The Suffolk Coast
  • TTDE - Women's Tour - Cyclists

The Women's Tour 2018!

On Wednesday 13th June, some of the world’s best cyclists will arrive in Suffolk for the opening stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, with the Grand Depart in Framlingham and the finish line of Stage One in Southwold!

Starting from the stunning surroundings of Framlingham Castle, known throughout the world as the ‘Castle on the Hill’ as a result of Ed Sheeran’s best-selling song of the same name, Stage One will then follow a 130km route through Suffolk – heading to Woodbridge, Ipswich, Stowmarket and Halesworth before finishing beside the sea in idyllic Southwold.

This is the fourth time the race has been to Suffolk but the first time the county has hosted both a start and a finish to a stage. As well as national press coverage, the race will be broadcast on ITV4 and will really put Suffolk in the spotlight.

The race will start at 10.30am from Market Hill in Framlingham and is expected in Wickham Market at 10.49am, Ufford at 10.54am, Woodbridge at 11.02am, Christchurch Park in Ipswich at 11.28am, Framlingham again for the sprint at 12.49pm, Blyford at 1.50pm and Southwold at 2.09pm (times subject to change). A route map is available at www.womenstour.co.uk


Make the most of your visit and check out our top things to do in Framlingham and Southwold!

Things to do in Framlingham

If you are heading to Framlingham for the 'Grand Depart', then pay a visit to Paddy & Scotts for pastries and coffee to start your day. Once you've filled your boots, walk up to Market Hill and find a place to watch the cyclists start this year's tour! 

Before heading off to catch them further along the route, a trip to Framlingham wouldn't be complete without a visit to the castle; a magnificent late 12th-century castle surrounded by the mere, considered by many to be the best view of inland Suffolk. The castle's owners for over 400 years were the Earls and Dukes of Norfolk, the supreme magnates in East Anglia – rich, ambitious and influential both at home and abroad. Over the centuries, the castle has accommodated many a famous guest, including Mary Tudor, who, during a stay here, was proclaimed Queen of England. 

The town is crammed with independent cafes, restaurants and shops too. The town is easily explored by bicycle or foot with the Framlingham Town Trail before heading to the next stop of the tour or Southwold for the finish.

For more information on Framlingham, check out our Framlingham Guide!

Places to stay in Framlingham

Why not extend your visit to Suffolk and enjoy and a stay! There are many accommodation providers in and around the town; just a couple of miles away in the village of Saxstead, Windmill Lodges are a collection of 4 and 5 star cabins, each with their own hot tub and some with their own sauna! Perfect for soaking your legs after a day of cycling!

8 miles away in the village of Kenton lies the Kenton Hall Estate, here you can choose to stay in the Yurt, Shepherds Hut or Bell Tents, nestled in woodland. Each is set in their own secluded plot and are designed and furnished to an extremely high standard ensuring luxury and comfort, with king size beds, 100% cotton sheets, log burning stoves and private shower rooms.

Click here for more accommodation in and around Framlingham

Things to do in Southwold

Stage One of the tour is due to finish in the seaside town of Southwold; if you're planning on heading to the town for the day, then there's plenty to see and do! Start your day with a visit to one of the many cafes, hotels and restaurants for breakfast. Just a stone's throw from the beach, Southwold Boating Lake and Tearoom serves a cooked breakfast with sausages, bacon, egg, mushrooms, tomatoes and toast or breakfast baps and beans on toast. 

After breakfast, take a stroll out to sea along the Pier and then along the beach-hut lined promenade and into the town where you will find independent shops and boutiques as well as high street brands. Explore the town by bike and head towards the common, cross the River Blyth via the foot ferry to the village of Walberswick. Enjoy a pub lunch at The Bell or The Anchor, before traveling back to Southwold and cycling along Ferry Road. Stop for a cup of tea or pint of Adnams at The Sail Loft before making your way back to the town centre. 

Ahead of the arrival of the elite riders and in front of the waiting crowds on 13th June, members of the public can also take part in a sprint competition on North Parade in Southwold, battling to see who is the fastest to cycle a 100m uphill sprint section incorporating the official finish line. All you need is a bicycle, a helmet and some steely determination! More details can be found at www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/cycling-in-east-suffolk

Stage One of the race is sponsored by Southwold-based Adnams; who will be giving spectators at the finish line the chance to sample its brand new Ghost Ship alcohol-free beer. 

For more information on Southwold, check out our Southwold guide!

Places to stay in Southwold

You're spoilt for choice if you fancy extending your visit with a stay in Southwold! Cottages, apartments, grand houses and hotels are aplenty here. If you're looking for somewhere to call your own for the week, then take a look at the properties available from Durrants Holiday Cottages, Acanthus Holidays, So Southwold, Solely Southwold, Horseshoe Cottage and Suffolk Coastal Cottages.

If you would prefer to put your feet up and indulge with a little luxury, then book a stay at The Swan; located in the heart of the town you can be right in the centre of the action! The hotel has a selection of sumptuous rooms, each with their own Nespresso Coffee Machine and a complimentary 20cl bottle of Adnams Copperhouse Gin. The Still Room restaurant serves an exciting selection of dishes made from local produce, or for something a little more relaxed, find a table in the Tap Room and order a pint of Adnams and some delicious gastropub grub - the perfect way to end a busy day of cycling!

Click here for more accommodation in and around Southwold



Things to see and do

Cycle Breaks

Cycle Breaks

Ipswich

Supported, gentle cycling & walking holidays along the Suffolk Coast as well as in Constable Country & The Wool Towns and Norfolk and quality bike hire too!

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Suffolk Walking Festival

Suffolk Walking Festival

The 2018 Suffolk Walking Festival kicks off in May and with over 120 walks and events this year’s festival promises to be the biggest and most ambitious festival to date.

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Coastal Voyager

Coastal Voyager

Coastal Voyager is the perfect activity for all ages ranging from families with children to work groups.


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Dog friendly

Electric Picture Palace

Electric Picture Palace

The Electric Picture Palace is a small but perfectly formed, 70 seat cinema in Southwold on The Suffolk coast.

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Wheelchair Accessible

Adnams Shops

Adnams Shops

Adnams shops are a top class tasting experience and a showcase of their innovative range of  quality beer, wonderful wines, handcrafted spirits and gifty bits.

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Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Adnams Brewery and Distillery Tours

Adnams Brewery and Distillery Tours

Fancy doing something a little bit different? Situated in the heart of Southwold is the Adnams Sole Bay Brewery and Copper House Distillery, where Adnams have been brewing since 1872.  

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Wheelchair Accessible

Beaches

Beaches

Whether you’re in search of a great family day out, a birdwatching haven, or trip back in time, the beaches along the Suffolk Coast will provide you with a memorable day out whatever the time of year.

In the winter, Suffolk's beaches take on a whole new persona; with windswept dunes, crashing waves, and bracing winds, they are the perfect place to blow away the cobwebs, stroll hand in hand with your loved one, or enjoy a solitary dog walk.


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Collen & Clare

Collen & Clare

The beautiful multi-brand stores in Southwold and Burnham Market offer Womenswear, Menswear, Beauty, Lingerie and Accessories and there is also a contemporary Womenswear and Accessories store in Aldeburgh.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Southwold Arts Centre

Southwold Arts Centre

The première entertainment venue in the popular Suffolk coastal town of Southwold; presenting a year-round programme of events including music, theatre, film, comedy, craft and antique fairs, art exhibitions, workshops, community events and outdoor events. Southwold Arts Centre also offers a number of spaces for hire; suitable for live events, meetings, family celebrations and exhibition space.

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Free wifi Dog friendly Wheelchair Accessible

Southwold Cycle Hire

Southwold Cycle Hire

Southwold

Unlike a larger town there aren’t any major roads in Southwold, meaning it’s a far safer environment for anyone on two wheels. Plus it only takes a few minutes pedalling in any direction before you are taking in scenic views, whether it’s a breathtaking coastal panorama or Suffolk’s rural landscape.

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Events

Dunwich Dynamo 2018

Dunwich Dynamo 2018

Dunwich | Sat 28th - Sun 29th Jul 2018

The Dunwich Dynamo is a 200 km night ride from London to the lost city of Dunwich on The Suffolk Coast.

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WHERE TO EAT

Cream Tea Island at Southwold Boating Lake and Tearoom

Cream Tea Island at Southwold Boating Lake and Tearoom

Southwold

Inside, the tearoom can seat 16 people comfortably, with far more seating available outside. Families and friends can also hire the venue for birthday parties, anniversaries, mother and toddler groups, small wedding parties, wakes and coach parties.

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