Oyster Bay Trail: Swalecliffe to Reculver

This route (which is Phase 1 of the overall Oyster Bay Trail) runs, mainly along the coast, from Swalecliffe via Hampton Pier, Herne Bay, Bishopstone Glen, to Reculver. The west end of the route links to the Phase 2 section of the Trail, the east end to the Viking Coastal Trail.

This section of the proposed route is about 10 km long.

Map of proposed route

The Oyster Bay Trail is shown in light blue (solid for the constructed sections, dashed for the planned sections). A spur to Herne Bay High School and another route along the A2990 are shown in dashed mauve.

Copyright CC by SA: OpenCycleMap

CCC web page

This proposed route, its present state and its proposed development is fully described in this October 2009 update (cached copy).




What the CCC Walking and Cycling Strategy document (2003) said

Whitstable to Reculver (Coastal Route) - Plan Reference No 27

Regional Cycle Route 15 is the Kent Coastal Route proposed by Sustrans for recreational cycling from Faversham to Dymchurch .The route takes advantage of the flat coastline and existing promenades on the sea front although at some of the locations the use of the promenades by cyclists is a controversial issue. Other coastal districts in East Kent have already opened sea front cycle routes. The route eastwards from Reculver known as the Viking Coastal Trail, was completed in Summer 2001.

The sections within the Canterbury district would be as follows:


Swalecliffe to Hampton

From Tankerton Promenade an existing concrete track approximately 1.5 metres wide winds a semicircular route away from the sea until it reaches Swalecliffe Promenade at Long Rock.

The promenade extends to Hampton and is currently well used for cycling. It would require no improvement work although, similar to other parts of the promenade, the existing ‘No Cycling’by-law would need to be removed.

Hampton to Reculver

From Hampton Promenade the 5.0 metre wide footway/sea wall could be marked out to provide a shared, segregated cycle path past the entrance into Hampton Pier car park and onto Spa Esplanade if required. Spa Esplanade is adopted highway providing vehicular access to several sea front properties. It has been traffic calmed and is suitable for cycling.

The route would join Western Esplanade via a concrete coastal slope opposite Central Avenue. It would be beneficial if the slope could be widened.

The route would be signed on-carriageway from Western Esplanade along Central Parade,which is traffic calmed, past the Pier and Bandstand and onto East Cliff Parade. Improved crossing facilities should be investigated where Central Parade joins East Cliff Parade.

East Cliff Parade leads directly onto East Cliff Promenade. The promenade is 6-7 metres wide and well surfaced and extends for 2 km towards Reculver. The only areas of concern for cyclists using the Promenade would be the potential for conflict at the Sailing Club and shingle washed onto the concrete surface. The latter could be controlled with regular maintenance.

At the end of the promenade the Eastern Access Road provides a safe pathway up to Reculver Drive car park.

From the car park, cyclists would use a short section on road on Ocean View before joining Manor Road and Haven Drive to reach Bishopstone Lane.

From Bishopstone Lane the route joins an unmade path through Reculver Country Park. This path is Public Footpath CH 56 and consideration should be given to widening and reconstruction using hogging and limestone dust or similar materials to compliment the surroundings. The area is managed by English Nature and is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The route leaves the park at the car park and then joins the existing Viking Coastal Trail near to the King Ethelbert Public House.

From section 8.5.4 of the Canterbury Walking and Cycling Strategy (2003)

Present state of the route

(At present, several sections of the above routes are classified as public footpaths, with byelaws prohibiting cycling.)

Next moves

Latest news

The Spokes blog carries the latest news for this route.

Funding, sponsors and supporters

Implementation of the overall Oyster Bay Trail will cost £290k and will be funded by: