Inland escape

Jonathan Manning turns his back on the coastal delights of North Norfolk to explore quaint villages and an elegant Tudor mansion

The tiers of Incleboro Club Campsite, near Cromer on the North Norfolk coast, appear to be cut into the hillside to offer far-reaching sea views. But this ride turns its back on the brine to explore the astonishingly quiet lanes just a couple of miles inland. 

The contrast between the bustle of holidaymakers heading for the coastline’s long, sandy beaches and the county’s whisper quiet back roads could not be starker. Even on a sunny day in July there’s barely any traffic pottering between the tiny villages linked by this easy ride. 

The hardest section of the route arguably comes immediately after leaving the Club site, with a lengthy uphill leading to the A148. On the far side of the A road, the single-track lane feels more 1920s than 2020s as it passes through a tunnel of ancient woodland, while later in the ride tall hedges flank the peaceful roads. 

Taking advantage of the National Cycle Network’s Route 33, the ride takes a sideways diversion into the handsome parkland of the National Trust’s Felbrigg Hall, passing immediately in front of the elegant Tudor mansion. The hall and its walled garden are open to visitors and, as always with National Trust properties, there’s a reliably good café for refreshments. 

Returning to the route, there are beautiful flint-walled cottages, barns, and medieval, round-towered churches. This local flint stone architecture presents the opportunity for any number of ‘yaba daba doo’ dad jokes. 

Ancient history continues in a number of the local villages, including Hanworth, Bessingham, Sustead and Gresham, which all feature in the Domesday Book of 1086. 


1 From the Club site head along the drive through the golf course and at the end of the road turn left along Sandy Lane, which after 2km becomes Tower Road. Continue to a T-junction with the A148. 

2 2.5km – Turn left at the T-junction along the A148, signposted to Cromer, and in 150m turn right to Sustead. Continue for 1km. 

3 3.5km – Look out for a track on the left, between two gateposts, marked National Trust Felbrigg and National Cycle Network 33. This is a worthwhile diversion through the Felbrigg estate and leads directly to Felbrigg Hall. After visiting, retrace the route back to the entrance of the estate, turn left and continue for 500m to a T-junction. 

4 5.8km – Turn left at the T-junction along Park Road. In 800m, at the next T-junction, turn left, following NCN33. In a further 500m look out for Felbrigg Lodge Hotel on the right. 

5 7.1km – Turn right immediately after Felbrigg Lodge Hotel and head towards Sustead to a T-junction. Turn left and look out for a road on the 6right signposted to Hanworth. 

6 9km – Turn right and stay on this road into 7 Hanworth, eventually reaching a crossroads.

7 10.7km – Turn right at the crossroads, signposted to Aldborough, and in 400m (after passing a cattle grid and a thatched cottage) turn right to Bessingham and Sheringham. At the crossroads continue straight ahead to Bessingham and Sheringham, passing a church on the right. Stay on this road all the way to Gresham to reach a crossroads 8with a church opposite. 

8 15.8km – Turn right at the crossroads, signposted to Metton and Cromer, and continue on this road 9all the way to the A148 (with a pub on the right). 

9 19.3km – Go straight across the A148 and follow Sandy Lane all the way back into West Runton, where the Club site is on the right hand side, just before the railway bridge. 

You can download this route from our dedicated Strava page here.

About the route

  • Start/finish: Incleboro Fields Club site, Station Close, West Runton, Cromer, Norfolk NR27 9QG.
  • Distance: 13.6 miles/21.8km. 
  • Time: 2 hours. 
  • Level: Suitable for all cyclists (take care crossing the A148). 
  • Terrain: Asphalt all the way. 
  • Landscape: Arable farms and ancient woodland. 
  • Refreshments: Squire’s Pantry Tea Room, Felbrigg Hall; Roman Camp Inn, Holt Road, Aylmerton NR11 8QD. 

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Incleboro Fields Club Campsite

From £26.90 per night

Close to Cromer beach and the local towns, this Norfolk Club campsite boasts spectacular views of the sea.

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