North Downs Way Riders’ Route: Optional Rochester Loop
Take on this optional circular route to extend the North Downs Way National Trail Riders' Route around Rochester.
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Our famous national trail is now rideable, winding through through the Kent Downs and Surrey Hills Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Quiet and almost traffic free, our Riders’ Route is easy to follow, family friendly and – above all – absolutely beautiful. It can be broken up into easy to manage sections so you have the choice of testing your skills as a cyclist or horse rider on challenging hills, or just enjoying the scenery on a pretty family day out on two wheels or even four legs!
This short excursion into Rochester provides a wonderful addition to those traversing the North Downs Way, with a couple of castles, a cathedral, a historic shipyard and numerous other fascinating properties! It’s also a great place for rest and re-stocking.
Leaving the main route and heading north along the Pilgrim’s Way trail on quiet back roads, the National Cycle Network will guide you into the streets of Rochester.
Riding along the River Medway you pass along the old city wall to the pier near Rochester bridge, where you can either head out to beautiful Upnor Castle and its quaint little village, or to head straight into the heart of the city to follow in the footsteps of Charles Dickens.
Climbing Castle Hill delivers you to the wonderful sight of the castle, cathedral and city wall, with their cobbled streets. You can also hop on a cycle path out to the Historic Dockyard Chatham and Fort Amherst for a dose of maritime and military history.
When it comes time to leave the city, the National Cycle Network trail no.17 will lead you out of the city and back onto the North Downs Way National Trail. This provides great views out over the River Medway before reuniting with the main route before Blue Bell Hill.
Head to the main North Downs Way Riders’ Route page for information on the rest of the route and alternative ways of travelling the trail.
Download the GPX map for this section of the North Downs Way National Trail Riders’ Route:
More route options are available to download here.