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From:  Dover (TR331420)
To:  St Austell (SX015526)
Via:  Folkestone, Hastings, Eastbourne, Brighton, Worthing, Bognor, Chichester, Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth, Sandbanks, Dorchester, Sidmouth, Exmouth, Exeter, Dawlish, Newton Abbot, Totnes, Plymouth, Looe
Meets:  NCN1, NCN21, NCN20, NCN22, NCN23, NCN25, NCN26, NCN288, NCN33, NCN34, NCN28, NCN3
Primary Destinations
Route outline (key)
2 Dover - Dawlish
2 Newton Abbot
2 Totnes - Mount Edgecumbe County Park
2 Looe - Watergate
2 Par - St Austell

NCN 2 runs along England's south coast.


Dover - Folkstone

Folkstone - Rye

Rye - Hastings

Hastings- Polegate

Polegate- Peacehaven

Brighton & Hove

NCN 2 runs alongside the A259 as a shared use path along the cliff tops, dangerously close to the cliffs

As NCN2 enters Brighton & Hove from the East it remains running on a shared path to the south of the A259 as it runs into Saltdean. Into the centre of Saltdean the cycle path ends and rejoins the carriageway. Here there is access to the Undercliff Path which runs at the bottom of the cliff as a shared space, although not officially part of the NCN2 but is more popular since its typically less windy and is wider however is sometimes closed during rockfall seasons. As we head West along the A259 shared paths appear on both sides of the road and these run to Rottingdean. At Rottingdean cyclists have to rejoin the main carriageway again, here there is a crossroads with the High Street, going south here will connect cyclists with the Undercliff Path again. East of the crossroads NCN2 moves back to a shared path on the Southern side of the A259, this runs uninterrupted for a long distance until we get to the Marina.

NCN 2 cycle track running along Madeira Drive, the pre-2021 track can be seen still on the pavement which was installed in about 2004

When we reach the Marina there is a toucan crossing across the A259 onto Marina Way which connects onto the B2066 before the NCN2 enters into a tunnel to snake down to Madeira Drive which is at sea level. This connection is of very bad quality since it requires some hairpin turns with near impossible turning radiuses. Here it also connects onto the Eastern end of the Undercliff Path as well a connection into the Marina. Madeira Drive between its Western end and Dukes mound lacks any cycle infrastructure, however due to it not being a through route and just used for access to a construction site and parking for coaches with no formal footway makes it not hostile towards cyclists. The junction of Dukes mound and Madeira Drive has been rebuilt as a traffic light controlled junction (May 2022). This junction includes Advance Stop lines, Low Level Cycle Signals & early cycle release features. Madeira Drive between Dukes mound and Grand Junction was redesigned in May 2021 to only allow one-way traffic Eastbound, while providing a wide (upto 4.3m) bi-directional cycle lane on its southern side, the cycle lane was previously only 2-2.5m wide and on the Promenade.

NCN 2 cycle track running along the promenade at a pinchpoint besides the A259

At the western end of Madeira Drive at the Brighton Pier the bi-directional cycle lane then jumps back onto the Promenade where it runs bi-directionally just beyond West Street as a narrow 1.8m cycle track. At the West Street Junction there are cycle signals to exit and enter the cycle lane from West Street, this also allows right turns for cycles which are banned for all other traffic.

NCN2 Eastbound uses the old track on the promenade, whilst Westbound uses an on-carriageway lane

Just West of West Street lane 1 of the A259 has been closed to traffic and allows Westbound cyclists on it, while Eastbound cyclists remain on the Promenade cycle lane. It remains like this to the Western end of the Hove Lawns, however at Grand Avenue there are again cycle signals to allow a protected phase for cyclists to exit and enter to and from Grand Avenue, however this has not been adjusted for on-road westbound cycle lane.

