Medway is quite simply the best place in Kent for mountain biking, owing to the elevation of the North Downs, geography of the Medway valley and the picturesque Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) that surrounds it. It also has several historic trails that pass through it, including Pilgrims Way, Saxon Shore Way, Darnley Trail, Heron Way, Medway tow path and North Downs Way
Medway also has a vast network of dedicated cycle routes with 81 miles of cycle paths across the five Medway towns, as well as National Cycle Route (NCR) 1, 17, 177 and 179 that are managed by the cycling charity Sustrans. These routes make it easier for cyclists to travel around Medway and explore the vast number of nature reserves and country parks
Top spots to go!
At the heart of Medway is Capstone Country Park, one of only two parks in the county with a dedicated red grade mountain bike trail. There is an array of other parks ideal for mountain biking, maintained by Kent Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust, borough and district councils, including Blue Bell Hill, Ranscombe Farm Nature Reserver, Bredhurst Woods, Westfield Wood, Boxley Warren and Shorne Woods, to name just a few. Local volunteers and organisations do a fantastic job of helping to maintain these locations and sustain the natural wildlife that can be found there.
Blue Bell Hill is certainly one of the most popular locations for mountain biking with cyclists visiting from around the county to enjoy the fantastic scenic views and the many trails that can be found in the nearby Monk Wood, situated close to the Robin Hood Pub, one of the oldest pubs in Medway. For the developing mountain bikers there are parks such as Riverside Country Park that offer fewer challenging trails along the beautiful Medway estuary.
For more advanced cyclists there are cross-country trails that will take you from Rochester to Canterbury cathedral via Pilgrims Way, or even the Medway Towpath that will eventually take you to the source of the river Medway in Turners Hill, West Sussex
Medway Mountain Biking Group
Medway Mountain Biking is a community group that was created at the start of the pandemic with the aim to help keep people active and improve mental health by promoting local trails, parks and group rides. The group already has nearly 2,000 members and continues reach new people every day. We love hearing from local residents who have lived most of their life in Medway but never knew about the large choice of trails available to explore. Another great website to find cycling groups around Medway is the Medway Gov.uk site.
It’s extremely rewarding seeing some of the brilliant photos taken by our members and hearing about the opportunities that cycling has presented them, whether it’s helped with physical or mental health or helped them to meet new people in the area. No matter what your cycling ability is, enjoy Medway mountain biking and just ride!
Where to Ride
Capstone Country Park – Hempstead, Medway
Blue Bell Hill – Walderslade
Ranscombe Farm Nature Reserve – Rochester
Bredhurst Woods – Gillingham
Westfield Woods – Aylesford
Boxley Warren – Maidstone
Shorne Woods – Gravesend
Riverside Country Park – Gillingham