Experience Norfolk’s beautiful Brecklands and the stunning North Norfolk coast with a real splash of style. There are grand Palladian mansions to mooch over, Georgian market towns to go grazing in, tiny historic hamlets and places of pilgrimage, huge sandy stretches and the quaintest of quaysides. To complement all this and the pleasures of country lane cycling at its best, we’ve selected two superb and truly original hotels with real pamper potential. Relax within the walled garden and mix of Georgian and modern luxury in central Swaffham, and unwind as you sample some of the warmest hospitality on offer in The Burnhams perhaps enjoying the award-winning restaurant and spa. It’s a great little voyage of Norfolk discovery. Nelson would be proud. Fancy putting your toe in the water?
is located in Swaffham and Burnham Market (2 nights). Selected properties include a 4 star hotel and a luxury, family-run, boutique hotel (unrated). We are pleased to discuss details on request.
This two centre Norfolk treat is a great way to dip your toe in the water and enjoy some of the highlights of Nelson’s county. With stays in superbly stylish hotels and country lane cycling where only the views will take your breath away, it’s destined to be a really relaxing break with plenty of delightful discoveries from Georgian market towns and historic hamlets to grand Palladian mansions and the unspoilt North Norfolk Coast.
Day One - Arrive & relax
Arrive at your luxury boutique hotel in Swaffham, relax in the private grounds or simply enjoy the originality and good food on offer at this historic establishment. Swaffham has many elegant Georgian buildings and more modern facades which conceal the town’s medieval past, so it’s worth a wander out to explore this thriving market town too. The wedge-shaped market square is a good place to start. Your bikes will be provided after breakfast the following morning.
Day Two – All villages great & small
Set out northwards towards Great and Little Massingham, but don’t miss the treats in store first at historic West Acre, a place famed for its walled gardens. Great Massingham oozes history too with its impressive green and dominating large ponds, ancient ‘fisheries’ which date back to the time of an 11th century Augustian Abbey.
Just a little pedal pushing later, Houghton Hall comes into view, promising more wonderful walled gardens alongside a perfectly Palladian mansion built by Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole.
The final rural stretch of the day heads further coastwards to the set of villages known as ‘The Burnhams’ and in particular to the stylish spot of Burnham Market aka Chelsea-on-Sea for your next over night.
Mileage: Rec 26 Min 26 Max 26
Day Three – Time for a parsonage, pilgrimage, Palladian masterpiece & a paddle
Head out via Burnham Thorpe where Lord Nelson’s father was once the local rector. Alas the parsonage where Horatio was born in 1758 is no more, but a plaque marks the spot.
The country route to the coast then takes on some stunning cycling through the smart grounds of Holkham Estate. Enjoy the vistas as the landscape unfurls towards obelisk and ice house and down to the magnificent fountains in front of the Palladian home of the Earl of Leicester. A visit is a must, but there’s always the call of the coast too.
Holkham Bay is breathtakingly beautiful, but the ride along the North Norfolk Coast Path through pine woods to the beach huts on stilts, the promise of a paddle and the historic quayside at Wells-next-the-Sea is a gentle enough journey.
Cut back to the Burnhams or continue round to discover the mysteries of Walsinghams great and small. Little Walsingham became a place of pilgrimage second only to Canterbury following a holy vision in 1061 and makes for a fascinating visit before winding your way back to Burnham Market for your next overnight.
Mileage: Rec 26 Min 14 Max 26
Day Four – An Acre of history en route back to the Brecks
Leaving the Burnhams behind you, the route south back to Swaffham leads down through quiet country lanes across ‘the Roof of Norfolk’ (all of 90m high) to Castle Acre - a truly inspirational place, here history sits in microcosm. Wander through the tiny medieval town and explore the massive earthworks of the 12th century castle, but don’t miss one of the largest and best preserved monastic sites in England, dating back to 1090. This is an inspirational place to let your mind wander, before you guide the handlebars back towards the gentle buzz of the Breckland market town of Swaffham.
Mileage: Rec 28 Min 26 Max 28
Once you have decided on the ideal Cycle Break in England or Europe, please fill out your details on our booking formProceed to Book
Suffolk is famed for its food and drink. Festivals celebrate…More
View our most frequently asked questionsView the FAQ
Sign up for our email newsletterSign up for newsletter