Crab & Winkle Way traffic-free cycle route

Crab & Winkle Way cycle route overall rating: ⭐⭐

The Crab & Winkle Way is a 7.5 mile mostly traffic-free route. It takes its name from the old Canterbury – Whitstable Line, which ran between Canterbury and Whitstable in Kent. Most of the route today follows the old railway, but despite that, the route is not flat. The steepest gradient is just over 7%, which is steep enough to make you feel it.

As a compensation, the route runs through the lovely Blean Woods, plus you’ll be rewarded with great sea views.

Photos are by Nadine Ansorg and Angus

Surface on the Crab & Winkle Way

The surface varies a bit. In parts it is decent tar, but much of it is self-compacting gravel. Nevertheless, it should be rideable all year round, without turning into a mud bath (but you’ll benefit from having mudguards!)


Most standard bikes should be able to use the route, but trikes and most cargo bikes will struggle.


There are toilets at Canterbury West strain station, and also at various places in Whitstable.


There are various refreshment stops in Canterbury, as well as in Whitstable.

Points of Interest

Canterbury cathedral is stunning and imposing, and Blean Woods are being rewilded, with plans to introduce various new animals.

Routes in Kent


Sadly, there are A-frame barriers along this route, and it’s unlikely that trikes, or most cargo bikes will be able to get through.

See also  The Roman Road (Cambridge)

Cycle Hire

You can hire bikes from Kent Cycles in Canterbury.


Safety: ⭐⭐⭐
Hilliness: ⭐⭐⭐
Refreshment stops: ⭐⭐
Barriers: ⭐
Surface: ⭐⭐⭐

Overall: ⭐⭐

The grading system I use is explained here.

Forecast for the Crab & Winkle Way

What the Crab & Winkle Way looks like

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Getting to the Crab & Winkle Way

I started the route at the Canterbury West train station, and it passes right by the Whitstable station. However, while it remains possible to get between the two by train, it also involves travelling to Faversham and changing trains there. Before thinking of taking your bike on the train, do read my Bikes On Trains guide first.

More Routes

To find more routes, click this link.


DayCycle routes are routes can can easily be cycled by most people in a day, or part of a day. Do have a look at all the other DayCycle routes available on WillCycle. Many contain detailed route guides, as well as embedded maps (like the one below) from which you can download the GPX file for the route.

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