Mildenhall to Thetford

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Re: Mildenhall to Thetford

Postby drossall » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:45 pm

Just for the record, information here (under Breaking New Ground) about a proposed through route. Likely surface not clear, and won't be ready for me, but in case anyone else is looking...

I think the author has missed the point. A long-distance route, connecting two ends that can both be reached by road, is exactly what is needed by those not driving in for a circular ride.
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Re: Mildenhall to Thetford

Postby DanTe » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:11 pm

Here's the way I'd do it...

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4308506

It comes in at at 85 miles'ish. I do the route and variants of it regularly being a London living Norfolk boy. I last did it saturday just gone.
There's a pleasant enough start as you bypass The Lodes and on through the Eastern edges of The Fens, then onto one of my favourite bits of Eastern Counties. It's the road up from Mildenhall, through to Lakenheath and on up to Swaffham.
I really like the bits where you have the Fens away to the west on the left hand side of the road and the Breckland to the right. The road also runs parallel to the busy A1065 which bears the bulk of the traffic. The roads through The Brecks to Swaffham are almost, for the UK anyway, unbelievably traffic free.
I much prefer the countryside in this area to that of the more straight line route through Watton.
You then move through the upper river valleys of 2 of Norfolk's major rivers, first the Wensum then the Bure..
Get a nice SW wind and it's a very nice day out on the bike..

I've tried to attach various files but annoyingly CTC Forum dos'nt allow the various useful file extensions such as .gpx etc..
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Re: Mildenhall to Thetford

Postby drossall » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:11 pm

Thanks. Choices, choices, choices :D
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Re: Mildenhall to Thetford

Postby drossall » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:04 pm

Vorpal wrote:Streetview doesn't work going through Thetford Forest, except on the B1106. It is possible to see what Shakers Road looks like from the B1106, but not to go down Shakers Road.


I've discovered that Streetview does cover Harling Drove, NE of Santon Downham, which was unexpected.

If I'm prepared to use the A1065 (and I've ridden plenty of A roads before), I can get it down to 102 miles (vs a base-line of 95 miles for the direct route). That's via the southern outskirts of Cambridge - B1102 - Mildenhall - A1065 - Brandon - Santon Downham - Harling Drove - Wretham - Great Hockham - Mount Pleasant - Great Ellingham - Wymondham - Hethersett - Hellesdon - Spixham - Coltishall. Not a bad solution, I think. The B1112 is always there as a slightly longer alternative to the A1065.

Of course this works because I don't actually need to visit either Mildenhall or Thetford. I've asked the Highways Agency whether they're expecting cyclists who need to get between the two to use the new dual carriageway :twisted: To be fair, I got a very nice reply promising to look into it.
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Re: Mildenhall to Thetford

Postby CJ » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:47 pm

Apparently the Elveden bypass (virtual motorway) is due to open in a couple of weeks' time, so by summer the historic direct route from Thetford to Mildenhall should be returned to a reasonably calm and cyclable condition.

Now is the time to come down from the roughstuff and the back-doubles and re-assert our rights!

I am familiar with this area from annual business visits to Center Parcs. They occasionally accommodate me in Brandon or Thetford, so I have tried (by bike) the various bridleway and trespassing routes around Elveden Park etc. and would not recommend any of them unreservedly. We need our public road back, and here at last we're getting it!
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Re: Mildenhall to Thetford

Postby drossall » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:02 pm

Sadly not.

The new Elveden bypass starts quite close to Elveden on the west side, just before the road drops into the village. On the east side, it rejoins the old road maybe two-thirds of the way to the roundabout at Thetford. Elsewhere, the old road is disappearing under the new.

Therefore, whilst the old road should offer a good alternative for cyclists, once the bypass is open, it won't be easy to get to it from either end.

When I went through last weekend (by car), it looked as though there may be a footpath from the Thetford roundabout, which may, once work is complete, be wide enough for a shared-use cycle path. However, to the west, there will still be miles between Fiveways, the nearest access from cycle-friendly roads, and the stretch of old road to which you refer.

There's a PDF plan of the scheme on the HA page.

Edit: working through that, if you assume that some of the "associated improvements" are cycle paths, they may indeed intend to provide one to the east. To the west, there may be an intention that you go via High Lodge (the western one - there are two, just to confuse things) to Chalk Farm and then along a cycle path to Elveden. However, upthread we were unclear about the status of the paths in the western part of the Forest. Also, unless the paths are very good, I agree with you about their desirability when travelling over distance.
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Re: Mildenhall to Thetford

Postby DanTe » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:16 am

I would avoid the A1065. It's not the worst but it's fast and straight allowing the many agricultural lorrys to pick up a real head of steam, it can be bad when they pass either way..
There's also the traffic from the bases which always seem to be going 20 mph faster than anybody else..
The route you mention via Wymondham-Hethersett-Hellesdon is through some fairly uninteresting and samey bits of Norfolk.
It's not a route I would take.
The real Brecks are great cycling, cross them and then dissect Norfolk via a more northerly route undercutting Fakenham and heading across country. Much more interesting countryside.
You should also be able to get in well under the hundred. I'm only 20 miles onto that starting from North London..

Mildenhall to Thetford is easily acheivable without going near any dual carriageway. I'd never dream of using the A11, it'd be horrific..
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Re: Mildenhall to Thetford

Postby Vorpal » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:18 am

DanTe wrote:There's also the traffic from the bases which always seem to be going 20 mph faster than anybody else....

And watch out for vehicles pulling out of turnings onto the wrong side of the road. I've seen several occurrences, and had one near miss on account of wrong-side drivers. They quickly realised their mistakes, but not always before others had to take avoiding action. I gather that people who live in the area are used to it.
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Re: Mildenhall to Thetford

Postby drossall » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:28 pm

DanTe wrote:The route you mention via Wymondham-Hethersett-Hellesdon is through some fairly uninteresting and samey bits of Norfolk.
It's not a route I would take.
The real Brecks are great cycling, cross them and then dissect Norfolk via a more northerly route undercutting Fakenham and heading across country. Much more interesting countryside.
You should also be able to get in well under the hundred. I'm only 20 miles onto that starting from North London..

Thanks for the advice. I'll look again, but I'm confident that it's going to mean adding 20 miles to the base route.
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Re: Mildenhall to Thetford

Postby drossall » Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:01 pm

Well, to complete the circle, I rode this today (and, in the outward direction, on Wednesday). I used the route I outlined above, which was, on the whole, fine.

I didn't enjoy the A1065, but it's manageable if you don't mind being passed by HGVs. There again, coming back the B1102 had more traffic than on the outward leg.

I used the Santon Drove Road from Santon Warren to Croxton Heath. The most westerly part of that is a sandy track (the rest is metalled). Today, after some rain, it was a bit tricky on narrow road tyres, and I was slipping around rather. It was OK on Wednesday.

It's still the case that, as far as I know, there are no useful routes in the western part of Thetford Warren (and see above re sandy tracks anyway). There's a sign marking the obvious access to Shaker's Road as private.

I've written to my MP following a rather unsatisfactory response from the HA, saying that they didn't really think about bikes because the new A11 was planned a long time ago, when no-one considered that kind of thing. I still hold that not being able, for practical purposes, to get between Mildenhall and Thetford on any vaguely direct route is unacceptable.

Good ride though :D
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