National Cycle Route 1

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National Cycle Route 1 (or NCR 1) is a route of the National Cycle Network, running from Dover to Shetland.

A milepost on National Cycle Route 1 at Conyer, Kent.

Dover to Canterbury[edit]

Dover | Deal | Sandwich | Canterbury

Links with National Cycle Route 2, Regional route 16, and Regional route 17 in Dover. Leaves Dover passing Dover Castle. South Foreland Lighthouse is visible from the route. Mostly traffic-free along the east coast from Kingsdown to Deal, passing Walmer Castle and Deal Castle. Follows toll road (free to cyclists) through the Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club to the town of Sandwich. In Sandwich the route links with Regional route 15.

Shortly after leaving Sandwich the route passes Richborough Castle, then follows quiet country roads between some of Kent's orchards. The route passes through the villages of Westmarsh, Elmstone, Preston. The route then passes through the town of Fordwich, then traffic-free into the city of Canterbury. At Canterbury the route links with Regional route 16 again, and with National Cycle Route 18.

Canterbury to Sittingbourne[edit]

Canterbury | Whitstable | Faversham | Sittingbourne

From Canterbury the route follows the traffic-free Crab and Winkle Way (which part-follows the route of the former Canterbury and Whitstable Railway) to Whitstable. The route then heads West across Graveney Marsh, through the village of Graveney to the town of Faversham.

Following Faversham the route passes between more orchards then through the village of Conyer and beside Swale Marina towards the town of Sittingbourne. In Sittingbourne the route mainly follows cycle paths and shared-use footpaths beside the road.

Sittingbourne to London[edit]

Sittingbourne | Rochester | Gravesend | Dartford | Crayford | Erith | Thamesmead | Woolwich | Greenwich | Island Gardens, Isle of Dogs

The route leaves Sittingbourne via a bridge over the A249 dual-carriageway. National Route 174 (A spur of NCN 1) then heads North through the village of Iwade and on to Minster and Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey. The main route heads West towards the village of Newington, and from there on to Rainham in the Medway towns.

At Lower Rainham the route heads into Riverside Country Park and follows traffic-free paths beside the River Medway. It then joins a cycle path beside the main road, before joining a quiet path again beside the river at The Strand. Following The Strand the route once again joins a cycle path beside the main road, heading towards Chatham Historic Dockyard.

Following the NCN1 through Rochester the route uses a cycle lane in the road. It then links with National Cycle Route 17 towards Maidstone before crossing the Medway using a cycle path beside the road on a bridge into Strood. Rochester Castle is accessible via a short cycle along NCR 17 The route then heads to Upper Upnor using a mixture of quiet roads, footpaths, and cycle paths. It passes Upnor Castle here.

At the turning on to the A228 and just arriving in the village of Higham there are links to the Regional route 18 (The Heron Trail) on the Hoo Peninsula. On the approach to Gravesend, the route runs beside the Thames and Medway Canal.

It then passes through the town of Gravesend, close to the Thames and following the Saxon Shore footpath route as well. The route heads up to follow a dismantled railway route to Northfleet. It passes Northfleet Urban Country Park and towards the Ebbsfleet International National Rail before taking the A2260 (passing over High Speed 1 line). The route follows the A2 Dual Carriageway for a short section (off road) before taking the A296 towards Bluewater (shopping centre).

The (off-road) route follows the old Roman road Watling Street to the Fleetdowns suburb of Dartford. The route heads along Princes Road and Fleet Road. It passes over the A282 (part of the M25 heading towards the Dartford Crossing). The route then heads to Dartford town centre.

It passes under the railway line (Dartford to Gravesend) and takes the A2026 road towards Crayford. After crossing the River Cray, it joins with the London Loop to head to the River Thames again. It then becomes the River Thames Path, from Crayford Ness to Erith, Thamesmead, Woolwich and Greenwich.

At Greenwich, the route passes Cutty Sark and Cutty Sark DLR station which passes Greenwich Pier under the river via the foot tunnel to Island Gardens on the Isle of Dogs. The foot tunnel has two lifts either side but the tunnel has to be walked along.

