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Crossing the Channel

The first stage of the Route goes from Canterbury to Brussels. Starting in the cathedral city of Canterbury the route makes its way to the coast and the port of Dover along pleasant rural lanes through the Kentish countryside.Local attractions along the way include medieval Dover Castle, Samphire Hoe nature reserve and the famous Canterbury Cathedral which was founded in 597 AD and forms a World Heritage Site along with the Anglo-Saxon St Martin’s Church and the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey.

After a (hopefully calm) crossing of the channel between Dover and Calais you arrive in northern France where EV5 goes through the town and on to the Canal de Calais to Saint Omer, signed as LF1. St Omer is an attractive cathedral town of wide streets and spacious squares and from here the route continues to Lens, one of the main towns of the Hauts-de-France region, and then to Lille, former European Capital of Culture and home to the Basilique-cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille, a wonderful art deco City hall and the Grand Place in Lille city centre.

After leaving Lille, nicknamed the "Capital of Flanders" in France, you will follow the pleasant greenway along the Roubaix canal before entering Belgian territory. With little canal locks, drawbridges and the sound of water along the way, the route meanders gently through Wallonia and Flanders, following the Espierre canal and then the Escaut river. Next to Avelgem, you will then cross the river in direction of the Natural Park called "Parc Naturel du Pays des Collines et des Ardennes flamandes". It is located in a hilly region, but, the Wallonian greenways use former railway lines so the route is flat. The route takes you first to Renaix/Ronse and then Lessines, two cities proud of their heritage of the Flemish Rennaissance. EV5 then follows the Dendre river to the historic centre of Grammont/Geraardsbergen at the heart of the famous Tour of Flanders cycling race. There you will join the famous Knooppunten system of Flanders and cycle route LF6-Vlaanderen Fietsroute which leads you to the south of Brussels. From there, EV5 carries you through the picturesque villages of the Pajottenland, renowned for its local beers, which have a fruity taste. After a tasting on the Grote Markt in Halle, you head towards the Senne valley which will accompany you to the capital of Europe. In Brussels, you pass in front of all the well-known monuments, from the Grand Place to the European Parliament.

  • White Cliffs of Dover

    Known throughout the world, the iconic White Cliffs are internationally recognised - so much so they were voted Britain’s most popular stretch of coastline! The White Cliffs are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, they are at one end of the Kent Downs and part of the Heritage Coast. The cliff face reaches up to 300 feet high and the cliffs stretch for about 16 miles. Despite the famous song there aren’t any bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover, but plenty of gulls, fulmars, black-legged kittiwakes and even some peregrine falcons. You can enjoy exhilarating cliff top walks and stunning views across the English Channel. On a clear day you can see France clearly – after all it is only 21 miles away!

  • Maison Dieu, Dover

    The Maison Dieu was founded by Hubert de Burgh, Constable of Dover Castle and Earl of Kent in the year 1203. It was initially meant to be a hospice for old people, destitute soldiers, wounded people or travelling pilgrims. Over time the monks who took care of the building, added a brewery, stables, farmlands, a bakery and orchards. In 1544, during the reformation, the monks were evicted and the Maison Dieu was given to the Navy, who used it in the upcoming 300 years as a Victualling Store to supply the English fleet. Nowadays the Maison Dieu is still in use and contains a collection of armor, arms and fine paintings.

  • Westgate Towers Museum

    The Westgate is a medieval gatehouse approximately 18m high and is the largest surviving city gate in England. Built of Kentish ragstone c1380, it is the last surviving of Canterbury's 7 medieval gates, one of Canterbury's iconic landmarks. The Tower is a scheduled ancient monument and Grade I listed. Visitors can explore its rich history and take in the spectacular views of the city from the battlements viewpoint. Also part of the museum are the original felons' cells built c1830 in the goal extension and the c1907 police station cells on the ground floor as part of The Pound Bar & Kitchen. You can get a unique view of Westgate Tower and Bridge by taking a punt trip on the River Stour.

  • Dover Castle

    Dover Castle is the oldest fort in England. Originally strengthened from an Anglo-Saxon fort in 1066 by William the Conqueror with further additions made by Henry II and Henry VIII. This castle is not an example of how Kings and Queens lived but concentrates on its role as a fort and the battles that it has endured. Visitors can experience the siege of 1216 by Louis VIII of France, discover the labyrinth of secret wartime tunnels built under Dover’s white cliffs and walk through the rooms where the miracle of Dunkirk was planned. Visitors can also see the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment Museum, one of the best-preserved Roman lighthouses in Europe and the most complete Saxon church in Kent

  • Certified EuroVelo Route
  • Developed route with EuroVelo signs
  • Developed route
  • Route under development
  • Route at the planning stage

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