Author Topic: Suffolk suggestions  (Read 1437 times)

pdm

  • Sheffield hills? Nah... Just potholes.
Suffolk suggestions
« on: May 28, 2019, 11:43:06 am »
My SO is attending a course in Dedham (between Ipswich and Colchester) for a week in the last half of next month with the result that I will be free to indulge in some lightweight day touring...
I am planning some loops in all directions, 80-120k or so.
We have not visited that part of the country before apart from a dash or three to the ferry at Harwich but I have heard it is a green and pleasant land and note that Dedham lies in "Constable Country" with the Dedham Vale being an area of outstanding natural beauty...
Do the committee have any suggestions, "must see"s, avoids,etc?
Are the locals friendly?  :)

arabella

  • no se porque yo no lo se
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2019, 12:22:32 pm »
some of them are ...
you have the Brecks - Thetford Forest, Stow Anglo Saxon Village etc. in the Mildenhall direction
you have Orford/Dunwich/Southwold/Aldeburgh up the coast (NB there is a cycleable bridge from Walberswick to Southwold)
you have Felixstowe + seafront, Languard fort etc.
what sort of thing do you want?
can have a rummage for Ipswich-based routes/routes through Ipswich if that helps
In the dark, all views are the same.

Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2019, 12:53:51 pm »
It is indeed a green and pleasant land and area of outstanding natural cycling.

If you like chocolate box villages then Kersey, Lavenham and Long Melford are the big three, but there are many others around the Stour, Brett and Box valleys. This area is also unexpectedly lumpy - nothing big, but quite steep in places. Further in that direction Bury is certainly worth a visit, but you may get distracted on the way there.

Your distance limit may be a prohibitive if you want to head over towards Rendlesham Forest and the coast, but if you do go that way try to avoid Ipswich - it is quite busy and nothing special. It's best to dog-leg via Coddenham. Though if you want a really interesting route, go to Harwich, take the ferry over to Felixstowe, through Felixstowe and take the ferry over the Deben to Bawdsey.

Another option would be to go through Colchester to Maldon. The B1026 is the more pleasant of the two obvious routes, but there are other possibilities.

Hope this is enough to provide some ideas.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2019, 01:10:57 pm »
You are going to (in my opinion) the best area in the country for pleasant, gentle rural riding. As has been said above, there are hills if you look for them, but nothing massive. The highest point in Suffolk is just over 400 feet, near the village of Rede.

Feel free to delve into my "library" of rides: http://peter.chesspod.com/routes/eastanglia/
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

gibbo

  • Riding for fun, cake and beer.
    • Boxford Bike Club
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2019, 03:59:50 pm »


If you like chocolate box villages then Kersey, Lavenham and Long Melford are the big three, but there are many others around the Stour, Brett and Box valleys. This area is also unexpectedly lumpy - nothing big, but quite steep in places. Further in that direction Bury is certainly worth a visit, but you may get distracted on the way there.

 try to avoid Ipswich - it is quite busy and nothing special.

Agree with what Rod Marton says. I'd tend to stay away from the busier routes and stick to B and minor A roads. There are some cycle routes too - South Suffolk & National Cycle Network.

Also the ferry trip from Harwich to Felixstowe to Shotley (and all combinations thereof) make for a nice round trip.

It's a great area to cycle.

Gibbo.


Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2019, 04:35:38 pm »
You scarcely need to touch A & B roads in most of Suffolk. IIRC that Teethgrinder OTP reckons that Suffolk & Norfolk has a greater plethora of minor roads than any county except Devon & Cornwall.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2019, 06:59:32 pm »
If you want to cheat, the Tour de Stour Audax event starts in Long Melford, mentioned above, and does a figure of eight through Dedham, so you could start in the wrong place and follow that. GPX track from the link.

Tomsk

  • Fueled by cake since 1957
    • tomsk.co.uk
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2019, 07:47:04 pm »
Stour Valley is lovely and lumpy [=scenery], by East Anglian standards - Gainsborough Country as well as John Constable's inspiration and numerous other artistic connections too, with good reason.

The coast is varied too - bonus is the option of several slightly eccentric pedestrian/bike ferry crossings.

Aldeburgh and back, via Harwich-Felixstowe and Felixstowe Ferry-Bawdsey ferries would be a good day ride. The Shotley peninsular is an interesting diversion too - ferries to Felixstowe and Harwich. Further on up to Southwold via Walberswick ferry? Ipswich I don't find so bad to ride through, but not a major tourist destination. The rejuvenated docks is getting better though.

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2019, 11:25:58 pm »
Having lived in and around the Stour valley for the last 20 years, I can confirm it’s a wonderful area to ride in with many lovely villages and associated pubs. A nice route from Dedham would be via Stratford, Stoke-by-Nayland, Bures, Lamarsh, Ballingdon,Borley, Liston, Long Melford, Lavenham, Brent Eleigh, Milden, Lindsay, Kersey, Williams Green, Polstead Heath, Shelley, Higham, Stratford and back to Dedham.  That should be around 60km, I think. If you want to go further, the back roads from Borley to Clare are nice, then, from there via Glemsford, Hartest, Shimpling, Bridge Street, to pick up the route at Lavenham should bring it up around 100km.

Most of these villages have lovely pubs, but I can particularly recommend (in no particular order) the Lamarsh Lion, the Henny Swan, the Lindsay Rose, the Kersey Bell, the Cock at Brent Eleigh, another Cock at Polstead.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2019, 11:52:04 pm »
I think the road up from Glemsford towards Hawkedon is extraordinary for East Anglia. It's quite a stiff climb and it reminds me of a little bit of Derbyshire that got lost.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

gibbo

  • Riding for fun, cake and beer.
    • Boxford Bike Club
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2019, 08:33:44 am »


Most of these villages have lovely pubs, but I can particularly recommend (in no particular order) the Lamarsh Lion, the Henny Swan, the Lindsay Rose, the Kersey Bell, the Cock at Brent Eleigh, another Cock at Polstead.

