Suffolk is so full of secrets that even the smallest of cycling adventures can lead to great discoveries. Pedal out through gentle rolling countryside, along truly time-honoured lanes to meet mystery after mystery –a bizarre monk’s stone; a country garden in stained glass; the rural homelands of a Tudor Queen of France; a bridge where bridal parties fear to tread. Will you find Waddlegoose Lane? Or work out why one Waveney Valley village is both Superior and Inferior at the same time? Ponder as you push those pedals past commons, castles and churches, or stop to sip back and relax amidst the hollyhocks at some half-timbered wool town inn. Solve the mystery of how the freedom of two wheels and just one night away can make all the difference.
With our great route info, there’ll be no mystery about where you are going on this super little Suffolk tour, so just settle into the saddle and enjoy the ride together with all sorts of discoveries along the way. Highlights include the mighty medieval church of Bacton; St Edmund’s martyrdom at Hoxne; floral village, Walsham-le-Willows; Eye Castle; medieval wool town, Debenham; Thorpe Abbotts WWII Control tower museum. If you are keen to discover Bressingham Steam Museum and Gardens as part of this tour, this may be possible with extended mileages. We will be happy to discuss options.
Day One – Arrive, set off & start solving the mysteries
Arrive at the small market town of Needham Market. Cycle along little Mid-Suffolk lanes through charming rural villages and past great greens. Why did friars preach from a stone and not from the pulpit in Mendlesham and where have all the angels flown to in the churches at Bacton and Wyverstone?
Walsham-le-Willows boasts an orchid walk, but the stained glass at St Mary’s offers year-round floral colour. A little further north, the original Suffolk terracotta pottery is across the way at Wattisfield, but near Hinderclay the village of Rickinghall near Diss and the Norfolk border finds itself joined at the hip with the ancient trading town of Botesdale. The recommended route includes Bressingham, the village on the Norfolk border which is home of the Bloom family's famous gardens and steam collection. But just why is Adrian Bloom's shrub garden called 'Foggy Bottom'?
Stay over at Rickinghall in a comfortable historic inn and take a stroll along its long and hugely historic street – and you’ll soon discover that it has a bit of a complex! Overnight: Rickinghall.
Mileage: Rec 34 Min 20 Max 35
Day Two – Flying through history from control towers to castles
Why not take the longer route pehaps to nip into Norfolk for a short while today and spot a museum housed in the former control tower of a WWII American airbase? Back in Suffolk, the River Dove glides along through historic Hoxne where King Edmund was murdered, but who betrayed his hiding place under Goldbrook Bridge? The sleepy, steep-for-Suffolk village was once a major place of pilgrimage.
Next up, Eye – host to another wartime airfield site - has a 12th century motte and bailey castle with superb views of the adjacent flint church, one of Suffolk’s finest. However, what used to top the castle keep will surely set you in a spin. The half-timbered wool town of Debenham has evidence of a lock-up on its green and its church has a most unique and fascinating collection of porches. Packhorses walked the trading routes here in medieval times; today it’s all about shipping out the local Aspall Cider!
Stop to try the local brew, then try to discover the location of ‘Akenfield’ as you head across rural landscapes immortalised by Ronald Blythe in his picture of a Suffolk village. Finally, on your way back to Needham Market, take stock of the passage of time as pedal through the unassuming historic village of Coddenham, once a fine medieval manor and centuries before that even, the mighty home of one of East Anglia’s most significant Roman settlements.
Mileage: Rec 37 Min 20 Max 42
Please note that some attractions / places described on our 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.
Once you have decided on the ideal Cycle Break in England or Europe, please fill out your details on our booking formProceed to Book
Cycling holidays in Suffolk offer so many experiences to enjoy!…More
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