TIME: 30 minutes – 1 hour. But you can walk smaller sections of this walk as time allows – it is very pleasant.
TERRAIN: Easy. One section is rather soggy in winter, but dries out quickly after summer rains. The path is well maintained and cut several times in the summer.
START AND END: Reed House, Broadland Business Park.
DESCRIPTION OF ROUTE:
Head south from Reed House across the carpark, along a bark chipping path and down wooden steps to the lower part of the Business Park by Cafe Ritazza.
By Cafe Ritazza turn left and head south along the pedestrian / cycle track to Yarmouth Road. There is an area of waste ground on your left, which will eventually be built on.
At Yarmouth Road cross straight over into Boundary Lane, taking care, as the traffic on this road is heavy.
Boundary Lane begins as a tarred road, becoming gravel towards its far end.
When the lane ends, take a grassy footpath between blackthorn bushes along the left side of the path and a wooden fence on the right. The blackthorn is very pretty in spring, covered in white flowers. The dense cover is ideal for birds such as Blackcaps and other spring migrants and bees love the flowers. Later, at the height of summer, the blackthorn provides welcome shade on hot days. In winter, this part of the path can be rather soggy but it’s usually not too bad and the damp part of the path only lasts about 10 yards.
Carefully cross the Norwich to Yarmouth railway line. You soon reach an area of open land with Buddleia bushes growing on it. In July these bushes attract good numbers of butterflies. You are now 10 minutes from Reed House.
Head left, under the A47 flyover bridge. (As an alternative, you can turn right here and follow the Griffin Lane walk.) Just beyond the bridge pass a fenced off area on your right belonging to May Gurney. This is a dumping ground for dredged sediment from the River Yare. The material has quite high levels of mercury, released into the river by the former May and Baker factory (now Bayer Cropscience) on Sweetbriar Road. In spite of this, trees, bushes and other vegetation are colonising the site.
Continue on a well marked path to the left of the fenced off area. The path goes straight between lines of bushes, then bends and drops down past a section of wooden fence. Soon you enter a level area beneath a bank with bushes on it, with short cropped grassland and lovely old oak trees. The path goes slightly uphill, then down, coming alongside the River Yare. You pass through trees below a bracken-covered hillside. Soon there are more Buddleia bushes and then you reach a wooden gate leading to open meadows. It takes about 25 minutes to reach this point.
The path continues through open meadows beside the river, with more gnarled old oak trees and sites of campfires and, sadly, often rubbish next to them such as discarded beer cans. In spring I have seen a Marsh Harrier soaring above these fields and Willow Warblers and Cetti’s Warblers sing in the trees on the opposite bank of the river.
There are a couple more gates and then you reach some buildings by the river bank. The path carries on through more meadows beyond this, until it comes out on the river bank opposite the Bramerton Woods End pub. Sadly, unless you fancy swimming across a wide river with a fairly strong tidal current (which I don’t recommend!), that’s the end of the route and you have to retrace your steps.
On one occasion, when I reached the buildings by the river bank I turned left, away from the river, and walked up Hall Lane, a concrete farm road, which led me into the Postwick village. This route isn’t a public footpath, however. From Postwick I went through the village and up Oak Lane to the Yarmouth Road and back to Broadland Business Park, which took me about an hour and ten minutes.