Outdoor Hire Centres. Bikes, Canoes & Camping Equipment for Hire


Outdoor Hire Centres offering a range of outdoor activity equipment for hire from bikes and canoes/kayaks to pedal karts and  camping kit. These are available to hire for as long as needed from a few hours to a whole day, advice or several weeks. Equipment can be collected from one of the Hire Centres or it can be delivered to your home, ed holiday cottage, hotel or campsite and collected again. Contact The Gattinetts, Hadleigh Road, East Bergholt, CO7 6QT Open by arrangement,  please phone in advance. T: 01206 700 707 W:

Cycling on the Shotley Peninsula


Take your time, enjoy the views and savour the refreshment stops, with Alastair McCraw, an enthusiastic cyclist and local councillor, who lives in Brantham and shares his favourite cycling routes around the Shotley Peninsula. "The thing with cycle routes is that they don’t always fit your needs, so this is going to be more of a guide. I like the freedom of making it up as I go, to enjoy the views and get a sense of place. I adore cycling this peninsula. It’s mostly quiet, the roads rise and fall and bend in interesting ways so that new perspectives open up throughout. Oh, and there are lots of little roads. There must have been a lot of meandering cattle in the distant past. It’s also quietly gorgeous; not the high profile ‘heritage’ sort of gorgeous, just gentle and easy on the eye. I’m going to highlight some roads, some favourite stretches and throw a few locations into the mix. Pubs and churches will tend to dominate, purely for navigational purposes of course, although refreshment (spiritual or otherwise) is always a good idea. So, some road geography to start with: from the top let’s look, as briefly as possible, at the A137 between Brantham and Wherstead. I try to just use the section as far as the Tattingstone crossroads (The Wheatsheaf) because after that it gets a bit fast and hairy (head for the side roads, they’re friendlier). The B1080 runs from Brantham (The Bull) to Freston and provides a useful spine for a lot of routes on both sides. Finally the B1456 will take you, parallel to the River Orwell, from Bourne Bridge in Ipswich, all the way to Shotley Gate. It makes a [...]

Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB

, ,

The Shotley Peninsula falls within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). AONBs are designated as such because they are considered to be: "an outstanding landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so precious that it is in the nation’s interest to safeguard them" as defined by the National Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the organisation who has designated the 46 AONBs in Britain. These areas cover 18% of the British countryside and have been designated as AONBs to ensure that their character and qualities are protected for future generations to enjoy. One of the best ways to explore the Suffolk Coast and Heaths area is on foot or bicycle. The countryside team who look after the area, with support from the Adnams brewery, the European Union and local councils, have produced a number of guides to enable visitors to get the most of their trip to the area. The guides are available to download from the AONB’s website and include: The Shotley Explorer Guide which describes two walks that pass through Harwich Haven, the best natural harbour on the East coast. The routes include potential stops at the HMS Ganges Museum, telling the story of the world famous Royal Navy training establishment; the Stour and Orwell estuaries that are a haven for up to 40,000 wading birds every autumn and Shotley Heritage Park, some seven areas of community owned woodland and foreshore. The Wherstead Explorer which includes the lovely bluebell woods at Freston The Alton Water Explorer which includes Alton Water, Holbrook Creek and the 'Tattingstone Wonder'. Further publications are available to download or purchase, including more walks and cycle routes and a bi-annual newspaper. To find [...]

Alton Water Park

, , , , ,

Listening to the dawn chorus in the peaceful setting of Alton Water Park with its lovely reservoir, is an excellent way to start the day in this wondrous peninsular playground.  As well as fulfilling its purpose of pumping almost 10 million gallons of water each day to serve the local area, the reservoir is a haven for wildlife and a magnet for birdwatchers, walkers, cyclists and water sports enthusiasts. Walking An eight-mile (13km) trail circles Alton Water, and the site is accessible every day of the year. Shorter trails are available too and a  three-mile route on the south shore takes visitors through a butterfly garden, wildlife meadow and past bird hides and ponds, alive with reptiles. Download a walks leaflet here (pdf). Sailing There is plenty to do for those seeking more energetic leisure pursuits too, as the nature reserve blends seamlessly with a vast water park and sports centre. There are rowing boats available to hire and visitors can take sailing lessons in kayaking, dinghy sailing or wind-surfing. Dry or wets suits are available for hire at the water sports centre. Cycling Visitors can take their own bicycles or hire them from the Alton Cycle Hire centre. Bikes, trailers for towing children, as well as single or double seated Go-carts are all available. Alton Water has teamed up with the Woolverstone Project to provide tuition and opportunities for those with disabilities and a desire to sail. Fishing The reservoir is also good for coarse fishing. Given its location near the rivers, Gipping, Stour and Orwell, there are good stocks of Bream, Pike, Roach, and the odd Carp or Tench. Fishing permits are available for adults and chilren can fish for free. Do check [...]

Bike & Go Stowmarket

Stowmarket  is one of three rail stations in Suffolk, buy cialis along with Ipswich and Lowestoft, cialis to offer the new ‘Bike & Go’ initiative, physician the UK’s first major station cycle hire programme, which offers rail passengers the opportunity to hire a bike at their local station for an onward journey. Providing low cost, rapid and convenient cycle rental, Bike & Go will be available at 15 stations operated by Abellio Greater Anglia to offer rail passengers greater choice about how they make their door-to-door journeys and is modelled on the Dutch railways station cycle hire scheme. The cycles are high quality and registration costs just £10 for the annual subscription, which is easily done via their website. The daily hire cost is just £3.80 Contact Stowmarket Station, Station Road East, Stowmarket IP14 1RQ W:

Suffolk Cycle Breaks

If you enjoy cycling, then you have come to the perfect place. The gentle landscapes of Suffolk offer beautiful vistas and just enough undulation to make cycling enjoyable for all ages and abilities. Cycle Breaks is a small company who will arrange your accommodation and itinerary for you and, best of all, transfer your luggage from one accommodation stop to the next. The only thing you have to worry about it deciding where to stop for lunch! They will organise a cycle trip to suit your interests, whether it's exploring Constable Country or the Suffolk wool towns, you won't need to worry about a thing. Contact Suffolk Cycle Breaks, Bradfield Hall Barn, Alder Carr Farm, PO Box 82, Needham Market, IP6 8BW. T: 01449 721555 E:  W: