Cycle to the Wash

This route explores the traditional cycling country of West Norfolk, from the bustling town of King’s Lynn at the mouth of the River Ouse, to Shepherd’s Port.

The first part of the route is traffic-free, followed by some sections on quiet roads. It starts at the railway station in the bustling town of King’s Lynn (well worth a visit in its own right), and takes you out of the town on a traffic-free path through parkland following a disused railway.

You continue through the woodlands of Ling Common, until you come to the attractive village of Castle Rising, with its impressive 12th century castle and 17th century almshouses, and on to the Royal Estate of Sandringham, the Queen’s Norfolk retreat. You can visit the house, gardens and museum and perhaps get a well-deserved cup of tea at the Visitor Centre Restaurant.

The route continues along the road to Snettisham, where this ride leaves the waymarked route and heads westwards for the coast at Shepherd’s Port and RSPB Snettisham, where wildlife observation hides give panoramic views across the saline lagoons, salt marsh and the vast expanse of mudflats that make up The Wash. Here you can see one of nature’s great spectacles, known as the ‘whirling wader spectacle’ as tens of thousands of wading birds leave their feeding grounds and move onto the islands in front of the hides.

If you want a shorter there-and-back ride, turning around at Castle Rising will make the total distance 12 miles; and turning back at Sandringham Country Park will give you a 19-mile round trip. National Route 1 continues northwards from Snettisham to Burnham Market, Wells-next-the-Sea and Fakenham, but doesn’t intersect with the rail network again until it reaches Norwich.

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Please note

We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness.

However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes.

Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces.

Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.

Please help us protect this route

Cycle to the Wash is part of the National Cycle Network, cared for by Sustrans. Your donation today will help keep the Network safe and open for everyone to enjoy

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