Memories of Summer
(or planning 2014 routes)

Cycling tours in East Anglia

On one wet and cold Sunday in February, a group of cyclists on a Cambridge to Southend training ride were sheltering in the village hall. A young lady told Sheelagh about a cycling trip that she had completed last year and a seed was sown.

‘Cycle rides in England’ was borrowed from the library and Sheelagh purchased various OS maps: in July, Sheelagh and I set off from Leigh-on-sea for a three day cycling trip. Our overnight stops were at Sudbury, Pinchham (near Downham Market) and finally Fakenham in North Norfolk.

Following that trip, Sheelagh planned a second foray, this time from Leigh to Holt, in North Norfolk, by a different route, combining Sheelagh's route out of Essex with a guide book ride from Felixstowe northwards...

Day 1
We set off on Tuesday 17th September and arrived in Maldon in time for elevenses; lunch was taken near Colchester. After September 9th, the Harwich to Felixstowe ferry only operates at weekends, so in our efforts to cross the River Orwell we used various cycle routes through the housing estates of Ipswich. We arrived at our B & B in Felixstowe, 78miles from home.

Day 2
Nine in the morning, and we were waving a paddle to attract the attention of the ferry man, who would take us over the River Deben to Bawdsey Manor. Our route took us along very quiet lanes with few inclines. Elevenses were enjoyed at Snape Maltings, followed by lunch on the sea wall at Southwold. Our destination today was Beccles.

Day 3
Today the Reepham chain ferry was hailed for a very short crossing.  Our route took us around the Broads; the weather was bright and we had elevenses at Ranworth. Sheringham cliff tops provided an ideal spot for lunch.  The weather changed in the afternoon and we had an hour of rain. Holt was the destination for us two Wheelers and a host of others who were there to celebrate a 1940s weekend.

Sheelagh & Carol on the Reedham Ferry

Day 4
The flat lands of the Broads were replaced by what seemed like endless climbs, followed by more climbs. The road names were often followed by the words Hill, Crest, Rise, and even Summit. We followed a mixture of cycle routes and B roads through interesting villages and the Sandringham estate. Our final elevenses were at Stanhoe, followed by lunch at Castle Rising, where our support driver (Sheelagh’s husband) was waiting to drive us home.

Both routes are ideal for anyone who wants a variety of scenery, and cycling within easy reach that is not too demanding. The trip was 250 miles in total (50 miles further than last year's ride to Paris...).           

4 Ladies cycle from Leigh-on-Sea to Paris



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