We will take the 09.32 train from Stratford International to Gravesend (arriving 09.47). Â The train fare is Â£16.30 return, but the group discount should reduce this by Â£5.50 per ticket. Â Cycle policy on the train is generally positive, but at the discretion of the conductor.
Please make sure you arrive at StratfordÂ InternationalÂ by 09.15 to allow purchase of group tickets etc.
We will return on the 16.42 from Gravesend – this should allow plenty of time for breaks.
The route is 33 miles
Garmin details:Â https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/5877736
Steve hasÂ found some interesting literary commentary on this remote part of the Thames estuary, although we will stay on roads apart from the cycle track into Gravesend. Â We will not venture into the marshesâ€¦..
This difficulty in traversing the marshes is highlighted by Dickens in Great Expectations where his protagonist Pip, native to the marshland, heads onto the marshes at night:
â€˜A stranger would have found them insupportable, and even to me they were so oppressive that I hesitated, half inclined to go back. But I knew them well, and could have found my way on a far darker nightâ€™ (Dickens 1861 (2010 repr), 459).
More recent commentary is no less ominous
â€˜And it is wild â€“ or, rather, it has traces of wildness about it. This is not the wilderness of nature, but the wildness of desolation. It is not a human place. You can walk along the river wall of the Hundred of Hoo for miles, between the river and the grass, without encountering anyone at all.â€™
(Ackroyd 2007, 396-7).
Hopefully this will not put riders off, is is an interesting place and commentary from the previous rides makes interesting reading.