Thursday 27 December 2018

Festive 500: Rail trails in England - Day 4

Crab and Winkle Way - Viking Coastal trail - Kent

Kms ridden: 83
Running total: 302
Kms left: 198
Refreshments: 250ml water; cheese sandwich; cereal bar
Weather: sunny, cold, later misty 9 degC

Highlights: mad traffic in Canterbury; Riding along the Kent coastline; Mist suddenly dropping down, getting lost and having to take the train back!

Ride on Strava
Tankerton beach - Canterbury - Cliffsend - Ramsgate - Broadstairs - Margate - Birchington-on-Sea

Not too much to say about this day. I guess the phrase, all's well that end's well is fitting here. I was not happy to have had to end my ride by being compelled to catch the train, so that was a bit of a downer.

One moment I was enjoying a ride along the beach, just after Margate, looking foward to getting back to Whitstable, and the next minute it all went dark, misty and cold and I could no longer find the trail. I was the only one around, as everyone I'd seen was going in the opposite direction to me.

Margate beach, right before the mist arrived
That made me feel even more that continuing onwards would not be a wise idea. The alternative route was a fast busy road - which I did not want to risk in the fog, or even just the dark.

I got rather scared as I was just surrounded by this massive cloud and I didn't know which way to go. So regrettably I had to get on a train at Birchington-on-Sea.

In typical style the train was cancelled, so I waited for the next one. By the time I added in the faffing around, the train cancellation and the train journey itself it took me almost an hour and half to get back to Whitstable. If I had ridden it would have taken me just over an hour!

Maybe I should have been bolder and not panicked about what to do. Who knows. So for that reason I don't think today was the best.

Having said that, I would recommend the ride along the Crab and Winkle Way to get to Canterbury. The 7-mile trail is a mixture of gravel and tarmac. It is a bit undulating, with a steep climb when riding from the Whitstable end, but it is a very pleasant ride.

Ramsgate harbour
I also liked the ride along the Kent coastline, starting from Pegwell Bay - known as the Viking Coastal Trail. It is generally well surfaced, and you get great views of the different beaches. Some are nicer than others.

I would definitely recommend Whitstable and Tankerton, plus seeing Ramsgate Harbour. The places seemed much of a muchness to me. But maybe I am just biased because I was traumatised by the fog!

Related Posts
Festive 500: Rail trails in England - Day 3

Festive 500: Rail trails in England - Day 2

Festive 500: Rail trails in England - Day 1

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