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Saturday, 20 August 2011

Bike ride to Hever Castle,Kent 20th August 2011

I woke up this morning with a bike ride in mind.I was still umming and aahing where to ride to (either Kent or Cambridge), when I got the bike out. I got on the bike and started to ride to Romford. That sorted that then Kent it was. Now will it be Hever Castle or Leeds Castle??. Well you can guess by the name of this post what it was. I rode through Romford,Rainham and up to the QEII Bridge at Dartford. I hate this part of the ride every time I go to Kent,Industrial ,bleak, Smelly full of fumes and of course high speed roads with crap drivers.

I called across for the patrol to take me across the bridge.Whilst waiting two other cyclists pulled up who were crossing and then riding along the Thames into London. After a very long wait the car arrived to take us over.

I rode through Stone hoping to avoid the ride past Bluewater. However this route takes you up a steepish and down the other side to Swanscombe and you still have to ride past Bluewater Grrr... This area was designed with one thing in mind CARS!!... trying to ride up to cross over the A2 towards  Bean, you're on a dual carriageway with cars cutting in front of you to take the slip road to the A2, up a steep hill that I was struggling with. I was a little scared to say the least. Anyway I made my way through Bean into Betsham and straight away I was on the gps on my phone to see where I was. I made my way to Longfield where I passed the first of many Oast houses converted into homes.

Continued to Longfield whilst constantly consulting the GPS. I stopped by a beautiful pub which wasn't open which was a shame. Still I had a long way to go, too early for beer.

Past a lot of rolling Farmland, which was the flavour of the day Hills and more HILLS!!!

I made my way into Meopham where I stopped off in a vineyard that was advertising free tastings. Some posh owner came out and there was no way he was gonna offer me the free tastings. Maybe he could tell I was more of a lager lout that wine expert. Might have something to do with my rolled up trousers and sweating profusely . He said why do you do it,referring to the cycling.He said it don't look like its doing you any good lol. I left with no free tastings :(.

I continued into Meopham and past the windmill.

I rode on through Culverstone Green and and through Vigo Village on the A227.Crossed over the M20 and onto Wrotham and into Borough Green where I joined the A25. Another fast road full of steep hills. I had entered the Kent Down Area of Natural Beauty. Don't know where they're called the Kent Downs seemed full of Ups to me!! Went through a delightful village of Ightham on to my way to Seal.


More hills on the A25, I was seriously tired now and one beat me and had to walk a little way up.I saw two red arrows fly over. ( I later heard on the news , one crashed at the Bournemouth air show Sad ).

 I cycled past the Sevenoaks wildfowl reserve and into Sevenoaks. I'd passed the area of Riverhead where I wanted to make my way down and ended up in the town centre. At this point I was seriously tired,lost and annoyed at missing the junction I needed. I was close to giving up and getting the train home. But the thought of failure got the better of me and I asked an old lady for directions, who said you're still miles away and if I was still feeling energetic I was to continue through the town turn right before the Oak Hotel to head towards Ide Hill. I wasn't feeling energetic however I thanked her and made my way long the High Street of Sevenoaks.

I made my way to Ide Hill up yet more hills towards Four Elms, I was ready to give in, thinking why didn't I just go home in Sevenoaks. A few hills beat me again that I walked the bike up.

I made my way into Four Elms where I stopped for a quick break by a pond.

I then rode onto Edenbridge and into Hever and up a long never ending road to Hever Castle. I thought the road would never end.

 I rode back to Hever rail station to catch the train home.

 I got the train to London Bridge, rode from London Bridge Station to Liverpool Street Station through the rain and the train home to Romford. 53 miles for the day, not a big mileage but a day full of hills that really made it a hell of a day. Top speed of 35 mph (downhill) couldn't have gone faster but that was quicker enough. The breaks were on, I thought if I come off at this speed its gonna hurt.


  1. Sounds like a challenging but good day out mate. Doubt I would've managed those hills. Had some nasty ones near Faversham last week.It looks lust as nice as the North Kent area I like riding around. Hope we can do the C&R or constable country ride soon mate.

  2. And please share the secret about embedding those wikipedia links!

  3. Links are done by highlighting the word and clicking on Link and adding the web address... simples!!