Crossing the Channel Crossing the Channel Crossing the Channel Crossing the Channel Crossing the Channel Crossing the Channel Crossing the Channel Crossing the Channel

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.

  • 12th Century Eastbridge Hospital, Canterbury

    The Eastbridge Hospital (also called the Hospital of St. Thomas the Martyr upon Eastbridge) dates back to the 12th century. Back then, many people went on a pilgrimage to visit the tomb of the murdered Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. To accommodate the growing influx of pilgrims, the merchant Edward FitzObold build the Hospital in 1180. Ever since AD 1190, the Eastbridge Hospital provided shelter not only to pilgrims, but also to children, soldiers and local societies. Now an Almshouse, it still provides housing for the elderly.

  • St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury

    Marking the rebirth of Christianity in southern England, the abbey was founded around AD 597 by St Augustine. Situated outside the city walls, the abbey was originally created as a burial place for the Anglo-Saxon kings of Kent.Together with the Canterbury Cathedral and the St. Martin’s church, St. Augustine’s Abbey is part of the Canterbury World Heritage Site. At the Abbey, it is also possible to visit a museum and to enjoy a free audio tour.

  • St Martin's Church, Canterbury (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

    The St Martin’s Church dates back to the 6th century. When St. Augustine came to Canterbury in AD 597, the church served as his first base. The modest Church of St Martin has been and is still used for Christian worship for over 1400 years now and is therefore the oldest Church in England. Together with the Canterbury Cathedral and St. Augustine’s Abbey, St Martin’s Church is part of the Canterbury World Heritage Site.

  • 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.

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

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