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Castles & Constable Country

Tour: 6A
Circular Cycling Holiday
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday

Combine a great array of imposing fortified castles with the mellowest of Stour Valley landscapes and most charming thatched and half-timbered villages which Suffolk can offer. This tour really has something for everyone from sedate rivers by the southern heritage coast to the bustle of busy Woodbridge on the Deben and chocolate-box delights of pink thatched cottages and real village greens. Read More



Start Day

Any Day

Board Basis

Bed & Breakfast

Prices from



6 Days, 5 Nights


Feb - Nov

Tour Grade

Grade 2 (Easy)

Read Overview
Home > England > Castles & Constable Country


See the towering 12c fortresses of Framlingham and Orford, the sedate rivers of the southern heritage coast as well as the rolling hills and picturebook villages of Constable Country.

Tour Code:
Circular Cycling Holiday, Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday
6 Days, 5 Nights
Board Basis:
Bed & Breakfast
Feb - Nov


Day 1 Arrive & explore

Arrive at Needham Market, explore the area and spend your first night in or near this small market town.

Day 2 Winding lanes & windmills

Head through the lanes to Debenham, a pretty village with its over-hanging houses and antique shops, then on to Saxtead Green. Here you can visit the beautifully restored 18c post mill and, perhaps, take refreshment at the inn nearby. A detour to one of the vineyards in the area is well worth the visit.
You spend the night in the quiet market town of Framlingham where the 12th century castle, the one-time home of Mary Tudor, and church are both superb.

Mileage: Rec 22 Min 21 Max 38

Day 3 Creeks, concert halls, waves & warrior kings

Cycle to Snape Maltings where the Aldeburgh Festival concert hall sits among the little arts community on the banks of the river Alde.
Those with plenty of energy left can continue on the recommended route to both Orford, with its impressive castle keep, quaint quayside and boat trips, and Shingle Street, a quiet spot where the River Ore meets the sea. Mere mortals can amend their route to exclude one or other, bringing the mileages down to 28 and 30 miles respectively.
Just outside the lovely maritime town of Woodbridge where you stop for the night, you can visit the site of the rich Anglo-Saxon ship burial at Sutton Hoo.

Mileage: Rec 39 Min 13 Max 46

Day 4 Weaving towards the wool towns

Take time to explore Woodbridge and visit the Tide Mill before climbing back onto your bikes and pedalling along quiet Suffolk lanes and passing through Little Bealings,Tuddenham and other pretty villages, each with its own character, church and village inn.
You may choose to splash through the ford when you visit the classic village of Kersey. Then cycle on through beautiful Chelsworth with its narrow bridge and weavers’ cottages, before your overnight stop in Hadleigh. Here, in this once important “Wool Town”, you can explore the streets lined with overhanging, timber framed houses.

Mileage: Rec 22 Min 21 Max 35

Day 5 From Constable’s inspiration to medieval masterpieces

Cycle the lanes to the prosperous “Wool Town” of Hadleigh with its fine old High Street and pretty riverside walk. Continue through the tiny riverside hamlet of Shelley into the heart of ‘Constable Country’, you’ll explore East Bergholt his birthplace, Flatford Mill where a guided walking tour visits seven sites painted by Constable including the ‘Haywain’.
Continue on to Stoke by Nayland, whose church tower is featured in many of Constable’s paintings, and finally to the famous ‘Wool Town’ of Lavenham for the night.

Mileage: Rec 38 Min 8 Max 38

Day 6 Rural return

Time to explore the medieval splendour of Lavenham before a gentle ride back to Needham Market. There are options to visit the Museum of East Anglian Life at Stowmarket and, for the energetic, to visit Ickworth near Bury St Edmunds.

Mileage: Rec 24 Min 16 Max 40

Dates & Prices

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Double Occupant
Single Occupant Supplement
Double Occupant : £
Single Occupant Supplement : £

For tour start days/dates, seasons and all prices, please click on the PRICES button above


Ensuite accommodation as described with full English breakfast (prices based on two adults sharing)

Hire of hybrid bicycle and ancillary equipment (single pannier and handlebar bag or map holder, pump, basic tools, spare inner tube & puncture repair equipment, helmet if required)

Luggage transfer between hotels

Local assistance on call (we will attend for puncture repair in Suffolk)

Detailed itinerary with meticulously planned and researched routes following quiet country lanes with a choice of routes available each day (usually recommended, long and short)

Route notes, descriptions and use of good OS mapping (maps available on arrival). We pride ourselves on our detailed level of documentation which includes plenty of top tips for places to visit or for relaxing and sampling the local fare along the way. We send electronic versions of these documents by email approximately two weeks before your stay so you can plan ahead and look forward to your gentle cycling adventure

We have now switched the default navigation system to GPS – in our opinion this is now the most convenient method as it eliminates the need for frequent stops to check the map

  • We provide you with access to a premium GPS smartphone navigation app (IOS or Android) and send you links so that you can download all of the route options before you leave home.  We will provide a handlebar bracket for your phone if required; it is also recommended that you bring a spare battery/powerbank to make sure that your phone lasts the day
  • We can also provide GPS tracks in whatever format if you prefer to load them into your own GPS Unit
  • Finally, we can provide a limited number of GPS  units with the routes preloaded – this is on a first come first served basis – please let us know as soon as you can if  you would like to use one
  • We will also provide OS 1:50,000 mapping on arrival as additional support to allow for any impromptu route changes
  • Traditional map-based navigation (using marked OS maps) is still available as an alternative at extra cost upon request (at least two weeks in advance)
Please note that the price EXCLUDES

Costs of getting to and from the start point

Accommodation Options

Selected 4 star historic inn in Rickinghall, 3 star hotels in Framlingham, Lavenham and Bildeston and central Woodbridge.

Weekend supplements are payable if your stay in either Woodbridge or Lavenham falls on a Fri or Sat night

We are pleased to discuss details on request.

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