2023Gazette ArticlesRides

Kemsing Canter Sunday 25th June 2023

The hottest day of the year so far – the forecast was for 33 degrees and it certainly felt like it in the sunshine. Fortunately there was an intermittent breeze which was a real blessing with every gust, also the shade from over-hanging trees along parts of the country lanes. Our destination was the Aircraft Museum at Shoreham which I had not visited since 2019. We got as far as Halsted when “Puncture!” was called. Our damsel in distress was Julie. Not a usual cause of deflation, but a drawing pin – not something you expect on country lanes!

Julie did a great job in speedily getting the punctured tube out and the replacement in

I was expecting the tearoom at Shoreham to be busy but hardly anyone was there. Perhaps it was too hot for cyclists to venture out into this very hilly area. But the tea, cake, and service of the volunteer staff make it a bargain place to visit. So before leaving, a photo to remind us!

Tom tom is holding what appears to be the tail fin section of W.W 2 shell casing

Shoreham is a lovely old village, as are several others in this area of Kent, so rather than heading straight back to Purley we took a detour via Kemsing, Seal and Riverhead, to the yachting lake at Chipstead.

See https://cycle.travel/map/journey/449370

From the tearoom we followed the road through Shoreham village to cross over the River Darent – another photo opportunity – the War Memorial on the river bank.

Then past the many very old houses and equally old village pub to join the main road to Otford, where we diverted along the ancient Pilgrims Way to Canterbury. This now acts as the long northern boundary of Kemsing. We turned off into the old centre of Kemsing to join St Edith’s Rd, marked by a small garden on the corner.

I stopped here because the Cycle Travel route map showed a tearoom of which I was not aware, but could be useful for future rides in this charming area. And this is it below – The Kemsing Italian Deli.

It was then that Asif noticed a plaque on the garden wall beside the tearoom – St Edith’s Well!

Apparently St. Edith, the daughter of the Anglo Saxon King Edgar I, was born in Kemsing 100 years before William the Conqueror landed on our shores. Legend says that her saintly presence gave the well healing properties. I wonder if a tea or coffee at the cafe next door would now be an aid for cyclists with the common problems of knee and back ache?

Our ladies went to explore and find the well

Back on our bikes we soon came to this sign. I have no idea of what the connection is between Kemsing and Noah’s Ark.

It was then a nice ride along country lanes to Seal where we crossed over the A 25 in order to cycle back to Riverhead via the huge private estate of the Wildernesse. Unfortunately since my last ride thru the estate in 2019 the way is now barred by security gates. I was just about to turn back to rejoin the busy A25 to Riverhead when I noticed a small sign beside the keypad used to open the gates. This conveniently showed the code number to open the gates! We soon saw the reason for the key code being displayed – a pizza delivery by motor scooter. So many deliveries now that the drivers are given the entry security code!

From Riverhead it is only a mile to the lake beside Chevening Rd at Chipstead. The lake is home to a sailing club and at weekends the club house is open, so we stopped for thirst quenching tea/coffee. It was a relaxing break, watching the sailing boats in what was clearly a competitive event.

Being such a hot day we even stopped at Flower Farm for a last tea and cake before the final climb of the day upto Marden Park. A great day’s ride.


1881 1881 1881 1881 1881