Sandwich Deal along National Cycle Route 1 (NCR1)
First leg – Sandwich to Deal (around 15 miles)
Sandwich is one of the most complete and well-preserved medieval towns in Britain; it’s unspoiled streets are said to contain more half-timbered houses than any other street in England. In the heart of the town you can see the grandeur of Sandwich’s historic Guildhall, home to an original 1300 A.D Sandwich Magna Carta and Charter of the Forest.
You can pick up the trail from the quayside, which takes you past the U.S.N. P22 Gunboat and the Sandwich River bus, continue to follow Upper Strand street and onto Sandown road where you pass close to the Royal St Georges golf course – home to one of the best championship courses in the UK and host once again to the 149th Open in 2021.
The trail heads through a private toll road (free to walkers and cyclists) and follows the ancient highway parallel with another famous golf course – Royal Cinque Ports which has also hosted the prestigious Open and other high-profile events.
Don’t miss in Sandwich
Deal to St Margaret's (NCR1)
Second leg (around 5 miles)
Heading into picturesque Deal, follow the path along the seafront, keeping the sea on your left, eventually arriving at Deal Pier which is a great place to start the 2nd part of the ride, and approximately 8 miles to Dover. Just opposite the Pier is the Timeball Tower museum, originally built around 1820 to carry a signal to ships anchored off the downs. The Timeball is still programmed to drop every day at 1pm.
Stay a while and head into the towns high-street, which was The Telegraph's first 'High Street of the Year' award winner and where you can find boutique shops and your normal high-street shops along with a range of café culture. Deal has also recently been awarded 'The UK’s Best Seaside'. Just off the High Street, is Deal Museum which shows rich maritime history including the Deal galley the Saxon King, built in 1891.
From Deal Pier, the ride first passes Deal Castle and a few minutes later along the coast, you will pass Walmer Castle. Both were built around 1539–40 by Henry Vlll to defend the coast of England from French invasion.
A little further along the sea front, the scenic path runs parallel with the sea along to the pretty village of Kingsdown which has some excellent pubs to stop to refuel and take a break, before tackling the hill where the path leads you up towards the village of St Margaret’s!
Don’t miss in Deal
St Margaret's to Dover (NCR1)
Third leg (around 4 miles)
The lovely village of St Margaret’s was home to Noel Coward who had a house on the seafront and sold it to Ian Fleming for inspiration for writing his books about James Bond. Two of his books are largely based in village and Kingsdown area.
There is a wonderful windy (quite steep!) road down to a secluded bay, which whisks you back to memories of perfect childhood holidays. There are plenty of choices for food and drink ideas in the village and a good pub called 'The Coastguard' which serves food and drinks in the bay, overlooking the sea.
The route picks up along Upper road and then is signed off road close to the Coastguard station and continues until picking up the coast path, finally heading downhill into Dover.
Known as the Gateway to the UK, Dover welcomes millions of visitors each year. Your journey will end on the award-winning seafront which was recently redesigned and transformed by artworks that take the form of three waves washing up against the sheltered beach.
The town is the historic capital of White Cliffs Country and currently undergoing some exciting regeneration, but you’ll find some amazing history on offer and shouldn’t miss Dover Castle with its Secret Wartime Tunnels and Dover Museum – home to the Bronze Age Boat, the world’s oldest known seagoing boat. Just a short distance up the High street, you will find the Roman Painted House which was said to be built in AD 200. You will see the old ruins of a major Roman hotel and detailed displays on Roman Dover and painted murals.
Being immersed in history can, of course, be hungry work. So, as you’d expect from such a vibrant port town, there are plenty of places to rest and refuel. From fancy fine dining to good old fashioned fish & chips, Dover’s foodie scene includes something for everyone.
Don’t miss in Dover
Visit our website for further information, including places to stay, eat, drink and things to do during your visit.
Deal Historic Village Trail
Dover Historic Village Trail
Sandwich Historic Village Trail
Days Out map/guide
Walking and Cycling map/guide