Coolpedals biking holidays, fun bike ride, nice biking trails

Tour Statistics

Price Per Person: £736 (luxury B&Bs) - £806 (character hotels)

Start & Finish: Langham

Overnight Stops: Dedham, Shotley or Harwich, Woodbridge, Stoke by Nayland, Cavendish, Thaxted, Earls Colne.

Suitability: Occasional Rider, Regular Rider, Energetic Rider

Min - Max Total Tour Distance: 165 - 335 miles (264 - 536 km)

Min - Max Total Tour Ascent: 5900 - 11700 feet (1800 - 3570 metres)

Offroad potential: Min 22 %; Max 48 %

Tour Overview

This tour starts in Constable Country, before exploring Suffolk's delightfully complex coastline along the Stour, Orwell and Deben estuaries. From Woodbridge you return west to visit the Suffolk Wool Towns, and a delightful rural circuit which explores the Stour, Colne and Pant valleys and the gently rolling hill country between them.

Find Out More

To check availability on your preferred start date, or for general enquiries ( including customisation requests such as additional/reduced stopovers or alternative accommodation preferences), click on one of the buttons below:

Day 1 Itinerary

Start - Finish: Langham - Dedham

Min - Max Cycling Distance: 6 - 15 miles (10 - 24 km)

Min - Max Ascent: 100 - 300 feet (30 - 90 metres)

Min - Max Offroad: 10% - 20%

Route Overview

A short warm-up ride. North from Langham via small country lanes to the lip of Dedham Vale. Then a meander east along the Stour Valley into Dedham village.

Points of Interest en-route

Visit peaceful 12th C Langham Church nestled on a wooded ridge above Dedham Vale. The tower was a viewpoint used by John Constable for several of his paintings.

 

Overnight Stop: Dedham

Recommended Accommodation Options

Character Inn/Hotel: Milsoms Hotel

Luxury B&B: Dedham Hall

Dinner Suggestions

Milsoms Restaurant.

Fountain House Restaurant at Dedham Hall.

Sun Inn on Dedham High Street opposite the Church.

Boathouse Restaurant on the banks of the River Stour.

Things to See or Do

Stroll along the banks of the Stour, or hire a rowing boat from the Boathouse.

Visit the Alfred Munnings Museum (check opening days) to admire his beautiful paintings and sculptures.

Browse in Dedham's quaint village shops and the Art & Craft Centre.

Day 2 Itinerary

Start - Finish: Dedham - Shotley or Harwich (via passenger foot ferry)

Min - Max Cycling Distance: 25 - 44 miles (40 - 70 km)

Min - Max Ascent: 1000 - 1700 feet (300 - 520 metres)

Min - Max Offroad: 36% - 70%

Route Overview

East along Dedham Vale to the Stour Estuary. North East onto the Shotley peninsula, skirting around the shores of Alton Water. Follow the ever narrowing finger of land eastwards out towards the very tip of the peninsula. Depending on choice of overnight accommodation, you can stay on the peaceful peninsula or take a short ferry trip over the water to the hustle & bustle of Old Harwich Port.

Points of Interest en-route

Visit scenes painted by John Constable at Bridge Cottage, Flatford Mill and Willy Lott's Cottage on the banks of the Stour.

Watch the watersports on Alton Water, or have a go at kayaking or paddleboarding.

Pause a moment at Erwarton village. The impressive Hall was occasional childhood home to Anne Boleyn, and the church next door houses a small casket alleged to contain her heart, buried there at her request.

Overnight Stop: Shotley or Harwich

Recommended Accommodation Options

Character Inn/Hotel: The Pier at Harwich

Luxury B&B: Maytrees near Woolverstone, or Hill House Farm near Shotley

(Maytrees is our recommended choice for convenient access to pubs for an evening meal. Hill House Farm has fabulous estuary views, but is rather remote, requiring a 1 hour walk or a £20 taxi fare to reach a pub for an evening meal).

