Where to go to Quench your Thirst

Tearooms of Norfolk

By Andy Tyler

If you didn't already know, cafes and cake shops play an important part in cycling culture. When we go out training, you don't honestly think we spend four hours on the bike, do you?

Most rides encompass at least one cafe stop; after all, it's important to replace all those calories, er, sort of. The following is a list of tea stops I've tried (and managed to find!), although there are dozens more scattered around and it's just a matter of finding them. If you come across any good ones, let us know and we can update the guide.

Unless stated otherwise, all are open seven days a week. Figures in brackets indicate approximate distance (miles) from Norwich.

Less than 15 miles
15 to 30 miles
More than 30 miles

Stops within 15 miles of UEA

* Acle (15) - Queen's Head.

Can get quite busy on Sundays as this is a regular stop for the VC Norwich boys. Bowl of chips or a ham roll and a cup of tea does the job nicely. Very cycling friendly. Pub hours.

Attleborough (12) - Norfolk Kitchen. Mon - Sat

Happy Eater if you're stuck on a Sunday!

Aylsham (11) - Rolling Pin.

All year, good but a bit pricey. Bure Valley Railway Tea Rooms. Very Nice.

* Banham (15) -

One of the best bakeries around, opposite the zoo. Pub too with a good selection of ciders. One of my most frequent stops, although the staff are generally ugly, especially the one with goofy teeth.

* Bawdeswell (12) - Garden Centre Cafe.

Don't be put off, this is a regular stop for a lot of cyclists. Be prepared for a few strange looks from the families that are out shopping for shrubs though. Good access from Marriot's Way.

Blicking (14) - Blicking Hall.

Very nice, bit pricey and can get rather busy. Seasonal.

Bungay (15) - Buttercross Tea Rooms.

Sometimes not open on Sun, particularly in winter.

Buxton (10) - Buxton Mill.

Very nice. Little Stables Tea Room. On Coltishall Rd.

Cringleford (3) - Little Chef.

If you really can't manage more than 15 minutes without a bun and cup of Rosie Lee, this is for you. Off A47.

* Dereham (13) - Florin Diner.

Takes some finding (ask!) but worth getting lost for. Another regular stop for yours truly.

Dilham (13) - Cross Keys pub.

The landlord here is an ex-cyclist with the odd (tall) tale to tell. Pub hours, obviously.

Framingham (7) - The Wheelwrights.

Good for slightly more than a snack. Nice lunches.

* Great Witchingham (10) - Maxims.

Another great stop, fantastic cream teas. I tend to use this one for off-road rides as it's close to Marriot's Way. Turn left at the old Lenwade Station.

Gressenhall (15) - Rural Life Museum.

Bit snooty sometimes but very nice. Seasonal.

Hingham (12) - Lincoln's.

Very good and easy to find!

* Reepham (12) - Old Station.

Another great stop and firm favourite. Only recently reopened. Great access for Marriot's Way, that's why it was opened. About 16 miles from Norwich off-road but a very rewarding ride. Cracking crumpet too, apart from the one that looks like Thelma from Scooby Doo.

Wroxham (7) - Wroxham barns.

Wroxham is a tourist magnet and is swarming with cafes although most are seasonal and a little pricey. Ride round for long enough in summer and you'll find several.

Wymondham(7) - Fairlands Diner. Mon - Sat only.

Stops within 30 miles of UEA

Bacton (17) - Seaview Cafe.

Like it says, nice seaside view. Open all year round as far as I know.

Badwell Ash (30) - White Horse pub.

Landlord an ex-cyclist so you know you're onto a winner straight away.

Beccles (17) - Town Gate Cafe. Mon - Sat only.

Bexwell (30) - AJ's.

Just off the A10 near Downham Market. Generally some nice cycling to get there.

Brandon (29) - Brandon Tea Rooms.

Again, nice rides through Thetford Forest. Some nice off-road routes nearby too.

Castle Acre (22) - Willow Tea Rooms.

