4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

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NickWi
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Re: 4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

Postby NickWi » 23 Feb 2019, 10:45pm

Downside:-
It's flat (mostly) and whilst that might sound like cycling heaven the lack of hills means lack of views and mega sizes featureless & lifeless fields are a bit monotonous. Conversely, that Spire you can see in the distance can take ages to get too because sometimes you can see thing from a very long way away. Wind, when it's behind you it's great, a head wind and you'll curse it all day. Dykes, Berms & Levies, sometimes you're riding at or below sea level and those wonderfully scenic waterways are above you and out of sight. Lastly the honeypot towns and the roads around, particularly the coast roads do get busy and carry a lot of traffic.

Don't get me wrong, it's a nice place to cycle but my memory of the tour I did there is more of the above that other tours I've done where, shall we say, the scenery is a little more dramatic.

paddler
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Re: 4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

Postby paddler » 23 Feb 2019, 10:53pm

NickWi wrote:Downside:-
It's flat (mostly) and whilst that might sound like cycling heaven the lack of hills means lack of views and mega sizes featureless & lifeless fields are a bit monotonous. Conversely, that Spire you can see in the distance can take ages to get too because sometimes you can see thing from a very long way away. Wind, when it's behind you it's great, a head wind and you'll curse it all day. Dykes, Berms & Levies, sometimes you're riding at or below sea level and those wonderfully scenic waterways are above you and out of sight. Lastly the honeypot towns and the roads around, particularly the coast roads do get busy and carry a lot of traffic.

Don't get me wrong, it's a nice place to cycle but my memory of the tour I did there is more of the above that other tours I've done where, shall we say, the scenery is a little more dramatic.


You're not selling it. :D

Hard to argue with though!

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mjr
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Re: 4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

Postby mjr » 24 Feb 2019, 12:43am

Easy to argue with. The fens (only partly Norfolk) and Broads are flat but the bits between like the Brecks and Poppyland are not. No mountains but plenty to see. I think the immense flatness of the fens is worth a look, especially if you've never been to the Netherlands, but don't spend your whole tour there.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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mercalia
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Re: 4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

Postby mercalia » 24 Feb 2019, 4:16pm

paddler wrote:
mercalia wrote:
paddler wrote: ......
I would personally avoid Gt Yarmouth, and probably Lowestoft as well as both have seen better days, but again it depends what you like.
.....


when is the last time you have been to Lowestoft? It has a fine esplanade south of the bridge that you can cycle on up to pakefeld & a North beach wth sand dunes and gorse. Then nearby there is Oulton Broad with its park. Normanston park is also very nice on the road to Oulton Broad


Well, last week actually. But only to the town centre shops. I take your points about the esplanade etc, and Oulton Broad especially, been there loads of times on boating holidays. But whether it is worth a trip just to see it (Lowestoft), well it wouldn't be to me. If I was cycling around the coast then I would make sure to go through.


well the town centre is better than it was since it has been pedestrianised, but is just a town centre. There is a nice cycle way that follows the old railway line from Gt Yarmoth Rd near the school that used to be the Denes High Shcook/Lowesoft Grammar school, north of the town that goes down to almost the railway station and a cycle path that crosses that to most of the way to Oulton Broad passing Normanston park. Of course there are no monuments or grand buildings, its an old fishing port/food processing town- The North beach along Corton Road is nice and wild with sand dunes. Could easily bivvy there in the summer. A useful town to stop at to pick up supplies before moving on, as the next town is really Ipswich ( or off the A12 Halesworth )

thirdcrank
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Re: 4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

Postby thirdcrank » 24 Feb 2019, 4:52pm

NUKe wrote:What do you want recommendations for places to see thing to do or routes. The north coast is nice but the roads are narrow and can be busy in holiday season. Sandringham and holkeham hall are good if you want upperclass history. Sea food is good, Cromer crabs arre a must if you like shell fish. Nice smokery at stiff key with a deli. The broads are nice. South and east of Norwich are quieter but still very scenic, with the Readham chain ferry worth a visit. (My emphasis)


The great thing about cycling in much of Norfolk is that there's a network of truly quiet roads which see little motor traffic. (The A roads are a different story.) Flint is common and some riders I've spoken to have had a lot of puncture problems but I've been 100% lucky (Schwalbe Marathons.) This was the centre of the agricultural revolution, even if the roles of some of the people you may have learnt about at school are disputed.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/em ... n_01.shtml
So much of the built history of that era - especially the churches - remains.

