Kent East & North

Dover to Sittingbourne

Date:21st & 23rd July 2021
Distance74 Miles
LighthousesSouth Foreland, Ramsgate, North Foreland & Margate
RidersJack, Jane & Me

Most of us will have driven on to the ferry to cross the channel dreaming of sunshine. Dover seafront is a fine place. Clear calm seas, beautiful natural planting, people out and about getting in their exercise early and stunning buildings to boot.
The main piers are currently shut as they are looking to put in a mooring for gigantic cruise ships, not sure how thats going in this new world! So no access to the 2 lighthouses, maybe when we return to the south coast we can get closer.
Dame Vera Lynn Way is tough push up steps onto the top of the white cliffs whist watching the ferries disappear into the haze. Its one of those days when there is no boundary between the sea and the sky.
Chalky tracks take us through long grassy fields and onto South Foreland where we get a wave from the lucky inhabitants of the Lighthouse. We then drop down to Oldstairs Bay where the sea (and Jack) tempts us in for a dip followed by morning coffees. We were feeling VERY pleased with ourselves 🙂
This is the east cost of Kent and its a simple landscape of shingle beaches, huts, wild flowers, discarded boats and wide horizons. Deal is the place we would go back to, a low key, pretty coastal town.
We timed our ride well, a week ago Sandwich must have been full of golfers! For us we had to contend with a few lorries taking away the grandstands as they cleared away the Open golf tournament.
We rounded the North Foreland picking up another lighthouse and lunch in Ramsgate, then on through Broadstairs. It is beyond here that the landscape changes. Less prosperous, less pretty. The majority of the soft white cliffs have a protective skirt of tough concrete to stop the sea eating away at the land. It separates the land and the sea in an unnatural blunt way, the only thing that seems to thrive here is very stinky seaweed. We wheel past Margate a classic British resort, grab an ice-cream and spin on to Whitstable along the concrete slabs, thankfully wind assisted. We also sneaked in another ride of 20miles by cycling east through Faversham and on to Sittingbourne. Thats a tale of 2 places! The former being lovely old market town located on a winding creek!

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