North Downs Way Trail Running

North Downs Way Trail Running

A trail running holiday from Farnham to Dover through the south-east of England.

5 to 10 nights
137 miles
Easy to Demanding

From £780 per person

Discover the available tours

About this route

The North Downs Way provides stirring running on footpaths and tracks as you follow the downs across the south-east of England.

This is a wonderfully varied and surprisingly tranquil journey, through beech and oak woodlands, across springy downland and beneath sweeping vistas, following much of the ancient Pilgrims Way that linked the cathedrals of Winchester and Canterbury.

While there are some hills en route as the trail weaves up and down the escarpment, the route isn’t too challenging overall.

© Contours Walking Holidays North Downs Way Trail Running map
137 miles (220 km)
2nd January to 24th December

Holiday highlights

Threading your way through the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Plunging into Canterbury, where the famous cathedral adds a bit of architectural wonder to your holiday.

Charging across the Kent Downs and reaching at last the coastline at Dover.

Available tours

CodeTourDurationDifficultyPrice per person
R-NDWC2 From Farnham to Dover 5 nights, 4 days running Demanding£780
R-NDWC3 From Farnham to Dover 8 nights, 7 days running Moderate£965
R-NDWC4 From Farnham to Dover 10 nights, 9 days running Easy£1210

North Downs Way Trail Run (via Canterbury) 5 nights, 4 days running

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather

Travel to Farnham where your first night's accommodation has been booked

Day 1

Farnham to Merstham(L). 35 miles (56km) / 3737 ft (1139 m) ascent

Day 2

Merstham(L) to Wrotham. 27 miles (43.5km) / 3002 ft (915 m) ascent

Day 3

Wrotham to Charing. 39 miles (62km) / 3865 ft (1178 m) ascent

Day 4

Charing to Dover. 36 miles (58km) / 2900 ft (884 m) ascent


Depart from Dover after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
£60.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£45.00 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Merstham(L))
£80.00 per person / per night

What's included?

  • 5 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

Runners often decide to add additional rest days into their holidays to allow for recovery or further exploration of the local areas. If this appeals to you, the North Downs Way has lots of attractive destinations to stay in along the trail.

The ancient settlement of Farnham is a good choice if you wish to spend an extra day getting to know the area at the start of your holiday. Bordering the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are plenty of options for exploring the area on foot, while the town centre is home to a range of fine historic buildings and is overlooked by the magnificent Norman Castle and keep. On the outskirts of Farnham are the ruins of Waverley Abbey, while the grounds of Farnham Park, containing a variety of gardens, potteries and galleries, are always available for exploration.

There is also a wide variety of things to see and do in the trail?s final stop at Dover. With stunning unspoilt coastline and fantastic countryside, this area is a playground for lovers of the great outdoors; here you can try your hand at activities such as horse riding, paragliding, fishing and even motor racing, or simply enjoy a walk around the local area before relaxing on the beach. There is also a vast range of amenities including shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as several leisure centres and health spas if you need a well-earned massage to help your muscles recover from your fantastic trail running holiday.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£65.00 per person / per night
Extra night (Merstham(L))
£80.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 137 miles (219.5 km)
Duration: 5 nights, 4 days running
Minimum daily distance: 27 miles (43.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 39 miles (62 km)
Code: R-NDWC2 Grade: Demanding
Season: 2nd January - 24th December
Start of holiday: Farnham
End of holiday: Dover

Route Profile

North Downs Way Trail Run (via Canterbury) Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air - The most convenient major city and international airports are London Heathrow and London Gatwick.

By Rail - There is a rail station at the start of the trail (Farnham) and also at the end of the trail (Dover Priory).

By Bus - Various bus services run to Farnham and from Dover Priory.

From London - Trains run from London Waterloo station to Farnham.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail, is to catch a train from Dover Priory to Farnham.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.