Motorcycling in Kent UK
Kent here we come! Picture book memories for you all! Scroll slowly and go back in time to our rideout to Kent, my thanks to you all for a wonderful weekend.
Grab a cuppa, sit back and reflect....
Scroll slowly to enable the photos to download...
Leaving from the Destination Triumph - Solent shop
Anyone interested in riding a motorcycle will appreciate what pleasure you get from the open road. Complete and utter bliss.
Lets get started...
So, it was very kind of the shop owner to come out and wish us all a safe ride and a good weekend. Very much appreciated.
Always best to give a briefing of the proceedings to come before we set off!
So there are I believe 18 bikes and 26 riders going to Kent. Some two up and others riding solo.
Before we leave Mike our lead rider always gives the group a rundown on what to expect on the trip.
The weather is not looking good, so, we all decide to put our wet gear on before we set off. Not an easy job I must say as having leathers on already and having to put waterproofs over the top it can become quite a struggle and very tricky, especially for the ladies in the group.
After we have all been briefed it's on the bikes and on our way.
Loomies Cafe known by many and a great meeting place for bikers
Loomies Cafe is somewhere to meet up with all your biker friends. Can get extremely busy if the weather is good and the car park is not very big, so, you can find yourself getting blocked in by other bikes should it be a good day. On the Corhampton route it is a lovely area for riding your bike.
Cowdray Park is very close by but not for us today!
A little about Cowdray
Dating back to the early 1500s, and during the reign of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, both visited and stayed at the house at Cowdray park.
Three hundred years later the house was refurbished for the marriage of the 8th Viscount Montague, a fire took place on the evening of the 24th September 1793 when the house was destroyed except for the kitchen tower.
Since then it remained untouched until 1909 when the 1st Viscount Cowdray commissioned a restoration.
Cowdray re-opened in March 2007 to the public. And today it is in the care of the Cowdray Heritage Trust and what a good job they do of maintaining the grounds and the estate too.
A little about Petworth House
There are 700 acres to explore, and lots of walking to be done in th grounds of Petworth House.
Petworth hose is in the parish of Petworth, it is a grade 1 listed country house. Rebuilt in 1688 by Charles Seymour, the 6th Duke of Somerset, and again altered in the 1870's.
Inside the house you will find a collection of painting by Constable, Van Dyck, Turner and a number of other artists work and carving by Grinling Gibbons.
You can visit the servants quarters and will become fascinated by the kitchens and other service rooms.
The park is open from 8am till dusk everyday and is well worth a visit.
Billingshurst is a village and part of Horsham District of West Sussex. It is 8 miles south west of Horsham. The village is quite small although does have a swimming pool, gym, football pitches, two cricket pitches and a fishing lake. Doesn't need much more to keep the community active does it!
Comradery when riding is upmost in this group of riders
I have never seen comradery like it, the riders all look out for each other. With the drop offs in place at a junction or roundabout or when the leader raises his arm the bike behind the leader stops, raises and points in the direction that the bikes should be going and are paramount with a very large group of riders. And it works like clockwork. As the riders pass they acknowledge with a nod or a beep to thank the person directing them. Really nice way of communicating whilst riding. Ok it is possible for things to go pear shaped however that is few and far between!
And the back marker is there to make sure that all the riders go the way they should be going. He knows what route the leader has planned and they work together to ensure everyone stays together.
Cool I say!
If a rider takes the wrong turning he will ensure he rounds them up and puts them back on track.
Weather is looking a bit like heavy rain
The weather on this trip has not proved very good so far. It has been threatening rain most of the way and the clouds just seem to be getting darker by the minute.
That's a little better!
I think that by the end of the trip I may have cracked taking the photos of the riders behind us in our group. Yes, I could get a Go Pro, but I really do enjoy clicking away on the back of the bike. And the thought of being able to share the photos with all the other riders is very rewarding whether good or bad.
If I didn't take photos whilst sitting on the back of the bike I have the overwhelming need to sleep! I don't know if it is the purring of the engine or what it is, but I am constantly nodding off much to my husbands dislike.
And it poured, and poured, and poured!
Well, I thought it may rain but this was heavy. Although, none of us seemed to be bothered about it. I suppose we had all prepared are selves before we left and after checking the weather forecasts.
I may have to put the camera away for a while as I would not be happy if it got wet and I couldn't spend my time clicking away on the back.
Rains stopped, yippee!
Honestly! You would never believe it was June! Otherwise know as flaming June. It is getting increasingly difficult to plan anything on the bike, especially if your a fair weather rider or pillion rider which myself and my hubby are. I find it amazing that I am enjoying this tour, it must be something to do with the company we are keeping! Good company!
Anyone have any idea what the two buildings are in the above photo?
I remember snapping these buildings but not what they were called any ideas on the photos above?
I love it when I can snap loads of the bikes whilst moving
Quite difficult to get all the bikes moving together in one photo, but I have done it in a few.
The photo above shows what I was explaining about the camardery
In this photo the rider has pulled over to allow the other rider to pass him with the pillion rider holding her arm out to show which way they should be going.
In some cases the rider would just put on his indicators to show the way, sometimes, it is necessary however for the pillion to assist.
Just had a thought, I can't imagine how much all of these bikes and the gear that goes with being a biker must come to in total. It must be an awful lot of money. Care to take a guess?
Happy smiley pillion rider!
