Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Ride from Cromer to King’s Lynn–Part 3 Cycling from Cromer to Wiveton

Good Friday, 18th April 2014: Well I was so pleased to be cycling and I kind of know the area when the kids were small we used to dump the camping gear in the car at pop up for the weekend. Then my son and I would cycle off to a shop to get some bacon and eggs and that we start out Saturday. In fact one of the campsites was near the big railway loop. we would hear the train in the evening clanking  around with the wheels protesting.

So I barely glanced at the GPS until it beeped at me – telling me I had strayed and must ask forgiveness turn around. I had turned off the turn-by-turn instructions and managed to go wrong immediately.  The trouble was I was so ready to set off that I headed off in the direction that is would be heading, but of course Sustrans route prioritise quite roads and scenic scenes over main roads. I had headed up the Holt Road instead of the Hall Road.

I could see why Hall Road was so named, there was Cromer Hall just up the road – a private residence..

Cromer Hall

Here is the map of my ride. (Cromer to King’s Lynn.) You should check in case it has changed and or I have made a mistake, before using it though.  There were a couple of places where I found problems, which I have fixed. It is just under 100Km long and over undulating terrain.

Map of My Ride

Hall Road goes up and unexpectedly my GPS led me to take a footpath off-road. Such things aren’t unheard of on Sustrans routes where agreements have been reached with land owners. However there is signage indicating the route.  All I saw was the footpath sign and a couple of horse riders..

I zoomed out the trace on my GPS and realized the off-road section cut a short-cut across the road route. I had not checked carefully enough when I digitised the route. So I carried on up the road and soon reached the Hall Road Railway Bridge.

Hall Road Railway Bridge

After a tad more climbing, which felt good after the train journey there was a choice of route. I normally tend to take the longer option, but in this case the shorter route was through the grounds of Felbrigg Hall. Private roads trump longer country lanes.

Regional Route 30 – the Cyclists Way into Felbrigg Hall

The last time I had cycled here was on the annual Norwich 100 ride a few years ago.  I stopped for lunch.

Felbrigg Hall

The place was teeming with visitors, but it was still pleasant and I navigated through with the benefit of the map on my GPS.

After passing through it was back onto pretty secluded country lanes, I didn’t see any cows crossing though.

You get a better class of traffic in Norfolk – Park Farm

The weather wasn’t quite as nice as I had hoped, the views were good though.This is where the route joined the road between Aylmerton and Lower Gresham.

Moor Plantation in A Sea of Oil Seed Rape – Aylmerton

There was an unexpected sight along Osier Lane, a field full of various varieties of daffodils.

Daffodils – Osier Lane

I have seen this sort of sight in the Fens, in Holland, around Spalding, but not Norfolk  These are being grown for the bulbs.

Daffodils – Osier Lane

Wherever I cycle I see evidence of the push for sustainable power, which is a good thing in my view.  Clearly the subsidies work as and there have been changes as I have seen a switch from Wind to Sun.  Here is a North Norfolk review of solar farms with discussion on maximising the benefits to nature. Clear this scheme got approval as it is now nearing completion. There is also “permission” nearby for a wind turbine, which went to the Planning Inspector and is being challenged by North Norfolk District Council.

I think that the push for sustainable power is driven by three factors, since we import a lot of energy (oil, gas) this create political independence.  This approach also supports sustainability. However wind and solar farms can also be built more quickly and so to some extent hide the problem that the conventional power generation grid has not had sufficient attention and focus and there were predictions of power shortages in the future, with insufficient time to build new lag-scale power generation.

Bodham Solar Farm nears completion

As I made progress the countryside change, I was approaching High Kelling.  The ride passed close to the Holt Station of the Poppy Line. Unfortunately I first had to cross the Busy Holt Road, made busier by the Bank Holiday Traffic.  I enjoy riding these Sustrans routes – there are nearly always challenges somewhere on route with crossing a busy road.

Talking about challenges the weather was looking a bit dull, I know the seaside weather can influenced by the sea – but I didn’t sign up for a wet ride!

Fortunately I never really got caught by the showers although I did catch the fringes once of twice and found myself cycling along wet roads.

Gorse and rain on the C308 – just past Salthouse Heath

This was an undulating ride and since it was a while since I had last ridden it and I was riding it backwards I spent chunks of the riding not quite knowing where I was but seeing lots of familiar place names.  As I cycled into Wiveton there were signs showing Cley next the Sea was just down the road.

There is a wonderful deli in Cley called Picnic Fayre, it was a must visit place whenever we were in the area, the kids loved choosing their picnic treats, one by one. Next time I will plan on calling in for my cycling lunch.

Just before cycling through Wiveton you pass over the River Glaven.

River Glaven – Wiveton

Apparently Wiveton was once a port. A wall on the East side of the church (St Mary) shows marks from the mooring ropes.

Church of St Mary – Wiveton

Next – a flippin puncture – twice (well I holed the tube the second time.)

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