Another Cock is the one in Hadleigh. We do a ride named the Cock Ring which takes in the aforementioned pubs.

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2019, 12:26:04 pm »
Ive just checked the routes I suggested. The first is 80km, the extended version (see here) is 104km.

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2019, 12:29:21 pm »
I think the road up from Glemsford towards Hawkedon is extraordinary for East Anglia. It's quite a stiff climb and it reminds me of a little bit of Derbyshire that got lost.

The road out of Hartest is a 15% climb. Ok, only for around 2-300m, but it gets the heart rate up!

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2019, 12:52:23 pm »
I think the road up from Glemsford towards Hawkedon is extraordinary for East Anglia. It's quite a stiff climb and it reminds me of a little bit of Derbyshire that got lost.

It's probably the hilliest part of the county. Also, Shimpling Road (aka the Col d'Hartest) is quite steep for this part of the world.

edit: cross post with TimC.
Pen Pusher

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2019, 08:23:40 pm »
Yes, I was aware o the Hartest chevron. I think there's another somewhere near Bildestone.

It is the scenery as much as the gradient on the Glemsford road that reminds me of Derbyshire.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2019, 03:05:51 pm »
The one near Bildeston is Watson’s Hill, at Semer. It’s the home of Sudbury Cycle Club’s annual hillclimb competition, and may be a little steeper than Hartest. It features in Simon Warren’s second 100 Greatest Climbs book. Veloviewer segment.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2019, 03:19:21 pm »
Stour Valley is lovely and lumpy [=scenery], by East Anglian standards - Gainsborough Country as well as John Constable's inspiration and numerous other artistic connections too, with good reason.

The coast is varied too - bonus is the option of several slightly eccentric pedestrian/bike ferry crossings.

Aldeburgh and back, via Harwich-Felixstowe and Felixstowe Ferry-Bawdsey ferries would be a good day ride. The Shotley peninsular is an interesting diversion too - ferries to Felixstowe and Harwich. Further on up to Southwold via Walberswick ferry? Ipswich I don't find so bad to ride through, but not a major tourist destination. The rejuvenated docks is getting better though.

I grew up cycling round these parts. It is very pretty. Am actually cycling through there next week on my way to Silverstone, for a trip down memory lane.

Ipswich is a dump, the only reason really go go there is to change trains. (I may be biased).

I'd like to second the Old-Felixstowe and Bawdsey Ferry area. Upriver Ramsholt has a very pretty church IIRC. Up the coast Orford is rather quaint too. The Oyster pub at Butley used to be very good, dunno what it's like these days tho.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2019, 05:33:19 pm »
The Oyster is shut, having only reopened 2 years ago after being closed for 4 years. There is talk of the village buying it, but no news as yet.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2019, 05:54:14 pm »
The Oyster is shut, having only reopened 2 years ago after being closed for 4 years. There is talk of the village buying it, but no news as yet.

Oh. That's a shame. Doh.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2019, 12:12:22 am »
The one near Bildeston is Watson’s Hill, at Semer. It’s the home of Sudbury Cycle Club’s annual hillclimb competition, and may be a little steeper than Hartest. It features in Simon Warren’s second 100 Greatest Climbs book. Veloviewer segment.

Funnily enough, I thought of that but couldn't find a chevron on it. When I used to ride regularly with Annie (formerly?) otp we used to ride round there quite a bit. ISTR that there was a pretty decent tea room nearby with some camels in a field...
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2019, 07:31:04 am »
You’re probably thinking of Hollowtrees? Just at the top of Watson’s Hill on the Lavenham road. Annie is still in the area, but I don’t think she’s cycling these days.

arabella

  • no se porque yo no lo se
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2019, 12:15:35 pm »
It does still exist.  See Suffolk CTC list of venues.

Confess to feeling slightly hurt that people are referring to where-I-live as a dump, when they don't actually live there.  Please be more constructive.
In the dark, all views are the same.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2019, 01:00:55 pm »
Confess to feeling slightly hurt that people are referring to where-I-live as a dump, when they don't actually live there.  Please be more constructive.

Apparently that's a gendered thing, with women tending to refer to a place where they live (or have lived) in negative terms, while men are more inclined to be negative about places they haven't lived.

Make of that what you will.

FWIW, I've spent very little time in Suffolk, and my main experience of Ipswich is via Russell T Davies references.  Suffolk seems like a nice place to go for a bike ride, but then I would say that; I don't live there.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2019, 01:20:50 pm »
Confess to feeling slightly hurt that people are referring to where-I-live as a dump, when they don't actually live there.  Please be more constructive.

I think I described it as busy and nothing special, which I hope is reasonably accurate. Whilst Ipswich does have a few hidden gems, it's not a place I would particularly recommend for cycletouring. As I spent my formative years there I feel entitled to express an opinion: though I wouldn't call it a dump as I can think of far worse towns - Haverhill, for example, since we are talking about Suffolk. And I've lived there too!

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Suffolk suggestions
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2019, 04:16:40 pm »
It does still exist.  See Suffolk CTC list of venues.

Confess to feeling slightly hurt that people are referring to where-I-live as a dump, when they don't actually live there.  Please be more constructive.

Having spent 19 years of my life there and being very grateful for having left, I feel I have some basis to form this opinion. Apologies if I have caused offence.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/