Find the best Norfolk cycle routes holiday cottages

Find the best Norfolk cycle routes

Kate W 14 April 2023

With a cool breeze, birds calling overhead and the landscape rushing by, cycling in Norfolk can help you capture that feeling of complete freedom.

Explore a Norfolk market town such as pretty King's Lynn or enjoy a picnic in the grounds of the Blickling Estate in Aylsham before continuing on your cycle ride through forests, past rivers and over coastal cliffs.

Startling views across the Norfolk coast and country provide a fantastic backdrop to cycling trails with plenty of National Trust sites and family-friendly attractions to visit. Norfolk is a dream destination for cycling, especially as you’ll find lots of lovely holiday cottages to rest your head in after a day spent on two wheels.

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Explore Norfolk by bike

Cycling in Norfolk

With routes that take you through Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, past striking coastal views and down old railway routes, there are lots of cycle paths to choose from. Take your pick before booking or discover a cycling trail near where you’re staying. On your ride, you could stop at one of the many cafés serving local produce or treat yourself to a hearty fish and chips at a Norfolk seaside town or village while overlooking the sea.

Feel the coastal breeze rush by as you cycle the coast or listen out for the sounds of nature while traversing quiet country lanes. There are gentle routes for a quiet day out and a few steep climbs for anyone looking for trials of endurance.

Norfolk was the first UK county to introduce a Quiet Lanes network for cyclists, with a 36-mile triangle of peaceful country roads between Cromer, Bacton and North Walsham. The country roads are clearly signposted with ‘Quiet Lanes’ markers making it easy for all levels of cyclists to get out exploring in North Norfolk.   

Popular Norfolk cycle routes

Cycle route sign

With long-distance cycle paths, traffic-free trails and the Quiet Lanes network, this stunning landscape has lots of delightful cycling options for travelling across Norfolk. Here’s a round-up of our favourite Norfolk cycling trails:

Cromer to Felbrigg 

This 12-mile cycle route follows part of the Quiet Lanes network before giving cyclists the chance to go off-road and travel along the steep hills that make up Cromer Ridge. 

You’ll ride along woodland tracks and, if you fancy extending the route by another 2 miles, you’ll reach the highest point in Norfolk. A highlight of this bike ride is cycling through the grounds of Felbrigg Hall before following part of Weaver’s Way, which is also a popular Norfolk walking route

Norfolk Coast Cycleway

Follow the Norfolk Coast Cycleway for spectacular views and sleepy roads. Running parallel with the coast, it stretches all the way from Kings Lynn to Great Yarmouth.

Established in 1998, the 92-mile track was set up to help cyclists avoid busier roads and it passes by some incredible views, allowing you to take in the sight of a sparkling ocean while on your travels.

Marriott’s Way

Blickling Estate

Cycle the Marriott's Way for family fun, discovering the pretty countryside of inland North Norfolk. Running from Aylsham to Norwich, this trail begins near the magnificent Blickling Estate and passes by the Bure Valley Railway, before heading south through the countryside until it enters the bustling city of Norwich.

Sections 1 and 2 of this trail are mostly paved, section 3 is muddy and great fun for those with mountain bikes, while section 4 is the quietest but unsuitable for kids as there are more and more roads to cross as you enter the city.

Taking its name from Mr William Marriott, the former chief engineer of the Midland and Great Northern Railway, Marriott’s Way is a 26-mile cycle route, footpath and bridleway. Follow the route taken by two disused railway lines and cycle through villages such as Lenwade, Reepham and Drayton. 

Peddars Way

Challenge yourself by cycling the Peddars Way, encountering rugged terrain and unusual sights.

Starting in the pretty woodland of Knettishall Heath, this track runs past the thick pine forests of Thetford, down countryside lanes and heathland, along old arrow-straight Roman roads and ends when it meets the ocean at Holme-next-the-Sea. Most of this track is off-road and, although it has some gentler paths, there are plenty of moderate climbs to endure.

Hunstanton to King’s Lynn (NCN, Route 1)

Pedal down this striking Hunstanton to King's Lynn route to uncover the region's regal history.

Start in the coastal town of Hunstanton on The Wash and cycle down to King’s Lynn on the banks of the River Ouse with the National Cycle Network’s Route 1. It’s a long route that includes cycling on-road and crossing busy junctions, but you can simply cycle the sections that appeal to you.

