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Bicycle in Snape, cycling in Suffolk

CYCLING IN SUFFOLK

With its two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, myriad woods and forests, 50 miles of coastline, and thousands of quiet country roads, Suffolk is a veritable cyclist’s paradise. It’s no coincidence that Suffolk annually holds stages of the Tour of Britain and the Aviva Women’s Tour; despite its relatively flat terrain, there is cycling in Suffolk for all abilities, and all of it comes with a beautiful view. In this article we’ll take a look at some of the cycling routes on offer in Suffolk, as well as cycle-friendly places to stay, bike rental shops, and cyclists’ favourite pitstops.
Cycling at sunrise in Suffolk (c) Barney MossThere is cycling for all abilities in Suffolk
Photo (c) Barney Moss

CYCLING HOLIDAYS IN SUFFOLK

Based in Needham Market, Cycle Breaks offer a huge range of self-guided cycling holidays in Suffolk, from two-day excursions to a full two-week tour of the county. With bikes, maps, routes and hand-picked accommodation provided, you can set off to explore Lavenham and the Suffolk Wool Towns, cross the verdant fields of Constable Country, cycle from beach to beach along The Suffolk Coast, and much more.
 
Any serious cyclists on holiday in Suffolk should not miss a trip to Maglia Rosso, a cyclists’ cafe in Hawkstead near Bury St Edmunds. Adjoining the pit-stop cafe is a bike shop where you can find De Rosa, Kinesis UK, Merida, Ritte, Scott and Trek bikes, plus essential cycling kit and a professional bike fitting service. If you’re brave enough, you can even test your skills and stamina on Maglia Rosso’s 1-mile Cyclo Cross course!
Dunwich heath (c) Malcolm FarrowThere is fantastic cycling to be found on the Suffolk Coast
Photo (c) Malcolm Farrow

CYCLING ON THE SUFFOLK COAST

The Suffolk Coast boasts 155 square miles of peaceful, unspoilt landscape dedicated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and cycling is one of the best ways to experience it. We recommend exploring the Churches, Copses and Country Lanes with this easy, circular day ride, or heading into the glorious Rendlesham Forest on one of these two trails.
 
CYCLISTS’ PITSTOPS
 
The Sweffling White Horse (East Anglia CAMRA Pub of the Year 2015), Saxmundham
 
CYCLE-FRIENDLY PLACES TO STAY
 
Cakes & Ale, Theberton
Alde Garden, Saxmundham
 
BICYCLE HIRE
 
The Eels Foot Inn, Eastbridge
Surfwold Bike Hire, Southwold
Bungay Suffolk (c) John FieldingExplore the pretty towns of the Waveney Valley by bike
Photo (c) John Fielding

CYCLING IN THE WAVENEY VALLEY

The Waveney Valley is a wildlife-rich valley in northeast Suffolk dotted with charming towns and villages whose gentle pace of life leaves very little to be desired. The Three Rivers Loop is a 23-mile circular route that offers up lovely views of the Waveney Valley, perfect for a full day’s cycling. The Beccles South Loop swings south to Halesworth and then on to The Suffolk Coast, while the Marshes and Lanes Loop takes you on a round journey between the picturesque riverside towns of Bungay and Beccles. If you’re a cyclist with a passion for churches and quaint, isolated villages, the 16-mile circular Saints Tour will be your ideal day’s ride; if you prefer the idea of tasting beers and visiting breweries, take a spin on the 13-mile Brewery Tour, stopping for a meal at the beautiful St Peter’s Brewery.
 
CYCLISTS’ PITSTOPS
 
St Peter’s Brewery, South Elmham
The Earsham Street Café, Bungay
 
CYCLE-FRIENDLY PLACES TO STAY
 
 
BICYCLE HIRE
 
Waveney River Centre, near Beccles
View over the River Deben from Waldringfield (c) tomline43The views make cycling on the Shotley Peninsula a special pleasure
Photo (c) tomline43

CYCLING ON THE SHOTLEY PENINSULA

The Shotley Peninsula is a small stretch of land between the rivers Orwell and Stour in southeast Suffolk. It is remarkable for its views: at every turn there is a waterscape, from birds wading in the estuary to little boats cruising upriver. Its size means exploring Shotley Peninsula by bike can be done at your own leisure, but if you’d prefer to follow a route, this 8-mile circular loop offers gorgeous views of Alton Water, Shotley Peninsula’s reservoir.
 
