Cycling in Norfolk
A low-lying, flat and fertile county, Norfolk is a cyclist’s paradise. The agricultural landscape, bordered by a stunningly dynamic coastline, is criss-crossed by quiet country roads and winding farm paths. Relatively empty of traffic, other than the odd rumbling tractor, the region seems designed for good cycling and hopping on your bike is the perfect way to make the most of the rural tranquility.
Those with hybrid or mountain bikes might be enticed by moderate routes, such as Cromer to Southrepps or Hunstanton to Ringstead, which make use of off-road trail sections, while smooth tarmac lanes provide easier cycling for those who prefer to cruise through the countryside or pickup speed on the flat.
A huge part of what makes cycling in North Norfolk so great, however, is the way the quiet fields are punctuated by villages and traditional market towns. Any decent route you take here will weave you through these ideal pit stops, with lots of handily situated pubs to whet a tired cyclist’s whistle. Norfolk is rightly famous for its produce, and cycling provides an ideal way to hop from place to place sampling the best of it. Routes take in market towns like Holt, with its clutch of good restaurants, or quirky spots like Bircham Windmill, a working mill with one of the best fresh bakeries around and a truly delightful little café.
Sites like this reflect the rich history of Norfolk and some of the best cycle routes spin past the great country estates of England, such as Felbrigg Hall, Sandringham or Houghton Hall. With long tree lined avenues and well managed woodlands, the countryside around these estates offers bountiful wildlife and you’ll often catch glimpses of deer, flitting through the trees as you cycle past. The Walsingham Loop is a 40-mile ride that takes in Walsingham Abbey, a site of huge religious significance, whilst a spattering of other historic churches also provide good stopping points amid the pedaling.
The relatively flat landscapes allow you to see for miles and around the coast cyclists will discover particularly spectacular views. National Cycle Route 1 follows much of the coast, while, if you do plan to seek out the hills, the steepest course is Cromer to Felbrigg, where you are able to climb Beacon Hill, the highest point in the region. Pedalling to the top rewards cyclists with a panoramic viewpoint, as well as a good thrill when you whizz back down to sea level!
Cycling in North Norfolk is the perfect way to enjoy the landscape and whether you want to rumble off-road, speed along the coast or cycle as a family day out, Norfolk should be top of your ‘to-do’ list!