Cycling: Julian Claxton pedals the coastal towns of Halesworth, Yoxford, Dunwich and Southwold
PUBLISHED: 16:23 28 July 2014 | UPDATED: 16:23 28 July 2014
Deep blue skies, bright sunny days and a lovely warmth in the air – there is really only one place to head in the summer months.
The Suffolk coast offers everything you could want on a hot summer’s day.
Hearing the waves gently roll on to the shore is a wonderful accompaniment to a gentle ride around our coastal towns.
Starting this month’s ride in the quaint market town of Halesworth, you will ride through the rolling countryside of this quiet part of Suffolk, before heading through ancient forests, past a former sea port and on to one of the highlights of our coastal towns.
Start the ride at Halesworth train station. Take the regular East Suffolk line service from Ipswich, which can comfortably hold four bikes. Head down station road, turning right on to Quay Street and left at the roundabout on to Saxons Way.
Alternatively, if you are driving and wish to park, use the Thoroughfare car park, which is just off the A144 on Saxons Way.
Head along Saxons Way, reaching the second roundabout, taking the first exit on to London Road.
Stay on A144/B1117 road for 1.5 miles, eventually taking a left on to a quiet country lane, following the green national cycle route 1 sign.
After 1 mile turn left on to Walpole Lane, then right, again following the green cycle route1 signs (also signposted Yoxford).
A further 2.8 miles on, shortly aftr crossing the River Yox, turn left on to the A1120, heading towards Yoxford.
Turn left on to the A12 - proceed with caution. If you do not feel comfortable cycling on the road, there is a small path which is suitable for cycling. After a few hundred yards turn right, on to Westleton Road.
Arriving in Westleton, take a left on to the street and then a right turn, on to Dunwich Road (signposted Dunwich). Arriving in Dunwich, follow the road straight on towards to the beach, to Monastery Hill. A few hundred yards on your right you will come across the wonderful Greyfriars Priory, which was moved to its current site in 1290 and is one of the ancient parts of this amazing village still partly intact. Well worth a visit.
Heading down the hill towards the beach. You could stop and enjoy a cup of tea or some lunch at the beach cafe, a drink in the Ship Inn or visit the interesting Dunwich Museum.
Head back out on Westleton Road as it winds its away through the forest. If you’re lucky you may come across some of the wild ponies that roam the forest grounds.
Eventually arrive at the junction with the B1125. Turn right, heading uphill for 1.1 miles, turning right again, signposted Walberswick, heading on the B1387.
Head down the street, until a left turn on Palmers Lane (signposted Southwold), which will eventually take you to the River Blyth and a footbridge across the river.
Cross the river, enjoying a stunning view of the marshes and looking out for kingfishers which are easy to spot. Turn right, on to a new cycle path, bringing you out on York Road. Turn left and cycle up the incline, towards Southwold.
Turn right in front of the Georgian houses overlooking the common, heading down Godyll road to the junction with Queens Road. Turn right and after a few yards take the path left up to the beach.
The lovely beach cafe is the perfect stop for cake and coffee while people watching in the sun.
Proceed back up Queen Street, to the town square, turning right, then left and following the road along the seafront, past the iconic lighthouse and towards the pier.
Turn left opposite the pier, heading out of town. At the mini roundabout turn right on to the A1095. After a few hundred yards turn right on to Wangford Road (B1126). At the junction with the A12 proceed with caution, heading across on to Wangford Rd.
At the junction with St Marys Church, Uggeshall, turn left, crossing the A145, right then left on to Strawberry Ln. Turn left on the B1124, following the road through Holton and eventually arriving back in Halesworth.