The Viking Trail
We've been trying to compile lists of where we like to go riding and what might work for families. Often when children are learning to cycle the park or local woods works just fine, but then as they become more confident it's good to go and explore as a family.
We'll try to make this a series of places which we think work well as places to take your children cycling, we're not promising regular updates, but hopefully we'll be able to give a few pointers. Apologies in advance, as we're based in the South East this might feel a bit southern centric. If you have any suggestions then please do get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
So, first up, the Viking Trail. The Viking Trail is about 30 miles long and is a loop that runs along the coast from Broadstairs to Reculver then inland back to Broadstairs. Now don't worry, you absolutely do not have to do the full 30 miles, you can pick and choose what you want.
Most of the trail is off roads, including some very fun dusty sections running through the fields inland of Reculver. The family friendly bit is the coastal path, two things to watch out for:
1. Certain sections of the cycle trail along the Margate beaches are closed in summer and you have to dismount. It gets really busy with beach goers and isn't safe to cycle. It's not too inconvenient and gives you the chance to take a bit break/ regroup.
2. If you go in summer and there has been a storm, the seaweed washes up on the beaches. Tonnes of it. You might think that's not much of a problem, but seaweed out of water quickly goes rotten and the smell is really quite over-powering. T council do try to clear it however it is literally tonnes. It certainly gives the ride an authentic "by-the-sea" feel, but perhaps too authentic...
We ended up doing an accidental 20 mile hodgepodge loop from Margate to Reculver and back, stopping in Reculver for food. It could be worth taking a picnic as the ruins in Reculver do make a lovely spot.
We went with a 10 and a 12 year old. The 12 year old, on her CP26R was able to keep up well and definitely gave some of the adults a run for their money - most impressive.
We really didn't mean to do 20 miles. That's more of a family endurance test than a fun day out. Let's just say we had a few navigational errors!
When we do it again we'll just do a shorter section and loop back and forth. Cycling along the sea front really is a lot of fun. The paths are nice and wide so there shouldn't be a risk of cycling into the sea, but always worth watching out. And check the wind as that can really pick up!
Let us know if you want any more information, we'd highly recommend a trip if you're down in Kent.