As we locked up our bikes to the wooden fence, we noticed we were being stared from behind saloon-style doors. A tattooed man, sporting a black leather vest with patches that read “Support your local 81 Kent”, was the gate-keeper of the pub that we had chosen on that empty road in Kent.

After a late night at the pub we were up early the next day and the sun was shinning. We set off to discover some things to do on the Isle of Sheppey.

Let’s start this story at the beginning shall we?

Finding a random biker bar in Sittingbourne

I had been in London for less than 24 hours after spending the last couple of weeks living in Kreuzberg Berlin. A friend I made while I was living in a treehouse in Turkey invited me to come down to visit him in Sittingbourne, and check out the area.

Of course in true FTF style I said certainly and was immediately on a train from London bound for Kent. Kent is a county about an hour drive from the city of London, this is also where the Isle of Sheppey is also located.

I arrived in the evening and we sat down for a couple of beers at his house. I asked what we could get up to on a Friday night in Sittingbourne. His answer; “not a whole heck of a lot!”

We decided that we would head out on bicycles to a pub about 30 minutes away. I was skeptical. Although a 30 minute bike ride doesn’t sound like a lot, I had a suspicion it would certainly feel like a lot. I was right.

The Dancing Dog Saloon in Sittingbourne

We had travelled about 20 minutes or so when it was decided that we would stop at the next pub we saw. The next pub turned out to be a hidden gem called “The Dancing Dog Saloon”.

The first thing I noticed about this joint was that under the name was a confederate flag. Strange, I thought, seeing that we are in the countryside of the UK.

As we approached I could hear Johnny Cash playing, and from the outside it looked as though we had somehow teleported to a small town in the USA.

Normally I would have been skeptical, but I really didn’t want to bike anymore at this point, so this was our place. The Dancing Dog Saloon would be where we would spend the next couple hours. Mostly talking about the randomness of the place itself.

We pulled up on our bicycles and locked them up outside to the fence.

We were greeted at the saloon-style doors by a tattooed man asking for 5 pounds each to enter. We bargained and we got in at a rate of 2 for 5.

When I walked through the saloon doors and looked around, I was slightly in shock; we were surrounded by bikers. There were a bunch of big dudes wearing their Hells Angels attire with pride. The other patrons of the pub were dressed like it was 1955.

Integrating with the locals in Sittingbourne

We entered and weaved through the crowd of people and took our seats. We ordered a couple of pints, sat down and just looked around and marvelled at our surroundings. We were in a back room that was covered in Native American knickknacks. Literally every square inch was covered, even the ceiling.

We made small talk with some of the locals and bikers. They were very friendly and I felt welcomed.

After a bit of time, it was back on the bikes and on the way home. We had a big day ahead of us exploring the Isle of Sheppey.

The Minster Abbey Gatehouse Museum

The next morning was a slightly slow start. After a delicious breakfast we set off to discover some things to do on the Isle of Sheppey.

We weaved our way through the narrow country lanes. I have never been to the UK before but this is exactly how I imagined it. One word to describe it? Quaint.

A lesson in History

Our first stop was the Minster Abbey Gatehouse Museum. The cost of entry was only 2 pounds, and it was well worth it. This little museum housed an enormous amount of random history of the Isle of Sheppey. We had a quick look around and headed up to the rooftop where a nice woman that worked there joined us.

We had a chat about the history of the area, how nice the weather was outside, and she suggested some other things to do on the Isle of Sheppey. One suggestion being to have a look in the old church that was staring at us a few meters away.

The Minster Abbey Church

The Minster Abbey church on the Isle of Sheppey dates back to 664 AD. We hung out inside for awhile making small talk with one of the men working there. This was a massive building. The ceiling looked like the inside of the hull of a boat.

We stayed in there a good while before we decided we better get going while the sun was still shining. It was a gorgeous day considering it is late November.

The Beach on the Isle of Sheppey

After we left the church we went on a short stroll down a muddy path to the seaside. Of course we weren’t about to go swimming in winter, but the sun was shining and it was a nice day to check out the area.

One thing of interest was the beach huts that sat in a row. I have lived in beach huts in the past in India and, spoiler alert, will hopefully be in one again in the next few days. These beach huts were painted all different colours and stood perfectly in line.

I was able to peek inside one and to my surprise it was just a small living area with no place to sleep. I guess you just come for the day and hang out in it? I don’t necessarily see the allure, but the folks inside seemed to be enjoying themselves, so who am I to judge.

In the summer it would be a great beach to come hang out at and go for a swim. I was also told that in low tide there are shipwrecks to explore. If you are looking for things to do on the Isle of Sheppey in the summer, I would say the beach would top the list.

Things to do on the Isle of Sheppey can include a delicious lunch at a country pub

We spent a good hour or so walking around the beach area, then back in the car and off to an English country pub for some lunch.

We weaved through more narrow roads and got lost in a new housing development. After we found our way out we arrived in the nearest town and parked the car and had a look around. There was a dockyard of sorts with a magnificent church gleaming in the sunlight.

Things to do on the Isle of Sheppey

This is exactly how I pictured an old English pub. People sat around laughing, eating, and drinking. There was small christmas market going on beside the pub that we wandered around while waiting for our food.

We sampled various jam’s and ciders, and chatted to the local jam man about how he became a jam man.

The food was great and I would recommend a visit to the Family Inn if you are in the area.

A Long ride back to London

It was now getting dark and it was time to get back into London. We had a great day exploring the Isle of Sheppey but it was time to move on.

One thing we didn’t count on was the amount of traffic heading back into the city. Usually the drive should have been about 45 minutes but this one was more along the lines of 2 hours. Heading towards the tunnel under the river Thames we came to an abrupt stop in traffic. From there we crawled along at a slow pace for the rest of the trip.

I was pretty beat when I arrived back at my friend’s house where I am writing this from now. I am hoping to get out in London while the sun is still shining and do a bit of exploring in the city. I am off to Italy on Monday to visit my mom and really looking forward to it!

Have you been to the Isle of Sheppey? Have I missed anything on the list of things to do on the Isle of Sheppey? If so please comment below! As always if you liked this article and want to follow my endless world journey, sign up in that little annoying pop up box to the right. —->

 

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