Cley Next Sea (23) - Whale Bone Cafe.

On Main St. There's also a seasonal cafe on the beach which is mainly geared for birdwatchers. Great for getting sand in your chain.

* Cranwich (25) - Woodside Cafe.

Another recommended stop. Excellent really.

Diss (17) - Norfolk Tea Rooms.

A, er, tea room in, er, Norfolk.

East Harling (17) - The Waterlilly.

Part of 'Swallow Aquatics'. Very nice.

Eye (20) - Beard's Tea Shop.

On Church St.

Felbrigg (19) - Felbrigg Hall Tea Rooms.

Seasonal and, as you can imagine, it can get very busy. Very nice though and a nice setting.

Fresingfield (20) - The Swan pub.

Good for a slightly more substantial lunch and pint of scrumpy, er, cup of tea I mean.

Gorleston (20) - Seafront Cafe.

Great Bircham (30) - Cafe at The Windmill.

Funny hours in winter.

Great Yarmouth (20) - Norfolk Tea Rooms.

Yet another, er, tea room in, er, Norfolk. Absolutely stacks of chip shops around. Ride a couple of miles north and amaze your friends by telling them you've been to California.

Halesworth (22) - Bridge Cafe.

* Holt (19) - The Owl Tea Room. Mon - Sat.

Another cake shop par excellence. Absolutely stuff yourself with sausage rolls and cream cakes for less than a quid. Fantastic!

Kessingland (25) - Ashley Nurseries Tea Shop.

North Creake (30) - Forge Tea Room.

Open weekends all year, every day in the summer.

* Overstrand (22) - Cliff Cafe.

Geriatric, senile staff but worth the wait. Open weekends all year and possibly weekdays too.

Quidenham (17) - Quidenham Tea Gardens. Shop hours.

Watton (18) - Cafe in High St. Mon - Sat.

Watton Garden Centre.

Winterton on Sea (20) - Beach Cafe.

A nice ride, but only open during the summer months. Lock your bike up and have a paddle, or go and frolic in the dunes. The battery of wind turbines is worth a good look.
Rip-off, so stick to just a cup of tea or a lolly.

Wiveton (25) - Country pub.

Never been there, but it was featured on Look East recently because of the Jaguar (car) engine in its fireplace...

Stops greater than 30 miles from UEA

Any self respecting cyclist will already have stopped at least once on the way out to the stops given below. More than 30 miles without a cake? Not me matey!

Acton (45) - Wally's Cafe.

Just as you might imagine it from the name.

Dunwich (33) - Beach Tea Rooms.

Another birdwatching haven as the Minsmere reserve is just down the coast. So is Sizewell and its nuclear power station if you're curious and fancy a look. Seasonal.

Heacham (50) - Norfolk Lavender Tea Rooms.

Can't miss this place as it's a lavender farm. Very pretty / fragrant. Possibly not a good idea if you suffer from hayfever. Go on, buy Mum a nice pot pourri while you're there.

Hunstanton (52) - Julie's Pantry.

Only for the brave this one as it's a 105 mile round trip to get there! Nice view of the sea and the steak and kidney pud does the job wonderfully. The Vegas fish and chip shop does great chips too. There's a youth hostel in Hunstanton so it makes a nice weekend trip there and back if you don't fancy it all in a day. For the record, I once got hideously pissed in The Wash and Tope pub. Bus Station Cafe. Bit dingy - go to Julie's instead.

* Wells-next-the-sea (34) - Sloppy Joes Diner.

Ignore the tacky 1950's look and Buddy Holly records, this is a great refuelling stop.

Try the pancakes and maple syrup. Yummy. Plenty of chip shops around too. If you want to see some spectacular punch-ups, stand in the Ark Royal pub on any bank holiday weekend. Keep your helmet on!


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About the author

My name is John Swindells and I'm a keen recreational cyclist with a preference for long one-day rides. I've also previously dabbled in time trialling and cyclo-cross. See more of what I get up to on Strava!