By Royal appointment

I find myself back in Norfolk again. After decades of not visiting I have now been to the North Norfolk coast twice in 2016. What is going on?

Well in Easter I was away with an old Uni friend down near Sheringham, so when I had a few days holiday left it seemed like a good idea to add them to a free weekend and spend some quality time riding different roads. There was no firm plan of where to go but an offer came up to stop in Old Hunstanton and that was that.

Today was arrival day at the vicarage, (a magnificent place to stay), and I was keen to get a quick ride in late afternoon. On the way up I passed through the Sandringham estate and knowing this was about 10 miles from where I was stopping, it seemed the logical loop to do.

A quick check of the OS map for place names to head towards and put the rest down to the compass on the Garmin and my own common sense, based on where the sun was in the sky. In the end I got a 29 miler in a bit under two hours, so all good.

Unlike some other cyclists though, I was in tourist mode. Stopping for pictures here and there and when I got near Sandringham itself I just had to capture my bike by the grand gates to this Royal retreat.

It really is good cycling country. Nice rolling hills and seriously quiet country lanes. Yes the A148 and A149 are busy roads as the main ones that service this part of Norfolk but get off them and it is cycling heaven.

There was one nasty little surprise, well it could have been, sand. Being a middle of the country dweller I had forgotten that sand gets blown everywhere by the coast and a downhill 90 degree bend almost saw me finish my cycling exploits after just 4 miles. Lesson learnt, do not trust bike tyres to turn in on and sandy surface.

That really was the only negative though and even the main A roads got quieter as my ride drove on so they became okay to ride on too.

With the light beginning to fail I wheeled back in just after 6pm and a quick shower was followed by a really guilty pleasure, fish & chips. Oh my they tasted good after that ride!

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