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Gardens & Gallopers

Tour: 4C
Circular Cycling Holiday
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday

From carousels to castles, steam railways, WWII heritage sites and windmills, from vineyards to glorious gardens, this is a tour which really has something for everyone and is sure to set you in a spin. Pedal up through timeless Suffolk villages to the Norfolk border and Bressingham’s world-renowned gardens, steam museum and ‘Dad’s Army’ collection. Take in wartime airfields full of heroic tales, and colleges, ‘crinkle-crankle’ and curtain walls, brimming with right royal stories. Perhaps even celebrate your discoveries with a glass of ‘Frampagne’ at vineyards near Framlingham Castle, before enjoying more majestic borderlands – colourful cottage gardens and Helmingham Hall’s huge herbaceous flowerbeds . Read More



Start Day

Any Day

Board Basis

Bed & Breakfast

Prices from



4 Days, 3 Nights


Jan - Nov

Tour Grade

Grade 2 (Easy)

Read Overview
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A super Suffolk tour with lots of variety that’s sure to give you a real taste to return. From Needham Market’s River Gipping, pedal up to the Waveney Valley where there are steam trains to ride on around Bressingham’s famous gardens, then check out historic airfield sites, plus colleges and castles at Wingfield and Framlingham. Enjoy cottage gardens, fine flint churches and moated Tudor mansions like Helmingham Hall, as you cycle quiet lanes through Suffolk’s gentle countryside.

Tour Code:
Circular Cycling Holiday, Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday
4 Days, 3 Nights
Board Basis:
Bed & Breakfast
Jan - Nov


Day 1 Arrive & pedal west

Arrive at Needham Market, get used to your bikes and then pedal off to your first night’s accommodation in the charming half-timbered village of Bildeston. You can choose the quiet lanes of the shorter route at 12 miles or extend the ride to visit the medieval masterpiece of Lavenham on the way.

Mileage: Rec 23 Min 11 Max 23

Day 2 Great village greens & glorious gardens

Cycle along quiet Suffolk lanes through Buxhall to the pretty village of Haughley home to an 11c Motte & Bailey castle.  The castle was destroyed in 1173 and now only the motte remains.

Continue north through Walsham-le-Willows and Thelnetham then over the Norfolk border to Bressingham, famous for its landscaped gardens and superb display of herbaceous plants and heathers. Stroll through the gardens or see them from the narrow gauge steam railways, part of the fascinating steam museum which also boasts vintage vehicles and popular sets from  the TV series Dad’s Army.

Your overnight is in a comfortable historic inn at Rickinghall near Diss, a village split in two (Rickinghall Superior / Inferior – meaning upper and lower!) and joined at the hip with the ancient trading town of Botesdale.

Mileage: Rec 34 Min 20 Max 35

Day 3 Flying through history from control towers to castles

Nip into Norfolk for a short while today to spot a museum housed in the former control tower of a WWII American airbase, the centre for the Masters of Air TV series. Across the River Waveney, country lanes lead even further back in time at Wingfield, home to a former chantry college and church with magnificent Plantagenet tombs.

Beyond the vast village common you can just see the crenulations of its castle, but a few miles down the road past Saxtead Green’s restored post mill, there’s a huge 12th century curtain-wall castle and earthworks to explore with magnificent views across a mere to Victorian gothic Framlingham College – a school that looks just a bit like Hogwarts!

Your hotel – an historic coaching inn, now a hotel – is by the market square and is sure to serve up lots of local produce, although you might prefer to sit and sip a glass of ‘Frampagne’ at nearby Shawsgate Vineyard, just a short bike ride away.

Mileage: Rec 31 Min 25 Max 42

Day 4 A colourful route homeward

Today you’ll travel through Easton, home of what was, at one time, the longest ‘crinkle-crankle’ wall in the world. Built around the estate of the Hamilton family – one of whom claimed to be the legitimate King of Scotland – the Queen Anne hall is sadly no more, but you can visit Easton Farm Park – a model farm with a unique Victorian dairy.

Across the gently rolling countryside there’s a fine Elizabethan moated hall to spot across the deer park at Helmingham, but its gardens steal the show.   Stop perhaps for a cream tea? Finally on your way back to Needham Market and the River Gipping, pedal through the unassuming historic village of Coddenham, once a fine medieval manor and home to one of East Anglia’s most significant Roman settlements.

For those looking for a longer ride and a deeper delve into history, there is scope to pedal further towards Woodbridge by the River Deben and visit the ancient ship burial mound country of Sutton Hoo.

Mileage: Rec 23 Min 21 Max 33




Please note that some attractions / places described on our recommended routings may be seasonal, or only open on certain days of the week. To avoid disappointment, please always check with us to ensure that they are open on the day of your planned visit.  

Dates & Prices

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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 close to the Norfolk Border, 3 star hotels in Bildeston and Framlingham.

We are pleased to discuss details on request.

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