Cycle Britain

Tour Overview.

Meander beside rivers and marshes, soak up the sun on golden beaches, and pass the burial grounds of Anglo-Saxon Kings. Uncover Suffolk’s wealth of history and nature on this cycling tour.

Cycle Britain

130 miles / 4 Days

Suffolk’s rich history is mostly unknown. What Netflix’s hit show, The Dig, reveals, only scratches the surface of what you’ll discover on this trip. As you cycle through the historic Kingdom of the East Angles, you’ll pass cities that rivalled 14th-century London, charming market villages, and the burial grounds of kings and warriors who were buried alongside their ships and astonishing treasures.

Complementing this historical significance is the delightful cycling on offer. The Suffolk Coast is flat, traversed by a myriad of quiet country lanes, and recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Its coastline reveals stunning beaches, tranquil river estuaries, and miles of wildlife-rich marshes and heathland. Its inland stretches reveal quaint villages, meandering rivers and rolling countryside.

Tour Highlights.

  • Sutton Hoo – 18 burial mounds comprise Sutton Hoo’s Royal Burial Ground, one of Europe’s most significant archaeological sites. 1,400 years ago, an Anglo-Saxon king - most likely King Rædwald - was buried in a 90ft ship beside many rich treasures.
  • Relive Netflix’s The Dig. If you’ve watched Netflix’s adaptation of the Sutton Hoo story, many of the locations may seem familiar. This tour passes Thorpeness Beach, Snape Maltings and Boyton, where filming took place.
  • The Suffolk Coast AONB. Enjoy cycling beside stunning coastline, rivers and heathland, and passing through pretty villages.
  • Bustling Market Towns. Beccles has numerous market squares near the River Waveney, and Halesworth’s pedestrianized ‘Thoroughfare’ still hosts a variety of weekly, monthly and quarterly markets (normally Wednesdays and Saturdays).
  • Orford. Wander around this charming fishing Village and tranquil quay. Explore the well-preserved and unique polygonal tower of Orford Castle.
  • Dunwich. Once the capital of the Kingdom of the Eastern Angles and a city to rival 14th-century London. The 1086 Domesday book records 3,000 residents, compared to just 183 at the last census.

Summary of the Tour.

  1. Woodbridge to Orford (33.7 miles)

    Leaving Woodbridge, ‘The Gem in Suffolk’s Crown’, you’ll head straight for the coast. Skirt around Felixstowe, take a ferry across the mouth of the River Deben and then cross heathland towards the quaint fishing village of Orford. Orford’s legendary Pump Street Bakery serves a slice of foodie heaven, including ‘Britain’s Best Baguette.’

  2. Orford to Dunwich (29.8 miles)

    Where possible, today’s route follows the coast, stopping at the golden sands of Thorpeness and Aldeburgh. But lengthy detours inland are necessary to cross the River Alde and navigate around Minismere’s marshy Nature Reserve. Dunwich, where you’ll overnight, once rivalled London in size, but violent coastal storms have reduced its population from 3000 in 1086 to only 183 in 2011.

  3. Dunwich to Halesworth (35 miles)

    Pause in the seaside villages of Walberswick and Southwold, before heading inland on flat and narrow country lanes bordered by fields which stretch to the horizon. Perhaps stop in Beccles for lunch overlooking the River Waveney, before continuing to Halesworth. Wander along Halesworth’s pedestrianised Thoroughfare, which is flanked by 16th-century buildings and independents shops.

  4. Halesworth to Woodbridge (32 miles)

    This is a day of panoramic cycling, with views that stretch to the horizon and an impossibly-vast sky parachuting above. There’s many charming villages – blink and you’ll miss them – before returning to Woodbridge to complete the loop! If you have the energy, stroll along riverside paths to visit the popular Woodbridge Tide Mill.

Itinerary.

Two Days

Day 1: Woodbridge to Dunwich (62.8 miles)
This first day races north in giant wiggles between beaches and coastal villages, and around river estuaries and impassable marshland. Enjoy ‘Britain’s Best Baguette’ for lunch from Orford’s Pump Street Bakery. Dunwich, where you’ll overnight, once rivalled London in size, but violent coastal storms have reduced its population from 3000 in 1086 to only 183 in 2011.

Day 2: Dunwich to Woodbridge (66.1 miles)
Continue north until Beccles; from here, you return south for Woodbridge. Further inland now, the terrain undulates more (though remains flat!) and farms replace the marsh and heathland. You’ll enjoy fast riding along country lanes and through sleepy villages which pass in a moment.

Three Days

Day 1: Woodbridge to Snape (40.8 miles)
From Woodbridge, ‘The Gem in Suffolk’s Crown’, you’ll head straight for the coast. Ferry across the River Deben and then meander through The Suffolk Coast AONB, enjoying untouched views across marshland and river estuaries. Keep your eyes peeled for bird and wildlife.

Day 2: Snape to Beccles (45.5 miles)
Beaches at Aldeburgh, Thorpeness, and Southwold offer pleasant respite from the saddle. Today’s route continues along the coast, where possible, but also detours inland around impassable marshes. After Southwold, you’ll head away from the coast for a final time. Overnight in Beccles, which sits on the tranquil banks of the River Waveney.

