Cycling is easier in Norfolk than many other parts of the country, and not just because Norfolk is relatively flat.
The would-be cyclist will see from a quick look at the Ordnance Survey map (you'll find White Lodge Farm at GR034028 - Landranger Sheet 144) that the self-catering cottages at Hingham are surrounded by a myriad of lanes which means that a bike is a much more relaxing mode of transport than in some areas.
Although Norfolk is certainly not flat (White Lodge Farm is 57m above sea level!), you do not need to be a fit or regular cyclist to enjoy the surrounding countryside from the seat of a bicycle.
There's plenty of room to store your cycle under cover and we can supply cyclists with an information pack of maps and details of cycle routes (some of them waymarked as such) and cycle rides in the area (with and without pub stops!). As we and our friends have taken our bikes along many of them, we will be happy to suggest which routes may meet your requirements.
An initiative between local councils and rail operators also means that some very varied days out are available for those who want to take their bike and do part of their sightseeing by train and bus. The nearest railway station to White Lodge Farm is the award-winning Wymondham which, in addition to the "Brief Encounter" tea room(!), offers regular train services to Norwich (with onward services via the Bittern Line to the Broads and the coast), Brandon, Ely and Cambridge, a city almost as famous for bikes as for colleges. There's a downloadable map for cycling in Norwich.
Previous guests coming by bicycle to White Lodge Farm Cottages have included those arrivinge from Grimsby (cycling all the way) and Manchester (taking the train as far as Wymondham).
Whether or not a hirer will deliver bikes to White Lodge Farm often depends as much on the number of bikes and length of the hire as on how busy they are. Best bets are Bike Art and Pedal Revolution but if you're coming from the south with time to spare you could drop in to Thetford Forest and collect bikes from Bike Art on your way.
As an alternative to a delivery, why not take a day trip to one one of the cycle hire centres and hire your bike for the day or half day, exploring the local area and then explore somewhere else another day.
Bike It! from White Lodge Farm
Bike It! Route 1 is a 23 mile (37km) cycle route from White Lodge Farm Cottages passing through villages including Hardingham, Runhall, Marlingford and Wicklewood, as well as the market town of Wymondham. The route has a downloadable map. And there are downloadable maps available of the other Norfolk Bike It! routes (a total of 9 at the last count).
Cycling in Thetford Forest Park
There are three trails through Thetford Forest beginning from Forest Lodge Visitor Centre, where there is a large car park. The Green Cycle Route is 6 miles. The Blue Cycle Route is 8 miles. The Red Cycle Route is 11 miles and the Black Mountain Bike Route is 10 miles long.
There is free access for cyclists on land owned by the Forestry Commission. A new cycle map for Thetford Forest, which includes the new Red Route, is now available from High Lodge and from the Forest District Office (office hours only). You can also download the map of Thetford Forest cycle routes.
National Cycle Network Route 13
National Cycle Network Route 13 runs from north of Dereham, passing Watton and then on through the Brecks to Thetford. You can download the map of NR13.
National Cycle Route 1National Cycle Network Route 13 joins with National Route 1, which runs up the East coast, passing through Beccles, Norwich, Fakenham, Wells and King's Lynn.
Swaffham Bridle Route
The Swaffham Bridle Route is 21 mile (34 km) long, circular route passing through rolling farmland around Swaffham The route is mainly on tracks and minor roads. There's a downloadable map of this bridle route.
The Brecks Cycling Discovery Route
The Brecks Cycling Discovery Route is a 20 mile (22 km) circular route, taking in the Georgian market town of Swaffham and Oxburgh Hall (NT). There is a 10 mile (16 km) shortcut. You can download the map.
The Peddars Way
The Peddars Way is set principally on the line of a Roman road, beginning at Knettishall, just sast of Thetford, passing through Brecks close to Watton, thence via Castle Acre, passing Swaffham, up to the North Norfolk Coast, ending near Hunstanton. Most of the Peddars Way can be cycled due to much of the route being classified as either bridleway or unclassified county road. The exceptions to this are public footpaths, where there are alternative, short detours for cyclists. You can download the map.
The Norfolk Broads
Why not explore the Broads by bike - either your own or hired by the day. There are some suggested routes for discovering the Norfolk Broads by bike. There's a downloadable map for rides in the Northern Broads area (beware - it's 7Mb) and another downloadable map for rides in the Southern Broads area (this one is 5Mb).
Guests say ...
“Didn't realise how beautiful Norfolk was. Easy cycling from the cottage.”