Highlights on the way include the splendid coastal scenery of Hunstanton, the 12th-century ruined fortress at Castle Rising and the wooded Sandringham Estate, which has beautiful grounds and the impressive Sandringham House.

Family-friendly Norfolk cycle trails

Family cycling through Thetford Forest

Thetford Forest trails

Follow one of the many pathways through Thetford Forest for a gentle ride through the dappled light of the woodlands.

There are over a thousand cycling routes through the stunning Thetford pine forests. A flat landscape means many of these tracks are gentle and make delightful rides for families on holiday. Follow a circular track around the region to see as much of the woodland as possible and take a picnic or stop off at one of the many attractions in this family-friendly area.

Three Rivers Way

The Three Rivers Way was designed as a safe route for walkers and cyclists connecting the various villages on the River Bure, Ant and Thurne on the Norfolk Broads. We recommend cycling the first 2.5-mile section of the route from Hoveton to Horning, then combining it with a trip down the river on the Southern Comfort Mississippi Paddle Boat for a lovely family day out. There are also adjoining circular pathways you can cycle if you fancy extending your bike ride.  

Holkham Hall

Holkham is a large country estate and nature reserve on the Norfolk coast, with acres of parkland that can be explored on two wheels. Family-friendly cycling trails at Holkham range from 2 miles to 6 miles in length, with a mixture of woodland tracks, tarmac and gravel farm lanes. Options include the 3-mile Pink Route which has views out across the lake and the 6-mile red route where you may glimpse the estate’s fallow deer.  

Norfolk mountain bike trails

Two people mountain biking in Thetford Forest

Thetford Forest isn’t just great for a family-friendly cycle ride but it’s one of the best places to go mountain biking in Norfolk, with hundreds of miles of fast single-track routes weaving between the trees. 

Lime Burner Trail

The 10-mile Lime Burner Trail is one of the most challenging forest routes. There is a section at the end that’s known as the beast with a rollercoaster ride of climbs and descents, with tight corners and rocky terrain to navigate. 

Beater Trail

The Beater Trail is an easier but no less scenic mountain bike route around Thetford Forest with wider tracks and fewer obstacles as you wind your way through the woodland trees from the High Lodge Visitor Centre. There are choices of 6-mile or 11-mile loops available depending on how long you would like your ride to be.

Pump Track

If you’re newer to off-road cycling and still looking to hone your skills, the Pump Track at Thetford Forest is a closed-loop circuit with a range of features to practice on. It’s suitable for children and makes a great introduction to mountain biking. 

Thorpe Woodlands Adventure Centre

This specialist activity centre in Norfolk has mountain bike forest trails that vary in length from 5km to 8km with specialist instruction and bike hire available. Mountain biking with Thorpe Woodlands can range from an hour to a full-day session and other available activities include caving, canoeing and tree climbing.

Norfolk cycle hire

Bike in the woods

There are lots of Norfolk cottages with secure storage available if you want to bring your own bike with you on a getaway to East Anglia. However, if you fancy leaving your bike behind, you’ll find plenty of places where you can hire a cycle and start exploring the coast, countryside and Broads National Park.

  • On Yer Bike Norfolk Cycle Hire: based in the seaside town of Wells-next-the-Sea, you can get everything from tandems and e-bikes to trailers for dogs from here. Maps of the Norfolk Coast Cycleway are also available to purchase and they have a number of pre-designed routes for you to try.   
  • Broadland Cycle Hire: located between Hoveton and Horning within the car park of BeWILDerwood, this hire centre is perfectly placed for cycling The Weaver’s Trail or Bure Valley Path. 
  • Huff and Puff Cycles: located in Kelling Heath between Holt and Weybourne, anyone hiring their cycle from here can complete the exclusive Huff and Puff Trail. It combines a ride on the North Norfolk Railway with a 6-mile cycle ride along largely traffic-free trails.   

Plan your Norfolk getaway

Cycle route along the Norfolk Coast Path

After a hard day’s cycling, your weary legs will need a comfortable place to relax and recover. Curl up on a sofa before collapsing into bed at one of our self-catering cottages.

It’s essential to find a cosy corner where you can prepare for the next day’s big adventure. We have properties to suit any party size, whether a solo rider, cycle group, family or racing team. Take your pick of the hand-picked holiday cottages in Norfolk we have on offer.

And if you're not quite ready to rest yet, there are plenty of other activities on offer in Norfolk. For even more ways to experience the great outdoors, take a look at our guide to outdoor activities in Norfolk for even more inspiration.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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