NCN2 runs along the Hove Promenade (Kings Esplanade)

At the Western end of Hove Lawns NCN2 then heads south onto King's Esplanade which is a one-way road with a cycle contraflow and then onto to Hove Street via the Hove Promenade. Here it then rejoins the southern footway beside the A259 which is marked as a segregated cycle/footway. This cycle lane is about 1.5m wide on a 3m pavement and isn't sufficient for the levels of traffic, plans have been approved for an on-carriageway cycle lane along this section due for construction in Early 2023. At Wharf Road NCN2 then turns off and joins the carriageway, this then leads to Basin Road South where it crosses the border into West Sussex. Between the Western end of Hove Lawns and the junction with Basin Road South it is currently proposed to turn one of the Westbound lanes into a temporary cycle lane as part of the Active Travel Fund Tranche 2, it is likely that after a few years of these temporary changes, some permanent changes would be bought in to create a bi-directional cycle track segregated from both pedestrians and motor vehicles.

Shoreham, Lancing & Worthing

NCN2 crosses over the locks. Its not very wide and requires cyclists to dismount.

As NCN2 enters into West Sussex it remains on Basin Road South, which is a road used to access industrial dock properties. Near the end of Basin Road South it turns north and crosses over some lock gates. These are unsuitable to cycle across and can be closed multiple times a day for usually around 20 minutes as ships pass through the locks. After passing through the lock gates NCN2 crosses over the A259 at a Toucan crossing before using a short section of shared use path to Grange Road.

NCN2 Follows local residential roads through Shoreham to avoid the A259

Here NCN runs through residential roads to avoid using the busy and relativity dangerous A259. This includes Park Lane, Rectory Road, Middle Road. At Middle Road's junction with Eastern Avenue there is a traffic signal controlled crossroads with cycle features such as advance stop lines, low level signals and early cycle release. The route then passes along Rosslyn Avenue, Rosslyn Road, Buckingham Road, Brunswick Road before entering the pedestrian areas of Shoreham at East Street. The section of the NCN2 between the Brighton Border and Ferry Bridge is proposed to gain a new 3m segregated cycle track along its southern side with small sections of shared use path, this will be achieved by obtaining small strip of land along the Southern side of the road as the old industrial land is being redeveloped into housing.

NCN2 Crossing the River Adur on the newly (2013) rebuilt Adur Ferry Bridge

The route then passes across the A259 at a Toucan crossing opposite the Adur Ferry Bridge which was rebuilt in 2013 in incorporates a turning section to allow high boats through. After returning to land the NCN2 follows Ferry road out to the seafront road, Beach Road where it runs West and onto a pedestrian & cycle path into Lancing.

The Pedestrian and Cycle path running alongside the beach

NCN2 then runs along a seafront path, its mostly about 3-4m wide and shared by pedestrians and cyclists which is in need of widening due to high traffic counts. The path is often covered in pebbles from the beaches which can narrow the path and make it dangerous. At the Western end of Lancing Beach Lawns the shared use path re-joins the A259, running along the shared pavement flanked by buildings on the sea-side of the road for about half a KM.

At the junction of Western Road, where Lancing turns into Worthing the shared path separates from the road and runs on the otherside of the verge of the A259 along the edge of the beach again. Of a similar cross-section, mostly 3m wide split down the middle for another 1.5km.

Worthing Promenade

The cycle route than leaves the side of the A259 and runs along the Worthing Promenade, partly as a segregated track, but then as a large wide shared use area for about 3km. Just before the end of the promenade there are signs and markings saying no cycling, however there isn't a route from the promenade to the road until beyond these signs. This is the end of the NCN2 before it reappears on the other side of Littlehampton about 10km to the West. There is a somewhat signed cycle route called the "South Coast Cycle Route" between these two points which uses residential streets & short stretches of cycleway. Some of the South Coast Cycle Route has already been superseded by a new NCN2 route, however this gap has not been addressed yet. This is mostly caused by each housing estate besides the sea being private and owned by a different company, the only legal way to cycle along the coast is to use the A259 2km inland which has cycleways along most of its length.

Littlehampton - Bognor Regis

Chichester - Havent



Hythe- Chirstchurch


Sandbanks - Dorchester

Dorchester - Axminster

Axminster - Sidmouth

Sidmouth - Exeter

Exeter - Dawlish



Adur Ferry Bridge was rebuilt at a width of about 4m where the previous bridge was about 1.5m wide and required cyclists to dismount. The bridge opened to the Public in December 2013


As part of Brighton & Hove's Active Travel Fund Tranche 1 (at the time known was Covid Active Travel Fund) some changes were made to the seafront (which NCN2 runs along) to make it suitable for more cycles and social distancing of pedestrians and cyclists. This included banning motor vehicles from Madeira Drive which was reopen later in the year for one-way traffic. And also closing 1 lane westbound of the A259, initially between Grand Junction and Fourth Avenue, however due to congestion backing up on the A23 the first section between Grand Junction and West Street was removed after a few days of opening. Westbound cyclists are to use the on-road segregated cycle lane while Eastbound cyclists are to remain using the on-pavement cycle lane.


