Route option, cycling from Needham Market on day of arrival to first accommodation near Diss, then on to Halesworth.
Day One – Arrive, set off and explore
Arrive at the small market town of Needham Market. Cycle along little Mid-Suffolk lanes through charming rural villages and past great greens. Discover the mysteries of Mendlesham and the fine churches at Bacton and Wyverstone en route to Walsham-le-Willows where the stained glass at St Mary’s offers year-round floral colour. A little further north, the original Suffolk terracotta pottery is across the way at Wattisfield, but near Hinderclay you’ll want to get a handle on an ancient trading town with a split personality and close links to St Botolph.
Overnight: Near Diss.
Mileage: Rec 34 Min 20 Max 35
Day Two – Bombers, brew-houses, Munnings & monks
Nip into Norfolk for a short while today to explore the historic market town of Diss with its impressive mere, a museum housed in the former control tower of a WWII American airbase and the charming little independent shops, antique and artisan hideaways of Harleston. Back in Suffolk, with the River Waveney for company, discover the little village of Mendham on the marshes, birthplace of famous horse and hounds artist Sir Alfred Munnings which has a WWII pillbox surprisingly close to its medieval church tower. The wide valley is full of tales of priories as you pedal through the area known as ‘The Saints’ to St Peter’s South Elmham and a fascinating place which looks like a moated monastery and turns out to be nothing of the sort, although it is home to a famous brewery, offering tours, a shop and tearooms. Finally enjoy some gentle terrain through wide arable landscapes to arrive in the upcoming, arty, yet time-honoured market town of Halesworth.
Mileage: Rec 35 Min 35 Max 37
Day Three onwards – Reverts to routing of tour itinerary