LDWA 100 – Training Walk 5 (Great Yarmouth Railway Station to Berney Arms)

The main page for this walk is here, this blog post is just the section from Great Yarmouth Railway Station to Berney Arms.

Liam dropped us off at Great Yarmouth railway station and the weather was, well, slightly wet. If I’m being honest, this isn’t the most glamorous part of Great Yarmouth and it’s quite a walk from the town’s Greggs. Quick bit of information about the railway station, it was built in 1844 and for much of its life it was known as Yarmouth Vauxhall station to differentiate it from the now-closed Yarmouth Beach and Yarmouth South Town railway stations.

We had just a little problem in finding the start of the walk, which wasn’t ideal. But soon enough we were walking alongside Breydon Water, admiring just how much litter the people of Great Yarmouth have dropped over the last few months.

This bird hide is near to the A47 and Liam’s boy saw us from the road as I was taking photos of it.

Taken from near the entrance to Vauxhall Holiday Park, this is a photo of the Greater Anglia train going from Great Yarmouth to Norwich, in front of a directional finger-post for the Wherryman’s Way.

A snail. I didn’t take many photos of wildlife on this walk, but the snail seemed happy and it seemed useful to record that moment. OK, I accept the snail might not have been happy, but that made me wonder what really makes a snail happy. Do they feel sad? Anyway, I digress.

This is when we ran into problems, around a mile out of Great Yarmouth, the actual path of the Wherryman’s Way is on the top of that bank to the left. But, it was too overgrown to walk and I was moderately worried about standing on a snake. For a chunk of a way we were able to drop down to this farmer’s track at the base of the bank, but it wasn’t ideal. Norfolk Trails have a real challenge during these difficult times, but the problem is that the path has got so bad that it’s not really walkable. That means that no-one at all is trampling on the path at all and foliage has just totally taken over. I’ve alerted Norfolk Trails, although I’m sure they were already aware (they’re replied really promptly, they are aware and they’re on it so the foliage should be cleared in the next few weeks).

Located by the Fleet section of the water, this windmill isn’t named on the map.

Signage where the path meets the railway track once more.

This is the section of road which drops into the Berney Arms pub, although I have to admit that we didn’t see the turning to go and look at the pub. The pub is usually closed at the best of times and has been for some years, its rural location means that it’s accessible only really from the river. I have to say that a pub with no road access, just accessible from a boat or after a long-walk or cycle, is going to struggle to survive. There were plans a couple of years ago to turn the pub into a residential property, but the council refused.

This is Berney Arms windmill, which has the difficulty that like the pub, it can’t be accessed from the road. It was first constructed in 1865 for the Reedham Cement Company who used it until 1880 when it was converted into use as a drainage mill in 1883. It remained in use until 1948 and has since been restored and is occasionally opened to the public.

This was our first stop of the day, I sat down to eat my sandwich acquired as part of the Co-op meal deal, whilst Nathan gorged on the delicacies that his wife had packed for him. After I had carefully removed the fat from the bacon of the BLT sandwich, I was relaxed and sufficiently well-fed for the next part of the expedition. At this stage, we were satisfied with our progress, although moderately worried about the state of the path. Ron from Norfolk & Suffolk LDWA group had warned of us about the state of the path, but we were hoping that the problem bit was the section at the start that we had already reached by the time that we were at Berney Arms.

How bloody wrong we were.