Friday, 22 July 2011

Great Yarmouth to Southwold - 25 Miles by bike - 9 April

The starting routine for this journey was exactly the same as for the March trip. This time I turned south from Great Yarmouth (1010) and very soon, after seeing some impressive port offices from a more prosperous time, was passing the extensive yet very quiet dockland area along the River Yare. The way out of Great Yarmouth passed through seemingly endless rows of terraced houses.

I liked Gorleston (4 miles) with its promenade, gothic brick Pavillion Theatre, bandstand, sandy beach and low cliffs. It was sunny, but rather quiet for late morning (1040). Onwards, then through the holiday camp villages of Hopton and Corton to Lowestoft, where I arrived at 1140.

After warnings that
Lowestoft (12 miles) was grim and unfriendly, I was pleasantly surprised to find a clean, wide promenade complete with pavillion, modern sculptures and a pier - not what I expected at all!

A short stretch along the cycle path by the A12 brought me to the village of Kessingland (17 miles) at 1220. Kessingland is very much a working village and I very nearly cycled straight though it before I realised it had a well preserved old centre.

Another short spell along the A12 brought me to Benacre with its lovely church. Riding along winding lanes, I came to Covehithe where the fields around were literally littered with pigs and their piglets, each family being assigned to a little wooden house - quite an idyllic existence.

The main point of interest at Covehithe is St Andrew's Church which was originally a huge 14th Century structrue which, by 1672 was too big for the dwindling population. Some of the original stone was used to build a new church within the walls of the old which still exist, largely intact. Coastal erosion will mean that both
churches will be lost to the sea later this century.

Onward, then, to my destination Southwold (25 miles) where I arrived at 1340. Southwold must be the perfect seaside town with its unspoiled town centre, neat beach huts and quaint pier. I enjoyed excellent, but expensive fish and chips at the pier, before catching the 523 bus to Beccles (another town worthy of a visit at some future time) and the X2 to Norwich.

It was then train all the way back to Coleshill Parkway via Ely and Peterborough.

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