I'd be cautious about recommending King's Lynn as a centre for a tour. It's a historic place, but it's not central to Norfolk. The area around Sandringham seems sterile - Windsor rhododendrons seem to thrive and the Kate Middleton effect seems to have magnified the tourist attraction. I fancy local knowledge is also handy for actually getting out of town avoiding main roads. (Actually, I'm cautious about mentioning KL at all.)

Overall, it would be very hard not to enjoy cycling in Norfolk. A great area. :D Re hills, nowhere is flat when you are riding a bike, but don't go to Norfolk looking for hills.

Steve
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Re: 4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

Postby Steve » 24 Feb 2019, 5:52pm

Yes the dense network of minor roads inland is one of the best features in my view, from a few holidays there, also rather quaint villages towns and tea rooms. As one who lives in Yorkshire, I found a lot of folk rather deferential in their manner, which was quite a novelty! Found the bike not the best way of exploring Broads and coast though. An interest in old churches would pay dividends.

fastpedaller
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Re: 4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

Postby fastpedaller » 24 Feb 2019, 6:01pm

paddler wrote:
rjb wrote:A visit to Ranworth church is worth it for the spectacular views over the Broads, and the teashop. Don't try climbing the tower with cycling shoes on, the steps are uneven and you can't get a grip with spds. I speak from experience. Remove shoes and climb it in your socks :wink:

https://www.broadsideparishes.org.uk/vi ... _tower.htm


Forgot about that, yes well worth it! And I have been up Cromer church tower before but I'm not sure how often it is open. But if you like that sort of thing check it out!.

Good gazebos to climb in Sheringham Park and Holt country Park as well.

There's also the Happisburgh lighthouse (open during school holidays, Easter etc, but worth checking) - you can go right to the top and the view is magnificent, and it's history is interesting. It is also the only privately owned/run lighthouse in uk. I'm told the view from the nearby happisburgh church is even better, but I can't say from personal experience. Plenty of hills (ok inclines) if you hunt them out..... Many on the 'Holt/Cromer ridge' and also heading West from New Holkham towards Ringland. The striped cliffs at Old Hunstanton worth a look. Most tearooms are on the coast, but I can give teh OP some details of good inland ones if required. I've lived here just over 15 years, and will never be able to explore all the tiny lanes/villages - just avoid the main roads (which may be A or B roads) by crossing them!

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mjr
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Re: 4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

Postby mjr » 24 Feb 2019, 6:39pm

fastpedaller wrote:Plenty of hills (ok inclines) if you hunt them out..... Many on the 'Holt/Cromer ridge' and also heading West from New Holkham towards Ringland.

I think you mean Ringstead. National Route 1 from Burnham Market to Ringstead is nice fast-rolling hills. I sometimes refer to it as the roller-coaster because there aren't usually that many which you have to start climbing from the bottom: one at Burnham Market end for sure and I don't remember more.

Ringland is on the edge of Norwich and it's a nice little village with an intriguing reading room. There's a nice riverside ride to Costessey where you can join the tarmac bit of Route 1 into Norwich and it may be worth a visit before they bulldoze the rest of the A1270 across the Wensum Valley to complete the city's third ring road.

Local knowledge isn't strictly needed to get out of King's Lynn: National 1 is the best way out north or south and is fairly well signposted apart from in the very centre. To head west towards Sutton Bridge is the river bridge nearest town, then the fairly obvious former A road through the villages, although some of the roads on the former marshes can be fun. Heading east, it's probably best to take National 1 north to Sandringham then Anmer, Houghton, Rudhams, Broomthorpe, Tattersett, Shereford, Fakenham (where you can rejoin National 1 to Norwich or Walsingham). The A148 and B1145 can be cycled but aren't much fun. The A47 is best avoided IMO. There are ways to wiggle out east to Swaffham and Castle Acre through North Runcton, Blackborough End or Tottenhill/Shouldham but they're unsignposted. I'll describe them or plot them on cycle.travel if anyone asks.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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fastpedaller
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Re: 4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

Postby fastpedaller » 24 Feb 2019, 8:16pm

mjr wrote:
fastpedaller wrote:Plenty of hills (ok inclines) if you hunt them out..... Many on the 'Holt/Cromer ridge' and also heading West from New Holkham towards Ringland.

