So here’s part two of my posts about our Easter break in Whitstable. Two of my favourite days were when we explored the local area by foot and bike. There are a couple of well-marked paths that lead from Whitstable – the Oyster Bay Trail that winds along the coast path to Herne Bay, and the Crab & Winkle Way that climbs to the cathedral city of Canterbury. We decided to do both!
Cycling the Oyster Bay Trail to Herne Bay
The Oyster Bay Trail is about 4 miles from Whitstable to Herne Bay on a flat, traffic free route. We’d already done it with Alex and Sophie last year, but it was Emilia’s first long ride! We’d taken the kids bikes with us as we knew they were comfortable on them, and then hired some for ourselves from Kent Cycles. We easily joined the coast path and headed east at quite a pace the kilometres disappeared quickly.
We stopped half way for cups of tea and a play on the beach before continuing on to Herne Bay.
We rewarded ourselves with a big picnic and huge ice creams, as well as a very competitive game of mini golf (Matt and I tied for first place, much to Matt’s annoyance!!)
Fuelled by ice cream, the children managed the way home equally speedily and Emilia was still smiling as she reached her eighth mile of cycling. Quite an achievement when you’re five years old!
I just loved all the colourful beach huts along the route – and the children amused themselves for ages choosing which ones they liked best.
When we got back to Whitstable, we hopped in the car and drove back to Herne Bay (taking about 5 minutes this time) to indulge in an enormous pizza dinner at A Casa Mia (genuinely one of the best pizza restaurants in the UK). I think we’d earned it!
Walking the Crab and Winkle Way to Canterbury
Encouraged by our Oyster Bay Trail success, we decided to try the other trail from Whitstable at the end of our week away – the Crab & Winkle Way. It takes its name from the six-mile railway line which ran between the towns of Canterbury and Whitstable and runs through woodland, farmland and orchards. We had contemplated cycling it, but the full route is over seven miles and is much more hilly, so we thought a walk might be more successful. Also, the weather had suddenly turned hot and sunny and we thought we’d enjoy it more if we weren’t sweating up hills on the bike!
It was a lovely walk with long period where we had it all to ourselves which was such a treat.
We enjoyed a picnic amongst the woodland, enjoying the shade – it really did get surprisingly hot!
We wandered around the pretty University of Kent campus before winding our way through the old city streets towards the spires of the Cathedral. Everyone was quite weary by the time we arrived, so we made a beeline for a tea room to indulge in huge cakes and scones and cool drinks.
We took the bus back to Whitstable and headed down to the beach for a sunset play and drinks at the ideally located Old Neptune Pub. A perfect end to a wonderful week.
Before we headed back to the city the next morning, we squeezed in one more play on the beach – look at the wonderful weather! Sophie and Emilia are still firm friends and I know they loved getting to spend so much time together. I wonder where we’ll go next Easter…