Isle Of Sheppey and Sittingbourne
The Isle of Sheppey and Sittingbourne spring some surprises. Beach-lazing, chic-sleeping great pub food-eating pedal-pushing, horizon-gazing, soul-soothing - do it all here.
Dubbed Kent's Treasure Island, the Isle of Sheppey offers adventure and a great escape; from sandy beaches to mind-expanding marshes and bird-packed reserves.
Ride the waves at Minster Leas and the Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club in Sheerness, or go kayaking, boating and kiting at Barton’s Point Coastal Park. Shallow grounds and surf beaches can always produce some superb Bass fishing.
Sheppey's serene, flat marshlands make it superb big sky country. Popular with today's cyclists, artists, photographers, and fossil hunters, it drew aviation pioneers too. A 16-mile cycle trail snakes past key sites. Start at Muswell Manor, home to the world's first aircraft factory (no longer visible today) where the first circular mile was flown. Then, go onto the Memorial to British Aviation at Eastchurch together with a sculpture representing the Wright Flyer and finish back at Muswell Manor, for drinks beside evocative aviation exhibits in the bar.
There's such a wealth of things to do on the Isle of Sheppey, that we've compiled a series of itineraries and inspirational ideas. Check out everything from Lord Nelson links to cycle trails, bird-watching to Charles Dickens connections at Sheppey Country Breaks.
If you thought there was no wilderness left in the South East, go to Elmley National Nature Reserve; a special, peaceful landscape, dominated by soul-stirring skies. Follow the signpost from the Old Ferry Bridge. It's so unspoilt at the Swale National Nature Reserve that harriers, avocets and short-eared owls sometimes breed. Tucked into the isle's southern shore at nearby Harty, the Ferry House Inn is a sleek get-away-from-it-all retreat, tempting you with fine local fare, wide water views, open fires and stylish bedrooms.
Lively Sittingbourne is full of cafes and restaurants - and hosts a weekly Friday market too. In nearby Sheerness, meanwhile, market day comes twice a week - Tuesdays and Saturdays are the days for bargain hunting there.
Sittingbourne is also home to the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway, which puffs back into the town's paper-milling past. The history of the town can also be explored at the Heritage Hub, Sittingbourne Heritage Museum and the Milton Regis Court Hall Museum.
The 52-hectare Milton Creek Country Park has play spaces and trails among its meadows and wetlands, while the marshes and mudflats of the Oare Marshes Nature Reserve in Faversham are a-flutter with migrating, overwintering and breeding birds.
'Sittingbourne a town to be proud of'
Sittingbourne is the only UK Town twinned with Ypres in Belgium, proud to have been twinned since 1964 and is located in the Swale area of North Kent. This film to has been produced by Swale Borough Council with the support and participation of the community in recognition and as a tribute to the ongoing links with Ypres, providing a current reflection of the town and its aspirations for the future.
Discover more about the whole area at www.visit-swale.co.uk and plan your visit with some more detailed itinerary suggestions.
Find out more about the Isle of Sheppey at www.visitsheppey.com