Tag Archives: Suffolk

Cycling in Suffolk

The British comedian Hugh Dennis’ father John was until 2006 the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. Hugh Dennis was once asked if his father had ever been considered for the post of Archbishop of Canterbury. He replied;
“I wouldn’t have thought so. To become Archbish you have to write weighty theological tomes with titles like ‘Scripture and the Authority of God’ or ‘Reimagining the Eucharist in the Light of Women Bishops’. To the best of my knowledge the only book that dad had published was called ‘Bicycle Rides in Suffolk’.”

If that was the only book the Most Reverend John Dennis wrote then he chose his subject well.

As we already knew, but discovered again, Suffolk is a lovely county to go cycling in. The roads are quiet and while it is not flat, climbs tend to be short, so with 30 seconds to a minute’s effort you are over them. (Especially if you have an e-bike like some people but not me) Most villages have pub, and if that isn’t your choice of refreshment then there are plenty of tea rooms and farm shops that also sell tea and cake. This makes it a county suitable for tourers and pootlers rather than hard-riding col bashers. Grace and I fall into the touring and pootling category, so we love the place.
I’m not sure why I did it, but a while ago I joined the M.A.M.I.L.’s* website of choice Strava. I doubt that I will ever be top dog on any of the sections, but you can compare yourself with previous efforts and it also records the routes that you covered.

The rides we did:
Around the Saints
Wandering from Waldringfield

*Middle Aged Man In Lycra


Suffolk Town and Village Signs

We were on holiday in Suffolk recently and I became fascinated by the town and village signs. Every town, and every village with a population of more than ten seems to have one.  They usually depict events, things, people or places associated with the town or village. They are often quite intricately carved and painted.
I have annotated the photo I took of the sign for Stratford St Andrewto try to show the thinking behind the symbolism on the signs.

Stratford St Andrew Village sign

Not all of them are as complex in concept as that one. Some such as the Beccles and the Southwold signs show a specific event in the town’s history.

Beccles Town Sign
Beccles Town Sign

The Beccles town sign shows Queen Elizabeth I handing the Charter of the Corporation of Beccles to John Bass in 1584

Southwold Town Sign
Southwold Town Sign

The Southwold town sign depicts the Battle of Sole Bay which took place in 1672 between the Dutch.and the combined English and French Fleets

The slide show below includes some of the others that I came across.

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