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Frank Edward’s Rebellion Way Diary

NRC’s Frank Edwards was recently awarded the First Year Junior Trophy for completing the epic 350 km off-road Rebellion Way in just five days – all self-supported ( with a little navigational help from Dad; Andy Edwards). He shares his adventures, ice cream count and looks ahead to Mum joining them on their next trip. But first, a little about the Rebellion Way.


"The Rebellion Way is a 350km cycle route around Norfolk on a mix of quiet back roads, byways cycle paths and bridleways. An ideal introduction to cycle touring or bikepacking (which is the same as cycle touring but cooler). It is named after two uprisings in history the first led by Boudicca against Roman rule around 2000 years ago and the second by Robert Kett in 1549 who led local tenants in an unsuccessful rebellion against wealthy local land owners who had fenced off common land."

The Rebellion Way by Guy Kesterven

Day 1 Aylsham to Norwich 50km 18th August 1.30pm

After leaving Thatcham we had a long drive to Norfolk where we started the Ride in Aylsham leaving the car with a friend and riding into Norwich starting off following the Bure Valley Railway line, complete with narrow gauge steam trains rolling past us. We arrived into Norwich and stopped to look at the beautiful Norwich cathedral before finding our room for the night at the Premier Inn. We were going to have to wait for our first campsite. Dad had gone to University in Norwich and we arranged to meet one of his old friends. Unfortunately, the pub we met at did not want me in there so aged 12 I got thrown out of my first pub!

Day 2 Norwich to Hopton 64km

After filling up at the Premier Inn buffet breakfast we set off towards Diss and our eventual goal a campsite near Hopton. We stopped to look at the remains of a Roman village along the way and then later stopping for Haribo and Hot Chocolate on a village green somewhere. It was around this point we met another group riding the route …well three were riding, the fourth was running with his bike after snapping his rear derailleur hanger. After setting up the tent we found a pub to have dinner in, this one did not throw me out!!

Day 3 Hopton to Narborough 84km

This was to be a long day but it also coincided with the Women’s Football World Cup which I wanted to watch so we rode on to Thetford where we managed to find a pub showing the game and settled in to watch this for a few hours. It was a shame that they lost to Spain. After this we rode through Thetford Forest which is huge. This was a real highlight of the route. We made our way to Swaffham stopping for a much needed fish and chip shop break before rolling into the campsite quite late in the day camping amongst a load of University Archaeology students who were on a dig in the abbey ruins next to the campsite.

Day 4 Narborough to Wells next the Sea 76km

The next day was hot! So hot we had to have 2 ice creams, first we rode into Kings Lynn to get breakfast (donuts) and some other supplies (Haribo, peanuts and cookies) from a supermarket and then we headed towards the north Norfolk coast. We rode past the ruins of a church which was all that remained of a village where the local landowner had evicted all the tenants and knocked down the houses to make more space for sheep farming. The only building left was the church which slowly crumbled into ruin. Maybe this was something that led to Kett’s rebellion?

Day 5 Wells next the Sea to Aylsham 77km

This was the final day and it was another warm one, I stopped for a quick swim in the sea at Sheringham where we also had another ice cream!! We did have to get up a steep climb through some woods away from the coast as we made our way back to Aylsham. Whilst the route is pretty flat with no major climbs the distance and the rolling nature of the North Norfolk riding was starting to take its toll. We were both relieved to final make it back to the car and a night in a comfortable bed at our friend’s house. Just as we turned into their street we suffered our first mechanical issue as my chain came off, on closer inspection when we got home we found that the wheel bearings were shot in the back wheel. We were lucky this all happened right at the end!!

I highly recommend this cycling tour to any one as it is great fun and there are lots of places to stop to get food.

My next goal is to cycle the King Alfred Way and I hope it is another fun adventure and my mum will also come along.

Frank Edwards (centre) at NRC Awards Night with Mum and Dad, Andy and Cassie

Download the Rebellion Way GPX file here


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