Horses and Goats Tunnel route

Map of proposed route
The proposed route (green/white dashed on yellow background) runs through a tunnel under the railway line.
View larger map Copyright notice


This proposed route is only a few hundred metres in length. It is planned to follow an existing path (photo) off Cotton Road (part of the Wincheap Trading Estate) and then round behind (photo) the gasometer. From there it will pass under the main railway line via an old bridge (known as the "Horses and Goats tunnel", photo, photo), then skirt around the new Fairview housing development (photo) to join an existing cycle route into central Canterbury.

It will eventually form part of NCR 18.


It will provide cyclists with a safe, convenient route from Wincheap to the city centre:



Funding, sponsors and supporters

What the CCC Walking and Cycling Strategy document (2003) said

Cotton Road to Tannery - Plan Reference No E

This is the last section of the preferred route for the Ashford to Canterbury National Cycle Route NCR 18. A link from "Staples" through to Ten Perch Road was installed as part of the retail development. The section between Ten Perch Road and Cow Lane was completed in 1993 as part of the Wincheap Park and Ride, and in 1995 the route was extended through to Cow Lane as part of the Bus Link Road construction.

The route from Cow Lane can be separated into the following sections:

Cotton Road to Gasometer (length 400 metres)

This section was proposed in 1993 as a cycle path along the bund between the industrial units and the River Stour.However a more feasible route would be an on-carriageway link through to the gasometer.The Wincheap Area Traffic Study which is currently ongoing may affect this option.

Gasometer to Tannery (length 350 metres)

This section is privately owned and would require consent or land acquisition from owners including British Telecom.The route from the gasometer passes under the railway then across BT land and along the riverside.

The options for crossing the Rheims Way are as follows:

The concrete path under the bridge is far from ideal for cycling being 2.2 metres wide with 2.0 metre headroom.

The provision of an at-grade cycle crossing facility should be investigated as part of the Tannery development plans. It is important to safely link the development with the strategically important Ashford to Canterbury cycle route.

Once across the Rheims Way the route joins the existing cycle path alongside the historic wall of St Mildreds Church before joining the Stour Street cross-city route at Gas Street.

Better access into the Tannery development site and suitable cycle facilities should be an essential element of the development brief. Consideration should be given to extending a cycle route through the Tannery site to the Southern Way car park, from where Black Griffin Lane and St Peters Grove could be used by cyclists to gain access to and from the High Street.

From section 8.6.5 of the Canterbury Walking and Cycling Strategy (2003)


Photo Approach from Cotton Road.
Photo Passage leading to the tunnel.
Photo Tunnel entrance from the south.
Photo Interior view of tunnel.
Photo Gas main near tunnel.
Photo Tunnel entrance from the north.
Photo The busy A28 road.
Photo Repairs to the tunnel.

Present state of the route

The repair work on the tunnel has been completed (Nov 2010).

Next move

February 2011: Installation of tunnel illumination, surfacing of the path, and signage. It is intended that all work should be complete by the end of March. An opening ceremony is planned to aid publicity.

Latest news

The Spokes blog carries the latest news for this route.