LDWA 100 – Training Walk 5 (Chedgrave/Loddon to Rockland St. Mary)

The main page for this walk is here, this blog post is just the section from Chedgrave/Loddon to Rockland St. Mary.

To put this walk into context, Chedgrave is 15 miles into the Wherryman’s Way (if walking from Great Yarmouth) and we were expecting the walk to be 37 miles in total. As an aside, due to diversions, it was 38 miles, with Chedgrave being geographically halfway between Norwich and Great Yarmouth as the crow flies. But, due to the way the river bends and the path diverts, we still had some way to go, but we did feel that we were halfway. Even without realising I’ve split this walk into five separate posts, and I’m starting the fourth post here, well before the halfway mark.

I mention all that as I think at this stage we realised just how much more walking we had to do and the above photo was taken at 15:30. Any plan of arriving back by 22:00 was now not going to happen. In the above photo is a section of the mast from ‘Hathor’, a wherry which was built in 1905 and is still owned today by the Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust.

And an information board about the Wherryman’s Way.

I always think of a certain car driver when I see that road sign.

The sweeping views of the Norfolk countryside begin again, that’s the River Chet on the right.

And a little further along the River Chet.

This is Hardley Cross (I’ve written about this before) and it marks the former boundary between Norwich and Great Yarmouth and it’s where the River Chet meets the River Yare.

Now walking along the River Yare again, the wide skies of Norfolk showed themselves.

Hardley Mill, which I’ve written about before.

The delights of Cantley sugar factory, which is of some note as it is visible for miles before you reach it and for miles after. It’s like the Eiffel Tower of Norfolk…..

The weather stayed dry after the torrential rain in Loddon, but it sometimes looked a little ominous. There was a stretch of walking that proved just a little annoying, which is the walk into Hardley Staithe. It’s not very far, but the GPX route forgets that it’s there, so it added on just over half a mile and we were now conscious that not only had our 22:00 arrival into Norwich gone awry, but that 23:00 was not looking hopeful. But, we persisted.

This is the Beauchamp Arms near to Claxton and was at the 25-mile mark for our walk. I’m not entirely sure what’s happening to it as there seems to be a large maintenance project going on and it’s clearly not going to re-open in its previous form for some considerable time. It’s a large building and has one of the best locations in the area, so perhaps they’re planning to take it a little upmarket.

I led most of the walk since I had the GPX route, but here Nathan takes charge.

And these are three photos of the walk into Rockland St. Mary, which is at the 28-mile mark. Certainly, tiredness had crept in by this stage of the adventure, although we were conscious that there were now only ten miles left. Given that Nathan had never walked more than 22 miles before, he’d now gone over a marathon distance and we had the advantage that a finish by 23:00 was now more likely than not. Our bravery was evident and we had just one long stretch to go to reach the beautiful city of Norwich.