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Castles, Rivers & Constable

Tour: 7D
Circular Cycling Holiday
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday

The castle at Framlingham looks even more imposing at a distance thanks to its reflection in the enormous Mere. Small Suffolk rivers once saw fleeces washed and prepared for the all-important wool trade . At the coast, wealth ports came and went with stormy tides... This tour maps Suffolk’s man-made and natural waterscapes, from castle meres to creeks, quaysides and shingle spits, Edwardian seaside resorts, Martello towers and tiny ferry boats, ship burials, boatyards and bygone Stour Valley trade routes captured on canvass by Constable himself. Read More



Start Day

Any Day

Board Basis

Bed & Breakfast

Prices from



7 Days, 6 Nights


Feb - Nov

Tour Grade

Grade 2 (Easy)

Read Overview
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You will be able to visit the castles at Framlingham and Orford and the arts centre at Snape. A circular ride from Woodbridge will take you to the coast at Felixstowe, returning via the Anglo-Saxon ship burial at Sutton Hoo. Whilst at Bildeston, you will be able to visit Flatford Mill in the heart of Constable Country and have plenty of time to spend in beautiful Lavenham.

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


Day 1 Arrive & explore

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

An excellent day’s ride through Debenham, a pretty village with its overhanging houses and antique shops, Saxtead Green’s beautifully restored 18c post mill and into Framlingham. Here you stay the night with time to visit the massive castle in this lovely old market town.

Mileage: Rec 22 Min 21 Max 38

Day 3 Landscapes, seascapes, riverscapes.

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 Waves and warrior kings or nostalgia and Napoleon

Either a rest day in Woodbridge or an opportunity to see some of the beautiful and unspoilt coastline.
You can complete a circuit of the Deben estuary visiting the traditional seaside resort of Felixstowe before taking a small ferry across the river mouth. Alternatively, you can drop in on the arts community at Snape Maltings and see Orford Castle and the Ness, Shingle Street and the Anglo-Saxon ship burial at Sutton Hoo. Boat trips can also be taken on the Alde, from Snape and Orford, or on the Deben, from Waldringfield.

Mileage: Rec 11, 25, 30, 31, 35, 38, 42  Min 0 Max 48

Day 5 Awash with wool town history

Winding through Suffolk lanes you’ll pass through the villages of Little Bealings, Tuddenham.  You’ll cycle through beautiful Chelsworth, with its narrow bridge and weavers’ cottages, before your overnight stop in Bildeston. Here, in this once important ‘Wool Town’, you can explore the streets lined with overhanging, timber framed houses.

Mileage: Rec 30 Min 25 Max 37

Day 6 Mills and masterpieces

Cycle the lanes to the prosperous ‘Wool Town’ of Hadleigh with its fine old High Street and pretty riverside walk and on down the Brett valley to the lovely village of East Bergholt, birthplace of the artist John Constable.
Ride down the hill to Flatford Mill on the River Stour and take a walking tour of some of the many scenes little changed from when they were captured by Constable 200 years ago.
After a cream tea and perhaps a little fun on the river in a rowing boat, return via Stoke-by-Nayland with its own connections to Constable, and beautiful Kersey where you splash through the ford, then onwards back to Bildeston.

Mileage: Rec 36 Min 0 Max 36

Day 7 Meandering homeward through the medieval maze

The ride today takes you through some more of the prettiest villages in England. If you wish, there is the option to visit Long Melford with its mile long high street full of antique shops, or you may simply take more time to explore the unique collection of medieval buildings in Lavenham, the most spectacular of the wool towns before your return to Needham Market.

Mileage: Rec 23 Min 11 Max 33

Dates & Prices

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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 accommodation in a 4 star historic inn in Rickinghall close to the bustling town of Diss, 3 star hotels in Framlingham, central Woodbridge and Bildeston.

Holiday pricing is determined by start day and includes any weekend supplements.

We are happy to discuss details on request.

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