Combining coast and countryside there’s no better way to explore the Dover district than on a bicycle. From stunning clifftop paths overlooking the English Channel to France, to meandering country lanes through quaint rural villages, it’s no surprise that the Dover district was chosen as the first area in the UK to host a stage of the Tour de France in 1994.
For the serious cyclist, why not try your hand at your own Pilgrim’s Progress and take the 50 mile Coast to Cathedral Cycle Route from Dover to Canterbury? Or a 56 miles trip along the coast from Sandwich to Rye in East Sussex, taking in Dover, Folkestone and the unique Romney Marsh landscape.
For a more leisurely local ride, how about the River Dour Greenway from the seafront in Dover? The River Dour is a spring-fed, fast-flowing chalk stream that runs for four miles through the town and out to sea. The excellent water quality due to the natural filtering through the chalk beds of the Downs supports one of the most significant colonies of brown trout in the country. Following the River Dour to Kearsney will also take you past Crabble Corn Mill, a working Georgian watermill, and finishing at the district’s most popular and historic parks, Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens.
The Miners’ Cycle Trail takes you through the North Downs between Deal and Shepherdswell, a great route to explore the district’s mining heritage. Coal was first discovered in East Kent in 1890. Three coal mines were eventually developed at Betteshanger, Snowdon and Tilmanstone. Coal mining was a risky business in this part of East Kent, with thin seams of coal deep underground and liable to flooding. Coal mining came to an end in Kent in 1989. The former spoil tip at Betteshanger Colliery has been redeveloped as Fowlmead Country Park which has great facilities for leisure and road cycling, and mountain biking.