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Ashford long-distance cycle route, Cantii Way, will take you through Canterbury, Dover and Whitstable


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A new long-distance cycle route is set to launch later this Spring and will start and end in Wye, near Ashford.

The 145-mile tour of Kent called the Cantii Way celebrates Kent's landscape, culture and history and weaves through Canterbury, Dover and Whitstable.

The new route called Cantii Way
The new route called Cantii Way

This loop route will be launched on Kent Day (May 26) as part of Cycling UK's experience project and is the fifth route created by the charity.

Cycling visitors will provide an economic boost to some of Kent’s less frequented places, according to the organisation.

It is designed to be ridden over three to four days in one go as a tour of some of the county's most beautiful natural areas such as The White Cliffs of Dover and the shores of Whitstable and Dungeness.

Although with regular train stations along its length it could also be split up over several weekends for those who want to ride with family or are short of time.

The loop circles through quiet ways, country lanes, byways and bridleways and is designed to be manageable by anyone of reasonable fitness on most types of bike.

The route takes cyclists along the Kent coast
The route takes cyclists along the Kent coast

It is named the Cantii Way after an Iron Age Celtic tribe that Julius Caesar encountered on his abortive conquest of England in 54BC.

The famous Roman described the Cantii as “the most civilised” of the British tribes.

In fact, both the county of Kent and city of Canterbury both derive their names from the Cantii tribe, and visitors can stop past the iconic Canterbury Cathedral as part of the tour.

Sophie Gordon, Cycling UK’s campaigns officer behind the creation of the Cantii Way said: “Kent is rich in history, rich in culture and rich in cuisine – all of which make it a perfect destination for the cycling tourist.

"At Cycling UK we feel with the Cantii Way we’ve struck the right balance between each of these.”

It encourages the cyclists to try local produce from independent businesses
It encourages the cyclists to try local produce from independent businesses

A portion of the route overlaps with the track on North Downs Way Riders’ Route which was launched in 2018.

Cantii Way takes riders deep into Kent’s rich history, vibrant modern culture and natural beauty and is also designed to open up the “garden of England” to the cycling traveller.

As the cyclists pass through well-known destinations such as Canterbury, Whitstable, and Dover, there are plenty of opportunities to make the most of the local produce available.

Cycling UK recommend the exploration of the orchards, vineyards, hop-drying oast houses and local farms which make the Cantii Way an incredible route for culinary enthusiasts.

Ms Gordon believes this will also bring a boost to the local rural economy as riders are directed to independent businesses in the countryside.

The 145-mile tour can be split over several weekends with incredible sights like Deal Castle and The White Cliffs of Dover
The 145-mile tour can be split over several weekends with incredible sights like Deal Castle and The White Cliffs of Dover

She said: “The people cycling through Kent’s network of paths and quiet ways will quite literally be fuelling themselves from the local shops, pubs and tea rooms they pass through – and many of these will be off the beaten track.”

Cycle tourism spending from cyclists in the UK generates £520m per year.

In preparation of the expected increase in cycling over the summer, the charity is already working with the hospitality and accommodation sectors in Kent.

It is providing businesses with free equipment bundles worth up to £400 and advice as part of its Cycle Friendly Places initiative

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