Day 3: Beccles to Woodbridge (44.3 miles)
This is a day of flat and panoramic cycling through wonderful farmland. You’ll shoot through dot-on-the-map villages where England appears frozen in some timeless past, before completing your loop in Woodbridge.

Four Days

Day 1: Woodbridge to Orford (33.7 miles)
Leaving Woodbridge, ‘The Gem in Suffolk’s Crown’, you’ll head straight for the coast. Skirt around Felixstowe, take a ferry across the mouth of the River Deben and then cross heathland towards the quaint fishing village of Orford. Orford’s legendary Pump Street Bakery serves a slice of foodie heaven, including ‘Britain’s Best Baguette.’

Day 2: Orford to Dunwich (29.8 miles)
Where possible, today’s route follows the coast, stopping at the golden sands of Thorpeness and Aldeburgh. But lengthy detours inland are necessary to cross the River Alde and navigate around Minismere’s marshy Nature Reserve. Dunwich, where you’ll overnight, once rivalled London in size, but violent coastal storms have reduced its population from 3000 in 1086 to only 183 in 2011.

Day 3: Dunwich to Halesworth (35 miles)
Pause in the seaside villages of Walberswick and Southwold, before heading inland on flat and narrow country lanes bordered by fields which stretch to the horizon. Perhaps stop in Beccles for lunch overlooking the River Waveney, before continuing to Halesworth. Wander along Halesworth’s pedestrianised Thoroughfare, which  is flanked by 16th-century buildings and independents shops.

Day 4: Halesworth to Woodbridge (32 miles)
This is a day of panoramic cycling, with views that stretch to the horizon and an impossibly-vast sky parachuting above. There’s many charming villages – blink and you’ll miss them – before returning to Woodbridge to complete the loop! If you have the energy, stroll along riverside paths to visit the popular Woodbridge Tide Mill.

Dates and Prices.

  • 21st May -
    23rd May 2021
    £360

    Three Day Itinerary. Based on Two People Sharing. The 21st - 23rd is a guaranteed departure date.
    You can book any other date by contacting us

  • 21st May -
    24th May 2021
    £500

    Four Day Itinerary. Based on Two People Sharing. The 21st - 23rd is a guaranteed departure date.
    You can book any other date by contacting us.

  • 22nd May -
    23rd May 2021
    £285

    Two Day Itinerary. Based on Two People Sharing. The 22nd - 23rd is a guaranteed departure date. You can book any other date by contacting us.

Route.

All our routes are available to our Komoot followers.  Follow Cycle Britain on Komoot.

What’s Included.

Accommodation.

High-quality accommodation for each night of your trip.

Route plans.

Accessible as a GPS track on your phone before you even leave.

Luggage Transfer.

We carry your bags between hotels so you don’t have to!

Expert staff.

We are available to support your trip and answer any questions.

Unrivalled knowledge of cycling in Britain.

We pride ourselves as being the experts in British cycling!

What’s Not Included.

A Bike and Helmet.

There are various local rental companies if you don’t wish to bring your own.

A Guide.

This is a self-guided trip, but don’t worry; our route plans are really simple to navigate with. We advise you to have basic bike maintenance skills, such as fixing a puncture.

Transport to/from Woodbridge.

Woodbridge is easily accessible by car or train, approximately two hours from London.

Travel Insurance.

We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance.

Food.

Most of your accommodation options include breakfast, but lunches, snacks and evening meals are not provided.

Pre-Tour Accommodation

We do not include accommodation in Woodbridge the night before your tour begins. If you want us to arrange this for you, please let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

Accommodation.

We have accommodation options to suit a range of budgets, however, all have been selected because we are sure you’ll find warm hospitality and enjoy a pleasant, memorable stay there.

We provide centrally-located 3 and 4-star hotels and B&B’s where rest and comfort are guaranteed!

Trip Suitability.

This is a Grade 2 tour, which means it is suitable ‘for an electric bike or a cyclist that wants some but not too much challenge’. These routes are ‘flat and undulating at times. If you can cycle 40 miles then this is for you.’

We offer three itineraries so you can choose which daily distances you want to tackle! The average daily distance ranges from 32.5 – 65 miles per day, depending on your itinerary.

Gallery.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Do you cater to vegan and vegetarian diets?

Absolutely! Inform us in advance of any dietary requirements and we will be glad to cater to you.

Will we be able to wash our clothes on the trip?

There will be opportunities to wash clothes in your accommodation or at a launderette.

What level of fitness do I need?

This is a Grade 2 tour, which means it is suitable ‘for an electric bike or a cyclist that wants some but not too much challenge’. These routes are ‘flat and undulating at times. If you can cycle 40 miles then this is for you.’ Check out our coaching section for more info.

What level of support is offered?

This is a self-guided trip meaning we arrange your hotels, a baggage transfer and provide you with detailed route notes. We remain on hand to answer any questions and offer support.

Can I use an e-bike for this tour?

This route has been designed with electric bikes in mind. All our accommodation options can charge e-bikes batteries overnight.