As a nation, we are blessed with some truly stunning scenery and backdrops. Our coast line is a secret mecca for the coastal roadies and if you can handle the winds whipping in from the sea from time to time, you will reap the benefits by riding through some forgotten villages. Jamie Turney aka @JT2UK has given us an insight to the Kent coast with a 50/50 route (half flat/half lumpy!) Enjoy!
Words by Jamie: The route begins and finishes in Appledore, heading South across the Marsh towards Lydd, briefly crossing the a259, a busy section for traffic. Bear left past the 14th Century Woolpack Inn. This journey will follow the Hook Wall and you will notice on your ride the fields on either side are below sea level as over the years, water has been drained and the land reclaimed.
As you approach Lydd take a sharp left and head East towards New Romney, across another busy main road, right then left past St. Clements Church and head towards St. Mary in the Marsh. The first 30km are all virtually pan flat on small quiet back roads with not much in the way of traffic, perfect! After West Hythe you face the formidable Lympne Hill, its steep.
Polka Dot Challenge #1: Lympne Hill, Lympne, 0.8km, 21% max
Once conquered, take a left at the top of the hill and head West across an undulating route via Hamstreet, Woodchurch all the way back to Tenterden finishing this section with a small descent. At the bottom of the hill you'll find Tenterden Garden Centre on your right on a sharp left hand bend, head straight on through Reading Street, which is little more then a collection of half a dozen houses. For a shorter route you can keep following the main road back to Appledore.
Slalom through the small community making up Reading Street, once at the top of Rose hill descend back down where you will be greeted by the Royal Military Canal, a defense built back in Napoleonic times as part of measures designed to stop an invading army.
Turn right heading towards Rye. When you get to the outskirts of the town, take a left at the mini roundabout out onto the Marsh and make your way towards Camber and the beach. This is a great opportunity for an ice cream (if the weather is kind enough!) otherwise cruise past the sea wall to Jury's Gap and the military firing range and further on towards Lydd. Keep left heading towards Lydd High Street. Spot the old church on your right, turn left to take you back onto the Marsh again. Look out for the signpost of Brookland and Rye which will bring you back on to the Hook Wall heading towards Appledore.
TT Challenge #2: Jury's Gap, 4.4km