Chalky grasslands, stepping stones and spectacular views
North Downs Way
What is the North Downs Way?
The North Downs Way National Trail offers walkers 153 miles (246 Km) of spectacular scenery, picturesque villages and glorious rolling countryside, passing through the Surrey Hills and Kent Downs Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You don’t have to walk the National Trail in one go to enjoy the best it has to offer.
Starting in Farnham and ending in Dover, the North Downs Way passes through a landscape of great variety. There are eight castles, three cathedrals, including Canterbury Cathedral, three archbishops’ palaces as well as numerous stately homes and gardens close to it. The National Trail follows part of the Pilgrims Way and there are many churches and links to pilgrims who would have travelled these parts in Medieval and more recent times. There are also Neolithic sites, Roman and Napoleonic forts, Medieval castles and WWII fortifications.
The views from the scarp across the High Weald are spectacular, as is the countryside through which it passes. Much of the North Downs Way follows the legendary Pilgrims Way. Originally pilgrims travelled from Canterbury to Winchester to pray for St Swithun who was buried at the cathedral. The route was then used in reverse as pilgrims journeyed from Winchester to Canterbury Cathedral to pray at the shrine of Thomas Becket.
The North Downs Way takes the traveller through a rich tapestry of heritage and history.
How long does it take to walk the North Downs Way end to end?
We recommend you take at least twelve days to complete the North Downs Way National Trail. This allows a comfortable 13 miles a day. The National Trail has steep ascents and descents in places, and more energetic climbs up Box and the Colley Hills in Surrey and those in the Mid Kent Downs.
How hard is the North Downs Way?
Which direction should I walk the North Downs Way in?
Who can enjoy the North Downs Way National Trail?
Taking your dog on the North Downs Way.
What is the best time of year to walk the North Downs Way?
Can I buy North Downs Way merchandise?
Can I get a North Downs Way National Trail completion certificate?
Guidebooks for the North Downs Way
Maps for the North Downs Way
North Downs Way Merchandise
Map of the North Downs Way
What are National Trails?
Which trails are National Trails?
Are there National Trails in Scotland?
Scotland's Great Trails are:
- Annandale Way
- Arran Coastal Way
- Ayrshire Coastal Path
- Berwickshire Coastal Path
- Borders Abbeys Way
- Cateran Trail
- Clyde Walkway
- Cross Borders Drove Road
- Dava Way
- Fife Coastal Path
- Formartine and Buchan Way
- Forth & Clyde/Union Canal Towpath
- Great Glen Canoe Trail
- Great Glen Way
- Great Trossachs Path
- John Muir Way
- Kintyre Way
- Loch Lomond & Cowal Way
- Moray Coast Trail
- Mull of Galloway Trail
- River Ayr Way
- Rob Roy Way
- Romans and Reivers Route
- Southern Upland Way
- Speyside Way
- St Cuthbert’s Way
- Three Lochs Way
- West Highland Way
- West Island Way