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Authors Way

A 400km cycling route through stunning English countryside celebrating authors who drew inspiration from these locations.

What You’ll See

The Authors Way is a trail designed for literature enthusiasts, offering a circular loop between Canterbury and Winchester. Along the route, you will pass by charming country pubs, medieval churches, and rolling hills.

Immerse yourself in the stories of renowned authors such as Beckett, Chaucer, Austen, Kipling, Dahl, Tolkien, and many more. This trail allows you to experience the places where these notable British authors lived, walked, and found inspiration.

You can either tackle it as a challenge or break it up into stages for a more leisurely experience, depending on your preference.

Checkpoints and Highlights

Canterbury Cathedral 

GCHQ Stop-line


King Alfred Way 

Portsmouth Royal Naval Dockyard 

Surrey Hills 

The North Downs Way 

The South Downs Way 

Winchester Cathedral 

And many many more...

Where do I start?

The choice is yours! With convenient travel connections to Winchester or Canterbury, you can start The Authors Way from either location. As it is a loop, you can join the trail at any accessible checkpoint along the route.


Accommodation on this trail varies from 5* to 2* but are mostly good, comfortable hotels. All are bookable on the Waytrails app.

Difficulty and terrain

Cyclists can enjoy a variety of terrains and difficulty levels on this route. It consists of gravel tracks, bridleways, and quiet country roads. The undulating nature of the landscape, especially in the western section, presents challenging ascents and descents.

Overall, the trail offers a manageable cycling experience with well-maintained surfaces.

This route is suitable for intermediate-level cyclists who are comfortable with occasional hills and off-road sections. 

When to visit 

We recommend enjoying the trails during the spring, summer, or early autumn. 

An English Pub
South Downs Way UK