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North Downs Way via Canterbury

North Downs Way via Canterbury

A walk from Farnham to Dover through the Kent Downs via the culturally rich city of Canterbury.

11 to 14 nights
130 miles
Moderate to Moderate / Demanding

From £1195 per person

Discover the available tours

About this route

Wander between blossoming apple orchards and through green expanses of farmland as you finish your walk via Canterbury. This longer, inland end to the North Downs Way curves northward at Broughton Lees to explore lush scenery that’s rich in history.

From the elegant gardens of expansive stately homes at Gomersham Park and Chilham Park, to the stout castles at Canterbury and Dover, there’s a wealth of places to visit – crowned by Canterbury Cathedral itself.

© Contours Walking Holidays North Downs Way via Canterbury map
Farnham to Dover (via Canterbury)
130 miles (208 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Following in the footsteps of Chaucer’s pilgrims from the Canterbury Tales as you follow the Pilgrim’s Way to Canterbury.

Admiring the expanse of 18th century parkland at Chilham Park.

Exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Canterbury Christchurch Cathedral and Precinct, St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church in Canterbury.

Available tours

CodeTourDurationDifficultyPrice per person
NDWC1 From Farnham to Dover 11 nights, 10 days walking Moderate / Demanding£1195
NDWC2 From Farnham to Dover 12 nights, 11 days walking Moderate / Demanding£1305
NDWC3 From Farnham to Dover 13 nights, 12 days walking Moderate / Demanding£1410
NDWC4 From Farnham to Dover 14 nights, 13 days walking Moderate£1515

North Downs Way via Canterbury 11 nights, 10 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather

Travel to Farnham where your first night's accommodation has been booked

Day 1

Farnham to Guildford. 11 miles (17.5km)

Day 2

Guildford to Dorking. 13 miles (21km)

Day 3

Dorking to Merstham(L). 9 miles (14.5km)

Day 4

Merstham(L) to Oxted. 8 miles (13km)

Day 5

Oxted to Otford. 12 miles (19km)

Day 6

Otford to Rochester. 17 miles (27km)

Day 7

Rochester to Hollingbourne(T). 14.5 miles (23km)

Day 8

Hollingbourne(T) to Boughton Lees. 14 miles (22.5km)

Day 9

Boughton Lees to Canterbury. 13 miles (21km)

Day 10

Canterbury to Dover. 18.5 miles (29.5km)


Depart from Dover after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
£55.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£40.00 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Merstham(L))
£75.00 per person / per night

What's included?

  • 11 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

The ancient settlement of Farnham is a good choice if you wish to spend an extra night getting to know the area at the start of your holiday. Bordering the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are plenty of options for exploring the area on foot, while the town centre is home to a range of fine historic buildings and is overlooked by the magnificent Norman Castle and keep. A heritage trail around the town can be completed in around two hours. On the outskirts of Farnham are the ruins of Waverley Abbey while the grounds of Farnham Park, a variety of gardens, potteries and galleries, cry out for exploration.

If you prefer somewhere a bit livelier, the bustling town of Guildford has plenty of amenities, including shops, bars and restaurants, yet there are still plenty of historic attractions that make for a fascinating visit. Attractions include a medieval undercroft on Guidford high street, the former courtroom of the Guildhall, Guildford Museum and the wonderful Guidlford Castle, where there are panoramic views over the surrounding countryside.

Rochester is also a fantastic choice for an extra night. The town is home to England?s second oldest cathedral and one of the best preserved examples of Norman architecture in England at Rochester Castle. For fans of literature, Restoration House and Gardens is a must, as it is said to have been the inspiration for Miss Havisham's Satis House in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.

When walking the North Downs Way via Canterbury, there is only one choice for an extra night and this is the superb Cathedral city of Canterbury. With the magnificent cathedral dominating its skyline, Canterbury offers a wealth of other fascinating attractions, including the 1000 year old St Dunstan's Church; Grayfriar's Chapel, the only remaining Franciscan Friary; Canterbury Castle and The Canterbury Tales, which brings Geoffrey Chaucer's tales to life.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Merstham(L))
£75.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 130 miles (208 km)
Duration: 11 nights, 10 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 8 miles (13 km)
Maximum daily distance: 18.5 miles (29.5 km)
Code: NDWC1 Grade: Moderate / Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Farnham
End of holiday: Dover

Route Profile

North Downs Way via Canterbury Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air - The most convenient major city and international airports are London Heathrow and London Gatwick.

By Rail - There is a rail station at the start of the trail (Farnham) and also at the end of the trail (Dover).

By Bus - Various bus services run to Farnham and from Dover.

From London - Trains run from London Waterloo/London Paddington stations to Farnham.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail, is to catch a train from Dover to Farnham.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.

Routes on this trail

North Downs Way via Folkestone
11 to 13 nights
123 miles
From £1,200 per person
A walk from Farnham to Dover via the coastal town of Folkestone and the White Cliffs of Dover.Find Out More
North Downs Way - West Section
7 to 8 nights
70 miles
From £760 per person
A self-guided walking holiday from Farnham to Rochester through the Surrey Hills.Find Out More
North Downs Way - East Section via Canterbury
5 to 7 nights
60 miles
From £545 per person
A walk from Rochester to Dover through the Kent Downs via the culturally rich city of Canterbury.Find Out More
North Downs Way - East Section via Folkestone
5 to 6 nights
53 miles
From £545 per person
A walk from Rochester to Dover through the Kent Downs via Folkestone and the White Cliffs of Dover.Find Out More
North Downs Short Break
3 nights
19 miles
From £330 per person
A short walking holiday from Canterbury to Dover through the culturally rich landscape of Kent.Find Out More

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