London to Colchester[edit]

Island Gardens | Millwall | Canary Wharf | Limehouse | Mile End | Victoria Park | Bow | Old Ford | Hackney Wick | Tottenham Hale | Enfield | Cheshunt | Harlow | Chelmsford | Witham | Maldon

The route runs past Island Gardens DLR station and around Mudchute Park to Mudchute DLR station, turning before Crossharbour DLR station to Millwall Dock which it crosses via Pepper Street. The route passes through the housing estates of Millwall near South Quay to head to Limehouse Reach. It again follows the Thames Path until Newell Street passing Canary Wharf Pier into Limehouse on Limehouse Causeway (east of Westferry DLR station) where it links with National Cycle Route 13 and Cycle Superhighway CS3. It heads up Newell Street to Commercial Road, passing over the Limehouse Cut and the Lea Valley Walk. The route heads along Salmon Lane to Regent's Canal towpath heading north to Mile End passing Mile End Stadium into Mile End Park past Mile End tube station over The Green Bridge on Mile End Road and Cycle Superhighway CS2 from which it rejoin the Regent's Canal via the north part of Mile End Park.

After once again leaving the Regent's Canal heading into Victoria Park passing through it southern side and which involves crossing over Grove Road on a cycle lane from the west park to the east park on the outer roundabout on the northern side between Grove Road and Old Ford Road, the route continues into Victoria Park till the Parnell Road footbridge in Bow where it joins the Hertford Union Canal towpath to River Lee Navigation via Old Ford to Hackney Wick. It passes the Olympic Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Hackney Wick station, then Hackney Marshes before heading across the River Lea. The route passes Waterworks Nature Reserve, under Lea Bridge Road, and through Leyton Marshes. It passes under two railways (between Stratford and Tottenham, and the Clapton to Walthamstow line). It then passes under the Stratford and Tottenham line again and past Walthamstow Marshes to follow the River Lea again.

The route skirts West Warwick Reservoir before passing under the Stratford and Tottenham line again, and then the South Tottenham to Blackhorse Road railway line. It passes under the A503 in Tottenham Hale. It passes along Lockwood Reservoir to Banbury Reservoir. It passes several trading estates in Edmonton and under the A406. It heads past the William Girling Reservoir and National Athletics Stadium at Picketts Lock. It crosses under the A110 near Ponders End, then past King George V Reservoir to Enfield Lock. It heads away from the River Lea Navigation to pass through Enfield Island Village to follow the River Lea through Gunpowder Park to the A121 to Waltham Abbey.

It links with the proposed cycle route NCR 13 at Chelmsford, and the proposed NCR 16 route at Witham. It also connects with NCR 51 heading east at Colchester for access to Harwich International Port and the Regional route 41 coastal route via Felixstowe.

Colchester to Norwich[edit]

Colchester | Ipswich | Woodbridge | Framlingham | Halesworth | Beccles | Norwich

From Colchester take NCR 51 to Harwich International Port or continue to Ipswich along minor roads. Note that (as of December 2007) the route is being changed, and part is still unsigned. The old route passes to the north of Ipswich, the new route comes into the centre of the town and along the Waterfront.

From Ipswich take the NCR 51 west towards Cambridge, or NCR 51 east for Felixstowe and then either to Harwich and the Harwich International Port via a foot ferry or north using RCR 41 via Bawdsey Ferry (summer only) into Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to connect back up with NCR 1 further north.

As NCR1 (the new route) leaves Ipswich it passes along a good off-road cycle route through the Grange Farm area and out to Woodbridge along minor roads.

Norwich to Lincoln[edit]

Norwich | Fakenham | King's Lynn | Wisbech | Holbeach | Boston | Lincoln

Links with NCR 13 near Fakenham for access south to Thetford and with NCR 11 near King's Lynn for access to Ely and Cambridge

Lincoln to Scarborough[edit]

Lincoln | Hull | Bridlington | Scarborough

Scarborough to South Shields[edit]

Scarborough | Whitby | Middlesbrough | South Shields

South Shields to Edinburgh[edit]

South Shields | Tynemouth | Lindisfarne | Berwick upon Tweed | Scottish Border | Dalkeith | Edinburgh

Edinburgh to John o' Groats[edit]

Edinburgh | Dundee | Aberdeen | Inverness | Thurso | John o' Groats

John o' Groats to Shetland[edit]

John o' Groats | Orkney | Kirkwall | Stromness | Shetland | Lerwick | Yell, Shetland | Unst

Links to Norway to continue the North Sea Cycle Route are presently unavailable.

See also[edit]