The beautiful villages of Wroxham & Hoveton are one of the best cycling hubs in Norfolk. We show you our pick of their routes and cycle-friendly places
The ‘capital of the Broads’ has a medieaval heart that has flourished as a boaters’ paradise with a real ‘seaside’ vibe. The lack of hills and some of the best weather in the UK mean it’s also a perfect base for restful riding around the unique wetlands ecology and multi-faceted history.
The villages of Wroxham and Hoveton sit either side of the river Bure north-east of the stunning and fascinating city of Norwich, but they’re a bustling holiday hub in their own right. The Norfolk Broads landscape mixes backwaters teeming with birdlife, ancient churches and country pubs in charming thatched and flint cobbled villages for a timeless riding experience that won’t tax your legs.
Our three routes link cathedrals, castles, steam railways, radar museums, Roman remains, breweries boat houses and famous RAF airbases with cycle paths, historic byways and quiet roads to make the most of this magical part of the UK.
Norwich railway ramble (47 miles)
This route is best tackled on a gravel bike or tourer/hybrid/MTB with wider tyres. That’s because it steams out into the peaceful countryside west of Hoveton on old railway lines, but it would be easy to shadow on quiet lanes if you want firmer surfaces.
Taking the trail option makes most of the loop blissfully traffic free and keeps navigation super simple for the first 55km. It also allows you to really drink in the timeless landscape of wide open farmland past wildlife-rich woods, winding rivers and flower filled meadows.
As well as miniature train lines and old stations, you’ll also pass a wide range of historical sites from ancient to modern, before arriving at the beautiful richly storied city of Norwich. A perfect place to stop and explore before the short quiet lane and byway ride back to Wroxham.
Barton Turf (17 miles)
Another figure of eight route (actually it’s more like a badly melted snowman) that allows you create a shorter option. A total ascent of just over 110m and high point of 16m means it can be as easy as you want to make it too.
With miniature railways, reed beds, blissfully idyllic villages, a craft centre, and the radar museum at Neatishead all on route, there’s plenty to take your time over. There’s also the option to cross the River Bure at Horning and join our Ranworth Broad route if you’re lucky enough to find the foot ferry running. This route is entirely on road so any bike will be enjoyable.
Ranworth and Malthouse Broads (18 miles)
This roughly figure of eight route takes you south and east of Wroxham, skirting the Broads that you can walk to the edge of from several points.
It’s mainly a very quiet road loop that can be done on any bike, but we have included a couple of short farm track sections which will need care - or bypassing - on narrow tyres.
The short loop includes an award-winning brewery, several pubs, and beautiful churches including a dramatic ruin, as well as stunning thatched cottages and barns in picture-perfect villages.
There’s also the opportunity to cross the River Bure to Horning when the small ferry is running, which allows you to join the Barton Turf route north of the Broads.
Either way, it gives you a fantastic taste of this unique and charming landscape with its easy rolling roads, rich wildlife and history.
Wroxham & Hoveton essentials
Hoveton is the bigger half of the village on the north-east bank of the river Bure. It’s an ancient bridge/ford site with 12th century elements to the church, but came to prominence as a trading centre in the medieaval period.
The arrival of the railways saw river transport turning mostly from business to pleasure with traditional sailing wherries and then purpose built cruising boats opening up this amazing wetland area for holidaymakers.
The Roy family set up a small shop to supply boats in 189,5 but their local empire now extends to several large shops, a garden centre and a garage, all under the slogan ‘The world’s largest village store’.
Wroxham miniature worlds is also the biggest indoor model attraction layout in the world, and Roarr dinosaur world and the Bewilderwood attractions are close by if you’re riding with youngsters.
By train Hoveton station is 14 minutes from Norwich on the Greater Anglia Cromer line.
By road Wroxham/Hoveton is 4 miles off the A1270 Norwich ring road on the A1151.
More cycling experiences in Kent, Cornwall and Norfolk
Wroxham & Hoveton is just one of our highlighted locations that's perfect for cycling. Here's Cycling UK's full set of cycle-friendly hubs, with accredited facilities and promoted routes
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