As part of Brighton & Hove's Active Travel Fund Tranche 2, some changes have again been made to NCN2 along the Seafront.

  • More permanent changes were made to Madeira Drive which included a on-road bi-directional cycle lane ranging between 3.25m and 4.2m wide between Grand Junction & Dukes Mound. A new arrangement of the carriageway to introduce a one-way system for motor traffic and on-street parking.
  • Traffic signals installed at Dukes Mound, these were going to be installed anyway. But they feature LLCS, early release and Advance Stop Lines.


  • Improvements to the temporary A259 cycle lane from West Street to Fourth Avenue such as better transitional ramps & adjustments to right hand turns.


Brighton & Hove's Active Travel Fund Tranche 2

  • Extend the current temporary A259 cycle lane from Fourth Avenue to Wharf Road, with Eastbound cyclists remaining on the current route while the new cycle lane will be for westbound cyclists only - due for construction early 2023. A permanent upgrade will happen at a later date.
  • It is proposed in 2023-24 for Valley Gardens Phase 3 will take place, this will involve removing the current roundabout at Grand Junction and replacing it with a traffic light controlled crossroads with segregated pedestrian & cycle crossings in a CYCLOPS arrangement. This project will alter NCN2, especially for its junction with NCN20, however it is unclear at the moment how much will change here for NCN2

