Canterbury Trails - from Cathedral to Coast


From £258pp
based on 2 sharing a room

2 nights
Available all year round
Enquire Now for availability
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Itinerary overview
Spend 3 days exploring the North Downs, Stour Valley and the coast, from the historic and vibrant city of Canterbury.  This is an excellent walking base, situated on the North Downs Way, the Elham Valley Way, The Via Francigena and the Stour Valley Way.  Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims, who themselves followed the Neolithic trails across the downs.  Wander through orchards and ancient mixed woods of oak, beech and ash, with bluebells and anemones in abundance in the spring.  Sample locally brewed ales and  wine made in a family owned vineyard, and the best of Kent locally produced cheese.  Walk or cycle to the coast, where you can eat freshly caught seafood, and relax in independent cafes and restaurants.  You can choose from experiences on offer (subject to seasonal availability) including cycle hire, river trips and  canoeing on the River Stour; day trips on an historic Thames Sailing Barge; Bread Baking school, Cocktail masterclasses; a guided Pilgrims' walk, and even a Ghost Tour.
Stay overnight in an historic quality inn or hotel.  This is a supported holiday where you will meet and have back up from a member of the Walk Awhile team, with extensive local knowledge.  You will receive a complimentary copy of Derek Bright's book 'The Pilgrims' Way: Fact and Fiction of an ancient trackway'.



This itinerary includes: accommodation with breakfasts, fully marked up maps, GPS links for the walks and full information on experiences on offer.  A complimentary copy of Derek Bright's book 'The Pilgrims' Way: Fact & Fiction of an ancient trackway' is included.  An experienced guide will lead you along the trail to/from the village of Chilham.  Does not include admission price for experiences, additional meals or transport.


You will be met at your hotel by a representative of Walk Awhile, who will go through local maps, points of interest and answer any questions about your stay. Support and advice is available by phone from your local Walk Awhile representative throughout the duration of your stay. 


2 or 3 nights accommodation in historic and stylish venues in Canterbury


Flights arrive/leave from Gatwick, Stansted and Heathrow Airport, with good links to St. Pancras International rail station. 



Dover Ferry Port in Kent connects to Calais by cross channel Ferry, from where trains can be taken to Canterbury.



Canterbury is on main train lines from St Pancras International. 

Eurostar from Lille, Paris and Brussels to St. Pancras, and Ashford.  National Express Coach Services run regularly from London Victoria to Canterbury. 

Have a leisurely afternoon exploring the world heritage site of Canterbury, where you can visit Canterbury Cathedral, and then walk to St. Augustine’s Abbey along the first section of the Via Francigena , which stretches for 1242 miles from Canterbury to Rome.  Pass the statue of the Saxon queen, Bertha,  influential in the reintroduction of Christianity to England.  Continue to Bertha’s church, St. Martin’s, the oldest  in the English speaking world. Return via the city walls and the Dane John gardens, once the site of a Norman keep. Allow more time to explore the historic lanes and river
Highlights of the city include punting and boat hire;  the Roman Museum; the Beaney Art Gallery and Museum; riverside walks, The Marlowe Theatre. Book a table for an evening meal in one of the many restaurants in this vibrant city.

Day 1 Arrival in Canterbury

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Day 2 Canterbury to Chilham

Visit the peaceful village of Chilham with its Jacobean Mansion, Norman Castle (garden open to public on dates in season) and half timbered houses around the square which was used for filming the BBC series of Jane Austen’s Emma, as well as Poirot and Miss Marple. There is an hourly train service from Canterbury to Chilham which takes less than 10 minutes - alternatively you might to prefer a guided walk there (and back), following the North Downs Way and then the Stour Valley Way to return (approx 14 miles for total day walk, or approx. 7 miles walking back from Chilham only).   
On the guided walk to Chilham you will leave 
Canterbury passing the House of Agnes where Dickens placed David Copperfield in the employment of Agnes.  Then  following the National Trail, which follows the old Pilgrims' Way to Bigbury Camp where Julius Caesar defeated the Britons in 54 BC, and continuing through ancient woodland to No Mans Orchard Nature Reserve, a beautiful old orchard with wildflowers and lichen.  Continue along the North Down’s Way through the rural landscape to Old Wives Lees, you pass a traditional apple orchard, used for cider production, before approaching Chilham.  Look out for present day Pilgrims who may be on the last leg of their journey from Winchester!  

Option of returning to Canterbury along the Stour Valley Way. Highlights include Chilham lake, chalk grassland managed by the Wildlife Trust, and Julliberrie’s Grave, a Neolithic burial site.  The restored Chilham mill which stands on the site of a Saxon mill, is passed.  Admire the beautiful views, follow the ancient sunken road which once linked Canterbury with Wye.  See Chilham Mill, and Julieberries Grave on leaving Chilham. Pass Mystole House, which Jane Austen often visited when staying with her brother, who lived nearby. Look out for wildflowers in the hedgerows.  Visit the Inn and the Green in picturesque Chartham, and see the brass of a crusader knight dating to 1306 in the church.  Follow the river into Canterbury  

 Extend your stay 
per person per night
*Based on 2 people sharing. £35 single occupancy supplement

Day 3  Canterbury to Whitstable

Follow the Crab & Winkle Way from Canterbury to Whitstable, a 7 mile, virtually traffic free route, from Canterbury City Centre to Whitstable for walking or cycling, which follows the route of one of the earliest railway lines.  Quirky shops and cafes, sea front pubs, and Harbour with independent retailers and eateries . See Greta, the oldest surviving active ‘little ship’ from the Dunkirk evacuation, an historic Thames Sailing Barge.  Independent art galleries.   Beach, fishing boats and great atmosphere. 

Call in at the University  of Kent on the Crab & Winkle line ,pre bookable range of shows, live music and films, and exhibitions – open to the public at the Gulbenkian Theatre and Arts Centre

Day 4 Departure

Departure (3 night option) - Canterbury is well served by train, road and coach links