View route on map

Gardens, Castles & Constable

Tour: 8H
Circular Cycling Holiday
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday

The beautiful gardens at Bressingham, home of the famous Bloom family up on the Suffolk / Norfolk borders makes for a great introduction to the many colours of Suffolk. Saxtead Green’s white windmill announces that you are near your first castle, Framlingham, then it’s off through the seasonal browns, greens and golds of rural landscapes to the sea blues of the coast, with splashes of purple heather or bright yellow gorse . The golden treasures of an Anglo-Saxon ship burial await at Sutton Hoo near Woodbridge and Constable’s Stour Valley is as green and pleasant as England comes. Finally the pretty pink thatched cottages of the wool towns make for an idyllic background to some real English country gardens. Read More



Start Day

Any Day

Board Basis

Bed & Breakfast

Prices from



8 Days, 7 Nights


Jan - Nov

Tour Grade

Grade 2 (Easy)

Read Overview
Home > England > Gardens, Castles & Constable


The beautiful Bressingham Gardens in border country between Suffolk and Norfolk, make a great start to this tour. Then its onwards to the old castles at Framlingham, and Orford and a chance to explore the Suffolk coast before heading to Constable country and the medieval Wool Towns to finish.

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


The two double overnight stops at Woodbridge and Bildeston allow you the option to rest & explore locally, or be as energetic as you wish, and go further afield.

Day 1 Arrive & explore

Arrive at Ipswich where your hotel for the night is convenient for arriving at the station as well as for exploring the town centre. Head out for a walk along Neptune Quay and the historic waterfront, or Christchurch Park with its Jacobean Mansion museum is only a short stroll away.

Day 2 Great village greens & glorious gardens 

Start the day with a short train ride to Needham Market (you can leave your luggage for collection), or drive to Needham Market if you have your vehicle with you. Here, you’ll pick up your bikes and cycle out along pretty Suffolk lanes to the village of Thornham Magna, where you can see the recently restored walled garden before visiting the adorable thatched, pre-Conquest church at nearby Thornham Parva wiht its amazing early medieval wall paintings and treasure of an reredos. On across England’s largest village green (stretching over 2 miles) at Mellis, then over the Norfolk border to Bressingham, famous for its landscaped gardens and superb displays of herbaceous plants and heathers. You can stroll through the gardens or see them from the narrow gauge steam railways, part of the fascinating railway and steam museum. Your accommodation for the night is at an undiscovered historic town of two halves near Diss.

Mileage: Rec 31 Min 26 Max 38

Day 3 Flying through history from control towers to castles

First stop is the wonderfully atmospheric museum housed in the former control tower of a WWII American airbase. Step further back in time in the wonderfully historic village of Wingfield, home to a magnificent medieval great hall in the Old College by the church. Find out more about the powerful families who lived here and see their tombs inside the church, including a prominent Plantagenet – or pop across for a drink at the pub across the lane. Then on to the beautifully restored post mill at Saxtead Green, before arriving at your night’s stop in the market town of Framlingham. Explore the 12th century castle by foot or take a short bike ride to Shawsgate Vineyard.

Mileage: Rec 31 Min 25 Max 33

Day 4 Creeks & concert halls; shingle streets & ship burials

Visit vineyards where you can taste Suffolk wine and cycle on 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 5 Seascapes, riverscapes, nostalgia & 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 or 42 Min 0 Max 48

Day 6 Weaving towards the wool towns

Winding through Suffolk lanes you’ll pass through the villages of Little Bealings, Tuddenham, Claydon to name a few – each with its own character, church and village inn. 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 7 Constable’s inspiration & time on the water

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, to Bildeston for your second overnight stay.

Mileage: Rec 36 Min 0 Max 36

Day 8 Medieval masterpieces & rural return

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 and departure.

Mileage: Rec 23 Min 11 Max 33

Dates & Prices

Download Prices

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 hotel in Ipswich, 3 star hotels in Framlingham, central Woodbridge and Bildeston, an historic 4 star inn in Rickinghall close to the market town of Diss.

The tour is priced by start date to include any weekend supplements.

We are pleased to discuss details on request

Request Booking