It's so funny when you get a picture of the pillion rider and they are not expecting it! Smiley faces all round.
Nodding my head whilst typing and thinking to myself why didn't I choose something more feminine as a hobby? I kind of like dressing up and being a biker's wife it's extremely hard to dress up when you have minimal space to carry your evening gear in. Oh well, one thing is for sure it won't take me long to decide what to wear!
One pair of jeans and three tops and a pair of light weight sandals is the choices that I have. I wonder what the other pillion riders think about when they are sitting on the back of the bike. Bet it's the same for them when it comes to choosing what to wear in the evening.
Hubby had a great idea for when we tour next year, (not this year as the trip is getting close when we are going to France and not enough time to research) he suggested we packed a case and got it shipped to wherever we were going to reside. I thought that was a brilliant idea, no need to carry the gear on the bike and I would be able to take luxurious things such as a dress! I will definitely be giving this some thought next year.
Hay ho, back to this ride.....
Premier Inn Maidstone, Sandling. We have reached our destination
So we arrived at the Premier Inn, Maidstone, Sandling at about 5.30ish. We were all very wet and very tired but exilerated after the ride.
We arranged to meed at 7.30 for dinner which the leader had already arranged with the hotel and the Beefeater, Malta Inn at Maidstone which was adjacent to the hotel table bookings for all of us.
The hotel is not far from Maidstone itself and with a smashing beer garden alongsde the river Medway it is a lovely place to stay.
In the area is Chatham where the historic warships and submarine are located and you also have the Kent downs where you can walk your socks off!
There's also free wifi and free parking which is a bonus.
Ducks are happy in the car park at the hotel!
Its rained so much the ducks even have their own little puddle in the car park to splash around in!
If you get the opportunity to go to this Beefeater your in for a real treat, behind the pub is a beautiful river, absolutely stunning!
We were all very layed back here, so laid back we missed the opportunity of going across the rail track before the bridge came down!
I have never seen so many pubs in one tiny village! Elham.
I love the small country roads that we were taken down, the trees look gorgeous with the light shining through, not sure the riders would agree though!
Cracking churches on this ride!
So here we are at The Pines Garden Tea Room & Museum
The Pines Garden represents a blend of beauty. It is an organically managed garden and has a lake, poetry path and a trail for children and adults alike to wonder down. It also has an organic kitchen gardens with a huge array of different species of fruit and veg.
Founded by Flowering Fred Cleary in 1971 the garden contains beautiful mature trees and shrubs including walnut, fig and pomegranate trees.
The tea room is lovely and you can enjoy cooked lunches, sandwiches and cake and lots more. Our hosts were extremely welcoming and served our food to perfection.
Within the tea room there is a museum outlining what life would have been like in a wartime village.
Well, I must say this part of the trip for me was the best part. I love gardening and really did enjoy walking around the pines garden it was to say the least beautiful and thank you to Mike for taking us there.
The museum was very impressive!
The tea room was very welcoming
Now we are approaching the White Cliffs of Dover
This was a great stop. Time to stretch our legs and look out over the channel.
What a tour this has been, we have had awful weather lets be honest, but did we let it get to us, no. Everyone was having a great time and making the best of being out in the fresh air with their freinds and of course their motorbikes.
Group photos! Has to be done, what a motley crew!!!!
The lorries here were huge, thought we may get squashed!
Brief from Mike with the days riding....
Love our biker friends!
This was a really lovely place to stop, relaxing and time to have a natter!
Dungeness Nuclear Power Station
Been looking forward to talking about this place.
I must admit I didn't like the feel of this place. I had an overwhelming feeling of loss here. What I mean by that is, is that I felt like If we stayed to long we may be beamed up by a spaceship or just be forgotten and nobody would be able to find us. There were just a few little cottages spaced around a vast area of nothing and the lighthouse and the nucleur power station. I really didn't like it here.
Maybe we should have followed Jackie and Mike they found the water that may have lightened the sense of nothing that I unfortunately felt.
Hubby and I went to speak to a guy that lived here in his little cottage with his artists studio. I asked him whether he got lonely with nothing around him all the time, he was quite happy and said that he has his art, I took some photos of his art....
Was so glad when we left and saw trees!
Looks like something out of a cowboy film!
Dungeness and the lighthouse which unfortunately I didn't have the energy or want to climb!
In speaking to a guy that lived in this remote area this is what I found out
Are you not lonely here I asked he replied not at all I have my art.
The artist has so many objects on display, wonderfully odd!
What category would you put this type of art into
What type of art would you call this art?
Really pleased to be getting back on the road, it felt like life as we know it had stopped whilst we were here
The Great British Countryside, feeling euphoric!
The wall or is it a bridge as we approach Ramsgate has so much character
Never been to Ramsgate before. Lovely icecream!!
And away we go again! Raining.....
So it's the last day and time to go home. Had a great visit to Kent and now time to go back to beautiful Hampshire.
Puddles like you have never seen before!!!!
Oh my goodness the rain just will not let up! I actually took my gloves off and rang them out! It was that wet...
Oh dear! Looks like someone has a puncture, pillion passenger still smiling though!
Back in Hampshire! I have to say that it is far prettier than Kent!
Are you a dry weather rider or doesn't it bother you
If it were raining and you had planned to go on a rideout with your freinds would you
That's it for now folks, hope you enjoy looking at the photos!
Still need to learn how to download my videos, but for now until next time.