CYCLISTS’ PITSTOPS
 
The White Horse, Tattingstone
The Butt & Oyster, Pin Mill
 
CYCLE-FRIENDLY PLACES TO STAY
 
At the Johnsons B&B, Tattingstone
 
BICYCLE HIRE
 
Alton Cycle Hire, Stutton
Cycling in Constable Country (c) Sludge GGo cycling in Constable Country and discover a landscape hardly changed in 200 years
Photo (c) Sludge G

CYCLING IN CONSTABLE COUNTRY AND THE STOUR VALLEY

Constable Country is well known for its pastoral beauty. The same lush meadows, mills, and riverbends that inspired the great landscape painter John Constable in the 18th and 19th century are still working their magic today, as anyone cycling in Constable Country will find out. The 69-mile Painter’s Trail is a cycle route through this special part of England, and can be downloaded in sections here.
 
CYCLISTS’ PITSTOPS
 
The Swan Inn, Stratford St Mary
The Boathouse, Flatford
 
CYCLE-FRIENDLY PLACES TO STAY
 
 
BICYCLE HIRE
 
Outdoor Hire Centre, East Bergholt
Cool Pedals, Langham
Cycling in Thetford Forest (c) SAS Chris Hill / defenceimages.mod.ukUnleash your adrenaline on the Thetford Forest trails
Photo (c) SAS Chris Hill / defenceimages.mod.uk

CYCLING IN THETFORD FOREST & THE BRECKS

As one of the driest places in the UK, the Brecks are ideal for cycling and adventure sports. Starting in the village of Mildenhall, this 27-mile horseshoe ride takes you through typical breckland landscapes, past flint churches and the village of Tuddenham. The three circular routes of the Stanton Rides offer another view of The Brecks, this time of windmills and wild fens. The King’s Forest Cycle Rides will take you through the heaths and forests surrounding the village of West Stow; alternatively, keen off-road cyclists can head deep into Thetford Forest, where they’ll find two easy-going circular routes as well as two challenging trails.
 
CYCLISTS’ PITSTOPS
 
The Cadogan Pub, Ingham
 
CYCLE-FRIENDLY PLACES TO STAY
 
Tuddenham Mill, Tuddenham
 
BICYCLE HIRE
 
Tuddenham Mill, Tuddenham (bikes available for guests to borrow)
Bike Art, Thetford Forest
Maglia Rosso Cyclists Cafe near Bury St EdmundsDon't miss a pitstop at Maglia Rosso while cycling by Bury St Edmunds
Photo (c) Maglia Rosso

CYCLING AROUND THE HISTORIC TOWNS OF WEST SUFFOLK

Cycling in west Suffolk is characterised by the area’s two principal towns: Bury St Edmunds, which boasts a wealth of history, architecture, food, drink and shopping; and Newmarket, the hallowed home of international horseracing.
 
Starting in Bury St Edmunds, the 30-mile Towers and Spires tour connects Suffolk’s only cathedral, St Edmundsbury, with the remarkable parish churches that surround it. From Newmarket you can embark on one of the three circular Newmarket Rides, or the 28-mile circular Jockey’s Trail, which ends triumphantly on Newmarket Heath, a popular horse riding spot for centuries. For a route that truly takes you back in time, however, we recommend the Miller’s Trail, a 23-mile route of moderate difficulty that pays homage to Suffolk’s historic mills.
 
CYCLISTS’ PIT STOPS
 
Maglia Rosso, Hawkstead
The Old Cannon Brewery, Bury St Edmunds
 
CYCLE-FRIENDLY PLACES TO STAY
 
Wylene Holiday Home, Bury St Edmunds
 
BICYCLE HIRE
 

READY TO START YOUR CYCLING ADVENTURE IN SUFFOLK?

Can't wait to start cycling in Suffolk? Tell us all about your plans and send us photos of what you see on route via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
 
For more information about cycling in Suffolk, visit www.discoversuffolk.org.uk, www.cyclesuffolk.org, and www.suffolkgov.uk.