Future Plans



Bexhill • Bognor Regis • Bournemouth • Brighton • Chichester • Christchurch • Dorchester • Dover • Exeter • Exmouth • Folkestone • Gosport • Hastings • Havant • Hove • Littlehampton • Looe • Newhaven • Newton Abbot • Plymouth • Poole • Portsmouth • Rye • Shoreham-by-Sea • Southampton • St Austell • Worthing
Related Pictures
View gallery (14)
Walking along the National Cycle Route 2 (C) David Anstiss - Geograph - 2290554.jpgCycle lane along Madeira Drive, Brighton - Geograph - 7270562.jpgKing's Esplanade - Geograph - 1142714.jpgLooking east on Park Lane - Geograph - 5094676.jpgCrossing the Adur Ferry Bridge - Shoreham, Sussex - Geograph - 6382160.jpg
Other nearby roads
NCN1 • NCN288 • A2 • A20 • A256 • A258 • A2007 • B2011 • B2059 • B2245 • E2 (Old System) • E5 (Old System) • E15 • Euroroute • EuroVelo 5 • Pilgrims Way • T4 (Britain) • T34 (Britain) • Watling Street
NCN20 • NCN288 • A23 • A27 • A259 • A270 • A277 (Brighton) • A2010 • A2038 • A2073 • B2066 • B2118 (Brighton) • B2119 • B2120 • B2121 • B2122 (East Sussex) • B2123 • B2137 • B2193 (Portslade-by-Sea) • C25 (Brighton and Hove) • C31 (Brighton and Hove) • C32 (Brighton and Hove) • C55 (Brighton and Hove) • C56 (Brighton and Hove) • C542 (Brighton and Hove) • C1060 (Brighton and Hove) • C2167 (Brighton and Hove) • C2400 (Brighton and Hove) • C2500 (Brighton and Hove) • C2666 (Brighton and Hove) • C4220 (Brighton and Hove) • C4500 (Brighton and Hove) • C4780 (Brighton and Hove) • C5060 (Brighton and Hove) • C5280 (Brighton and Hove) • C5360 (Brighton and Hove) • C5380 (Brighton and Hove) • C5600 (Brighton and Hove) • C5840 (Brighton and Hove) • C6000 (Brighton and Hove) • T5 (Britain) • T37 (Britain)
NCN23 • NCN236 • NCN288 • A27 • A33 • A35 • A36 • A36(M) • A326 • A334 • A335 • A336 • A3024 • A3025 • A3035 • A3057 • A3067 • A3120 • B3033 • B3035 • B3036 • B3038 • B3039 • B3040 (Central Southampton) • B3040 (Southampton Common - Bitterne) • B3041 (Southampton) • B3042 (Hampshire) • B3053 • B3057 (Southampton) • B3380 (Southampton) • B3397 • C20 (Southampton) • C68 (Southampton) • C69 (Southampton) • C74 (Southampton) • C351 (Southampton) • C500 (Southampton) • C501 (Southampton) • C502 (Southampton) • C503 (Southampton) • C504 (Southampton) • C505 (Southampton) • C506 (Southampton) • E1 (Old System) • E05 • M3 • M27 • M270 • M271 • M272 • T7 (Britain) • T37 (Britain) • T39 (Britain) • Townhill Link Motorway
NCN288 • A38 • A374 • A379 • A386 • A387 • A388 • A389 • A3041 • A3042 • A3043 • A3049 (Plymouth) • A3064 • A3078 (Plymouth) • A3081 • A3822 • A3860 • A3861 • B3214 • B3238 • B3239 • B3240 • B3241 • B3242 • B3243 • B3244 • B3245 • B3246 • B3247 • B3250 • B3373 • B3396 • B3413 • B3416 • B3417 • B3432 • E116 (Old System) • EuroVelo 1 • T8 (Britain)
NCN Routes
NCN1 - NCN10·NCN11·NCN12·NCN13·NCN14·NCN15·NCN16·NCN17·NCN18·NCN19
NCN2 - NCN20·NCN21·NCN22·NCN23·NCN24·NCN25·NCN26·NCN27·NCN28·NCN29
NCN3 - NCN30·NCN31·NCN32·NCN33·NCN34·NCN35·NCN36·NCN37·NCN38·NCN39
NCN4 - NCN40·NCN41·NCN42·NCN43·NCN44·NCN45·NCN46·NCN47·NCN48·NCN49
NCN5 - NCN50·NCN51·NCN52·NCN53·NCN54·NCN55·NCN56·NCN57·NCN58·NCN59
NCN6 - NCN60·NCN61·NCN62·NCN63·NCN64·NCN65·NCN66·NCN67·NCN68·NCN69
NCN7 - NCN70·NCN71·NCN72·NCN73·NCN74·NCN75·NCN76·NCN77·NCN78·NCN79
NCN8 - NCN80·NCN81·NCN82·NCN83·NCN84·NCN85·NCN86·NCN87·NCN88·NCN89
NCN9 - NCN90·NCN91·NCN92·NCN93·NCN94·NCN95·NCN96·NCN97·NCN98·NCN99
NCN Routes (beginning with 2)
NCN2 - NCN20 · NCN22 · NCN22 · NCN23 · NCN24 · NCN25 · NCN26 · NCN27 · NCN28 · NCN29

NCN20 - NCN200·NCN201·NCN202·NCN203·NCN204·NCN205·NCN206·NCN207·NCN208·NCN209
NCN21 - NCN210·NCN211·NCN212·NCN213·NCN214·NCN215·NCN216·NCN217·NCN218·NCN219
NCN22 - NCN220·NCN221·NCN222·NCN223·NCN224·NCN225·NCN226·NCN227·NCN228·NCN229
NCN23 - NCN230·NCN231·NCN232·NCN233·NCN234·NCN235·NCN236·NCN237·NCN238·NCN239
NCN24 - NCN240·NCN241·NCN242·NCN243·NCN244·NCN245·NCN246·NCN247·NCN248·NCN249
NCN25 - NCN250·NCN251·NCN252·NCN253·NCN254·NCN255·NCN256·NCN257·NCN258·NCN259
NCN26 - NCN260·NCN261·NCN262·NCN263·NCN264·NCN265·NCN266·NCN267·NCN268·NCN269
NCN27 - NCN270·NCN271·NCN272·NCN273·NCN274·NCN275·NCN276·NCN277·NCN278·NCN279
NCN28 - NCN280·NCN281·NCN282·NCN283·NCN284·NCN285·NCN286·NCN287·NCN288·NCN289

NCN29 - NCN290·NCN291·NCN292·NCN293·NCN294·NCN295·NCN296·NCN297·NCN298·NCN299

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