Custom built tourer, custom electric bike, beaters everywhere
Touring East Anglia or Cotswolds
Hi fellow touries!
I'm just now planning my next tour (or should I call it an expedition). I find Britain just about right for me and I am having trouble deciding between East Anglia and the Cotswolds.
If I was doing the Cotswolds I'd probably start near London and follow the Thames to its' source. I love the tow paths and rail trails and Sustrans has any number of routes and map books to help me on my way. Once there I wanted to explore the Cotswold canals, but I understand that currently much of the area is either under or slated for reconstruction.
I stealth camp so from what I have seen, there are lots of places for me to hide in the thickets beside the tow path.
That said, I also am interested in East Anglia. I would probably start off in King's Lynn and wind my way down along the coastal trails and paths and then back up inland to Cambridge where there is a beer festival. It all sounds good but from the pictures I've seen much of the coast is treeless--big trouble as I am a hammock camper. The rest of the land may be heavily farmed, so finding a nice quiet place to stealth camp might be difficult. Either way I will be arriving Mid May. What is the ground cover like in May? Have all the thickets greened up by then?
I thank you in advance for your good wishes, but mainly I'm looking for info from people who have toured in the area who can offer practical advise. I am familiar with most of the more common web sites such as Sustrans and OS but would be very interested in someone's blog who has stealth camped the region.
I was born near the Cotswolds and live in East Anglia. Both are excellent bike touring destinations.
May is a great time, the vegetation is starting to green out with plenty of leaf cover. Trees are readily available in most places but East Anglia is probably better for stealth camping, more remote and rural with plenty of small woodlands along the coast and inland. I have stealth camped near Covehithe. Avoid camping close to Sizewell nuclear power plant.
The terrain is mildly rolling, with dead-flat bits from Kings Lynn to cambridge (The Fens). The local cycle touring club have literally hundreds of different routes through the dense network of quiet lanes.
I would suggest a rail journey out of London to N Essex ( a village stn), then work your way up the Suffolk coast (Woodbridge, Aldborough, Framlingham, Southwold), then head along the Sustrans route to Norwich, then up to the N Norfolk coast road at Sheringham and along to Kings Lynn, Ely (via peddars way) and Cambridge.
You cant get much better local info than that.
stokell - I'm moving from London to Toronto in January and have a working knowledge of the Cotswolds. My parents live there and I visit regularly. If you want to pick my brains for local knowledge, I've been known to impart wisdom in exchange for beer. I also have a map of the Thames from source to London that also shows roads either side so makes an excellent guide.
As for East Anglia, Cambridge is one day's ride from London (about 70 flatish miles). I know a good, workable route if you want.