Wye: a great base for cycling

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The charming village of Wye is one of our top cycling hubs in Kent. Let us introduce you to its finest cycle-friendly places and cycle routes

The medieval village of Wye, located just north-east of Ashford, has a modest 2,500 residents, yet still warmly welcomes visitors and cyclists.

With a train station and easy access just off the M20 motorway, it is well positioned to offer some wonderful adventures through the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, providing a welcome feeling of peace and tranquillity in the otherwise busy and bustling south-east corner of England.

‘Wye’, coming from the Old English Wēoh, means ‘idol’ or ‘shrine’ and Wye became an important ancient communications center because of the ford that crosses the River Great Stour. The Romans had a camp here, and through this gap in the North Downs, built roads connecting to Canterbury and Hastings.

By the time of the Saxons, Wye had become a royal manor and many of the village buildings are medieval, although often concealed by more modern facades. Until 2009 it was also home to London University’s agricultural college, with laboratories working on ground-breaking developments in plant molecular biology and gene sequencing amongst other things. It was even internationally famous for developing new and successful varieties of hops.

The village offers ample visitor facilities, providing a great base from which to explore the surrounding countryside and the rich history that the area has to offer. Our three routes from here provide a range of riding and experiences to suit leisure riders, explorers and off-road enthusiasts alike.

Experience Kent

Cycle routes and cycle friendly places near Wye

Routes

Chilham (15 miles)

Exploring both sides of the River Stour valley, this is a ride that offers some lovely quiet and picturesque riding, along with a great refreshment stop in the gorgeous village of Chilham half-way around the route. 

Wye Downs (and ups) (16 miles)

This route links together a fabulous collection of off-road rights of way and quiet country lanes, to provide a lovely exploration of the countryside to the south-east of Wye village. With stunning far-reaching views from on top of the Wye Downs, to lovely woodland tracks and quiet villages, plus a thrilling descent back off the Downs, there is also the opportunity to step back in time to marvel at how this land was farmed.

Wye woodland mountain bike loop (11 miles)

Although not very long, this route packs quite a punch, with some tricky trails and 455m of steep climbs and descents along the way placing it firmly in the mountain biking category. It may only explore a small compact area, just east of Wye village, but the trails wiggle around, searching out the more fun and challenging riding, whilst also exploring some beautiful quiet countryside and some wonderful views too.

 

Getting there

By train, Wye village has a train station just over the river, linking it with Canterbury to the north and Ashford to the south.

By road Wye is easy to access from the M20 motorway, exiting at junction 9 for Ashford. There is plenty of roadside parking, but follow the road around the village to get to a free car park, shortly before the church and Co-op.  

By bike, Wye is on Sustrans Route 18

 

More cycling experiences in Kent, Cornwall and Norfolk

Wye is just one of our highlighted locations that's perfect for cycling. Here's Cycling UK's full set of cycle-friendly hubs, with accredited facilities and promoted routes 

Cornwall: Helston; Penzance and Marazion

Kent: Canterbury; Dover; Wye

Norfolk: Cromer; Wroxham and Hoveton

Experience Kent
Cyclists riding towards the sunrise with the port of Dover in the distance

Experience the Garden of England on a 234km bikepacking tour around East Kent

EXPERIENCE is a €23.3 million project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF, €16 million) through the Interreg VA France (Channel) England Programme 2014-2020, boosting visitor numbers in six pilot regions across England and France. This project will harness the experiential tourism trend to extend the season (October – March), generating 20 million new off-season visitors spending €1 billion across the Channel region by June 2023.

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