In the summer, I spent two days cycling in Norfolk with a group of friends. We stayed on the coast a few miles south of Cromer. Here’s my report on the trip.
Where We Stayed
We ate breakfasts in the hotel but dined at the Ship Inn (just down the road from the hotel). It’s the only pub we could find in Mundesley. We met at the pub after each day’s riding for a ‘recuperative beverage’ (or three) as well. There was an excellent choice of ales at the pub! And the pub has a nice garden overlooking the beach and sea.
- Day 1: A circular route south along the coast to Caister-on-Sea. Then, head west to Wroxham. Return to Mundesley via the outskirts of North Walsham. Total distance, 86 miles.
- Day 2: An out-and-back route via Cromer, Wells-next-the-Sea, and Holkham Hall. A stop for lunch in the pretty village of Burnham Market. Returning home via a slightly shorter, more direct version of the same route. Total distance, 85 miles.
We devised the routes ourselves and navigated each day with Garmin GPS cycling computers. The routes were on roads and country lanes so road and hybrid bikes are best.
Here’s the route on Google Maps. You can also view the route on an Ordnance Survey map on the Social Hiking website.
The first day was (mostly) country lane cycling although we missed the route on one section. As a result, we had to find our way along several overgrown and bumpy bridleways through a few fields. That slowed our progress somewhat!
We didn’t find many stopping points on the route to top-up water bottles and grab snacks. But, we had a lunch stop overlooking the Broads in Wroxham. It’s a bustling town with plenty of shops to replenish cycling supplies.
The second day’s route on Google Maps is shown below. Here’s the Ordnance Survey map version.
The highlight of the day was cycling through the magnificent landscaped grounds of Holkham Hall near Wells-next-the-Sea. We entered at the north entrance and cycled for 2 -3 miles through a glorious country house estate. It’s well worth a visit if you are in the area!
We stopped for a late lunch in Burnham Market, which is a very pretty village west of Holkham.
On the way back, we cycled a shorter, more direct route that was fast and flat. We covered approx. 40 miles in just less than three hours on hybrid bikes. Well, half the group did that but the other three decided to divert for a cappuccino (!) or something. They found an unusual (stony beach, footpaths and caravan parks) coastal route home from Cromer! Still, it all adds to the adventure!
My Trek 7.4 FX felt great on the trip and I enjoyed the two rides. The routes were very flat, with light traffic, and we made good progress on both days, despite the off-road detour on Day 1. This meant that we returned home between 5 and 6 pm and had time for a couple of beers at the pub before the evening. Yay!
I don’t know Norfolk so it was good to explore a new part of the country and cycle through different landscapes, both coastal and inland. This isn’t the place for hills and climbing (my Chilterns cycle trip is better for that) but this part of Norfolk has some great scenery. I really enjoyed the two days.