Cycling World Magazine July 2017 - Page 75

July 2017| 75 acquaintances. Then it s first past the post mill and along the National Cycle Route to the bustling market town of Framlingham, famed for its royal history and Crown Inn glory. Castles and conundrums The old coaching inn is a great place to refresh and stay – rambling, but right in the heart of things on Market Hill, just a few steps from the resting place of Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy, and Baron Bigod’s massive 12 th century curtain wall castle. Spin forward to the 21 st century well, the Tour of Britain will be coming this way in September) and this is Ed Sheeran’s famous Castle on the Hill. Nip round the back, and beyond the bailey, the panorama of the great mere across to a ogwarts- style college is more than memorable. But there are other views to drink in just a pedal push up the road at Shawsgate ineyard. Will the M ller Thurgau with a Suffolk twist hit the spot Or do tomorrow s potential pints of Southwold ales, sipped in-situ on the coast, hold more eastern promise? Suffolk coast is calling and Covehithe seems the perfect enigmatic introduction. With head down for a moment, and ploughing through the gears as the North Sea ‘breeze’ brushes across the wide sandy fields full of prime Suffolk porkers and verges of dancing cow parsley, Covehithe’s majestic ruins appear out of nowhere. The road goes nowhere too and, save for a cluster of cottages, the village is strangely nowhere to be seen either. Footpaths lead from the bizarre church within a church, past the pigs to crumbling clifftops, a wild and beautifully haunting landscape and a hungry sea which explains all. And so, the story of Suffolk s heritage coastline unfolds. A few miles south, Southwold is a real beacon. The oh- so-attractive and gently nostalgic seaside resort, with its sophisticated pier and array of beach huts, has a landmark lighthouse to warn of the sand banks at sea, but ironically has had to bring in sand for its beaches due to tidal drift. At the Adnams hotel in the vibrant town centre, a local pint of ‘Ghost Ship’ seems an appropriate Crumbling cliffs and captivating coastlines Little compares to the quiet country lanes disguised as NC which lead past patchwork fields and ancient abbey sites, through historic villages like Bramfield with its crinkle-crankle wall and church with a round tower that, for some reason, is not even attached. t s so traffic- free and gentle that even the GPS seems to have got the message and is enjoying a bit of a holiday, rather than constantly re-calibrating to set the pace. And the tiny hamlets and much-loved communities keep coming, each with their own time-honoured titles like the unusual ggeshall with its three-stage thatched church and sparkling modern stained glass. Meanwhile though, the evening companion, especially with a spot of reading about the nearby eerie marshlands which so inspired crime-writer, ames. A ferry good idea t d be easy enough to coast down the Suffolk coast if there weren’t so many estuaries to negotiate. But where there s a will, there s a Suffolk way sometimes across a bridge, but often by ‘foot’ ferry. Fortunately, bike wheels are also accepted on board, so down at Southwold harbour, there’s a little watery journey to Walberswick, before pedalling down traffic-free stretches to discover another town lost to the sea at unwich. The fab, free little museum tells the tale of freak storms sealing the