This blog post is the first in a three-part series presenting the ‘Forest to Sea’ (F2C) trans-Norfolk long distance ‘bikepacking’ or cycle touring route. The route, which I pieced together by linking off-road trails with quiet country lanes (some of which form part of the Regional and National Cycle Networks) is a 137-mile journey from Thetford, on the southwest Norfolk-Suffolk border, to Great Yarmouth, on Britain’s most easterly coast. In Part 1, I present a photographic record of the Thetford to Cley leg. The whole route has a separate, dedicated page, with interactive mapping, video and a comprehensive, highly detailed guide available for download for a small fee.
Although the route is designed to be ridden west to east (heading north from Thetford on the Peddars Way as is traditional for walkers), there’s no reason why it cannot be reversed. As a resident of Melton Constable, North Norfolk, I visited the route on several occasions for development and testing purposes, using a combination of trains and cycling. The same approach is open to everyone, taking detours and revisiting sections or lingering in areas as you wish.
To the west of the Peddars Way are numerous possibilities for entertaining diversions. Two of my favourites, both wildlife related, are Dersingham Bog SSSI and Snettisham RSPB reserve. The bog is a Nature Conservation Review site, Grade 2, a National Nature Reserve, a Ramsar site, a Special Area of Conservation and part of it is a Geological Conservation Review site.
The RSPB reserve is located at the edge of mudflats, lagoons and saltmarshes that compose The Wash. From later summer onwards, tens of thousands of wading birds are pushed inland by the highest tides, creating a natural spectacle.
Knot, dunlin, oystercatcher and black-tailed godwits flee the incoming tide that covers their feeding areas and roost around pools on Snettisham RSPB reserve.
The end of the straight section, southeast of Sedgeford.
Natural verges maintained for wildlife.
Summer plant and insect life.
Climbing gently over Ringstead Downs.
A quick brew near Ringstead.
At Ringstead, F2C follows National Cycle Route 1 west on lanes running parallel to the main coast road. Several even smaller lanes join at the perpendicular, offering access to Thornham and Titchwell.
Dawn over late summer fields.
Rollercoaster lanes of North Norfolk.
The beach at Burnham Overy Staithe, another potential diversion north.
Track to ‘The Triumphal Arch’ opposite the North Gate to the Holkham Estate.
All Saints church, Wighton.
The River Glaven at Wiveton.
St. Margaret’s church, Cley.
Cley village from the west.
Norfolk Coast Path west of Cley.
Diverting east from Cley, either along the (often busy) coast road or the Coast Path, brings you to Salthouse. Like Cley, it is protected, for now at least, from the advancing North Sea by a shingle beach and expansive saltmarshes.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.