The Rebellion Way is a 232-mile/373km cycling adventure around Norfolk. Meandering along a mix of quiet, mostly flat back roads, byways, cycle paths and bridleways under huge panoramic skies, it’s a fantastic introduction to multi-day, on- and off-road adventuring for anyone.
The name comes from the fact that, while this ancient county is now characterised by a relaxed, timeless, pastoral charm, it has a fascinatingly turbulent history from the Iron Age onwards. Exploring the stories, ancient sites, stunning vistas and thriving wildlife of this unique area enriches every mile of this leisurely but rewarding loop.
This long-distance route forms part of the European Regional Development Fund EXPERIENCE project, which aims to develop sustainable off-season tourism activities across six regions in England and France. As part of the project, Cycling UK will also be supporting hospitality businesses along the route to become accredited Cycle Friendly Places, so you know you will be greeted with a warm welcome and everything you need.
The route takes its name from two of Norfolk’s most fascinating rebellions: those of warrior queen Boudicca and Norfolk landowner Robert Kett.
Boudicca has been a famous cultural symbol since she led a revolt against Roman rule almost 2,000 years ago. Heading out of Norwich, the Rebellion Way passes by Venta Icenorum, the capital of Boudicca’s Iceni tribe, where you can see remains of the settlement to this day. The route also takes in sections of the Boudicca Way, where it is accessible by cycle.
On the return leg, the route passes Kett’s Heights, a key location in Kett’s Rebellion. This was a revolt in Norfolk in response to land enclosure. Beginning in Wymondham in July 1549, rebels began to destroy fences placed by wealthy landowners. The group targeted Robert Kett who, instead of fighting the rebels, joined their cause and offered to lead them. The rebellion grew to number 10,000 who marched on Norwich, later storming and taking the city.
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Norfolk is sometimes overlooked as a choice for a cycling trip, but once you start exploring, this big-sky county is full of surprises.
A spin along the tranquil lanes reveals quaint timeless villages, peaceful wildlife havens and buckets of quirky charm, from prehistoric mammoths to steam railways.
You’ll find medieval churches full of original carvings and paintings, or ancient barns that are now bat sanctuaries. Glide through the gently rolling, minimal traffic ‘Quiet Lanes’, follow single-track paths through timeless woods, stop to watch swans on secret inland lakes, or ride alongside deer in the evening sun.
As part of the European Regional Development Fund EXPERIENCE project, Cycling UK is developing promoted routes starting from several locations across Norfolk which showcase the varied riding in the area. We’re supporting businesses to become accredited Cycle Friendly Places, so you know you’ll have great options for places to eat and stay.
Discover more of Norfolk by exploring our six cycling destinations.
You could link up a whole string of grand stately homes, take in the salty sea air or enjoy the woods filled with birds and the big-sky landscapes, free from the usual troubles of traffic or tiring hills.
We’ve aimed to keep our suggested day routes to a leisurely distance, but there’s potential to expand each one to take in even more treasures of the county.
When you’re done exploring for the day, you can choose from an eclectic mix of places to stay: from campsites to youth hostels or hotels where aristocrats and royalty once stayed.
Would you like to see more off-road routes?
Developing new off-road routes like the Rebellion Way is only possible because of the support of our 70,000 members. You can help us continue campaigning for off-road access by becoming a member or making a donation.