Route: Isle of Thanet Loop (United Kingdom)

Submitted by Robin Hinks on Sat, 09/19/2020 - 12:23am
United Kingdom
58 km
Vertical Gain
215 m

The Isle of Thanet, lieing at the most easterly point of Kent, England, was once fully seperated from the mainland by the 600-metre-wide Wantsum Channel. This led the Romans to build a small fort there at its westernmost point, Rulculver,at the time of their conquest of Britain in 43 AD.  Silting of the Wantsum in the middle ages means Thanet is no longer an island, but remains culturally and administratively distinct from Kent, with its historic boundaries now comprising the Thanet local authority district.

A full loop of Thanet can be completed by running the shoreline via both the multiterrain Viking Trail Coastal Trail and Thanet's gold sand beaches, before cutting inland along the Wantsum Channel - now merely an irrigated agricultural ditch with no official right of way - before joining the River Stour back to the coast. This circular route takes you through numerous sites of local and national interest: The Sandwich Pegwell Bay marshlands nature reserve and site of special scientific interest; the heart of the historic towns of Ramsgate, Broadstairs, and Margate; and two Roman forts - Richborough Roman Fort and Rulculver Towers.  

Note, this is a multiterrain and largely traffic-free, route.  It is a closer fit to the historic shores of Thanet then the established Viking Trail cycle loop, which takes roads for its inland portion. While the Wantsum has permissive access, some clambering is needed at its juncture with the Stour. Elsewhere, a cautious crossing of the Thanet Way A-Road is needed to avoid a several KM diversion.  The Stour's public footpath along the latter takes you along the mainland-ride of the river. |

GPS Track