Christine and I met at Euston and cycled to Liverpool Street. On the way we got caught in a heavy down pour , so were pleased to get to the station and our train.
On arrival in Woodbridge , an attractive market town on the River Deben, we enjoyed a coffee, before setting off to cycle this surprisingly undulating cycle route. The route took us to Waldringfield, Trimley St Mary and Felixstowe Ferry where we got the ferry across to Bawdsey in the time honoured way by following instructions “Wave Bat for Ferry”. Past Bawdsey Manor, a former secret research establishment. Through Hollesley, here we left the route to go to Shingle Street, an SSSI, as Christine had spent holidays there as a child. We saw a magnificent brown hare in a field and stopped to photograph and admire it. On to Butley and then Orford where we paid a quick visit to the castle and had a look at Orford’s picturesque quay and Orford Ness. A lovely quiet lane took us to Snape where we spent the night in a comfortable B&B. After settling in our attic room (mind your head!) and a welcome shower we walked down to local pub and enjoyed a refreshing bottle of wine and a well earned meal. Afterwards we walked to the Maltings, set beside the River Alde, these buildings were once used for processing barley, now house interesting shops and galleries and the world famous concert hall, home of the Aldeburgh Festival.
During the night heard a thunderstorm (it was forecast to be a thundery weekend) however it was a lovely sunny morning and after breakfast we were on our bikes again. Had to negotiate our way through a bit of flooding a couple of times and had a close encounter with lots of happy outdoor reared pigs enjoying the mud. We stopped at the remains of 14C Leiston Abbey. The Guest Hall and the Lay Brother’s Hall at the Abbey now form part of the home of Pro Corda, the National School for Young chamber Music Players whom we heard playing as we walked round the grounds. A lovely shaded ride through Minsmere then on to Dunwich . Once a great city in the 12C it is now reduced to a small village due to constant erosion. The last of the original six churches was abandoned in 1755. Through Dunwich Forest to Bramfield, then to Peasenhall ,where we stopped for a cup of tea. We pressed on as we planned to have a picnic lunch in Framlingham. I pointed out the school which hosted the CTC Birthday Rides a few years ago and the imposing castle just as it started to rain. The sky had been looking threatening for some time and we had hoped it would pass over, no such luck. Here we experienced a serious thunderstorm with extremely heavy rain. We chose to shelter in a shop door way. At first it allowed a bit of shelter but as the storm worsened the road become flooded, water up to our ankles so we decided to break cover and go across to the houses opposite, one of which had a porch, where we stayed for some time.
The storm passed but the rain was somewhat persistent. We passed through Easton and Charsfield and finally Woodbridge for our train home, not before enjoying a cream tea in local cafe!
It was a great weekend and we certainly recommend the Suffolk Coastal Cycle Way. Please see link
The above pack contains several routes is available at £4.99 from
Suffolk Coast and Heath Unit
Woodbridge IP12 1PE