The 5 day route is still a challenge but unlike the faster routes allows you time to explore some of the popular cities on route such as Bruges, Rotterdam and Antwerp. Unfortunately the first day is still the hardest as you have to cross the hilly Kent country side on the way to Dover
This route is the best route for mixing cycling with site seeing as you spend your days cycling through beautiful quiet country side and spend your evenings in cultural cities. If you have any energy left there are plenty of restaurants, sites and bars to choose from as well as accommodation to suit all budgets.
Day 1: London to Dover (85 miles)
We suggest that you set off from London as early as possible to avoid the busy traffic until you can settle on quiet roads on the outskirts of London. This part of the ride will see you cycle through the lush rolling hills and fruit orchards of the Kent country side.
You will cycle through the centre of Maidstone so this is the perfect place to stop for lunch and a break before tackling the steepest section of the cycle – the Kent Downs. Cycling over the Kent Downs you will reach a height of 620ft before a gradual descent round Canterbury and down to Dover. Try and catch an early Ferry to Calais so you still have day light to cycle to your evening accommodation once you reach France.
Day 2: Calais to Bruges (82 miles)
Head out of Calais along the coast initially before turning inland to avoid the busy town of Dunkirk. Once you have got round Dunkirk you join a beautiful cycle path which travels alongside the canals through stunning farmland and quiet lanes over the border and all the way into Bruges.
Despite the distance being very similar to day one the ride will be much easier because from here on it’s very flat.
Veurne is a nice place to stop just over the border in Belgium. You will find plenty of cafes and restaurants and also stunning buildings. If you have time stop to have a look at the town hall, Sint Walburga church and Beauvoorde Castle.
Spend the evening in the Beautiful city of Bruges with horse and cart rides, amazing chocolate shops and cobbled streets.
Day 3: Bruges to Antwerp (65 miles)
This route is much shorter at 65 miles and goes through fields and plenty of small towns to reach Antwerp.
If you left early morning then good spots to stop for lunch include Eeklo or Zelzate. Due to the shorter length ride today you should be able to arrive in Antwerp in the mid-late afternoon.
This will give you some time to enjoy Cathedral and selection of museums before heading out for dinner.
Day 4: Antwerp to Rotterdam (83 miles)
Leave Antwerp early in the morning to avoid the busier roads and head north towards Rotterdam. You then join the L2 cycle route which is mainly traffic free and combines stunning countryside with busy city stops.
Using this route you also pass the windmills of Kinderdijk which are a spectacle in themselves.
Day 5: Rotterdam – Amsterdam (54 miles)
Again from Rotterdam to Amsterdam we follow the L2 cycle route the whole way. This route is tarmac, and in great condition and completely separated from the cars making it a really stress free route.
After leaving Rotterdam you head out into the countryside and skirt round The Hague. If you wanted you could detour here and spend a few hours looking around.
This is the shortest cycle day which means you can arrive into Amsterdam early afternoon – giving you plenty of time to explore the canals, cobbled streets and cafes.