.
We are absolutely delighted to announce that Kent’s Heritage Coast which forms part of both the North Downs Way and England Coast Path has won international recognition as the 4th region on Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022. Huge congratulations to the Kent Downs AONB team and all the local organisations, businesses, and people that make Kent’s Heritage Coast such a special place to visit! Find out more here.
Want to explore it for yourself?
Etchinghill to Dover 12 miles (19.3 Km) – Travel along the top of the escarpment for breath-taking views over the Channel Tunnel Terminal, Folkestone and across to the English Channel. You’ll skirt Dover, crossing the top of the great Shakespeare Cliff, said to be the inspiration for a passage in King Lear. Then over Western Heights you can be king (or queen) of the castle with views across the vibrant harbour and the imposing stronghold of Dover Castle.
Shepherdswell to Dover 8.5 miles (13.7 Km) – Follow this route through rolling countryside with flashes of the distant sea ahead before you meet the White Cliffs Country Trail, taking you across the iconic White Cliffs. Soon you will reach the end of the North Downs Way and the chance to explore this infamous harbour town with the Start/Finish line on the Dover Sea Front.
The Kent Downs AONB team working to help bring our wonderful trail together with local businesses to create new experiences and itineraries.
The EXPERIENCE project promotes sustainable tourism, helps nearby businesses to develop new experiences for outdoor enthusiasts and provide activities for visitors all year round.
The project showcases some of our favourite walks, cycles and horse-rides and highlighting nearby must-see views, attractions and businesses that you’ll want to visit when restrictions allow. For now you can find out more on our project page