With the Tour of Britain descending upon the roads of Suffolk on the 8th September, what better time to highlight some of the fantastic cycle routes in the county? Cycling is great for sight-seeing, it allows a slower pace, giving you the time and opportunity to enjoy and take in the glorious surroundings. Your two wheeled explorations are revitalising, and the adventure starts when you get on your seat!
The Tour of Britain starts in the popular town of Newmarket and finishes in Aldeburgh. The streets are expected to be lined with thousands of people all hoping to catch a glimpse of the race and the worldly recognised riders as they pass through the beautiful towns and villages in the county, such as Bury St Edmunds and Framlingham.
Cycling is a fun way to burn some energy and get the blood pumping. Not only is it great for cardio, if done regularly, it will also strengthen your muscles, so you can go on to cycle even further, or on more challenging routes. With less impact on your joints in comparison to running, it is a relatively safe sport, if you’ve got good balance and all the required safety equipment.
Alton Water Sports Centre – Eight Miles
Alton Water Sports Centre is a man-made reservoir that provides cyclists with a stunning setting and a gentle journey. Located in the beautiful Suffolk countryside, the eight-mile parameter is perfect for riders of all ages, speeds and abilities. The route has the benefit of being off-road, circular and closely follows the water’s edge, providing the ideal riding conditions for families and the elderly. There are a couple of steep parts to the path, but there are plenty of benches and lovely places to stop and get your breath back if you need to. The small café near the reservoir serves various light bites and snacks, should you need to refuel or you’re welcomed to bring your own packed lunch and stop off at one of the picnic spots, which all boast incredible views.
The Suffolk Coastal cycle route – Varied Mileage
The Suffolk Coastal cycle route from Felixstowe to Dunwich is a more challenging journey, with some hills and steep inclines. Much of the route is on winding country lanes, with some larger, busier roads too. The sign posted, circular route is over 88-miles long in its entirety, although if you’re looking for something a little more low-key and relaxing, you can shorten your trip by completing just part of the route. The path tours through the Suffolk Coast and the Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, passing through several idyllic Suffolk villages and towns along the way, allowing you to enjoy the outstanding views and picturesque towns.
Gorleston to Lowestoft – Eight Miles
This cycle route is perfect for families who enjoy their caravan holidays in Suffolk as the journey begins at the Lowestoft train station, which is just a couple of miles from the Tingdene Lifestyle Broadlands Park and Waterside Park. The route is mostly flat, at times it is on road and at other points off-road, providing an exciting and mixed terrain. You will pass through Hopton on Sea and Corton which are perfect places to stop off for a refreshing drink or bite to eat before reaching the end destination of Gorleston. The route follows the Suffolk and Norfolk coastline, delivering incredible views out to the ocean and of the seaside towns. There are regular buses to and from each town, so you have the option of just going one way if you don’t feel up to the return journey.
Wenhaston to Westleton – Eight Miles
Starting at Wenhaston, head toward Hall Road and follow Hazels Lane until you reach the town of Dunwich, which is in the heart of the Suffolk Coast National Nature Reserve. Dunwich forest and the Dingle Marshes are a majestic and untouched area that is worth the two-mile detour while you’re nearby. The last leg of the journey is from Dunwich to Westleton, which passes through the Westleton Heath National Nature Reserve, all paths provide breath-taking views with varied terrains and difficulty.
What to bring?
- Although helmets are not a legal requirement, the Highway Code does highlight the benefits of wearing one. Whether you are hiring a helmet for your holiday or you are going to purchase one, ensure that it is the right size for your head and properly secured to get the maximum protection.
- Cycling burns a lot of energy, and it is important to replace the lost energy with healthy and nutritious foods. Stay well hydrated and bring along some snacks or a picnic to enjoy along the route.
- With the British weather being unpredictable, a raincoat in your backpack is always a good idea to protect you from the unexpected showers.
- High visibility jackets are extremely useful if your route is going to be taking you onto roads or through towns.
Where is your favourite place in Suffolk to cycle? We’d love you to share them with us via our social media channels.