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Sue Walker, The Ramblers
Thursday, March 8, 2012
This walk with a difference from Roy Abigail follows the Wensum through Norwich, criss-crossing bridges over the river. It returns through lanes and along the former railway track.
Start: Sloughbottom Park Car Park, Drayton Road, Norwich.
Map: Explorer 237 G/R 211106.
Distance: 7 (or 4) miles.
Public Transport: There are regular buses from the centre of Norwich.
Timetables: 0871 2002233, travelineeastanglia.co.uk
While some bridges (Bishops Bridge, c.1340) are very old, others are quite new (eg Peter Jarrold Bridge opened in 2012). If preferred, you can do a shorter walk starting from the car park at the junction of Westwick Street and Barn Road.
Follow the main path through Sloughbottom Park past the Pavilion. Leave via the barriers and gate, cross the former railway and go up the path opposite. Turn left at the crossing path and follow it near the Wensum. Pass a metal gate and, at the road, turn right over Mile Cross Bridge. Turn left across the road at traffic lights into Heigham Street. After crossing two side roads, turn left immediately beyond the former Dolphin Inn and follow the metalled path over Dolphin Bridge. At the crossing of paths, turn right over another bridge. Continue with the river on the left to the end of the path by a roundabout. Turn left over the newer bridge, then go right across the road using the pedestrian crossing lights. On the far side turn right and re-cross the river using the older bridge. Keep left along Barn Road and turn left by a car park (this is where you start for the shorter walk) into Westwick Street.
Turn left into New Mills Yard (looking out for the flood marker) and cross New Mills Bridge. Turn right along the riverside path then turn right again over Coslany Bridge and past the former Anchor Brewery. Turn left at the road and go uphill then along Charing Cross to traffic lights. Turn left into Duke Street, cross the river and continue to the pedestrian lights. Turn right across Duke Street and go along Colegate.
At the next crossroads turn right along St George’s Street and cross St George’s Bridge. Turn left past bollards and go left and right between the Art College buildings to reach the riverside again. Continue with the river on the left then up the alleyway beside The Ribs of Beef PH. Turn left over Fye Bridge, then right into Fishergate. At the end of Fishergate turn right over Whitefriars Bridge then cross the road and go down the steps along the riverside again. Keep left and go over the new Peter Jarrold Bridge. Go left down steps and left again beside the river. Pass behind the leisure centre then, on reaching a fence opposite Cow Tower, turn left up to the main road. Turn right and immediately bear right along the path in front of Zak’s restaurant. Continue up the steps and along the pavement, then turn right over the oldest bridge, Bishops Bridge.
On the far side, turn left along the riverside path to reach Pull’s Ferry. Continue ahead through gates and on beside the river, then up the steps ahead and past The Compleat Angler PH. Go left over Foundry Bridge. Turn right across the road at the traffic lights then keep right to go past two boats (a cadet training ship and a Thai restaurant). Go over Lady Julian Bridge and on along the path. Turn left along King Street past Dragon Hall, the Music House and Wensum Lodge. Then, at the end of King Street, turn left over Novi Sad Friendship Bridge. On the far side return to the river bank and turn left to go past the swimming pool. Here keep left up the slope to Carrow Bridge, the last river bridge before the return journey. Turn right across it. Turn right into King Street then, after 100m, turn left up steps and on up a path to Southgate House, and on up to Bracondale.
Turn right and keep right into Ber Street. Then, immediately, turn right past bollards into Foulger’s Opening. Go down steps between flats and, at the bottom, keep left along the crossing path. Follow this ridge path ahead and ignore paths off to left and right. Go past the bottom of Mariners Lane and on round a left bend to Horns Lane. Keep ahead uphill for 50m, then turn right at a ‘wooded ridge’ way-mark and bear right along a narrow ridge path to Thorn Lane. Turn left up to Ber Street and turn right to the traffic lights. Cross into Timberhill.
At the bottom of the hill, go over the pedestrian lights and rightwards into White Lion Street then keep ahead in front of Castle Mall and on into Castle Street. Cross London Street and go down Swan Lane. At the T-junction, turn left along Bedford Street. Cross Exchange Street, go up Lobster Lane and on along Pottergate. Towards the far end, turn right down Ten Bells Lane and left along St Benedict’s to the traffic lights. Turn right along the path beside the City Wall and on across Westwick Street (the end of the short walk).
Follow the path past the roundabout to the pedestrian lights, cross the road and turn left then turn right into the path used earlier. Follow the former railway track beside the river and over a bridge then keep straight ahead at the crossing path. Go under the railway bridge and on for a quarter of a mile. Turn right into Sloughbottom Park. Follow path back to the start.