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Across the county there are all sorts of brilliant places to go, activities to try and events to enjoy, and getting active as a family is a great way to be healthy and have fun together. Our friends at Explore Kent have put together their top five family bike rides to try around the county, so take a look and give one a try! If there isn’t a route listed here for your local area, just visit www.explorekent.org and you’ll be sure to find a suitable route to explore within easy reach.

Bedgebury Cycle Tracks

Bedgebury Forest offers two fantastic cycle routes, taking in spectacular scenery and an impressive array of trees, wildflowers and rare wildlife.

The family cycle track is a gentle route around the beautiful woodland. At 6.25 miles (10km) in length, it offers a moderate challenge with gentle gradients on a surfaced trail.

The more challenging single-track mountain bike trail is seven and a half miles (12km) of challenging runs through steeper sections of the forest, including drop-offs, rocky sections and some exciting twists and turns.

Quench Cycles offer bike hire at Bedgebury, so even those without their own bike can head along and explore this stunning woodland landscape from a two-wheeled vantage point.

Crab and Winkle Way – Canterbury to Whitstable

With seven miles of almost traffic-free cycling, the Crab and Winkle Way between Canterbury and Whitstable explores a delightful slice of east Kent, packed with history and nostalgia.

The route is signed from Canterbury West station and joins National Cycle Route 1 through the town near the river at Pound Lane. From Harbledown the route is mostly traffic free, following the old railway line from the Winding Pond (a great place to picnic) to the outskirts of Whitstable.

The route is well-served by bike hire options, and provides a variety of sights and landscapes, from Canterbury’s World Heritage city centre, to the conifers of Clowes Wood and the seaside charm of Whitstable.

Hythe and the Royal Military Canal

This is a 13-mile circular route taking in the unique and historic military monument of the Royal Military Canal. The corridor running along the length of the canal between Seabrook and West Hythe Dam offers a wonderfully easy and relaxing route suitable for walkers, disabled people and cyclists, with picnic tables and benches dotted along the way.

The route takes in the quaint Cinque Port town of Hythe, as well as the nearby Romney Hythe and Dimchurch Railway – the world’s smallest public railway.

Perry Woods Cycle Trail

Set in the heart of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this route from Perry Woods takes you through some of the most picturesque and idyllic country scenery that Kent has to offer.

The rolling countryside is studded only by sleepy villages, historic churches, hop gardens and tractors at work in the fields and orchards.

There are three pubs along the route, making this ride perfect for a family day out with lunch included. The paths are largely suitable for electric scooters, although there are some steep slopes.

Viking Coastal Trail

This longer route is perfect for experienced cyclists, while it can also be enjoyed in smaller sections by novices. It is an epic coastal trail starting at Birchington-on-Sea and winding its way along Thanet’s coastline, taking in pretty villages, the picturesque coastal towns of Ramsgate and Broadstairs and the delightful bays dotted along this stunning stretch of coastline.

The full routes is 32 miles long, but a shorter, nine mile stretch can be enjoyed between Margate and Reculver. There are also several places along the route to hire bikes.

Heron Cycle Trail

The Heron Trail explores the often-forgotten area of the Hoo Peninsula, with its literary connections – Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations and a Tale of Two Cities here – rich in maritime heritage and a wide variety of bird life, there is something for everyone.

This 15.5-mile ride passes many forts and castles, such as Cliffe Fort, Cooling Castle and Upnor Castle.

Cathedral to Coast Cycle Ride

Undertake your own Pilgrim’s Progress on this marvellous 50 mile (80km) circular ride using Regional Routes 16 and 17 linking Dover, Canterbury, and Folkestone.

The route passes along leafy lanes and bridleways amid rolling hills, wide skies, woodland, country villages and hamlets, the perfect recipe for a cycle holiday or a mixture of great day rides.

It is advisable to start the journey anti-clockwise via Route 16, as the climb out of Dover is short and steep compared to the longer, harder climb out of Folkestone.

Isle of Harty Trail

The Isle of Harty is a flat, circular, and perfect for families. It is mainly traffic-free but with some sections on road. Why not stop along the way to enjoy the local attractions or spend a whole day exploring the area.

Along the way you will pass some amazing attractions such as seaside amusements, The Spinney, Pitch and Putt at Leysdown Coastal Park, Harty Church, Ferry House Inn, RSPB Capel Fleet Raptor Viewing Point and Swale National Nature reserve.

Sandwich to Rye Cycle Ride

Head into smugglers’ territory as you follow National Routes 1 and 2 along the cliff paths and quiet country lanes through atmospheric Romney March. Experienced cyclist could cover the entire 56.5-mile route in a day, but with good rail links along the coast, it is easy to tackle in stages.

This is perfect if you fancy a leisurely weekend bike ride and the great news is that you don’t need to bring a bike with you thanks to a great click2cycle bike hire scheme which allows you to hire a bike from a choice of locations along this stretch including Hythe Station at the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway.

Sheerness Way Cycle Ride

Explore this 10km circular cycle route around Sheerness, this route is flat and perfect for families. It is mainly traffic free but with some sections on road. At a moderate speed they can be completed comfortably in under an hour, depending on your fitness, but with young children it will take longer. Why not stop along the way to enjoy the local attractions or spend a whole day exploring the area?

Discover the hidden history of Sheerness and why is there a sunken ship just offshore. Stop off at Barton’s Point Coastal Park, a perfect spot to catch your breath, have a drink and snack before completing this route.

SEARCH EXPLORE KENT FOR ACTIVITIES NEAR YOU

So why not try out one of these rides as a family, or visit www.explorekent.org to search for more activities near you. There is so much to see and do outdoors across Kent and Medway this summer – you’re sure to find something for the whole family to enjoy.

About Explore Kent

Explore Kent works to promote and actively encourage Kent’s residents to access, enjoy and benefit from the great natural resources that Kent has to offer. They are a Kent County Council led partnership initiative, working with Visit Kent and other partners to promote Kent to the wider UK and European community as an outdoor leisure destination. Find out more about Explore Kent at www.explorekent.org, or follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

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