Coolpedals biking holidays, fun bike ride, nice biking trails

Tour Statistics

Price Per Person: £514 (luxury B&Bs) - £542 (character hotels)

Start & Finish: Langham

Overnight Stops: Dedham, Stoke by Nayland, Cavendish, Thaxted, Earls Colne

Suitability: Occasional Rider, Regular Rider, Energetic Rider

Min - Max Total Tour Distance: 114 - 254 miles (182 - 406 km)

Min - Max Total Tour Ascent: 4300 - 9200 feet (1310 - 2800 metres)

Offroad potential: Min 17 %; Max 43 %

Tour Overview

Our longest West to the Hills tour makes a lengthy sweep through Constable Country, before heading northwest to the magnificent medieval Wool Towns. After following the Stour valley west to Stoke by Clare, it crosses the Essex highlands to Thaxted. A rolling trail east explores the Pant and Colne valleys before reaching Braintree. Then northeast to rejoin the Stour valley for a scenic return to base.

Find Out More

To check availability on your preferred start date, or for general enquiries ( including customisation requests such as additional/reduced stopovers or alternative accommodation preferences), click on one of the buttons below:

 

 

Day 1 Itinerary

Start - Finish: Langham - Dedham

Min - Max Cycling Distance: 6 - 15 miles (10 - 24 km)

Min - Max Ascent: 100 - 300 feet (30 - 90 metres)

Min - Max Offroad: 10% - 20%

Route Overview

A short warm-up ride. North from Langham via small country lanes to the lip of Dedham Vale. Then a meander east along the Stour Valley into Dedham village.

Points of Interest en-route

Visit peaceful 12th C Langham Church nestled on a wooded ridge above Dedham Vale. The tower was a viewpoint used by John Constable for several of his paintings.

 

Overnight Stop: Dedham

Recommended Accommodation Options

Character Inn/Hotel: Milsoms Hotel

Luxury B&B: Dedham Hall

Dinner Suggestions

Milsoms Restaurant.

Fountain House Restaurant at Dedham Hall.

Sun Inn on Dedham High Street opposite the Church.

Boathouse Restaurant on the banks of the River Stour.

Things to See or Do

Stroll along the banks of the Stour, or hire a rowing boat from the Boathouse.

Visit the Alfred Munnings Museum (check opening days) to admire his beautiful paintings and sculptures.

Browse in Dedham's quaint village shops and the Art & Craft Centre.

Day 2 Itinerary

Start - Finish: Dedham - Stoke by Nayland

Min - Max Cycling Distance: 28 - 53 miles (45 - 85 km)

Min - Max Ascent: 1100 - 1900 feet (340 - 580 metres)

Min - Max Offroad: 21% - 55%

Route Overview

East along Dedham Vale to the Stour Estuary. North across Shotley peninsula via Alton Water. North-west to Hadleigh via the old railway trail. South-west across the Brett Valley, then a climb up to Stoke by Nayland.

Points of Interest en-route

Visit scenes painted by John Constable at Bridge Cottage, Flatford Mill and Willy Lott's Cottage on the banks of the Stour.

Watch the watersports on Alton Water, or have a go at paddleboarding.

Stroll along Hadleigh's bustling high street with its many fine medieval buildings.

Overnight Stop: Stoke by Nayland

Recommended Accommodation Options

Character Inn/Hotel: Crown Inn

Luxury B&B: Poplars Farmhouse

Dinner Suggestions

Crown Inn restaurant

Angel Inn restaurant

Things to See or Do

Explore 15th century St Marys Church in its splendid hilltop setting (a favourite John Constable subject, used in several of his paintings).

Visit nearby Stoke by Nayland club for a round of golf or a luxury spa treatment.

Day 3 Itinerary

Start - Finish: Stoke by Nayland - Cavendish

Min - Max Cycling Distance: 26 - 49 miles (42 - 78 km)

Min - Max Ascent: 1100 - 2000 feet (340 - 610 metres)

Min - Max Offroad: 19% - 37%

Route Overview

North through peaceful countryside dotted with picture-postcard villages including Polstead and Kersey. Northwest via some delightful leafy lanes to reach Lavenham, then southwest to Long Melford, and west to Cavendish.

Points of Interest en-route

Admire Lavenham's magnificent medieval streets, bristling with over 300 listed buildings.

Visit Kentwell Hall or Melford Hall in bustling Long Melford, one of several claimants to "longest village in England". If not the longest, it's certainly one of the most interesting, full of history, medieval architecture, unusual shops, traditional tea-rooms and pubs.

 

Overnight Stop: Cavendish

Recommended Accommodation Option

Character Inn/Hotel: The George

Luxury B&B: The George

Dinner Suggestions

The George

The Bull

Things to See or Do

Take a gentle stroll around the Village Green, or watch a local bowls match.

Enjoy a luxurious swim and spa treatment at nearby Gainsborough Health Club.

 

Day 4 Itinerary

Start - Finish: Cavendish - Thaxted

Min - Max Cycling Distance: 29 - 48 miles (46 - 77 km)

Min - Max Ascent: 1100 - 1700 feet (340 - 520 metres)

Min - Max Offroad: 14% - 46%

Route Description

West along the Stour valley past historic Clare and Stoke by Clare. Further west into the Essex highlands via Steeple Bumpstead, then south over gently rolling farmland to Thaxted.

Points of Interest en-route

Admire the fabulous pargeting of Clare's Ancient House, one of several historic sites in the town.

Take a vineyard tour at Boyton Vineyard just north of Stoke by Clare.

Stop for lunch at the Bluebell Inn at Hempstead, birthplace of highwayman Dick Turpin.

 

Overnight Stop: Thaxted

Recommended Accommodation Option

Character Inn/Hotel: The Swan Hotel

Luxury B&B: The Swan Hotel

Dinner Suggestions

Swan Hotel restaurant

Parrishes

Things to See or Do

Visit a wealth of historic buildings clustered round the town centre.

Investigate the town's associations with a number of famous figures including composer Gustav Holst, "Red Vicar" Conrad Noel, and highwayman Dick Turpin.

Day 5 Itinerary

Start - Finish: Thaxted - Earls Colne

Min - Max Cycling Distance: 25 - 45 miles (40 - 72 km)

Min - Max Ascent: 900 - 1600 feet (270 - 490 metres)

Min - Max Offroad: 16% - 40%

Route Description

Briefly south down the Chelmer valley, then northeast crossing the Pant valley en route to picture-postcard Finchingfield. East over high ground before crossing the Colne valley to Castle Hedingham. South to Halstead, then southwest to reach Bocking Churchstreet. The final leg today takes you north-east towards Earls Colne.

Points of Interest en-route

Stop and feed the ducks on the village green at Finchingfield.

Visit the fine Norman keep at Hedingham Castle.

 

Overnight Stop: Earls Colne

Recommended Accommodation Option

Character Inn/Hotel: Essex Golf & Country Club

Luxury B&B: Essex Golf & Country Club

Dinner Suggestions

Pulse Bar or Club Bar (in the Essex Golf & Country Club complex)

The Lion (in Earls Colne High Street, a short taxi ride away)

Things to See or Do

Enjoy some of the numerous leisure spa or sports facilities at the Country Club.

Enjoy a wander along Earl Colne's traditional old High Street (if visiting The Lion for dinner).

Day 6 Itinerary

Start - Finish: Earls Colne - Langham

Min - Max Cycling Distance: 0 - 44 miles (0 - 70 km)

Min - Max Ascent: 0 - 1600 feet (0 - 490 metres)

Min - Max Offroad: 0% - 41%

Route Description

East across a patchwork of rich farmlands and old forests, before descending to Chappel in the Colne valley. North over rolling farmland to the Stour valley, which is then followed east through picturesque Wormingford, Nayland and Stoke by Nayland, before turning south to return to Langham.

Points of Interest en-route

Pedal under the mighty arches of Chappel Viaduct, England's second largest brick built structure (after Battersea Power Station).

Watch activities at the busy Essex and Suffolk gliding club at Wormingford ( or even pre-book a trial flight!).

Pedal slowly along the beautifully preserved medieval high street of Nayland village. If your timing is right you may see Suffolk Punches ploughing the local fields.

Visit Dedham Vale Vineyard take a tour to learn about the winemaking process.