MBT Track Guide to... Snetterton

Fascinating mixed fast and technical track in norfolk

Words by Simon Bradley, pictures by sharon newton

With two of the fastest straights in the country and a relatively new infield section, this circuit offers something for everyone and is worth the visit.
Snetterton Circuit
Norwich NR16 2JU
opening times:
0900-1700 Mon-Fri - circuit also has a 24hr licence
circuit length:
1.952 miles

How to get There

from the north:
take the A1 south to Newark, then the A17 SE through Sleaford to Kings Lynn, then the A10 and A134 to Thetford, then A11 NE towards Norwich
from the south and east:
from Cambridge take the A14 NE and then the A11 NE, happily now bypassing Thetford towards Norwich


medium, mostly tarmac with some grass and gravel areas, large grassed overspill area
yes - 30+
on-site usually available, petrol station on A11 at circuit entrance
Tyrells Restuarant at rear of paddock area



Originally a US bomber base during the second World War, the circuit was created in 1951 wwhen the American Air Force went home. The circuit has had many revisions since then, notably the major shortening in the late 70s that reduced the track length from 2.7 miles to the current 1.9 miles, by removing the long straight and hairpin that took vehicles almost up to the A11, and is now used for circuit access and the Sunday Market. At he same time the notoriously fast and dangerous S-bend between Coram and the start-finish straight was replaced by the painfully slow Russells Bend, although was eased somewhat in 1997.

At the end of 1996 the whole circuit was re-surfaced, getting rid of some of the vagaries of grip caused by the multi-compound surfaces, especially in the wet. The general facilities and access were also improved, and the track areas around the the Esses and the infamous Bomb Hole were tidied up.

In 2010 there was another major overhaul, introducing the new infield section and radically changing the character of the circuit. Probably for the better as it became far more rounded and less of a point and squirt horsepower track.

Trackday Operators
100% Bikes 0870-8722532 www.100pc.co.uk
Track Time Promotions 01386-423555 www.tracktimepromotions.co.uk
Focused Events 01903-744011 www.focusedevents.com
No Limits 07000-600750 www.nolimitstrackdays.com
European Superbike School 0870-2415159 www.europeansuperbikeschool.com
Where to Stay
distance from circuit
Strenneth Country B&B, Fersfield, Diss 01379-688182
email: pdavey@strenneth.co.uk
4 miles
The Angel Hotel, Larling 01953-717963 1 mile
Hill House Farm B&B 01953-453113 5 miles
Best Western Hotel, Wymondham 01953-606721 5 miles
The Thatched House B&B, Thetford 01953-483577 5 miles
The Hollies B&B, Eccles 01953-888307 2 miles
Country Travel Lodge B&B, Larling 01953-498421 2 miles
Home Farm B&B, Wymondham 01953-602581 6 miles
Abbey Hotel, Wymondham 01953-602148 10 miles
Park Farm Country Hotel, Hethersett 01603-810264 8 miles
The Thomas Paine Hotel, Thetford 01842-755631 9 miles
The Mill Farmhouse B&B, Snetterton 01953-498590 1 mile
Sherbourne House Hotel, Attleborough 01953-454363 4 miles
College Farm Hotel, Thompson 01953-483318 8 miles
Willow House B&B, Attleborough 01953-717644 1 mile


A lap of the circuit in 2023

Exiting the pitlane you will usually be allowed out in pairs. Remember to check over your shoulder as you move out, just in case there's already someone on the straight - they will be approaching very fast indeed. Assuming it's clear you'll want to get across to the left for the first right hander, Riches, which is smooth, fast and comfortable to take at 90%. That last 10% makes things more interesting. From there there's a short straight to the slowest part of the circuit, the Melbourne Hairpin which takes you round to the right and onto another short straight. Palmer is a left hander seems to go on forever, and no matter how fast you get round it it alwys seems as though you could have gone quicker. Having said that, it's also easy to run out of track on the exit, so be warned. Another short straight leads to the long, wide left-hander of Agostini. (See pic on the left) There are more lines around this corner than I can possibly describe, but use whichever one works best for you and again try not to turn in too early or you'll run wide on the exit.

Hamilton is another left that can be taken uncomfortably fast and is often briefed at the pre-ride safety chat as somewhere that overtaking is absolutley forbidden. It really is fast and it could bite the unwary, so be careful. It leads into another very short straight which in turn feeds into the right handers of Oggies and Williams They're not a single bend, but are close enough together that they almost work as one. Then it's onto the Bentley Straight. A litre road bike will easily see 150mph here, should that light your candle.

Brundle is a fast, open left hander giving you room to brake as you flick across to the right for Nelson. A short, slightly curved straight feeds into the undulating right hander of The Bomb Hole which in turn leads into the very long and fast right of Corams.

Next is one of Snetterton's gotchas. Murrays is a nasty left hand bend immediately on the end of Corams. You do have a short space to brake but it really is short. Watch for your fellow riders getting carried away and be wary of taking lots of throttle as you lean over onto the by now quite cold left side of your tyres. Mr Highside is frequently hanging around here.

Then it's onto the Senna straight with the throttle pinned for another lap.

A Lap of The Circuit in 2004 (For old times sake)

As usual, out of the pits onto the start/finish straight. The first bend, Riches, is an uncomplicated right hander. Provided it is dry. In the wet, Riches is a lake. Oh, and the prevailing wind can mean that as you sit up to brake at the end of the straight you act like a sail and don’t lose speed like you’d expect. It is said that the field alongside the track now grows bits of motorbikes instead of carrots. I don’t know about that, but I do know it bites, so treat it with respect.

Out of Riches there is a short straight to Sear – another right hander, this time with lots of runoff. Watch for the very rough concrete on the outside edge of the track and try to be back on the tarmac before the gravel starts, especially if you’re still leant over. Watch out for highsides. The following Revett Straight is probably the fastest place in British Motorcycling. This year the Superbikes were doing over 190mph down it, so it will certainly be a chance for you to stretch your bike’s legs if you want. Just remember that all straights have an end, and that you will have to scrub off a lot of speed and energy before attempting The Esses – a left-right complex that comes up much too fast. You need to get all your braking out of the way before the Dunlop bridge. The left is fast but the right is slow and narrow.

The Esses exit straight into The Bombhole - a sweeping right hander with very little runoff and a large dip in the middle which can upset things a little. There’s a grandstand here for a reason – it’s a good place to watch. that means you need to be careful. Watch for highsides on the exit, again.

Coram is the next bend, a very long, very fast right hander. Hug the inside for as long as you can or you risk running out of track on the exit. Russell Bend, which comes next, used to be the most hairy bend in the country. Changes over the last few years have made it much slower and safer but robbed it of its character. Now it is no more than a sharp right-left chicane leading back onto the start/finish straight for another lap. As is so often the case, be very wary of highsides on the exit, especially as the left side of your tyres will be cold. Stay off the kerbs if it is wet.

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