It’s summer time, so dig out your bikes because it’s time to do what you’ve probably been talking about for a while: taking two wheels for a leisurely (or not-so-leisurely) bike ride!
It’s the perfect way to see the area from a different perspective and burn off some of that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream! Plus you can cover far more ground this way compared to walking, meaning more time for a lunch or dinner stop off along the way – and if you don’t own a bike, there are plenty of outlets to borrow one from, so there’s really no excuse!
Firstly, if you don’t own a bike or haven’t got it with you, never fear – if you’re starting in Norwich then hire your wheels from Abellio Greater Anglia (located at Norwich Train Station). Out into the countryside head to the southern Broads to Waveney River Centre (22 miles from Norwich) or Broadland Cycle Hire, where a new BroadsbyCycle bike hire scheme has just been introduced. Book online and pick up your bike from one of three bike stations near the River Bure – this is the first scheme of its kind in this type of rural area.
We suggest starting off in Norwich and seeing some of the sights (the Norwich 12 are a good collection to aim for, as they’re all in the city-centre and cover a wide range of iconic buildings from different eras). Norwich has plenty of convenient cycle paths around the city and lots of bike racks to lock your wheels up. Norwich City Council produce a handy cycle map featuring seven pedalways across the city which is well worth picking up at the Tourist Information Centre, or alternatively view it online here.
From discovering the Norwich 12, refuel with a bite to eat, then head to Whitlingham Country Park on the edge of Norwich – its 86 acres of water and parkland is perfect for exploring by bike, or move out of the city towards one of South Norfolk’s delightful market towns: Loddon, Harleston, Wymondham, Diss or Hingham. We’d recommend Wymondham as your first destination if you’re not an experienced cyclist, as it’s only 9 miles from the centre of Norwich and you can take some of the quieter roads over there – check out this handy route for a round trip to Wymondham and back. South Norfolk Council also have a whole range of Bike It! routes to enjoy.
Image: cycling in the Norfolk countryside.
To explore some of South Norfolk’s other market towns (and it’s well worth doing so, as they’re all delightful picture-perfect areas), why not take the train; Abellio Greater Anglia have direct lines from the city centre to Diss and Wymondham plus many other convenient routes – try Cromer, Great Yarmouth, Cromer or Sheringham for a day out with the bikes without going too far.
The Norfolk countryside has plenty of wonderful routes which offer some different terrain as well as scenic views to soak up; the Norfolk Trails can be cycled as well as walked whilst the Northern Broads have a whole host of routes to check out.
If you fancy combining attractions with cycling then check out Bure Valley Railway, Holkham and Fritton Lake (pop into The Fritton Arms for a bite to eat whilst you’re there). Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, you can still enjoy Norwich and Norfolk’s stunning scenery and get a good dose of fresh air, too!
To plan a trip to Norwich check out www.visitnorwich.co.uk