I think you mean Ringstead.


Absolutely.... A senior moment of mine :oops:

paddler
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Re: 4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

Postby paddler » 24 Feb 2019, 9:20pm

mercalia wrote:
paddler wrote:
mercalia wrote:
when is the last time you have been to Lowestoft? It has a fine esplanade south of the bridge that you can cycle on up to pakefeld & a North beach wth sand dunes and gorse. Then nearby there is Oulton Broad with its park. Normanston park is also very nice on the road to Oulton Broad


Well, last week actually. But only to the town centre shops. I take your points about the esplanade etc, and Oulton Broad especially, been there loads of times on boating holidays. But whether it is worth a trip just to see it (Lowestoft), well it wouldn't be to me. If I was cycling around the coast then I would make sure to go through.


well the town centre is better than it was since it has been pedestrianised, but is just a town centre. There is a nice cycle way that follows the old railway line from Gt Yarmoth Rd near the school that used to be the Denes High Shcook/Lowesoft Grammar school, north of the town that goes down to almost the railway station and a cycle path that crosses that to most of the way to Oulton Broad passing Normanston park. Of course there are no monuments or grand buildings, its an old fishing port/food processing town- The North beach along Corton Road is nice and wild with sand dunes. Could easily bivvy there in the summer. A useful town to stop at to pick up supplies before moving on, as the next town is really Ipswich ( or off the A12 Halesworth )


Those cycle paths sound interesting. I've managed to find the one that goes to Oulton Broad on an online map, but I'll have to get an ordnance survey out of the cupboard for the other.

Plenty for the op to go at, hopefully he'll come back and tell us what he fancies. Always good to get others perspectives.

mercalia
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Re: 4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

Postby mercalia » 24 Feb 2019, 11:12pm

The Yarmouth road one is nice as the rail line ran in a deep cut so you are well away from traffic is all over grown now on the deep banks. When I get to my desk top pc ill give an os ref. I remember it when there were rails there. The one to Oulton broad towards the end becomes more a right of way alongside lake lothing sand comes out near the bridge.lock at Oulton broad quite an adventure. A very long time ago there use to be a rail line and station to gt Yarmouth opposite the school at the start of the Yarmouth Rd path

simonhill
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Re: 4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

Postby simonhill » 25 Feb 2019, 1:16am

I didn't suggest King's Lynn as a centre for touring. I said it could be a good place to start. Some years ago, I caught a train from southern Essex to start a tour from KL. It seemed like an easy option.

Remember the OP said a 4 dayt tour using trains from Upminster.

thirdcrank
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Re: 4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

Postby thirdcrank » 25 Feb 2019, 6:46am

I am sorry for not making my thinking clearer. Norfolk is no longer well-served by the railway. (Pretty much like most places, then.) I jumped to the conclusion that a return ticket to somewhere central - the OP suggested Norwich - would be much cheaper than two singles, although I'll admit that buying rail tickets is now a mystery to me: almost a panel game like Mornington Crescent, but using real money.

paddler
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Re: 4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

Postby paddler » 25 Feb 2019, 8:51am

thirdcrank wrote:I am sorry for not making my thinking clearer. Norfolk is no longer well-served by the railway. (Pretty much like most places, then.) I jumped to the conclusion that a return ticket to somewhere central - the OP suggested Norwich - would be much cheaper than two singles, although I'll admit that buying rail tickets is now a mystery to me: almost a panel game like Mornington Crescent, but using real money.


I second that bit about rail tickets - it's a disgrace.

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Re: 4 Day Norfolk Tour Recommendation

Postby Vorpal » 25 Feb 2019, 9:29am

For the tour, IMO, the Broads are brilliant. Even it it's flat, it's far from boring, with a wide variety of plants, animals, and bird species, especially if you visit when migratory birds are there. The floura and fauna are different enough from most other places in the UK to be interesting of themselves. Someone who has even a passing interest in such things should not miss the Broads. I think that they have their own beauty, if not so dramatic as someplace like Scarfell.

I would also recommend doing at least some of the coast, though it's best done on weekdays. If the 4 days includes weekend days, use those to take the quiet back lanes. I liked Castle Acre, and although it's been some years since I've been there, there was a good selection of tea rooms and pubs, as well as the monastary ruins to visit.

I can't find mine at the moment, but the Golden Eye map for Norfolk has some really nice cycling routes.
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