Secret cycle routes of Norwich #2: Grove Road to County Hall

In the second of our occasional series on little-known cycle routes in Norwich, Derek Williams looks at the unsigned route from Grove Road to County Hall

The secret cycle route from Grove Road to County Hall

County Hall is the seat of local government for the whole of Norfolk and a major employer. It’s located on the outer ring road in the south-east of the city. Built in 1968 it’s typical of the era, being designed for access by car with little or no thought given to walking or cycling, or even public transport.

In recent years things have improved considerably with the opening of two good cycling routes, one of which is well signed and indeed, is a part of the Pedalways network but the other is much more of a secret, with absolutely no direction finding anywhere on the route. It’s also the shortest, most direct route which avoids all the hills.

Grove Road to County Hall secret cycle route – Video Derek

Route description

The route mostly follows quiet streets, all within a 20mph zone. There are two moderately busy roads to cross: Hall Road and City Road.

We follow this route from the Newmarket Road / Ipswich Road junction, which is where you will arrive if coming from south of the city along either Ipswich Road or Newmarket Road, or from the west of the city, including from Dereham, Earlham or Unthank Roads by following the Orange Pedalway.

From here, we take the Orange Pedalway along Grove Road to the mini roundabout next to the Tesco Express. If you’re coming from the north of the city, through the city centre, follow the Orange Pedalway from All Saints Green and you’ll arrive at this mini roundabout from the other direction.

Turn into Southwell Road here, over the bridge crossing the Lakenham Way and follow it to the end at Hall Road. Turn right and immediate left into Hospital Lane, then right into City Road and immediate left into Smithfield Road.

Smithfield Road is a cul-de-sac for cars, but with a shared-use path at the end which takes you into Carlshalton Road which has a second path, at the other end, into County Hall. Together with the arrangement at the start of Grove Road these cycling connections reduce motor traffic whilst keeping the route open to cycling.

Once in the County Hall grounds we finally come to the downhill slope towards the main car park, but we turn off the road to follow the Purple Pedalway to the covered bike park, which is a short walk to the main building.

This is almost a straight line route, the most direct possible in fact at only 2Km (1.25 miles), but most importantly it’s pretty much all dead flat.


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One thought on “Secret cycle routes of Norwich #2: Grove Road to County Hall

  1. Does Norfolk County Council now have a County Cycling Officer? Ditto Norwich City? Do either of these councils pay their cycling employees a bonus? If they did this would mean they didn’t have to provide and maintain vast carparks.

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