The plan was to have a week’s holiday in April 2020 with my family, staying in a cottage in Suffolk. That got postponed to April 2021, and then we cancelled when lockdown wasn’t lifting enough to allow us to all stay in the same place. But we’ve spent time together during this last week which has been wonderful. We camped for a night in the wood and survived the sub-zero temperatures. And this weekend Jonny and I stayed in an AirBnB in Margate, to see the Margate Raes and spend a day on the beach with the Lee Bakers .
I’ve found it really hard to switch off from work now I’m working from home. I’d always managed to keep work and home quite separate but that’s been much more challenging this year. I read the predictions about the pandemic changing the nature of work with dismay; I can’t wait to get back to an office. And so I decided to cycle to Margate, thinking that a day of hard exercise and having to concentrate on navigating my way there would clear my head.
Three years ago I cycled from Margate to Ealing following NCNs 15 and 1, which was just over 110 miles and went all round the houses. This time I decided I’d be more direct so used Strava Routes to plan the way there. I crossed the Thames at Vauxhall Bridge, headed for Shooters Hill, and then went down the A207 through Crayford and Dartford, followed a cycle path alongside the A2 which was not that pleasant, stopped for lunch in Rochester (photo above), diverted along the edge of the Medway in Gillingham which was gorgeous, joined the A2 through Rainham, Sittingbourne and Faversham and then headed up towards Seasalter and Whitstable to join the Viking Trail coastal route to Margate – 88 miles in total. It was not a bad route – quite a lot of traffic on the main roads but enough rivers, cycle paths and coast to compensate, and chips at Herne Bay to keep me going. The Viking Trail was mostly heading into the wind and I was definitely trundling towards the end, but it was a very satisfying day in glorious sunshine and I got there in time for a deep, hot bath before heading out for supper outside while the sun set over the sea.