Greenwich Cyclists do the Hoo

Details of a forthcoming cycle ride that I shall be leading for Greenwich Cyclists

Where: Hoo Peninsula
When: Saturday 15 October 2011 @ 08:00
Meet: Cutty Sark Gardens, SE10 9LW

Enjoy this delightful if slightly peculiar corner of Kent before Bonkers Boris annexes the territory to Greater Londinium!

Join Greenwich Cyclists for a 130-ish kilometre spin out to and around the Hoo Peninsula: the hooknose-shaped lump of land separating the Thames and Medway estuaries. The Hoo Peninsula is made up of sandy clay hills and marshland composed of alluvial silt, and derives its name from the Old English word for ‘spur of land’.

The ride east out of London will follow the main road from Greenwich to Woolwich and beyond, before diverting onto slightly quieter roads south of Thamesmead, and rejoining the A206 at Erith. From Erith it’s on to Greenhithe, Swanscombe and Northfleet, and a coffee stop at the seaside-like promenade café in Gravesend.

From Gravesend we cycle through Chalk, enter the Hoo Peninsula at Lower Higham, and turn north up to Cliffe and Cooling, where we stop for lunch at the Horseshoe and Castle pub. After passing Schloss Holland (aka Cooling Castle), we then proceed eastward to High Halstow, St Mary’s Hoo and Allhallows, and possibly make a detour to the Isle of Grain at the mouth of the River Medway.

The return from the Hoo Peninsula takes us though Stoke, Kingsnorth and Chattenden, before rejoining the outward path at Lower Higham. From Lower Higham we then follow the road back to Gravesend, where the tired of legs and bum may catch a train back to London. The survivors at this point will then pedal on to Erith, before joining the Thames Path and chasing the Sun on the final 25 kilometre spin back to Greenwich.

Please ensure that your bikes are in good working order, with tyres free of debris. Bring tools, a spare inner tube or two, and a puncture repair kit. Also pack plenty of water and energy rich snacks, especially if you are intending to do the entire 130+ kilometre ride.

Given the shortening autumn days, we shall start this ride at 08:00, and you are therefore advised to go easy on the sauce on Friday night. It may be dark by the time we arrive back in Greenwich, so you absolutely must bring lights. Seriously.

Please let me know by phone or email if you intend to come on this ride, and especially if you wish to eat at the pub in Cooling. It would be good form to give the landlord of this often quiet hostelry an estimate of numbers. Last time I was there, I enjoyed a most fine pint of Dartford Wobbler.

Route details courtesy of esteemed velopedist Jurek Blaszczak.