Whether you are an experienced cyclist or a novice, you will find plenty to enjoy along the 32 mile (51.4km) route on the Isle of Thanet.
The inland loop is on quiet lanes, taking in pretty Kentish villages with ancient churches such as St. Nicholas at Wade and passing Minster Abbey, one of England’s oldest inhabited buildings founded in 670AD.
A short detour leads you to the 16 acre Monkton Nature Reserve, an important resource for the protection of wild flowers, including rare orchids.
At Ramsgate, the splendid Pugin Victorian church of St. Augustine’s Abbey is worth a visit, or enjoy a rest at one of the many cafes overlooking the harbour and marina and the Ramsgate Maritime Museum. Another point of interest in Ramsgate is the Stonelees Golf Centre situated on the supposed landing site of the Anglos-Saxons in AD449. Stonelees Golf Centre have installed a giant hand carved 8ft Saxon sword. You don’t need to be an avid golfer to visit Stonelees, they have installed a brand new for 2016 bike shelter for cyclists to stop off to view the sword before grabbing a bite to eat or drink in the restaurant. Stonelees Golf Centre is a great stopping place known for the warmth and friendliness of the staff and always open to the public.There is no strict dress code – the club welcomes both walkers and cyclists. The restaurant and bar is open all year round from 8am so perfect for breakfast before heading out along the trial.
As you cycle from Broadstairs to Margate you pass Kent’s most established surfing school at Joss Bay, see the picturesque Botany Bay with its chalk stack and marvel at the new Turner Contemporary art gallery overlooking Margate Harbour.
Minnis Bay is popular with swimmers, as well as sailors, windsurfers and sea canoeists.
From here, the scenery changes with striking views of the flat marshland as you approach the twin towers of Reculver Church, a few miles east of Herne Bay.
To find out more about the area including attractions, accommodation and events visit the Thanet Tourism Website.
If you do not want to undertake the whole route, try the 9 mile (almost traffic-free) stretch that follows the sea wall from Margate to Reculver via Westgate-on-Sea and Birchington, Kent’s largest village.
You can join this well-signed route directly opposite Margate train station. Along the sea wall you will find plenty of diversions, with slopes and steps to the cliff tops and down to the popular beaches and rock pools.
The on-road section takes you along the cliff from Westgate-on-Sea to Epple Bay where you rejoin the sea wall. ***Please note: Westgate-On-Sea has byelaws relating to cycling on the promenades. A person shall not ride any cycle on any of the promenades as advised by the signs between 1 May to 30 September inclusive between the hours of 10am and 6pm.
Cycle Hire and Clubs
Save the hassle of bringing your bike and hire one instead! There are several places to hire a bike situated along the Viking Coastal Trail.
- The Bike Shed, 71 Canterbury Road, Margate CT9 5AS. Tel: 01843 228866
- Broadstairs Bike Hire, 17 Lloyd Road, Broadstairs CT10 1HZ. Tel: 01843 447669
- Ken’s Bike Shop, 28 Eaton Road, Margate CT9 1XA. Tel: 01843 221422
- Viking Coastal Trail Bike Hire, The Parade, Minnis Bay, Birchington CT7 9QR. Tel: 01843 843309/07818 828862
If you’d like to join a group, there is a selection of friendly cycle groups to suit a range of abilities. Why not get in touch and join the next group ride along the Viking Coastal Trail?