The Heron Trail
15.5 miles (25km). On-road 100% - Off-road 0%. Circular
With its literary connections - Charles Dickens wrote Great
Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities here - rich maritime heritage
and wide variety of bird life, there is something for everyone on a
visit to the Heron Trail on the Hoo Peninsula.
|Ride Easy (6 mph)
||Ride Well (7-8 mph)
||Ride Strong Plus+ (13-15 mph)
|2 hours 30 minutes*
|| 1 hour*
*all times approximations.
Maps & guides:
About the route:
The circular route is 15.5 miles (25 km) in total but
can be broken up into shorter sections.
Starting points can be anywhere along the route, but Higham
Station is a convenient location from which to start your ride.
The Heron Trail takes its name from the RSPB
Northward Hill Reserve. As well as nightingales and
turtledoves, the wood has the largest heronry in the UK, with more
than 150 pairs of grey heron nesting in the treetops and almost 50
pairs of little egrets, a recent colonist.
Further highlights of the trail are the many forts and castles
that line the route. Take a look at Cliffe Fort, which was built in
1800 as part of the defence system guarding the Thames. Now it is a
home for roosting birds and a variety of plants.
Another option is Cooling Castle, which is privately
owned. It was built in 1381 and once stood close to the sea.
Draining of the marshes has left it some distance inland.
Castle, built in 1559, is set on the banks of the River Medway
and was constructed as a gun fort on the orders of Queen Elizabeth
I to defend her warships at anchor.
If you feel like straying from the trail, the Riverside Country
Park offers fantastic traffic-free cycling for the whole
family, plus a stunning panorama over coastal marsh, fresh water
habitats and grasslands alongside the Medway estuary.
Weather near start point
This Weather Widget is provided by the Met Office
If you need to report a problem on this route
please call 0845 345 0210 or use the online
reporting tool. You can then choose to receive regular updates
about the progress of your report.