Crab and Winkle Way Cycle Route Review – Whitstable to Canterbury

crab and winkle way

Key Statistics

  • Cycled on: Saturday 25th February 2017
  • Distance: 11.4 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 558 feet
  • Surface condition: smooth track with some gravel/dirt patches

The Crab and Winkle Way Review

The Crab and Winkle Way is a well-known cycle route in Kent, running from the coastal town of Whitstable to Canterbury city centre. The full route is around 7 miles each way, and forms part of National Cycle Route 1.

Where to Park

crab and winkle way parking spotYou can start the Crab and Winkle Way in either Whitstable or Canterbury. We would recommend Whitstable as a starting point as it is a bit quieter than Canterbury. Having said that, finding a parking spot in this seaside town in summer is nearly impossible. So if you skip the beginning of the route, you can park on South Street for free. This is a pretty good spot if you want to avoid the main roads and head straight across fields and into the woods. Alternatively, you could park at Clowes Woods parking area and quickly pick up the trail from there if you are happy to cut it a bit shorter.

What you see on the Crab and Winkle Way

The bulk of the route runs through fields and woodlands, following the path of an old railway line. It passes through Clowes wood, a well-cared for woodland with a nice picnic spot and small pond in the centre. Here you can also veer away from the cycle route and explore the forest a little more.

crab and winkle way pond
The Winding Pond in Clowes Wood on the Crab and Winkle Way cycle route.

As the route leaves the forest and heads towards Canterbury city centre, you pass some lovely green areas, with beautiful views across the City with the cathedral in the distance. As you reach the city centre the route joins the main roads, but most of these have a dedicated cycle path – its only when you reach the very centre of the city that it become busier.

crab and winkle way views
Views over Canterbury Cathedral from the Crab and Winkle Way cycling route.

Another quirky feature of the Crab and Winkle Way is the route markers. The route is well signposted throughout with a few colourful signposts showing the actual distances to Whitstable and Canterbury. There are also a few little sculptures to look out for along the route so keep your eyes peeled!

Whitstable and Canterbury

Whitstable is a quaint seaside town, packed with independent stores and a handful of restaurants. It has a pebbled beach and working harbour, famous for its oysters. You could spend an hour or two exploring this town with a stroll along the seafront and down the high-street.

Canterbury, in contrast is a bustling city, offering plenty of shopping and ample choices if you want to grab a bite to eat. At the centre lies the world renowned Canterbury Cathedral. You can take a tour, or if you fancy something more adventurous you can head down the river on a punt.

crab and winkle way canterbury
A view of the punting boats in Canterbury city centre.

Our Chatty Campers Score

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