Bikepacking

Peddars Way

2020

Riders: Kay Burgess, Ken Rosner, Ben Keeley, Maciej Malyszka, Peter Elsegood

The cool morning’s breeze provides a refreshing wake-up call as we cycled along the riverbank of the Great Ouse. Meeting at Purfleet, we left Bishops Lynn via the docks, one of the oldest docklands in the country, which during the 14th Century was one of the most significant. We headed North with the Wash to our left, and the omnipresent shell-laden farm tracks soon led us to join the Norfolk coastal path at Snettisham.  Riding through the beautiful expanse of a nature reserve, we were warmly greeted by the dawn chorus of marshland birds during a feeding frenzy, we knew it would soon be our turn for some breakfast too!

We hit Holme Dune marshes where we turned off from the coastal path to embark upon our journey south along the ancient trackway, Peddars Way.  We rode through the salty dunes, over the thick dry sand and out toward the tidal inlets.  We made camp with the sun shining bright at 8am, with a light breeze blowing inland. Stoves, cookware and foodstuffs were taken out of the neatly packed frame and saddle bags.  The bags were packed for a day trip in mind, and with breakfast being an essential meal we began to boil the water on the stoves for porridge and coffee. A Nanopresso provided a sense of relief for the coffee lovers amongst us, a few pumps of hot water through some freshly @Umamipb ground coffee we were soon all fired up and ready for the journey ahead.  Just look at those faces of coffee-fuelled enthusiasm!

Text: Ben Keeley

The Peddars Way is 46 miles (74 km) long and follows the route of a Roman road. It has been suggested by more than one writer that it was not created by the Romans but was an ancient trackway, a branch or extension of the Icknield Way, used and remodelled by the Romans. The name is said to be derived from the Latin pedester – on foot. It is first mentioned on a map of 1587 AD. It starts at Knettishall Heath in Suffolk (near the Norfolk-Suffolk border, about 7 km or 4 mi east of Thetford), and it links with the Norfolk Coast Path at Holme-next-the-Sea.