Wherryman's Way - Reedham to Great Yarmouth

19 April 2014

George, Lottie and I drove to Great Yarmouth, from where we got a train to Brundall, and then a very busy train back to Reedham. There are direct trains from Yarmouth to Reedham, but not many. Here we cross the line at Reedham, ready for a walk to the river and the start of the walk proper.

We reach the river and join the Wherryman's Way footpath, walking past the Lord Nelson pub.

Ahead of us is Reedham Swing Bridge, which dates from 1902-3 and carries the railway to Lowestoft across the River Yare.

For a moderately sized village, it was a long 2km walk to escape and finally reach the rural part of the walk, the remainder of which is along the northern bank of the Yare and its ancient estuary Breydon Water

George and Lottie, with several windpumps and windmills on the horizon

Seven Mile House and Polkey's Mill

Berney Arms Drainage Mill, the tallest such in Norfolk. It is in the care of English Heritage - access by pre-booked group tours only.

The mill was designed to grind cement clinker, using clay dredged from Oulton Broad and brought to the mill by wherry. Grinding ceased in 1886 and the mill was then converted to a drainage mill with a 24ft diameter scoop wheel housed on the right here.

Two walkers make their way towards Berney Arms railway station in the middle distance, particularly remote as it is 3.5 miles from the nearest road and surrounded by drainage ditches, so on foot, by rail, by helicopter or in a tank are the only means of access.

The Berney Arms pub

The sign confirms that we have been joined by the Weaver's Way, which makes its way across the Broads and NE Norfolk from Cromer to Great Yarmouth.

The meeting point of the Rivers Waveney and Yare, with my previous route along the Angles Way on the other side.

Ahead lies Breydon Water, the estuary of the Yare

Ahead is Lockgate Drainage Mill

Great Yarmouth ahead, as the tide starts to fall. The mudflats under the water mean that modest changes in the water level result in the water being a long way from the bank quite quickly

A train runs along the railway across Acle Marshes

The lift bridge Breydon Bridge centre, with Great Yarmouth spread out behind

Mud flats appearing as we walk past

Various sections of these flood banks are closed at the moment as part of an important long-term project to stablise and where necessary raise them. This section has recently been completed: you can just see the plastic mesh under the grass to help reduce erosion caused by walkers

The plastic mesh presumably also avoids any slight risk of a muddy surface - this section needs a bit more grass growth to make the mesh (which is somewhat "loose" and undulating) be a bit more discreet and blend in.

A look back at Breydon Water as we approach Breydon Bridge and urban Great Yarmouth

After passing under the bridge, the last little section is past the Asda car park - with a little evidence of the former railway use of the land.

And so to the Three Ways Meeting Point, where the Angles Way, Weaver's Way and Wherryman's Way all meet, just outside the railway station where the car awaits. A windy walk (almost all straight into our faces) but an enjoyably quiet and rural one.

Total 16.5 km in 4 hours 22 mins.


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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson