Tuesday, 18 August 2015

5 Aug: Ride around Lenwade, Norfolk (Car-assisted)

Craig writes: About a dozen riders turned up for today's car-assisted ride in Norfolk, ably led by Adrian. Our meeting place was a small car park in Lenwade adjacent to the Marriot's Way which is a 26 mile footpath, bridleway and cycle route that follows the routes of two disused railway lines between Norwich and Aylsham. The weather forecast was for a dry day with rain later. We left soon after 9am and headed west.

At the start

We soon left the path, riding through Reepham before joining up with the path once more and heading East. We soon reached Aylesham and the Bure Valley Railway Tearooms. I can highly recommend this stop with its model railway shop and the start of the narrow gauge railway that runs to Wroxham. As always, these stops never seem long enough and very soon we had to press on.

Bure Valley Station

Bure Valley Station Cafe

We left Aylesham following the railway east. It was now a beautiful day with blue skies and light winds.

We were now on our way to Felmingham where we wete due to stop at Andy and Sarah's for lunch. They had joined us at the start but soon afterwards they had left us to take a more direct route home and to put the kettle on. We left the Bure Valley railway path and soon joined the Weavers Way which is a long distance path from North Norfolk to Great Yarmouth. This was real rough-stuff for anything thinner than a hybrid tyre. It wasn't long before we arrived in Felmingham, just before 12.30pm, and lunch at Andy and Sarah's. What a spread! We sat in the garden and were thoroughly spoilt for choice.


With lots of chatting and eating the time soon moved on. Once again we had to leave for our next destination of Horning and our river crossing expedition. I noticed the wind had now picked up quite considerably and it was clouding over. We rode down to collect the Bure Valley Railway path agains and followed this for several miles. Even catching sight of one of its steam locos at a crossing.

Approaching train

We arrived in Horning where the plan was to ferry four cyclists at a time across the river. Whilst the first four disappeared into the marina, the rest of us waiting in the Ferry Inn by the river bank to watch the proceedings. The transportation soon appeared in view with Andy at the helm and Sarah on mooring-rope-throwing duties. The wind was now quite strong and the River Bure, being part of the Broads, is always very busy with holiday boats. Our destination mooring across the river from us was full.

Crossing the river

However, after several aborted attempts to land, eventually the first four were across and safely on the other side. Andy was now on a roll and with two further trips, we were all safely across and no wet feet. At this point, we said goodbye to Andy and Sarah as they sailed off leaving Adrian to navigate us back to Lenwade.

Crossing the river

Crossing the river

Time had drifted on and it was now early rush hour. Most of our minor roads were no longer quiet and as we crossed by Norwich Airport there were a few silly overtakes by impatient drivers.

We arrived safely back on the Marriot's Way in Drayton, just north of Norwich, for a few final traffic free miles to Lenwade where, having arrived in the car park, it started to rain as predicted. A very well-timed return.

Thank you to Adrian for a well planned route, to Andy and Sarah for their hospitality and to all the club riders who made the day so enjoyable. Craig Hirons

Download GPS track (GPX).

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