Oyster Bay Trail: Whitstable to Swalecliffe

This route (which is Phase 2 of the overall Oyster Bay Trail) runs from the Crab & Winkle Way at Harbour Street to join the Phase 1 section of the Oyster Bay Trail at Swalecliffe.

It is proposed that the route has two variants: one following the sea wall promenade (for use most of the year) and one following traffic-calmed roads (for use during the peak summer season when there may be many pedestrians on the promenade).

This section of the route is about 3 km long.

Map of proposed route

The two variants of the Phase 2 section of the Oyster Bay Trail are shown in yellow. The Phase 1 section of the Trail is shown in dashed light-blue. The existing Crab & Winkle Way is shown in pink.

Copyright CC by SA: OpenCycleMap

View larger map


This route will complete the Oyster Bay Trail along the coastline of north Kent.



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:

Whitstable to Swalecliffe

The route commences at the intersection of Crab and Winkle Line route at Harbour Street and continues along Tower Parade to Beach Walk.

From Beach Walk there are two routes which are proposed depending on the time of year.

A: Tankerton Promenade

This route would only be available for cycling outside the peak summer period, ie between 1 October and 30 April. During the summer months (ie 1 May to 30 September) cycling would only be permitted between the hours of 5.00pm and 9.00am in order to allow commuter cycling to continue but to prohibit cycling at times of heaviest pedestrian usage. The route would use the promenade all the way to Swalecliffe.

B: Marine Parade

The route to be used by cyclists during the busiest summer period is proposed as follows:

From Beach Walk cyclists would continue along Tower Parade and Tower Hill before reaching Marine Parade. Safety improvements at the Tower Parade/Tower Hill junction should be investigated.

The route continues along Marine Parade and Marine Crescent before turning into Princess Road and then Brook Road. Cyclists travelling westwards would need to detour around the one-way system unless a contraflow cycle path could be implemented.

From Brook Road the route would cross the bridge over the brook, continue past the Scout Hut and across a new path near the Church before reaching Swalecliffe Court Drive. From Swalecliffe Court Drive the route would rejoin the sea defence bund at Swalecliffe.


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

Present state of the route

For the most part, this route follows existing roads or sea wall promenades. At present, several sections of the route are classified as public footpaths, with byelaws prohibiting cycling.

Next move

The second four-mile phase of the cycle route will be between Swalecliffe and Whitstable (phase 2) and we hope to start investigating options (including options at Tankerton) during 2010. We would undertake public consultation so that local people can have their say before Members make the final decision. We then hope to formalise the issue of cycling along Tankerton seafront one way or the other.

From the Canterbury City Council Oct 2009 update on the Oyster Bay Trail.

Funding, sponsors and supporters

Implementation of the overall (ie, Phases 1 & 2) Oyster Bay Trail will cost 290k and will be funded by: