Gravel cycling: sand and heaths on the East Anglian Way

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Suvi Loponen's picture

Suvi Loponen

Tech writer

Suvi joined in 2022 as a tech writer and brought in her enthusiasm for gravel and long-distance riding. She's a lover of underbiking and exploring on the bike both on and off-road, especially if it means finding more great cafes and some good viewpoints. 


1 year 7 months ago

I heard about this route earlier in the year, kept meaning to check it out as its basically on my doorstep. But if you went the flat way to Harwich clearly missed out going via Mistley as thats a very hilly part for Essex,and Id have chosen the Alma Inn for a break with food if I missed the Harwich ferry. Old Felixstowe to Bawdsey, its a not inconsiderable 24miles ish extra to make up if its not running, for the long way round, but the route then didnt take the Butley to Orford ferry in as well ? as thats quite an extra detour around if not.

Pump Street Bakery is good for instagram influencers, but I think its better to head for Snape Maltings cafe which you must have passed by as its the only bridge over the Alde, the downside is your route back to the coast is along the A1094 which isnt fun to ride, or just dig in and push northwards on to the Minsmere RSPB reserve whose cafe is legendary, and a far better stop than Sizewell B to look at, though its less off road than the route looks from the video.

Southwold Id have recommended the Lord Nelson or Sole Bay Inn for food, though your camp site was north of the town, whilst there is a camp site south of it by the harbour, which brings the Harbour Inn in to play plus Walberswick for all the mixing with celebrities from London spotting.

as for the sand, well yes its killed many a groupset of mine, there are fwiw really sandy roads you can take, and some not so sandy roads that are more like compact gravel routes just without the gravel part, its replace by sand and flints instead, so definitely always stick with good gravel tyres