Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cycling the cycle-able bits of Peddars Way–part 8–the END

Wednesday 2nd April 2014: (King’s Lynn and back to Cambridge)  When I reach a destination I tend to suddenly feel the miles in my legs. It isn’t so much the distance as reaching the goal.  The trouble in this case I sort of reached my goal. But I felt a bit cheated because I hadn’t managed to dip a wheel in the sea. It was also a bit cold and the sun was shut down by the clouds. I didn’t really know at the time – but I reckoned I had a good 32Km/20miles left before I got back to King’s Lynn.

So I turned around and pedalled at a reasonable pace in order to get a bit warmer. When I’d digitised the route I decided that I would use the two alternate routes between Ringsted and Sedgeford.  what I should have done is choose the  blue route up and then the NCN1 route back.  Since that would have made the journey back straighter. I didn’t though. So on the way back I found myself back on the some rougher tracks.

Fortunately they weren’t too sandy and the further south I went the more the sun managed to peep through the gloom.  Technically I was now back on the Peddars Way.  Except I wasn’t I have just noticed that the route I digitised went a step too far. I will correct the Bike Route Toaster Version – flip – it just shows I ought to pay more attention when digitising routes.  I turned off here and I should have turned off here.

Also according to the OS Map I shouldn’t have taken the short detour to Neat’s Ling (although that is the way shown on the OSM map).  Ah I see – the OSM version of the Peddars Way ride was the route I followed but from a rights of way point of view perhaps I should have taken a slightly different set of routes. So I am going to leave the BRT map alone. It currently follows the OSM Peddars way route.

Using Google Earth to look at the tracks in the area I think it makes sense. In fact it makes me thing that the Green dot route has been subverted just by Neat’s Ling.

The Alternate Peddars Way – near Neat’s Ling

What I will say though is the east-west track that returns the route to the road (and NCN1) was bl**dy awful – it had a surface of golf ball  size smooth round-ish stones. It one short piece of track it almost took away my will to live – well not really. But is was hard work, just when I didn’t need it.

After that despite my worried about yet another 30-odd kilometres to cycle it was quite pleasant. I knew it and so knew I was making progress. The sun was getting warmer and the distance soon rolled by.

Pretty soon and I was cycling  by the Sandringham Estate and then downhill onto Queen Elizabeth Way. At this point very little of the journey is on road. There is a shared–use path on the QE Way, Then you turn off along a bridleway that is a gravelled “road” to Castle Rising.  In fact it looks as if it was the course of the old road into Castle Rising. (A149). It crosses the Babingley River.

I took a picture of the Church of St Lawrence – a Norman cruciform church. I have unfinished business here – I want to take a better picture than this – but it will have to do for now.

Church of St Lawrence – Castle Rising

I probably ought to visit the Castle as well. However just across from the church was some glorious blossom – so fleeting that you have to take pictures when the opportunity arises. I think that garden is of the Old Trinity Hospital.

Castle Rising – when the blossoms out – take a picture

When I got through to King’s Lynn there was an awful moment, where the cycle route crosses the railway line. The barriers were down and I had visions of watching the train I should be on pull out of the station and cross right there in front of me.

It was a little thing but my heart lifted – it was the once an hour train pulling into King’s Lynn Station. Pretty good timing if I say so myself.

I bought my ticket. jammed my bicycle into a doorway and sat down and celebrated by having a few Jelly Babies washed down with some water. The King’s Lynn train does not have any dedicated cycle space. I did take a picture – but I was tired it was blurry – it didn’t make it into the Blog sorry.

It was all I could do do stay awake as the train rumbled down through to Cambridge. I had visions of waking up in King’s Cross. I managed to stay awake because a fellow passenger rambled on and on in a phone call to a colleague who was being promoted and this girl wasn’t sure where she might or might not get the deputy position…….. She got off at Downham Market – phew.

I also remembered to take a picture of the red bikes of Ely.  Boris eat your heart out – you can now Bike & Go from Ely, it will be £10 annually plus £3.80 for 24 hours use.

Bike & Go – Ely

It wasn’t long and the train rumbled into Cambridge.  I would definitely recommend that ride – it was great – although I probably wouldn’t go all the way to the golf course though. 


  1. really good reading these posts, thank you. well done, it feels a lot to achieve in one day, did you note your riding time or average pace? you dont say much about general condition of track? or about eating spots other than castle acre? mny friend and are thinking about it but maybe tackling it in two sections given the time of year

    1. Thank you. I didn't ride particularly quickly and in all it was 120Km, station to station (Thetford to Kings Lynn) and my GPS shows that it was a ride of around 7 hours, not including stops for lunch and to take pictures.

      The track condition was better than I had expected, but it had been dry for a while. I was on a hybrid bike with 700x25mm tyres. At one point the track was pretty sandy, but not for long. One of the tracks I took right at the end was unpleasant, but was only around 0.5Km long.

      I was pretty tired at the end because it is harder than cycling on road, but apart from crossing two main roads it is much nicer cycling away from traffic. I also rather liked the way the tracks/lanes changed.