Saturday, 31 May 2008

Cycling holiday in the south east

Last week I spent 6 days cycling around Kent, Sussex and Surrey. 400 kilometers of fabulous British countryside.

I was lucky with the weather. Mostly warm and sunny, but a bit chilly at night - especially in the tent. I'm glad I packed my longjohns and a woolly hat in amongst my 20 kilograms of luggage.

When I wasn't in the tent, I stayed in youth hostels like this one at Chatham. Youth hostels these days are really comfortable places to stay - no curfews or chores, plenty of decent grub and warm comfy beds.

Beer in Medway could do with improvement. Shepherd Neame brewery is just a few kilometers away in Faversham, but they seem to opt for bland lagers and cloudy pints of (normally clear) London Pride

Because I didn't plan the exact route before I left, I often ended up on signposted cycle paths through fields and woodlands -including the Forest Way, Worth Way, Crab & Winkle Way, Pilgrims Way and the Cuckoo Trail

I hadn't realised just how much easy cycling there was - much of it thanks to Dr Beeching

One of the great things that I found about cycling on a longer tour was seeing things from a completely different perspective. Normally, I use the bike to commute through South London - rushing around, avoiding cars and motorbikes, competing for space on the roads. Outside the M25, daytime cycling on quiet country lanes and cycle paths gave me lots of time and space to think and reflect.

It might have been different if the weather had been miserable, but as it was I would recommend touring to any keen cyclist. I'm already dreaming of the next tour


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