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Historic Wool Towns Tour

Tour: 5A
Circular Cycling Holiday
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday

West Suffolk’s wool towns are steeped in history, nestling alongside small fleece-washing rivers in hallmark rolling countryside. This tour is as delightful as the candy-pink cottages you’ll discover en route, and takes in ancient Bury St Edmunds, a place of pilgrimage since the 11th century, renowned for its flower-filled Abbey gardens, Georgian town houses and classic shopping. Read More



Start Day

Any Day

Board Basis

Bed & Breakfast

Prices from



5 Days, 4 Nights


Feb - Nov

Tour Grade

Grade 2 (Easy)

Read Overview
Home > England > Historic Wool Towns Tour


The ancient towns of West Suffolk are steeped in history and surrounded by picture book villages set in rolling countryside.

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


This tour is a real delight, taking you to the ancient city of Bury St Edmunds, a place of pilgrimage since the 11th century and through some of the prettiest villages in Suffolk.

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 A painter’s home & inspiration

Travelling through quiet villages via the renowned ‘Jimmy’s Farm’ you reach East Bergholt the birthplace of John Constable then on to Flatford Mill. You can take a guided Constable appreciation tour, go rowing on the River Stour or simply relax in the riverside tea-room.
Cycle on to the pretty village of Dedham, with antique shops and a craft market to explore, before reaching your hotel just outside the village.

Mileage: Rec 31 Min 20 Max 46

Day 3 Weaving around the wool towns

Today you visit the ‘Wool Town’ of Hadleigh, an ancient town whose buildings give evidence to its past prosperity. The rows of half-timbered houses dropping down the hillside to Kersey ford provide a splendid scene as well as the opportunity for a lunchtime pint.
You spend the night in Lavenham, famous the world over for its historic streets and jumble of Tudor houses.

Mileage: Rec 26 Min 20 Max 33

Day 4 Bury beautiful indeed

Drop in to wonderful Ickworth House on the way to Bury St Edmunds an ancient market town, full of history and old Suffolk charm. Here you can walk through the massive stone gateway to the ruined abbey flanked by beautiful gardens. The cathedral with its recently restored tower is nothing but impressive. There’s a twice weekly market and a chance for a drink at The Nutshell, the smallest pub in Britain.

Mileage: Rec 20 Min 17 Max 29

Day 5 Heading homeward

Return to Needham Market. The undulating countryside makes a delightful journey visiting the pretty village of Badwell Ash and Wyken Hall gardens and vineyard at the end of your tour.

Mileage: Rec 30 Min 19 Max 33

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 3 star hotels in Bildeston and Dedham; 4 star hotels in Lavenham (spa facilities) and Bury St Edmunds.

We are pleased to discuss details on request.

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