Take part in Bike Week in Kent

It’s easy to see why cycling is one of the most accessible sports to pick up – simply grab a bike and head out from your doorstep. Between the 8th and 16th June it's Bike Week in the UK, which means it's time to get out and cycle around the varying landscapes in Kent. Whether you are looking to just watch some cycling, or head out on a Sunday couple of miles or perhaps a full Tour de Kent, read on for our favourite outings.

Photo: SWPix

OVO Women’s Tour

This one is certainly the easiest on this blog, as you simply have to watch! The UK’s premier cycling tour is coming to Kent for one day only. With an exhilarating atmosphere think back to the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in 2007 that finished in Canterbury. On Tuesday 11th the second stage of the OVO Women’s Tour will be taking place at the Cyclopark in Gravesend, and will feature some of the world’s finest riders from Olympians to World champions, who will take on 25 laps of the track totalling 62.5km. Entry is free, and getting there is easy too, as there is a park and ride scheme, connecting the track and Bluewater and Ebbsfleet International. Kent’s Tour

Hiring your ride

It may be easy to head out on a bike ride if the routes are near your house, but if you don’t own a bike rack for your car or can’t fit the bikes on a train then it could be easiest to hire at one of the starting points. Across in West Kent, Bewl Water is not only ideal for families as it’s flat and covers a stunning lakeside views, but with their bike hire you can head out in as small or big group as you wish, working up an appetite for a meal at the Boat House Bistro. If you’d rather head down the coast and be cooled by the sea air on a warm summers’ day, Click2Cycle is perfectly placed in Hythe. Once you’ve hired your bike from them head along the Military Canal for a few miles, or perhaps go right along the beach on the Princes Parade. No bike, no problem

Photo: Josh Carter

Exploring Kent by bike

Across Kent there are trails taking in some tough hills, effortless coastal paths and countryside pathways, and Explore Kent have put together some of the best to follow on a weekend or summer's evening. Between Swalecliffe and Reculver is the 6.7 mile Oyster Bay Trail which is home to a SSSI and takes in history and sweeping sea views. Just a little down the coast is the start of the Crab and Winkle Way, which is an old railway line between Whitstable and Canterbury – at 7.5 miles it’s an enjoyable mix of woodland, country and seaside finished by a little city centre. If those sound a little too challenging then the 3 miles between Chartham and Canterbury along the Great Stour Way might be up your street. With a dedicated cycle path following the Stour it’s perfect for families and short jaunts. Get out and Explore

East Kent’s seaside

Thirty-two miles might sound a little bit much to the casual cyclist, but that is the full route of the Viking Coastal Trail in Thanet so don't go backpedalling out of this bit just yet. Being a leisure route connecting the seaside towns of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate, you can cycle for as long or little as you wish. Along the way, expect to see historic sites such as ‘Hugin’, the Viking ship, to Dickens’ House through to the Turner Contemporary. Being well signposted as it’s along Regional Cycle Network 15, the mostly flat route is open to amateurs and semi professionals alike. Shoreline exploration

Pedal in the Weald

With its stunning countryside, plenty of lanes and varying gradients, the Weald in west Kent is one reason that the Tour de France finished a stage in the county back in 2007. Take on your own challenge by cycling some of the 30km trails and tracks at Bedgebury Pinetum, or head to the rural villages of Cranbrook or Goudhurst. Similar to the Crab & Winkle, there is a disused railway line called the Forest Way that runs between Groombridge and East Grinstead - shaded and off road means it's fitting for the family cycle. Trailing around Tunbridge Wells