Philip Gray led this special away day ride and writes:
This was a day of discovery and gentle adventure, a little beyond our normal range. It was enjoyed by a very select group of Dave and me, so we’ll try to offer it again soon when more people can join in.
After a slow start (yes, I admit I was still at breakfast when Dave arrived…) we drove 64 miles to the Georgian gem of Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, where we parked right beside a sign for the North Sea Cycle Route. In fact, by accident we generally followed NCR#1.
A few fast km out of Wisbech, we stopped at the swish Worzals bar and garden centre for our overdue elevenses. Some of the roads here were busy, but then we moved into quiet Fenland and discovered the legend of Tom Hickathrift…to be told properly some time over a campfire or a pot of tea.
Eventually we crossed the Great Ouse to join an excellent riverside cycle path into King’s Lynn.
Jinking through KL’s historic centre, we joined a cycle path up to the Castle Rising road. We saw lots of recreational cyclists here, and generally throughout the day. Along with the sunshine it created a very idyllic scene.
The village of Castle Rising is a secret tip… not least because of a very promising tearoom & garden.
On to Sandringham where the royal forest avenues provided ideal midday cover. The terrain here rises up to about 60 m so there are a few small undulations.
Eventually we hit Heacham and took a left to the North Beach, where we could cycle along the seawall all the way into Hunstanton. At least, we could have if the crowds hadn’t been so dense! There was a wonderful seaside atmosphere I’ve not experienced for many years.
We had excellent fish and chips sitting overlooking the town’s central green.
Restored, we headed back on a more inland route around KL, going deeper into fen and marshland. By now the heat was a bit of a challenge, forcing us to stop at two pubs, including one where we sat at the edge of the mighty Ouse in the evening sun…lovely.
After this we had one final challenge, when the GPX track took us into a firmly closed road, but we navigated around to make it back safely to the start.
We did 75 miles with a surprising 2,932 feet of ascent. All the ups and downs were after the Ouse in Norfolk; fenland by contrast was stunningly flat.
All in all an excellent day out. Thanks to Dave for his company and Brian for help with planning.