the South East - where to cycle next?

kj92

Well-Known Member
To fill you in, I have been given a challenge: reach 480km by the end of July (I'm on a Brompton, versus a road bike owner... Yelp!) The yellow jersey winner gets a vino bought for them by second place. Sounds easy, right?

Yesterday I went for a "I don't really want to" bike ride, had a really crap sleep, and am also aching today. Today is not a biking day.

Here's the question: aside from Cambs, where else is a great place to visit by car (within 1.5hrs drive from Southend and/or the South East) so I can explore pretty town(s) on a bike?

I have been averaging 14/15km per ride, but I recently broke the 20km threshold for the first time 🏆

Sorry, anyway - I look forward to all/any responses 😂
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
Use the Dartford Crossing. Kent and beyond will be your oyster.
 

Specialeyes

Veteran
Location
Essex
If you were parking at Battlesbridge, you may as well ride there from Southend tbh. in the sense that it's dead flat from SoS to Battlesbridge if you go out through Rochford. But then you have a couple of lumps to get up to Hanningfield: from Hawk Hill Battlesbridge up through Rettendon then from the old A130 up the hill to West Hanningfield. They're not big hills (certainly not by Yorkshire standards!) but they're definitely lumpier than Southend Seafront and the 'BBL' (Big Barling Loop).

Depending on how far you want to drive to start, other good starting off points might be East Hanningfield for loops around the Hanningfields and east towards the Dengie peninsula, or a little further afield if you went through the lanes north of Chelmsford (Say Roxwell, the Easters, the Rodings and the Walthams - sounds like a very middle class dinner party) and back. The latter loop is full of pretty villages, no major hills and uses much of the TdF route from when it passed through which was described as a 'pan flat' stage. Or anything involving the Blackmore Tea Rooms (now open for takeaways by the duckpond).

Most routes from Southend involve Lower Road / Watery Lane leading out to Battlesbridge, as that's the pinch point where our little peninsula opens up. For nice flat local miles, some variation on the BBL is immensely popular. I live in Leigh and did 53 miles while never more than 7 miles from home the other day.
 
OP
kj92

kj92

Well-Known Member
If you were parking at Battlesbridge, you may as well ride there from Southend tbh. in the sense that it's dead flat from SoS to Battlesbridge if you go out through Rochford. But then you have a couple of lumps to get up to Hanningfield: from Hawk Hill Battlesbridge up through Rettendon then from the old A130 up the hill to West Hanningfield. They're not big hills (certainly not by Yorkshire standards!) but they're definitely lumpier than Southend Seafront and the 'BBL' (Big Barling Loop).

Depending on how far you want to drive to start, other good starting off points might be East Hanningfield for loops around the Hanningfields and east towards the Dengie peninsula, or a little further afield if you went through the lanes north of Chelmsford (Say Roxwell, the Easters, the Rodings and the Walthams - sounds like a very middle class dinner party) and back. The latter loop is full of pretty villages, no major hills and uses much of the TdF route from when it passed through which was described as a 'pan flat' stage. Or anything involving the Blackmore Tea Rooms (now open for takeaways by the duckpond).

Most routes from Southend involve Lower Road / Watery Lane leading out to Battlesbridge, as that's the pinch point where our little peninsula opens up. For nice flat local miles, some variation on the BBL is immensely popular. I live in Leigh and did 53 miles while never more than 7 miles from home the other day.
The 20km I did the other day was going up to Runwell via Rochford and back - that flattened me out!! Battlesbridge was my aim - better luck next time!

Do you have Strava? It's be good to try out a route or two similar to what you're talking about!
 

Specialeyes

Veteran
Location
Essex
You can get to my Strava via the link in the post above, I think (53 miles).

I pulled together the local heatmaps for popular routes around Southend - apologies if you know them already. The thicker the blue line, the more popular. The BBL is the run that goes from the Seafront out through Wakering and Barling etc.

View: https://flic.kr/p/2jbbPvE


Here's the same idea, extended up as far as Chelmsford:

View: https://flic.kr/p/2jb99yY


Hope that helps!
 
Last edited:
OP
kj92

kj92

Well-Known Member
You can get to my Strava via the link in the post above, I think (53 miles).

I pulled together the local heatmaps for popular routes around Southend - apologies if you know them already. The ticker the blue line, the more popular. The BBL is the run that gous from the Seafront out through Wakering and Barling etc.

View: https://flic.kr/p/2jbbPvE


Here's the same idea, extended up as far as Chelmsford:

View: https://flic.kr/p/2jb99yY


Hope that helps!
Ah perfect, thank you! I am aware of the heat maps on Strava but I never really knew how to utilise them properly... I'm going to have another bash at looking at those!
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
Suffolk coast is good if you can get yourself to Felixstowe there is a 5 ferries route but in these "difficult times" may not be operating. One is a guy in a rowing boat.
Still plenty of good cycling in quiet countryside.
 

mmmmartin

Random geezer
Have a look at the Kent cost. Gravesend, then left and along the coast via lanes near sittingbourne, reversal, graveney, then the sea wall through Whitstable, Margate, ramsgate, south through sandwich, all very flat and load of trains to get home
 

sotkayak

Über Member
Location
Canterbury,Kent
Ferry from Tilbury to Gravesend , and Kent awaits as above post shows....This is a foot ferry , no cars but they carry bicycles...https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/ferry-services/tilbury-to-gravesend-ferry-service
 
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