Towers and Spires
Despite the counties' mostly flat countryside, Suffolk offers challenges for all abilities, all of which are accompanied by a beautiful view. Hop on your bicycle and head out on one of these cycling routes in Bury St Edmunds and Beyond.
The 30-mile ‘Towers and Spires’ cycle route takes in some of the wonderful parish churches that surround Bury St Edmunds.
Towers and Spires starts at the most magnificent tower, that of Suffolk's only cathedral - St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds.
The Cathedral was originally known as St James’s Church and built within the precincts of the Abbey. It became a Cathedral in 1914. The building has continued to develop over recent years with the addition of the Millennium Tower, completed in 2005, and its magnificent painted and gilded vault, added in 2010.
The route then takes in the pretty villages of Great Barton, Pakenham, Thurston, Tostock, Woolpit, Rattlesden, Drinkstone, Hessett and Rougham. Ride along winding lanes, pedal up hills and freewheel down into wooded valleys. The lofty towers, built with the flint so characteristic of East Anglia – some with spires atop them - will spur you on.
Taking time to step inside the churches en route, you will be rewarded by spectacular angel roofs, exquisite carving and dazzling stained glass.
There's also a short 19-mile route which is ideal for families.
If you're feeling up for a challenge, the new 2000 mile Cathedral route takes you past 42 cathedrals in the UK. Starting at Newcastle, the route travels the landscapes and countryside to St Edmundsbury Cathedral, on to St Paul's Cathedral in London, circling back to Carlisle and on to Newcastle.
The Miller's Trail
Pakenham Water Mill - just one of the attractions you can see on the Miller's Trail
One of the real jewels in the Crown among Bury St Edmunds cycling routes is ‘The Miller’s Trail’, which promises to really take you back in time and offers a route available only to cyclists.
The route offers a rich and traditional agricultural course; passing turning sails and waterwheels of historic mills - stop to climb the stairs and see the Suffolk landscape from the height of the mill towers.
You also have a chance to take home some freshly milled flour and pass by some beautiful villages and nature reserves.
The route starts at the ancient village of Ixworth and takes in several surrounding villages and treats including Pakenham Water Mill via a 23 mile route (12 mile shortcut version also available).
Ickworth's Circular Trail
National Trust Ickworth's circular trail is part of a multi-million-pound scheme to give greater access to historic parkland and estates cared for by the Trust.
Ickworth is an Italianate Palace in the heart of an ancient deer park. Formal gardens, pleasure grounds, rolling Suffolk landscape and woodlands invite gentle strolls or long walks, runs, bike rides and picnics. The Italianate Garden mirrors the architecture of the house, whilst also encasing an idiosyncratic Victorian stumpery, contrasting light and shade.
Visitors now have the ability to explore the wider site on accessible trails.
For more information on visiting National Trust Ickworth visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ickworth
Bury St Edmunds Cycle Map
If you’re looking for something that takes you on more of a leisurely pace, download the Bury St Edmunds Cycle Map, which features routes of varying lengths.
You can pick and choose your way along the route, stopping wherever takes your fancy to enjoy Bury St Edmunds historic town centre.
The town boasts a wealth of beautiful architecture, shopping opportunities and food and drink. If you haven’t ever made the trip, we definitely recommend you take the route past Suffolk’s only cathedral, St Edmundsbury Cathedral.
Finally, if you are planning a short break or holiday in Suffolk, why not consider making it a cycling holiday? There is no better way to see Suffolk than on two wheels and Bury St Edmunds is the perfect base from which to explore. The town has some unrivalled beautiful hotels, restaurants and traditional pubs where you can cosy down after a long days riding.
There are plenty of self-catering, cycling-friendly places to stay too. One of the best places to stay on a cycling break is Wigwam Holiday at Maglia Rosso.
Maglia Rosso is a unique business, comprising of a Glamping Site, Cycle Centre, cyclo cross country circuit for testing and training, and Country Café, based at a former public house, in the village of Hawstead, just four miles South of Bury St Edmunds. The 6 glamping cabins are situated in the 5 acre meadow south facing for the sun to shine in all day long.
Eezybike offers an E-Bike rental service in Bury St Edmunds, Aldeburgh and Orford.
Their bikes have a 50 miles radius, big fat tyres, baskets or even passenger seats and are really eye catching. Hiring our bikes allows you to explore Bury St Edmunds and far beyond, from the town itself to Ickworth Park and the National Trust grounds , to West Stow and an adventure off road in Thetford Forest!
There are so many place to visit in the surrounding area, without getting in the car! In Bury St Edmunds, Eezybike are based at the All Saints Hotel. Just pre-book your bikes online and we will be there to greet you at the time and day you have selected.
Maglia Rosso in Hawstead offers cycle hire, servicing, a cycle shop and cycylist's cafe.
On site there is a purpose built 1-mile Cyclo Cross course and cycling routes starting from and returning to the centre, ranging from 15-100 miles.
Micks Cycles offers cycle hire, servicing, and has a cycle shop in Bury St Edmunds town centre.
For more information about cycling in Suffolk, visit www.discoversuffolk.org.uk.
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