Cycling Hol 2011

August 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Cycle Rides, Cycling, Dick, Timmy, Travel | 3 Comments
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It’s that time of year again. James, no, sorry, I mean Dick and I will shortly be setting off on this year’s cycling odyssey. This time we’re leaving the Cotswolds behind and will be heading south to explore the garden of England, aka the fine county of Kent.

Our plan, in short, is this: Broadstairs – Canterbury – Faversham (via Whitstable) – Rye (so a little bit of Sussex too in fact) with the final day’s destination to be decided (somewhere where we can catch a train back to London Bridge rather than Victoria). We’re not covering a lot of distance as we’re hoping to enjoy the seaside too, but we’ll almost certainly take some more meandering routes between each place. I have a handy guide to Kentish cycle routes and it looks like there will be a wealth of national and regional cycle routes to follow along the way (click on the map above left to be taken to Kent County Council’s very useful cycling pages).

While in Margate the other week I also picked up an old Penguin Guide to Kent, Sussex and Surrey. Purportedly for travellers ‘of all sorts’ you get the impression its author ( S. E. Winbolt) liked a good fast run down from the capital to ‘one of the great playgrounds of London’ in a Bentley or some other powerful car. The book dates from 1939 so it’s quite poignant to think about how everything was soon to change. The leisurely motoring holiday would become a thing of the past  – all that petrol guzzling – and Kent and Sussex quickly became the part of the country most vulnerable to invasion, a fear reinforced by the sound of bombs and gunfire drifting across the channel.

Mr Winbolt is quite keen on churches, geology and topography (he was an archaeologist) so, the odd Baedeker raid notwithstanding, quite a bit of the book’s contents should still be relevant. It also has some charming touring maps of the three counties although I suspect we’ll be using my OS, and Dick’s iphone, slightly more frequently.

We’re off on Thursday. B&Bs have been booked and the silver ‘lady bike’ is prepped and ready (it’s significantly lighter than the Bobbin – with lots more gears – and it has larger wheels than the Brompton so is better for touring). Timmy is also raring to go. Luckily the fact he’s small and plastic means I don’t have to lug around a smelly bone for him, unlike the devoted George who is frequently weighed down with the butcher’s finest by-products.

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  1. You will love it! The coast line is stunning! I enjoyed cycling this part of the U.K luckily in sunshine.. have a ball!

  2. Thanks! Have been wanting to try the Crab & Winkle Way for a while now. I enjoyed your post on it (mmmm, lobster) and the Taff Trail looks incredible too. Well done on braving the rain and I’ll look forward to reading about your next excursion!

  3. George & Dick – hope you have been having a fantastic time in Kent and the sun has been shining for you! Sorry not to have been able to visit you for a daytrip, but I’ve managed to have some FFS adventures on the Yorkshire coast instead. Looking forward to hearing all about your travels.
    See you back at Kirrin Cottage very soon,
    Anne x


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