Distance approx 13 miles to Gravesend and then back
I’m training for a Charity Bike Ride.
I’m riding for Prostate Cancer UK
Continuing my training for a bike ride in September I’ve been following a training schedule trying to get out of comfort zone and increase my mileage. This trip to Gravesend, Kent is one I’ve wanted to do for ages since having a conversation about Pocahontas with an American friend. I told them that Pocahontas was buried in Kent, Gravesend to be exact. I said when I get a chance I’ll go to her burial place.
Fast forward a few years and now I’m actively training and riding my bike a lot, so a trip to Gravesend was an easy idea.
Getting out of Chatham can be the biggest challenge as there are some big hills to negotiate if you stray off the cycle routes. As I didn’t check the Sustrans route properly before and I went with my old Car Drivers knowledge and headed towards the Gravesend Road. Now that was a brutal start to a bike ride. Next time I’m definitely taking cycle route all the way. The positive side is on the way back I knew it was going to be a lovely cruise downhill.
Once on the Gravesend road going through Higham, the road becomes a lot more relaxed with steady rollers but generally a smooth ride. Also, there’s a decently sized bike path along the road.
Hey, I made it to Gravesend
Legs were okay so I decided to ask around for the Pocahontas burial site. Managed to find a Tourist Information stand at The Gravesend Indoor Market and a very helpful lady gave directions and some historical knowledge. She gave me a leaflet with some great information.
St. George’s’ Church – Pocahontas Burial Site
This is a fantastic church not far from the River Thames and in its peaceful garden is a Statue to Pocahontas which also has an interactive voice message explaining a bit more about the site.
I moved around the town also checked out the Gravesend – Tilbury Ferry Terminal (for a forthcoming trip to Essex). Had a quick break at the Gravesham Town Hall and chilled for a bit.
Gravesend has so much more to see than I had time for but fun fact the Name Gravesend comes from the days of The Great Plague you can read more here
On my return journey, I picked up the cycle route again and came across a lovely riverside park called Riverside Leisure Area
and saw a huge gathering of Swans. There must have been 40 – 50 along the river bank. It was so impressive had to stop and take a photo.
Then I headed back to Gravesend road to retrace my route to Chatham. This way felt much easier I’m not sure if there was a tailwind but it wasn’t a struggle. A couple of creeper hills heading up towards Strood but soon I was whooshing down at top speed. If there wasn’t any traffic I could have been totally happy but as a safe cyclist obeying the rules of the road are important but it was still fun.
Gravesend is a fantastic town for history buffs and really could take a whole day to explore by bike. It also has numerous modern attractions so definitely worth anyone’s time. If you visit by car or train from London then you could easily combine it with a trip to Rochester, Kent. That trip would be packed.
As I’m a cycle tourist at heart and not a speed racer so I tend to take my time, sometimes stopping for directions or just to take a few photos.
Total trip clocked in around 28 miles and I had a really nice day.
Here’s my latest ride activity