Dinner Suggestions

The Pier Restaurants (Harwich)

Butt & Oyster riverside pub at Chelmondiston near Shotley

Things to See or Do

At Harwich, find a nice seat on the waterfront to watch the ships going in and out of Harwich & Felixstowe ports.

At Shotley, stroll down to the estuary and watch the birds coming in to roost in the evening.

Day 3 Itinerary

Start - Finish: Shotley or Harwich - Woodbridge

Min - Max Cycling Distance: 25 - 44 miles (40 - 70 km)

Min - Max Ascent: 700 - 1200 feet (210 - 370 metres)

Min - Max Offroad: 28% - 64%

Route Description

Foot ferry to Felixstowe's Landguard Fort. North east across the Felixstowe peninsula (via sea front or rural options) to the Deben estuary. Foot ferry to Bawdsey, birthplace of radar. Then north through sandy heathlands and forests towards Woodbridge, with an opportunity to visit Sutton Hoo en-route.

Points of Interest en-route

Marvel briefly at the gargantuan operations at Felixstowe Container Port (also known as the Giant Giraffe Farm...) before escaping quickly back to the countryside.

If you choose the right day, you can visit the radar exhibition at Bawdsey Manor.

Visit Sutton Hoo's mysterious royal burial mounds, then wander through ancient woods to viewpoints looking across the River Deben to Woodbridge.

Overnight Stop: Woodbridge

Recommended Accommodation Options

Character Inn/Hotel: Seckford Hall

Luxury B&B: St Anne's School House

Dinner Suggestions

Seckford Hall Restaurants

The Waterfront Cafe

Ye Olde Bell and Steelyard

Things to See or Do

Visit Woodbridge's major landmarks, the Tidemill and the Windmill.

Play a round of golf at Seckford Golf Club.

Browse Woodbridge's excellent range of shops.

 

Day 4 Itinerary

Start - Finish: Woodbridge - Stoke by Nayland

Min - Max Cycling Distance: 29 - 46 miles (46 - 74 km)

Min - Max Ascent: 1000 - 1500 feet (300 - 460 metres)

Min - Max Offroad: 21% - 50%

Route Description

South from Woodbridge, to Waldringfield on the banks of the Deben river. Southwest to delightful Levington village overlooking the Orwell Estuary. West across the Orwell via the graceful sweep of the Orwell Bridge. Northwest via small country lanes to Hadleigh, approaching via a delightful old railway trail. Southwest across the Brett valley before a final climb up to Stoke by Nayland.

Points of Interest en-route

Enjoy the comings and goings at the thriving Waldringfield sailing club.

Give in to gastronomic temptation at The Suffolk Food Hall or Jimmy's Farm.

Stroll along Hadleigh's bustling high street with its many fine medieval buildings.

Overnight Stop: Stoke by Nayland

Recommended Accommodation Options

Character Inn/Hotel: Crown Inn

Luxury B&B: Poplars Farmhouse

Dinner Suggestions

Crown Inn restaurant

Angel Inn restaurant

Things to See or Do

Explore 15th century St Marys Church in its splendid hilltop setting (a favourite John Constable subject, used in several of his paintings).

Visit nearby Stoke by Nayland club for a round of golf or a luxury spa treatment.

 

Day 5 Itinerary

Start - Finish: Stoke by Nayland - Cavendish

Min - Max Cycling Distance: 26 - 49 miles (42 - 78 km)

Min - Max Ascent: 1100 - 2000 feet (340 - 610 metres)

Min - Max Offroad: 19% - 37%

Route Overview

North through peaceful countryside dotted with picture-postcard villages including Polstead and Kersey. Northwest via some delightful leafy lanes to reach Lavenham, then southwest to Long Melford, and west to Cavendish.

Points of Interest en-route

Admire Lavenham's magnificent medieval streets, bristling with over 300 listed buildings.

Visit Kentwell Hall or Melford Hall in bustling Long Melford, one of several claimants to "longest village in England". If not the longest, it's certainly one of the most interesting, full of history, medieval architecture, unusual shops, traditional tea-rooms and pubs.

