The Countrywide Great Tour comes to Southend
- Credit: Archant
On August 7, The Countrywide Great Tour will pass through the coastal delights of Essex. Leaving Holbrook, on the outskirts of Ipswich, the route darts in and out of rivers and estuaries that are high in numbers on this stage of the tour.
It first passes the Blackwater Estuary, which has a real sense of coastal wilderness about it and where oysters have been harvested for more than 1,000 years! The team will then call in at Frinton on Sea, the village of Rowhedge and rural Cold Norton along the way to enjoy some downtime before pushing on over the River Crouch and through the rest of the county, before arriving in Southend on Sea.
This destination marks the end of the fifth week of the tour, but participants won’t have much time to enjoy the sights and sounds of Southend before the route starts again the following day (August 8) from the world-famous pier.
The team will press on past Westcliff on Sea, Hadleigh and around Canvey Island before having a break in South Benfleet.
From there, it’s onwards past the outskirts of Basildon and Stanford-le-Hope, before heading in to the Thames Estuary and arriving in the historic port town of Tilbury.
After a crossing on the Tilbury Passenger Ferry, the route takes participants on into neighbouring Kent and past Cliffe Pools. Stage 36 of this ultimate cycling challenge comes to an end in the Kent town of Chatham.
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SOUTHEND ON SEA is one of Essex’s most popular seaside resorts. For many it may well be among their favourite coastal hot spots during the Country Great Tour this summer because of its natural beauty combined with some of Britain’s most famous tourist attractions, making it the perfect package for a family day out.
The town lures many visitors in for its variety of fun amusements, especially during the summer months with its seven miles of beaches creating beautiful sounds and smells of the sea, which will never be too far away from the riders to enjoy.
Southend boasts an assortment of prominent landmarks and heritage, and is most famously home to the longest pier in the world. Southend is also well-known for its glorious promenades, that can be particularly satisfying during a warm summer’s day and it also accommodates paths for cyclists too. With some attractive and well-designed off-road cycle routes, the area is ideal for connecting cyclists to see some of the town’s other key attractions along the sea front.
One of the town’s most popular routes is the Estuary Trail which encompasses many of the towns must-see sights such as breathtaking views of the Thames Estuary, beautiful Victorian architecture and much more.
Since 2008, Southend has benefited from a wide range of initiatives developed by Cycle Southend, the town’s very own cycling programme. It hosts a wide range of events and activities to help with training, routes, journey planning, infrastructure and recycling projects to help all biking enthusiasts to get involved in. So if you want to take a detour, take advantage of the town’s planned cycle journeys, which accommodate all levels of ability.
However, if you want to keep on pedalling, a word of warning: try not to get too distracted by the delicious smell of fish and chips, sweet candyfloss or perhaps a dip in the sea to cool you down.
Some could say cycling is more than exercise; it is a love affair, so make this charitable cycle journey fun and rewarding. Enjoy the ride!