Cromer to Norwich - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 7 - CycleBlaze

April 10, 2023

Cromer to Norwich

First the rain, then the train.

This morning Chaucer’s lines spring ( no pun intended) readily to mind: ‘Whan that April with his showres soote the droughte of March hath perced to the roote…’  It’s wet and cold outside, and April’s sweet showers are falling- but we have a route. We also have a choice - take the train or take the road. We’re here for the Rebellion Way experience, and so we put on our rain pants and jackets, switch on our lights and venture forth. 

Charging up. USB charging of lights has it’s downside- time consuming.
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Preparing for the cold and damp.
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The komoot route might not be rain free, but it is mostly car free. There are cars about, but fortunately they’re on the A149 which, when we catch a glimpse of it, is heavily subscribed with cars and not the sort of place we want to go.

Exit is through the local neighbourhood.
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Wet, wet, wet.
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Rachael AndersonYou’re tough!
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10 months ago
The haystacks seem unusually high in these parts.
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Because we’re cold and a little wet around the edges, Aylsham is our goal we decide on, and we’ll take a train to Norwich from there. We duly arrive in Aylsham to discover that the only railway there is the Bure Valley miniature railway, which doesn’t take bikes at all. There is hope however, because komoot tells us that there is a path alongside the hobby railway line called the Bure Valley trail. This goes to Wroxham, from where a train does go to Norwich. We decide to take it.

Before setting off, we repair to Bread Source, a cafe and bakery in the main square of Aylsham. We park our bikes outside and enter its steamy atmosphere ordering tea, a sausage roll and a scone and jam. The tea is real leaf and comes in two small teapots which we refill once they’re empty. We perch in a quiet corner trying not to drip too much, and dump our accoutrements under the bench table.

The cuppa.
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Rachael AndersonA well earned break!
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10 months ago

A little later, there’s no avoiding it; we head out again. The rain is abating. We find the miniature railway with its full sized station and locate the start of the Aylsham to Wroxham trail. A fancy wood sign tells us it’s seven and three quarters of a mile. A mere bagatelle! But when we see the track our hearts sink. It’s narrow and severely puddled. In fact, though, the surface remains quite compacted and hard throughout. And away we go. The miles measurement again means progress seems torturous, but I realise that it would be much slower if there were walkers as well. And their dogs.

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All this and trains too.
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In parts, the track widens and is well paved. In fact the final two kilometres are quite easy. Especially since the sun is putting in an appearance.

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Return train.
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Finally Wroxham. It’s 3:00pm and there’s a train to Norwich at 3:20pm. When the train appears there’s a cycle sign on a carriage and bikes can be wheeled straight on - no lifting or removing bags at all. 

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Norwich is late afternoon and sunny. We find our accommodation about 2kms away via an easy pedal across Julian Bridge and  past the cathedral. We stop for a moment and then a little further on reach our accommodation where meet our host. She helps us stash our bikes in her shed and then we chat about the environmental work she does and the details of our day. 

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Later we head out for an explore and to find a curry in the hope that it will restore some warmth. Crossing a bridge over the Wensum, the local river, we spot some paddle boarders racing towards us. The woman leading is in bare feet!  The cathedral also looks beautifully golden in the evening sunshine.

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Ali’s place in Magdalen Street does a pretty good job of warming us with a restorative curry and after, we walk back as more spring rain descends.



Today's ride: 48 km (30 miles)
Total: 294 km (183 miles)

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