North Downs Way Guidebooks and Maps
RambleFest displays the best North Downs Way guidebooks and maps, and provides the facility for buying them online
Click on an image below for more information on North Downs Way guidebooks and maps, and the option of buying online:
The Trailblazer North Downs Way guidebook is:
“Practical guide to walking the North Downs Way National Trail that runs from Farnham in Surrey to Dover in Kent, partly following the old Pilgrims’ Way to the shrine of St Thomas a Becket at Canterbury. It winds its way through the protected landscape of the Surrey Hills and the Kent Downs, passing medieval churches, castles, Neolithic burial sites, vineyards and numerous WWII defences. There are literary associations with Swift, Cobbett, Dickens and Jane Austen.
The guide includes: * 80 large-scale walking maps – at just under 1:20,000 – showing route times, places to stay, points of interest and much more, and 15 town plans.
* 14 stage maps showing hills and descents, and 2 overview maps.
* Itineraries for all walkers – whether walking the route in its entirety or sampling highlights on day walks and short breaks.
* 15 town plans.
* Places to stay with reviews – campsites, bunkhouses, hostels, B&Bs, pubs and hotels.
* Places to eat with reviews – cafes, teashops, pubs, takeaways, restaurants.
* What to see – historical, cultural, geographical background information.
* Comprehensive public transport information – for all access points on the Path.
* Flora and fauna – four page full colour flower guide, plus an illustrated section on local wildlife.
* Green hiking – understanding the local environment and minimizing our impact on it.
* GPS waypoints – also downloadable from the Trailblazer website.”
– North Downs Way (Trailblazer British Walking Guides)
The National Trail North Downs Way guidebook includes extracts of the OS maps.
“Whether you’re an experienced long distance walker or a weekend stroller, this is the only companion you need. The North Downs Way is the National Trail that follows the official acorn waymarks from Farnham to the coast at Dover. This picturesque trail takes in chalk ridges, river valleys and sections of the Pilgrims’ Way. At the eastern end you can either walk via Canterbury (a total distance of 130 miles, 208 km) or follow the southern route (123 miles, 197 km). This is the complete official guide to walking the well-loved and popular North Downs.”
– North Downs Way (National Trail Guides)
The Cicerone North Downs Way guidebook is also worth considering.
“The North Downs Way National Trail is a 130 mile (208km) between the high downland of Farnham and the historic city of Dover on the Kent coast. The route is described in 11 day stages from west to east with an optional detour via Canterbury.
* Step-by-step route descriptions are fully illustrated with colour photographs and extracts from OS 1:50,000 mapping for every stage
* The guidebook comes with a separate map booklet of 1:25,000 scale OS maps showing the full route of the North Downs Way. Clear step-by-step route descriptions in the guide link together with the map booklet at each stage along the Way, and the compact format is conveniently sized for slipping into a jacket pocket or the top of a rucksack.
* The North Downs Way is one of the easier national trails with a modest number of steep (but short) ascents and descents and long sections with no noticeable height gain or loss. Several historic sites including Neolithic burial chambers, Roman roads and Norman churches are passed and much of the route follows The Pilgrims’ Way.”
– The North Downs Way National Trail (Cicerone)
Notes on North Downs Way Guidebooks
We advise buying two guidebooks. One will supplement the other in terms of clarity, additional information, etc. The extra cost is minimal compared to the cost of walking the North Downs Way. The National Trail North Downs Way guidebook and the Cicerone guidebook include the relevant sections of the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 “Explorer” maps.
North Downs Way Maps
The Ordnance Survey maps should not be necessary, as the relevant sections are included in the National Trail guidebook and Cicerone guidebook. But, if you want to be extra safe, or intend to walk further afield, then we advise buying the excellent North Downs Way Adventure Atlas.
Ordnance Survey provide the service of online maps, which you can use on all your devices. Costs around £20 – £25 per year for all maps across the UK for a year. Great value.
“The A-Z Adventure Series of maps combines the best of OS and A-Z, creating the perfect companion for walkers, off-road cyclists, horse riders and anyone wishing to explore the great outdoors. The North Downs Way is a National Trail along the upland downs of Surrey and Kent, passing through areas of outstanding natural beauty with spectacular scenery along the way. Beginning in Farnham, the 209 km (130 mile) path traverses the rolling countryside to the historic pilgrim city of Canterbury and beyond, to the White Cliffs of Dover. A southern section of the trail branches off through Wye to give a shorter, more direct, way to Dover which can be tackled either as an alternative route or as an additional section to add on at the end! Clearly highlighted in yellow, the route is easy to identify, standing out from the many other footpaths shown. In addition mileage markers have been added, making it easy to gauge distances when planning sections of the walk to enjoy. This official National Trail Map of the North Downs Way features 62 pages of continuous Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 mapping providing complete coverage of the North Downs Way. This atlas includes a route planner showing distances between places and the amenities available, featuring: Information Centres, Hotels/B&Bs, Youth Hostels, Campsites (seasonal opening), Public Houses, Shops, Restaurants, Cafes (seasonal opening) and Petrol Stations. Also featured is advice on safety and security when walking and a selection of QR codes linked to useful websites, including temporary route updates from the National Trails, regional information, map reading advice and weather reports. Unlike the original OS sheets, this A-Z Adventure Atlas includes a comprehensive index to towns, villages, hamlets and locations, natural features, nature reserves, car parks and youth hostels, making it easy to find the required location quickly. Each index entry has a page reference and a six figure National Grid Reference. With a book size of 240mm x 134mm it is the same size as the standard OS folded map.”
– North Downs Way Adventure Atlas