Railway path improvements for cycling in Norfolk

The Bure Valley Path will be improved for year-round use
Sophie Gordon's picture

Railway path improvements for cycling in Norfolk

Thanks to funding from the EU Regional Development Fund EXPERIENCE Project and Norfolk County Council, the Bure Valley Path near Norwich is set to benefit from £850,000 worth of improvements to encourage people to use it all year round

This popular nine-mile cycling and walking path follows the line of the old railway between Aylsham and Hoveton, and forms part of one the three new routes that Cycling UK has designed to start and end in Wroxham and Hoveton.

Improvements to the Bure Valley Path will include path widening and resurfacing, creation of new habitats and new information to enable people to discover the area’s railway heritage.

The EXPERIENCE project aims to boost off-season tourism in six regions across England and France. Norfolk County Council is one of the partners for this project, alongside Cycling UK.

These improvements will entice more visitors to The Broads and showcase the railway heritage of the Bure Valley Railway

Lana Hempsall, Norfolk County Council's member champion for sustainable transport

Lana Hempsall, Norfolk County Council member champion for sustainable transport, said: “These improvements will entice more visitors to The Broads and showcase the railway heritage of the Bure Valley Railway.

"Developing new experiences draws in visitors all year round and extending choices for attractive nature walks or cycling can help avoid the overcrowding at some of the more popular tourism spots at busy times of the year.

"This type of sustainable tourist offer, for both local people and visitors to our lovely county, will help to support Norfolk businesses and contribute to our ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral as an authority by 2030.”

The path improvements will also be a boost for Cycling UK’s ambition to support the neighbouring villages of Wroxham and Hoveton to become a ‘cycle hub’ location for visitors, with promoted routes and accredited Cycle Friendly Places to eat and stay. This is one of several cycle hub destinations being developed within the county, which between them will offer something for everyone with different types of cycling experiences.

One of the day routes starting from Hoveton is the ‘Norwich railway ramble’, which takes riders out along the Bure Valley Path and the traffic-free Marriott’s Way to reach the historic ‘City of Stories’ of Norwich.

Jonathan Sparks, Cycling UK's EXPERIENCE project manager, said: "In order to support these cycle hubs, Cycling UK has developed a free Cycle Friendly Places accreditation programme for local businesses.

"By accrediting local businesses that go that extra mile to accommodate cyclists, we want to offer more support to become even more cycle friendly, as well recognise them and help more cyclists find them.

"As part of the accreditation, these businesses will receive free equipment and feature prominently on our routes and maps for the cycle hubs, as well as receive exposure to our 70,000-strong membership of people who love visiting new places by bike."

For visitors looking for a longer challenge, in autumn 2022 Cycling UK will be revealing a multi-day touring route taking in The Broads, the Norfolk Coast AONB, the Peddars Way National Trail and The Brecks, for cycling visitors to enjoy Norfolk’s unique scenery and habitats and charming villages at their own pace.

This route will follow on from the popular West Kernow Way in Cornwall, and a new route around east Kent which will be launched in May. Subscribe to our off-road updates to hear the latest about the new long-distance routes.

 

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Experience Norfolk by bike

A spin along the tranquil lanes reveals quaint timeless villages, peaceful wildlife havens and buckets of quirky charm, from prehistoric mammoths to steam railways.

Explore Cycling UK's routes around Wroxham and Cromer and discover great Cycle Friendly Places to eat and stay.

Norfolk cycle hubs


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Interreg EXPERIENCE logo

EXPERIENCE is a €23.3 million project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF, €16 million) through the Interreg VA France (Channel) England Programme 2014-2020, boosting visitor numbers in six pilot regions across England and France. This project will harness the experiential tourism trend to extend the season (October – March), generating 20 million new off-season visitors spending €1 billion across the Channel region by June 2023.

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