Travellers' Tales: Bivvying in the Garden of England

Bikepacking needn’t be exotic. Eoghan McHugh went to Kent.

Two days to spare and nothing planned. I didn’t want to spend much money. I did want to ride my bike. So: a bikepacking adventure in nearby Kent.

I left early one morning, setting out from Mid-Sussex to the coast, which I followed over the county line. In Dover, I turned north and climbed hill upon hill, eventually finishing the day’s cycle with a cup of tea at a pub in Sandwich. Outside of Sandwich, I set up camp between two rows of apple trees in an orchard.

The next day, I pushed north, following the coast as it wound into Ramsgate. I found Dumpton Gap, descending down it to the esplanade in Broadstairs and the Viking Coastal Trail. Down at sea level, I pootled along on this wide, well-paved 

walkway with hardly a soul to share it. To my right, beautifully calm sea; above, cloudless summer skies.

Herne Bay to Whitstable was buzzing. There were loads of people out and about, and a great atmosphere. That stretch of towns was idyllic. They’re historic, well maintained, and have great looking shops and restaurants.

From Whitstable, I turned inland and started the cross-country cycle home. I’d managed quite a bit of Kent, covering 250 miles over the course of the weekend.