Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Ride from Cromer to King’s Lynn–Part 4 Cycling from Wiveton to Wells-next-the-sea

Good Friday, 18th April 2014: My apologies for the large delay  in producing a post. I have been on holiday in the Scottish Highlands and wonderful it was too. I had hoped to complete a few posts as I travelled – but the Internet connections were a little like wet string!  Given the mountains the mobile phone connections were also very patchy. We would find no signal and then a few txt messages would worm their way into my phone, but I would only be able to line up replies and hope they would get sent as another brief connection was made.

Despite it being a Bank Holiday it seemed to me that the roads were pretty quite – well the ones followed by the RR30 and NCN1 anyway. Yes there were loads of people at Felbrigg Hall – but not particularly in my way.  That was all to change over the second half of the journey.

The good news was that although the weather wasn’t as nice as I had anticipated from the weather forecast it wasn’t too bad. I only really got caught in light rain once and I soon dried off.

The bad news was Wells-next-the-sea was rammed full of people,  I punctured, replaced the inner tube and in my impatience nipped it. All this whilst there were loads of people milling around.

This wasn’t the path I cycled, the route followed the road out of Wiveton, but it did pass Blakeney Esker (a ridge formed by glacial action. There is a byway across the edge of it, but not the route of NCN1. The other side of the road has a car park for motons to het out and enjoy the Wiveton Downs Nature Reserve.

Blakeney Esker

Map of my Ride

Information about Blakeney Esker

I trundled along the country lanes through Langham, (where I once went to see glass-blowing in action). The next stop was Binham famous for Binham Priory. Although if I am honest I didn't know about the Priory until  I came across it on this ride. Which means that the route has changed since the last time I cycled it – or I cycled past it without noticing!

Binham Priory

The church is still in use as a place of worship and there seemed to be a Good Friday Service on when I went past.

Priory Church of St Mary and the Holy Cross, Binham

I can be a bit fussy when it comes to cycle routes – little-used country lanes and hard-packed mud. smooth byways work best for me. After passing through Binham and then Wighton the route followed a RUPP or green dot path as I think of them.

The path wasn’t too bad, occasionally soft and sandy but not so much that I felt front wheel sliding away. In the distance you can see it passes through a wood, which again was hard going but not for too long.

Off-road Route Wighton to Wells-next-the-sea

At first I though that the entire field was taken up with a solar farm, it appears to be a single strip of solar panels and a reservoir.

In the distance you can see a tower on the Holkham Hall Estate.  This was at the crossroads of several green dot roads – Gallow Hill. (Here is the reservoir on the 25K map.)

The View from Gallow Hill

At this point I had a choice, I could have taken a more direct route to King’s Lynn (16miles/25Km), but I was on a roll.I had come in from the left and was taking a route behind me – Market Lane. The more direct route would initially follow Gallow Hill Belt.

Gallow HIll crossroads

Market Lane was quite a stony route and downhill. It was the least pleasant track of the day for me. Fortunately it wasn’t that long. I soon found myself in Wells-next-the-sea and quickly popped out onto the Quay. As I mentioned it was like dropping from an uninhabited place to one packed with people. Had there been a law passed telling people to go to the seaside?

I cycled down Beach Road  and had a look at the sea, these boats are purpose built for use by companies involved in the offshore wind farms in the Greater Wash (by Tidal Transit).

Eden Rose – Wells-next-the-sea

Although it was busy, the weather was not too warm and so most people seemed to be milling around. It wasn’t that clear to me how/where I went next – around the Holkham Meals.

Wells-next-the-sea Sands

It was a sandy and stony path, not too bad for cycling along although sand isn’t my favourite cycling surface. There seemed loads of people and quite a few kids and dogs, so I had to take care picking my routes. At one point I thought the sand was getting softer – it wasn’t it was my back tyre going down.

I could face fixing the tyre along the track so decided to carry on in the hope there  would be a more suitable place to mend it.  The flat tyre provided better traction in the sand.

Next – Fixing the tyre and back to King’s Lynn

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