“What is the Wherryman’s Way?
The Wherryman’s Way is in the Broads – Britain’s largest protected wetland. This installation is one of a number along this 35-mile recreational route following the course of the River Yare between Norwich and Great Yarmouth. The route takes its name from the wherry – a large cargo-carrying barge whose elegant black sails were a once common sight on these waters.
You can walk the whole route or explore parts of it by cycle, train and river bus. Alternatively you can explore one of the ten circular village walks en-route. Look out for the unique waymarkers along the route, which include figures, sculpture, information panels and audio points.”
Here at my B&B near Norwich I found 12 walks associated with the Way and chose the last one listed – Berney Arms. Berney Arms can only reached on foot, by train or by boat. There is only a private track leading to the windmill, two dwellings and the pub, after which the place is named.
There are very few trains that stop at one of the most remote railway stations in Britain. One of these was the 11.36 from Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Berney Arms is a request stop. You have to tell the guard in advance if you want to get off.
Although it had rained earlier in the day it stayed dry for the duration of the walk. Which was good as the path alongside Breydon Water is high up and very exposed.
It’s a 600m walk from the station to the tiny settlement. The mill is a scheduled ancient monument in the care of English Heritage but no longer open to the public. Apparently it’s the tallest wind pump in the country. There’s also a building that may contain a couple of dwellings and a deserted pub that ceased trading two years ago. The pub is linked to a mooring staithe (or wharfe) where Broads boats and cruisers await a favourable tide to pass through Breydon Water.
Berney Marshes are an RSPB nature reserve. And Breydon Water is an internationally renowned estuary for a huge number and variety of geese, ducks and wading birds.
The track continues on top of the bank (with stiles, kissing gates and gates) with views to the left over Halvergate Marshes and to the right over Breydon Water. Although overgrown in places it is easy to negotiate.
At Burgh Castle on the opposite bank of the River Waveney are the impressive remains of a 3rd century Roman fort built to defend the coast from Saxon raiders.
Breydon Water with Great Yarmouth on the horizon.
Looking back towards the deserted mill
After over 4 miles skirting the edge of the Water we arrived on the outskirts of Great Yarmouth. The path becomes surfaced and passes under the lift bridge. From there it was a short walk past Asda car park to Yarmouth Vauxhall Station and we had a short wait for the 15.17 train to return us to Norwich.
Approaching the Lift Bridge
The Lift Bridge