Along HS1 from Bearsted to Hothfield (circular)
3 people attending
7 places left
A fairly flat spring spin along the base of the Kent Downs following the route of HS1.
We start in Bearsted and cycle out towards Leeds Castle, 'The Loveliest Castle in the World' and often used by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. With bare trees it may be visible at some points.
We pass through the villages of Langley Heath and Kingswood and along country lanes beside a mix of farmland and ancient woodland towards Egerton.
From Egerton we ride along the Green Sands Ridge to Pluckly, reported to be one of the most haunted villages in England.
From here we start to head towards the North Downs, after passing through Hothfield we cross the M20 and HS1. We turn back west and head to Charing. We can stop at a cafe in Charing. We will pass Charing Station, on the same line as Bearsted, for anyone who may be needing an escape from the return half of the ride.
After Charing it is more farmland, woodland and small hamlets as we ride along the base of the North Downs. We cross over HS1 a few times and pass an impressive solar farm squeezed between the rail link and M20.
We cycle through Harrietsham and on to Hollingbourne. Don't worry we are not cycling up the whole of the infamous Hollingbourne Hill, a favourite with road cyclists proving their thigh muscles and power. We'll just go as far as Pilgrims Way before the hill really kicks up!
We then cycle along this ancient road, the well trodden path of Pilgrims walking to Canterbury Cathedral to the shrine of Thomas à Becket who was murdered in the Cathedral in 1170. The pilgrims are also the inspiration for Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
Once we reach Thurnham we drop down to Bearsted station.
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What to bring
Bike: a road or road hybrid bike
Helmet: OutdoorLads requires you to wear one
Clothing: lightweight and layered, colourful and/or reflective clothing will make you more visible to other road users
Footwear: suitable for your bike and pedals
Gloves: cycle gloves help avoid blisters, and are good in the cold
Punctures: spare inner tube, bike tyre pump and tyre levers
Tools: any special tools that your bike needs
Small snacks: such as chocolate or energy bars
Plenty of water: in bottle/s on your bike or in a daysack/bladder
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Eye protection: avoid getting grit or insects in your eyes, sunglasses are OK if they are not made of glass and not too shaded
Sun cream: take care, even on overcast days
Bike lights: be seen and safe
Storage: small day-sack or a bag on your bike
Mobile Phone: keep it in a waterproof bag for use in emergencies
Food & drink
Bring plenty of water and some snacks to keep your energy levels up during the ride.
There is a village store near the station if anyone needs to buy drinks or snacks.
We can stop at a cafe in Charing if we would like to.