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Suffolk Tours - The Suffolk Smoothie

This really refreshing two-wheeled adventure is so short and sweet that it’s sure to go down a treat. Just pedal away gently, following the flow of Suffolk’s most mellow contours, rolling with the countryside from village to charming half-timbered village. Stop off for a sip at the Punchbowl or rest a while by the Ram at the heart of the historic wool town of Hadleigh. Weave your way through ‘wonky’ Lavenham, that most famous medieval labyrinth of wool and cloth merchants’ houses. To crown it all, stay over in beautiful Bildeston at a time-honoured inn that’s brimful of local flavours. Who thought that just one night away could ever be such a great and satisfying tonic?

Tour details

Tour Name
The Suffolk Smoothie
Tour Reference
Tour Duration
2 days and 1 night
Start Day
Any Day
Tour Grade
Board Basis
Bed & Breakfast
From £138 to £146 per person

is in a 3 star, 15th century former coaching inn in the heart of the historic Suffolk wool town of Bildeston. The award-winning hotel is also renowned for its delightful dining opportunities, and has been reviewed by The Times as ’the best little progressive kitchen in Suffolk’. We are pleased to discuss details on request.

Tour at a Glance

Treat yourself to this two-day, great little cycling adventure through one of the most picturesque parts of Suffolk and stay at a very special, Grade 2 listed former coaching inn right at the very heart of the historic wool towns area. With short and longer route options provided, you can tailor your two days in the saddle to be just the way you want them. From Needham Market to Bildeston and back again, follow the folds of the landscape down quiet country lanes to catch sight of some enchanting vistas. Pedal past fine rural churches, through hamlets of pink thatched cottages. The country pubs en route make for superb stop offs, but your overnight in Bildeston has to be the ‘Crown’-inn glory.

"A great cycling trip. A wonderful weekend, such a relaxing, easy-going and peaceful ride! We don't cycle often, but the route was ideal for us." Mr & Mrs R. (London)


Day One - Arrive & cycle on out there!
     Arrive at Needham Market and get straight down to cycling business with an excellent day’s ride. Head gently up above the Gipping Valley and round through some of Suffolk’s amazing medieval villages with Suffolk’s wonderful churches and historic pubs punctuating the way. There’s a punchbowl and tiny bell tower to look out for at Battisford, and six more bells to tempt you to take a closer look at Preston St Mary.  
     The Church of St Peter and St Paul rises like a mighty cathedral above the half-timbered medieval masterpiece of Lavenham. Rest up and wonder a while here, or freewheel into ‘town’ to enjoy the company of an angel up on the Market Square, where you can feast your eyes on the half-timbered magnificence of the Guildhall of Corpus Christi.  
     The rolling country lanes lead on to another impressive church at Hitcham, formerly the centre of one of the county’s largest parishes. The White Horse here has to be the ideal spot to compare a saddle story or two, before stabling up your trusty two-wheeled steed for the night and enjoying some delicious local fare at Bildeston’s fine old coaching inn. 
Mileage: Rec 23 Min 11 Max 29

Day Two – More medieval delights & an interesting menagerie before home time
     Start the day with a stroll around Bildeston with its clock tower and mix of medieval or Georgian façades, or pedal up to the isolated church with its fine flintwork, stained glass and unusual wooden tower. Then it’s time to encounter the charming colours of Chelsworth famed for its Peacock and its garden festival. You'll come across a Red Rose and tiny 13th century thatched chapel at Lindsey before whizzing down through the watersplash at Kersey.  
     Gently up and over the heath, there are fine family tombs with US connections to admire at Shelley’s sleepy little church and a fine red brick deanery just around the corner from the Ram in the wool town of Hadleigh. Look out for the beautifully painted pargetting on many of the historic buildings here; the surrounding villages and gentle Suffolk landscapes are just as much a picture, full of local colour with time-honoured tales to tell. The massive green at Barking Tye has been central to village life for centuries. A haven for community life and wildlife too, you’ll be sure to spot the Barking Fox, then perhaps a lion or two as you pedal on your homeward stretch back towards Needham Market.
Mileage: Rec 27 Min 15 Max 32

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