Susanne & John Mason | The Manor House Trunch | phone 01263 721015 | email
Cycling from The Manor House B&B Trunch
Map and Directions to cycle
along the network of quiet lanes
The area around Mundesley, Trunch, North Walsham and Cromer is a great place for cyclists as it has some splendid scenery and is largely flat. The rides along our "quiet lanes" network (see map below) will take you through some of our area's most attractive scenery including the lovely Norfolk coast.
And if you are more ambitious, the Norfolk Coast Cycleway is a single 92 mile route running parallel to the coast and taking you on a tour of Norfolk's splendid countryside.
Image reproduced with kind permission of Norfolk Coast Partnership
Quiet Lanes review
(source: Norfolk Coast Partnership)
Neil Featherstone knows the coast well, but found plenty to discover when he got on his bike and went exploring the Quiet Lanes (Norfolk Coast Guardian 2005)
Starting in Overstrand, I crossed the disused railway line on the Quiet Lanes network up onto the Cromer ridge, overlooking the coast to the east and Northrepps to the west. The Quiet Lanes network evolved from early work by the Norfolk Coast Partnership and the Countryside Agency that was taken on and developed by Norfolk County Council. Designed to increase sharing and caring of the extensive minor roads in this area, it also has a route hierarchy system where traffic signage encourages motor vehicles to take main roads and avoid the smaller ones. Local residents and visitors are encouraged to walk, cycle or horse-ride on the quieter lanes for short journeys. The scheme now appears all over the country.
With the lighthouse visible in the distance, a track named Madam's Lane leads into Northrepps through a mix of modern houses and on to some of the original flint and pantile dwellings typical of this area. The visitor book in St Mary's Church records visitors from as far away as Mooroopna, Australia, whose emigrant forebears were married here in 1849. A 'gallas' horse-drawn plough made in the village stands in the church, reminding us of the village's vibrant past. One gravestone marks one quality of its now long-term resident as 'an enhancer of life'.
The churchyard is part of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust's conservation scheme. Many churchyards now represent havens of once-common indigenous wildlife, as they were often flower meadows given to the church when it was built.
Having previously driven around the area many times, I am now amazed at the number of tracks, buildings and views that I find whilst cycling. It really is a great way to explore.
Leaving Northrepps, I crossed the Paston Way footpath which now links North Walsham to 16 impressive churches. Remnants of the Mundesley Beck Valley grasslands can be seen here. The Norfolk Coast Partnership have commissioned a study of the landscape of the whole Mundesley Beck and are working with the local residents to find out what landscape they would like to see in the future.
The road to Southrepps allows views of the radome at Trimingham and the impressive tower of St James' Church - at 117 feet, the second highest in Norfolk. Although sharing a common ending of 'repp' (which apparently was a Danish unit of land area enclosed by strips of hide cut from six fat cattle), I am told that feelings between the two villages were not always amicable over events many years ago involving the Customs and Excise service that led to hangings and deportations.
Leaving the village down Long Lane, I pass a mobile police unit - the modern answer to the local village 'bobby' - and take a look at the refurbished Gunton Station on the Bittern Line, where covered cycle parking and stands encourage travellers to leave their car at home when catching the train.
Approaching Trunch you will see St Botolph's Church on your right, where the choir stalls rest on stone sounding boxes to give resonance to their singing. Buying refreshments at the shop, I came out to find a customer had parked his car literally six feet from the door, blocking the cycle rack access and - oblivious to the needs of others - waited while his perfectly able-bodied passenger went inside. There is a considerable area to park cars well away from the door. As car drivers, we all really need to show greater consideration to other road users if cycling is to remain an enjoyable experience.
Approaching Mundesley, you can still see remnants of the old hedged small field system that was once more prevalent in the valley. On a cycle the old back roads and streets become accessible and the architecture of Mundesley is worth exploring, with a fine sandy beach as reward on a summer cycle trip. From here an easy route back across the Quiet Lanes network gives an easy half-day trip or, for the intrepid explorer, the route continues on down to Bacton and beyond.
The beauty of the Quiet Lanes network quickly become apparent, as one can take any of many routes back to Overstrand and still enjoy roads where car drivers expect to see walkers and riders on the road. The route hierarchy appears to be effective with much of the traffic guided down the wider routes, although I admit that a weekday out of season might not give a true reflection of the busier holiday periods. However the weather doesn't adhere to local policies and a stiff northerly wind reminds me that it is always best to plan the return journey with a following wind.
A very enjoyable round trip of approximately five hours' riding time with many surprises in this less well-travelled but nonetheless interesting part of the AONB. "