Pilgrims way - anyone ride/rode it?


Senior Retro Guru

I can't comment on the whole ride but I would try to avoid as much as possible of the Otford to Wrotham stretch of Pilgrims Way between 7:30-9:00 on weekday mornings. It's narrow in places and cars come along much too fast - not a pleasant experience.

The alternative is to carry your bike up the steps leading out of Otford station; walk a few yards over the bridge that crosses the railway and take the path immediately on your right. Follow the path along until you get to a road (Tudor Drive); the path carries on, on the opposite side of the road, but off to the right, down the hill a little; then you follow it along until you come out in Dynes Road in Kemsing. Then just head east, over the crossroads, past the primary school, pub, fields of sheep. Turn left at Heaverham and go up the hill until you reach Pilgrims Way. You can see the route clearly enough on Google maps.

At the other end, I personally prefer the route via Wye: cycle route 18. It gives a more pleasant approach to Canterbury, beside the river. However, that's deviating from Pilgrims Way again.

I'll be interested to hear how you get on.


Old School Grand Master

Al, I have done a bit of it, as recorded here:

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... g#p2861892

"I knew that I didn’t have map coverage for the first 20 or so miles East so I asked Google to help on my phone, when I had plotted this previously the route had intriguingly hinted we would be following ‘the Pilgrim’s way’. Being from the Midlands I was familiar with the Fosse way, once a straight, mainline route up and down the country for the incumbent Romans, now a slow moving A road with all the appeal of Hell for a cyclist, I thought perhaps Google was trying to A) get us there very quickly or B) kill us. A quick check on street view (ah, technology!) showed that this might actually be a little quiet back lane for at least a portion of the journey so we gave it a go.

The Pilgrim’s way was a delight, within 2 miles of Bearsted we were off road, essentially on a rolling Bridleway cutting alongside hills, fields of corn and through wooded sections, the day was already starting to get hot so the brief shaded parts made up for the occasional gravel section that required some careful negotiation. It should be noted that I would not have been terribly happy to ride some of these sections on my Road bike with 28c tyres, it would be doable but you wouldn’t necessarily enjoy it so if you’re in the area and Google tells you it’s a cycle route too then maybe be a little wary."

Not really MTBing, but pleasant 'all road/gravel' for the sections we did.


Retro Newbie
al-onestare":159hh4gb said:
Pretty much as per the title, particularly the off-road bits, and from Otford onwards to Canterbury, what's it like for mountain biking? It is well sign-posted? Any pointers and first-hand experiences would be great :)


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