Cycling the Godric Way – Routes around Bungay
The Godric Way is a recommended cycle route of some 24 miles through Bungay and the surrounding Parishes. It offers outstanding views of the upper Waveney Valley as well as visits to many historical buildings, churches and local beauty spots. The route avoids main roads as far as possible but cyclists are advised to ride sensibly and with caution at all times.
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Bungay’s ancient Buttercross, rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1688 provides a prominent starting point for the Godric Way. The Buttercross Tea Rooms in Cross Street makes an excellent rendezvous for cyclists. From the Tea Rooms turn right to Trinity Street then right again and head towards Beccles. On the left stands the round Saxon tower of Holv Trinity Church, probably the oldest building in Bungay.
Upon reaching the Watch House PH take the Low Road to Ellingham Mill. Here you will cross the River Waveney at a much-loved beauty spot at the Mill House and pool.
Broome & Ditchingham
On leaving Ellingham Mill riders take first left and left again to join the Yarmouth Road. Turn left towards Bungay, and take the first right turn and then turn left towards Broome. A right turn just before the bridge over the stream will bring you opposite the track leading to Broome Church. A left turn will direct riders towards Ditchingham along Rectory Road. Take a left and then right turn at the staggered cross roads to take you along the peaceful Belsey Bridge Road where you will find Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney, on the site of the old convent. Here you can stop for a welcome refreshment break. The cafe is open Tues – Sun, 10am-4pm. A short distance further and Ditchingham Church can be seen, and a left turn here brings you to the main Norwich Road.
At the main Norwich Road the Godric Way follows a right turn and then first left along Pound Lane. Continue to the Hedenham Road, then turn left to follow the road to Earsham. A wooded section here gives way to the fine view of Earsham Hall with a magnificent Georgian wing clearly visible from the road. At the next right turn the route will take cyclists towards the main road at the rifle range. Here the main road is crossed and the old road is followed in a westerly direction where the Waveney affords pleasant views.
Denton & Alburgh
After rejoining the main road for a short distance, turn right and pass Denton Church on the road to Alburgh. At the approach to Alburgh the route forks left past the school and left again at the village sign. At Holbrook Hill there are excellent views across the Waveney Valley. Follow the steep descent to The Dove Restaurant where riders cross the main road and the Wavenev via the old bridge to Homersfield.
Homersfield is a picturesque village with ideal picnic sites. It is approximately halfway round the main loop. Here you can picnic by the Waveney or refresh yourself at the Black Swan.
From Homersfield the route travels through a succession of villages known as “the Saints”. St. Cross is the first encountered and is followed by St. Margaret South Elmham where you pass the church. On leaving the village a left turn leads to St. Peter South Elmham. and this is followed by Ilketshall St. Margaret with its lovely church visible to the right. At the main road a left turn towards Bungay will bring you to St. John’s Church at Ilketshall; the graveyard is a wildlife sanctuary.
At St. John’s Church the route leaves the main road and follows Lodge Road towards Mettingham Castle. In 1342 John de Norwich castellated this residence adding a massive gateway which can be seen to the north of the Castle site. You now return to Bungay by descending Annis Hill and Annis Hill Lane then turn left along Beccles Road.
Shorter Cycling Routes
Shorter rides are possible by departing from the Godric Way at the following locations:
- Ditchingham (8.0 miles)
At the junction with the main Norwich Road turn left and return to Bungay via Ditchingham Dam and Bridge Street.
- Earsham (10.5 miles)
Just past Earsham Hall continue straight to the main road. Cross straight over and return to Bungay along Earsham Dam and Cock Bridge.
- Homersfield Swan (19.0 miles)
Take the Flixton Road back to Bungay passing on route The Buck PH and the adjoining Flixton Aviation Museum.
- St. Margaret Ilketshall (21.0 miles)
On approaching the village, the Bungay road is signposted to take you along St. Margaret’s Road back to the town.