Herne Bay to Canterbury via Whitstable
- Start point: Hampton Pier
- Start time: 10:00, Saturday 11th June 2011
- Distance: 11 miles
- Ride leader: Ian Rogers (01227 749598, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Getting to the start point
The start point is Hampton Pier to the west of Herne Bay, just over 1 mile from Herne Bay railway station. From the station leave the car park by the pedestrian exit to your left. Turn left into Fleetwood Avenue. At T junction turn left into Sea Street and right at roundabout into Grand Drive and follow Grand Drive all the way to the T junction at Western Esplanade. Turn left. Follow one-way system to Hampton Pier.
The ride is suitable for all ages. It follows paved roads to Whitstable, and then follows the Sustrans National Cycle Route 1 to Canterbury. The surface of the off-road sections is compacted grit and suitable for most sorts of bicycle.
The first part of the ride to Whitstable follows urban roads from Hampton Pier through Swalecliffe and Tankerton.
The second part of the ride follows the Crab and Winkle Way to Canterbury partly along the route of the historic Crab and Winkle railway line. This was the very first passenger railway line ever built. It first ran in May 1830 and you are welcome to join SPOKES and the Crab and Winkle Trust (http://www.crabandwinkle.org/) for the 180th birthday celebrations on May 3rd. For more details please see the SPOKES web site at http://www.spokeseastkent.org.uk/events.php
The route quickly picks up the old railway line for a gentle climb out of Whitstable. After leaving Whitstable it soon enters Clowes Wood where it picks up the railway route again up to the Winding Pond. This is the site of the original stationary engine that pulled the train up the hill from Whitstable. Engines on wheels such the Invicta only came later. From the Winding Pond the route continues through Clowes Wood and farmland to Blean Church. The route into Canterbury passes the University of Kent, Kent College and St Edmundís School, skirts past Neilís Place with superb views of the City, and down into the St Dunstanís part of Canterbury. The route to Dane John Gardens crosses the River Stour at Toddlerís Cove and approaches via Canterburyís Norman castle.
Getting back to the start point
The easiest way back to Herne Bay is to cycle back along the same route.
The alternative is to travel by train from Canterbury East Station to Herne Bay, changing train at Faversham. On Sundays trains run at one minute past the hour and take 34 minutes including the change at Faversham.