 

Overnight Stop: Cavendish

Recommended Accommodation Option

Character Inn/Hotel: The George

Luxury B&B: The George

Dinner Suggestions

The George

The Bull

Things to See or Do

Take a gentle stroll around the Village Green, or watch a local bowls match.

Enjoy a luxurious swim and spa treatment at nearby Gainsborough Health Club.

 

Day 6 Itinerary

Start - Finish: Cavendish - Thaxted

Min - Max Cycling Distance: 29 - 48 miles (46 - 77 km)

Min - Max Ascent: 1100 - 1700 feet (340 - 520 metres)

Min - Max Offroad: 14% - 46%

Route Description

West along the Stour valley past historic Clare and Stoke by Clare. Further west into the Essex highlands via Steeple Bumpstead, then south over gently rolling farmland to Thaxted.

Points of Interest en-route

Admire the fabulous pargeting of Clare's Ancient House, one of several historic sites in the town.

Take a vineyard tour at Boyton Vineyard just north of Stoke by Clare.

Stop for lunch at the Bluebell Inn at Hempstead, birthplace of highwayman Dick Turpin.

 

Overnight Stop: Thaxted

Recommended Accommodation Option

Character Inn/Hotel: The Swan Hotel

Luxury B&B: The Swan Hotel

Dinner Suggestions

Swan Hotel restaurant

Parrishes

Things to See or Do

Visit a wealth of historic buildings clustered round the town centre.

Investigate the town's associations with a number of famous figures including composer Gustav Holst, "Red Vicar" Conrad Noel, and highwayman Dick Turpin.

Day 7 Itinerary

Start - Finish: Thaxted - Earls Colne

Min - Max Cycling Distance: 25 - 45 miles (40 - 72 km)

Min - Max Ascent: 900 - 1600 feet (270 - 490 metres)

Min - Max Offroad: 16% - 40%

Route Description

Briefly south down the Chelmer valley, then northeast crossing the Pant valley en route to picture-postcard Finchingfield. East over high ground before crossing the Colne valley to Castle Hedingham. South to Halstead, then southwest to reach Bocking Churchstreet. The final leg today takes you north-east towards Earls Colne.

Points of Interest en-route

Stop and feed the ducks on the village green at Finchingfield.

Visit the fine Norman keep at Hedingham Castle.

 

Overnight Stop: Earls Colne

Recommended Accommodation Option

Character Inn/Hotel: Blackwells Restaurant with Rooms

Luxury B&B: Essex Golf & Country Club

Dinner Suggestions

Blackwells Restaurant (in Earls Colne)

The Lion (in Earls Colne)

Pulse Bar or Club Bar (in the Essex Golf & Country Club complex)

Things to See or Do

Enjoy a wander along Earl Colne's traditional old High Street (if staying at Blackwells).

Enjoy some of the numerous leisure spa or sports facilities (if staying at Essex Golf & Country Club).

Day 8 Itinerary

Start - Finish: Earls Colne - Langham

Min - Max Cycling Distance: 0 - 44 miles (0 - 70 km)

Min - Max Ascent: 0 - 1600 feet (0 - 490 metres)

Min - Max Offroad: 0% - 41%

Route Description

East across a patchwork of rich farmlands and old forests, before descending to Chappel in the Colne valley. North over rolling farmland to the Stour valley, which is then followed east through picturesque Wormingford, Nayland and Stoke by Nayland, before turning south to return to Langham.

Points of Interest en-route

Pedal under the mighty arches of Chappel Viaduct, England's second largest brick built structure (after Battersea Power Station).

Watch activities at the busy Essex and Suffolk gliding club at Wormingford ( or even pre-book a trial flight!).

Pedal slowly along the beautifully preserved medieval high street of Nayland village. If your timing is right you may see Suffolk Punches ploughing the local fields.

Visit Dedham Vale Vineyard and take a tour to learn about the winemaking process.