Cycling World Magazine July 2017 - Page 79

July 2017| 79 either side of the overnight, then it s off to find more royal haunts after another little Suffolk bike and boat experience back on the coast between Bawdsey and Felixstowe. Made popular as a seaside resort by the Empress of ermany in , the clifftops of elixstowe are lined with impressive late Victorian and early Edwardian villas. Edward’s Mrs Simpson stayed here, but apparently wasn’t too keen on the sea breezes after all. Fortunately, another neckerchief whisked out of the pannier keeps any drafts at bay along the seaside cycling NCR stretch towards the Napoleonic fort at blustery Landguard Point. It certainly comes into its element on your third riverboat ride across the mighty River Orwell and the Stour to Shotley Gate. With bike and body back on Suffolk dry land, little lanes lead inland, dipping in and out of stunning Stour estuary views. There s a curious Tudor gatehouse at rwarton Hall, a favourite childhood haunt for Anne Boleyn. She might have later lost her head, but she left her heart here in the church, apparently. They say that enry visited her and her innocent beauty was a real picture, but not a patch surely on the beautiful discoveries just up the road, painted by ngland s best-loved landscape artist Truly picture-perfect on t let any Constable Country clich s put you off exploring the Stour Valley and Dedham Valley by bike. From Flatford Mill and Willy’s Lott’s House immortalised in The aywain , to the water meadows stretching out towards the gentle uplands at Stoke by Nayland, the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty warrants its title every pedal push of the way. Where once great ‘lighters’ shifted cargos up and down river from Gainsborough’s Sudbury, cormorants now gather on the treetops and damsel ies dance by the water’s edge. Idyllic still? Absolutely. And what’s more, the Sustrans NCR1 leads all the way to delightful edham and a cluster of cyclist-friendly spots to rest up, refuel and stay. Weaving across the county Tiny thatched cottages, all pargetted or pretty in Suffolk pink half-timbered hall houses and huge, huge churches. Spin along the Suffolk- ssex borderlands, heading onwards and upwards from the Stour towards the