Boudicca Way restoration helps boost Norfolk tourism

Norfolk's economy is already benefiting from more walkers coming to the county following the launch of a project to revive a forgotten footpath.

The 38 mile Boudicca Way, which runs between Norwich and Diss, received funding almost two years ago to promote the picturesque route and help increase visitor numbers.

And the footpath – named after the Iceni warrior queen of East Anglia – is already getting a lot more use following the introduction of new sign posts last year, according to the project leader of the Boudicca Way initiative.

B&B owner Steve Falvey, of Pulham Market, said a lot more ramblers were using the route, which was helping local pubs, shops and accommodation providers. In the year since a dedicated Boudicca Way website was launched, the site has attracted more than 12,000 visitors, he added.

'Without a doubt it has raised the profile and we know for sure we are seeing an increase in business from walkers and they are using local shops and pubs. The first three years at the B&B, we had one person walking the route and on a monthly and weekly basis we are now seeing people that stay with us doing the route. It is definitely paying dividends,' he said.

The footpath received almost �50,000 from the Waveney Local Action Group, part of the Rural Development Programme for England, in 2010 to help establish the route that runs roughly parallel with the A140 from Norwich railway station to Diss railway station.

The footpath was established more than ten years ago, but was poorly sign posted, not very well promoted, and was only used by a handful for hardened walkers.

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Mr Falvey added that the project was on course to be self-sustaining when funding runs out next year.

Fifty local businesses are behind the project that are based along the route, which received 48 new finger signs and 28 waymarker signs last year to make it easier to negotiate.

The Boudicca Way has received a further boost after Norfolk Ramblers chose the route for their annual Linear Walk. There will be one organised walk a month from May to August, with walks varying in length.

Sheila Smith, from the Norfolk Ramblers, said: 'The new Boudicca Way is better than it ever has been, so we're keen to help encourage more people experience this beautiful, unspoilt route and learn about its varied history and wildlife.'

For more information about the organised walks, contact Peter James on 01603 478486 or email pdjames.ramb@ntlworld.com or Sheila Smith on 01953 861094 or email sheilasmith@clara.co.uk

The booking form can also be downloaded from new.norfolkra.org.uk or www.boudiccaway.co.uk

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