The UK has so many forgotten corners where epic family cycling trips can be had. Here we take a look at East Anglia and fill you in on our top routes.
An area of outstanding natural beauty, East Anglia is one of the top destinations in the UK for family cycling trips. It has an impressive combination of both quiet country roads and spectacular coastal paths that meander along up and down the eastern seaboard.
It’s those long beaches, intricate rock formations, lighthouses, crashing summer waves and harbours that bring people back to this forgotten corner of the UK again and again. It’s epic cycling territory, and you’ll meander the rural roads and pass through villages locked in time, above which there are castles overlooking the undulating landscape. With great country pubs, good grub and plenty of secluded tea rooms and restaurants for that well-earned pitstop, it’s surprising that more haven't heard of this cycling mecca. Here we list the top routes to explore in this unspoilt corner of the UK.
The Jockey Trail
This day ride starts and finishes in Newmarket - the home of horseracing in the UK. But by swapping 4 legs for 2 wheels, you’ll experience a side of Suffolk that many others who come here don’t.
After leaving Newmarket, the route winds its way through some of the most picturesque villages in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. The quiet country roads that lead you back to Newmarket are intersected with quaint villages with cafés and tea rooms, perfect for that afternoon coffee stop!
The landscapes of Dunwich are seriously impressive. The 26-mile loop that takes in Dingle marshes and Leiston is highly recommended. On well-paved and quiet roads, this is one route where you can feel safe with all the family. And to make a real adventure of it, why not take in some of the trails of Dunwich forest! Cycling in Suffolk isn’t just for the roadies after all!
Located just outside Ipswich, the roads around Pettistree offer some wonderful family cycling. These roads are seldom traversed by traffic and you’ll likely have them all to yourself. Make the most of it, and enjoy the stunning views that line the route, the most impressive of which is Framlingham Castle.
Thetford Forest and the Brecks
Famous for being one of the driest places in the UK, it may be your safest bet weather-wise for a successful family cycling trip. The most well-known route is a 27-mile loop that takes you through the Breckland landscapes, it’s one dotted with flint churches and rolling hills.
Those who are seeking a proper adventure off the beaten track can head into Thetford Forest. Lying within, there are 4 trails, 2 of which are challenging and 2 which are relatively easy and well-suited to family cycling.
The Painters Trail
For those families looking for a longer and more challenging route, a 69-mile loop known as the Painters Trail will take you through some amazing countryside. The route takes you through the landscapes of Dedham Vale and Stour Valley. These majestic landscapes inspired many artists over the years and provide a wonderful backdrop to a family cycling excursion.
The Millers Trail
This trail takes in the mills that have been at the heart of Suffolk for almost a millennium. Starting in the picturesque village of Ixworth, this route takes in watermills and windmills sure to transport you back in time. The towers of both can be climbed for an unsurpassed view of the surrounding countryside.
As with anywhere in rural England, you’re never far from a pub on this route, and they make for a great afternoon stop off on the return leg.
Wells and Holkham Circuit
What better way to mix it up on a family cycling trip than to combine some epic coastal roads and quiet inland country roads of Norfolk. The Holkham circuit has it all, including many excellent pubs and tea rooms that make for a refreshing pitstop.
This area is extremely popular with cyclists, and for those who come without bikes, they can be easily rented in the many towns that line the route.
Preparing for a family cycling trip in East Anglia
Preparing for a family cycling trip requires some preparation, and at Decathlon we’re here to help you on that front! Whether it’s touring bikes, cycling related clothing or the tools to make those running repairs on the road, let us take care of it, while you switch off and immerse yourself in the idyllic surroundings of rural Suffolk.