Gateway Cycling » Recreation » Recreation Ride to Kent 26th May 2012

Recreation Ride to Kent 26th May 2012

There were 6 of us intrepid souls at the quayside at Gravesend preparing to journey into darkest Kent.

We set of in brilliant sunshine. Soon we had left civilisation behind and we were off road travelling along a trail west wards toward Lower Higham.

Our first short stop was at Cliffe a picturesque village over looking the Thames. We moved on and a few miles later we reached Cooling. Cycling past its castle we stopped for a few moments at St James’ church which was the inspiration for the opening chapter of Charles Dickens’ novel Great Expectations.

Into the strengthening westerly wind we pushed on and after a few more miles left the road to travel through the RSPB reserve at Northward Hill. To begin with there was a stunning view of green fields stretching for miles to the north. The river Thames although it ran through the heart of this area was invisible at this point. Then there was this hill. We tried to cycle up it skidding along a path of dried cracked mud, but one by one it beat us and we had to get of our bikes and walk. We watched in awe as Bill made a valiant attempt to ride all the way up but even he was beaten.

Eventually we rejoined the road and into a strong wind we battled our way to All Hallows. Another Gateway member had gone ahead to find out about the culinary possibilities of this village. We met me on the outskirts and listened to his advice, (thanks Jon). We immediately made our way to the recommended fish and chip shop, taking our purchases to the sea shore where we ate our lunch. Opposite us on the far shore were Canvey Island and Leigh on Sea.

All Hallows

All Hallows

Afterwards we headed inland with the wind now behind us. We passed through the village of Stoke and eventually onto along a cycle lane by the side of a busy road that took us to Upnor Castle. This Elizabethan artillery fort built in 1559 the year after the Spanish Armada gave us a glorious view of the river Medway and in the distance was Rochester out next destination.

Rochester Castle

Rochester Castle

We cycled over the Medway on a bridge connecting Strood to Rochester. Soon we were in the heart of this well preserved medieval city. We headed up to the castle and make straight for an ice cream kiosk.

After this the final few miles was almost an anti climax. Perhaps the sense of history weighed down on our souls or perhaps it was the burning heat of a beautiful May afternoon.

Finally we reached Gravesend for the ferry back to Essex and our journey was over.

You can view the route we took on

If you are interested in taking part in a future recreation ride then keep an eye out on this website.  Information about our future events can be found on the Upcoming Recreation Rides page and the Event Calendar.

David Fish

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Filed under: Recreation

2 Responses to "Recreation Ride to Kent 26th May 2012"

  1. says:

    Hi all,

    Sounds like you had a good ride, shame I couldn’t join you.


  2. Jon Lane says:


    Nice write up, we were lucky with the weather. Next time we’ll go home via Wainscott – it’s a bit qicker and little more picturesque…

    All the best.