Join one of our grand loop tours of the southeast counties of England, Kent and Sussex, known as “The Garden of England”. Experience white horses in hillsides, stunning chalk cliffs overlooking the English Channel, grand cathedrals, royal castles, historic battle sites, and unsurpassed scenic cycling along quiet country lanes. This tour offers a fantastic variety of landscapes, flora, sites, history, village life, and architecture.
Garden of England Tour
7 day, 7 night Itineraries:
Friday, June 12-Friday, June 19, 2020
Saturday, June 20-Saturday June 27, 2020
8 day, 8 night Itinerary: for those who’d like to spend some more time in one of the great towns on our route, this itinerary is the same as 7 day itinerary, but with an extra rest day in Canterbury to relax in the same B&B and enjoy the city.
Sunday June 28-Monday July 6, 2020
Level of Difficulty – Moderate to Difficult. Although the mileage is very reasonable, days 4 and 6 are extremely hilly, especially with hybrid bikes off-road. If you are not comfortable with challenging hills, I highly recommend you use an electric-assist bike to enable you to fully enjoy your vacation.
For a great overview of the entire tour, here’s a link to a 9 minute video one of our participants made! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRfb2p8j8B0
Day 0 (afternoon before cycle tour). We meet at our hotel in Royal Tunbridge Wells, site of the historic “Pantiles” pedestrian section of restaurants and shops, and check out our bikes.
Day 1, 26 miles. After a traditional full English Breakfast, we ride to Leeds Castle, called the “loveliest castle in Europe,” where we stay in a B&B on the grounds.
Day 2, 26 miles. Riding along the Pilgrim’s Path to Canterbury (where the famous Canterbury Tales were composed, beginning with “Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote”, click here for short audio of the entire Prologue), where we’ll see the glorious cathedral and enjoy the large downtown pedestrian zone of museums, the “crooked bookstore”, and restaurants.
8-Day Itinerary, Day 3, rest day or optional ride. Enjoy another day and night in this great city and historic B&B. A short bike ride will be offered in the morning, or just enjoy the museums, shops, historic sites, parks, and cultural events in Canterbury.
Day 3, 41 miles. We follow official bike routes through magnificent countryside to the Medieval City of Rye, one of the Cinque Ports designated to guard King Henry’s kingdom against invasion.
Day 4, 33 miles. We ride to the site of the Battle of Hastings, where William the Conqueror defeated King Harold in 1066, and then to the English channel and on to the grand Victorian Seaside town of Eastbourne. Take in a concert at the Bandstand, a play at the theatre, or jazz at a local club.
Day 5. Enjoy a day of leisure; swimming, shopping, hiking to the the Seven Sisters Park, which was called “the most relaxing place in the world” by CNN travel, or just relaxing.
Day 6, 22 miles. We cycle along the White Cliffs of Beachy Head, then continue the day into the pastoral Cuckmere valley, with the quaint village of Alfriston, and up onto the magnificent vistas of the South Downs. After cycling with the hikers, equestrians, and sheep sharing the trail, we go on to the Tudor village of Lewes for the night.
Day 7, 28 miles. Our last day takes us through more great cycling countryside. We’ll then hop on the Bluebell Railway, an authentic 19th century steam-driven train, to cover the middle portion of the route, and finish our ride on the glorious Forest Way trail back to our starting point in Royal Tunbridge Wells.
- High quality hybrid or Electric bikes (extra fee) for comfortable riding on crushed-gravel cycle paths as well as roads.
- Bicycle Helmets.
- Lodging in beautiful B&B’s or small hotels, including one night at Leeds castle.
- Luggage transport & emergency van support.
- Full-time, on-road guide (Andy Brown).
- Detailed electronic routes and cue sheets with descriptions.
- Tour information booklet.
- Advice with travel arrangements.
- Full English breakfast every day.
- Admission to Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Hastings Battlefield & Museum, Rye Bell Tower, and Bluebell Railway steam train ticket.
What’s Not Included:
- Transportation to and from the start of the tour.
- Lodging before and after the tour.
- Lunches, Dinners, or Drinks.
- Additional arrangements necessary if you bring your own bike.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and to sign up!