|This is the first guidebook to
feature Norfolk's newest long distance footpath: the Wherryman's Way. The route, which meanders its way from
Norwich to Great Yarmouth, was officially unveiled in
2005 and runs through the heart of some of Norfolk's most beautiful
(and overlooked) Broadland
On the Halvergate
The book, which is attractively illustrated, is
divided into 13 sections: Norwich and the Wensum, Trowse,
Whitlingham, Bramerton, Surlingham Rockland St. Mary,
Claxton and Carleton, Langley and Hardley, Loddon and
Chedgrave, Heckingham and Nogdam End, Reedham, Breydon
Water and the Berney Arms and Great Yarmouth.
The prose is informative and lively and reflects
Steve's background as a journalist. He's particularly good
on the riverside watering-holes (such as the Ferry Boat
Inn, Bramerton Wood's End and the wonderfully isolated Berney
Arms) - but also provides
extensive information about the old ferries, the
various windmills (working and otherwise) and the ruined
and standing churches.
There are also some nice character studies along the
way of famous
naturalists such as Ted Ellis (Wheatfen Broad) and
Arthur Patterson (Breydon Water) - famous wildfowlers
such as Old Scientific Fuller (Rockland Broad) -
odd-balls such as Billy Bluelight and
other present-day ferrymen, boat-yard owners and historians.
The mix of information helps to convey a sense of the
area's rich heritage and its continuation as a working
The route itself is compromised somewhat by its
inability to cross dykes and tributaries - hence the
long meander inland to circumnavigate the River Chet at
Loddon and the big schlep from Wheatfen Broad to
Rockland Staithe. However, the trail and the book are
well worth attempting as they both provide entry into
the watery world of Norfolk's past.
I have two niggles with the book:
1) There could have been a more detailed pull-out map; the book is rather too heavy to stow
away in your rucksack.
2) The 12 additional circular walks are a distraction from the main event.
Otherwise, a highly enjoyable and well presented