Follow our guide below for things to see and do along the routes of the Wherry Lines.
Take the train, leave Norwich behind and travel towards the Norfolk Broads, which are famous for their wildlife, boating holidays and tranquil scenery. The railway follows the course of the river Yare and it is possible to see coots, grebes and herons from the train, before turning towards Brundall Garden. Please click below for more information.
The once famous riverside gardens are no more and only the station name reminds us of their location, private access to Brundall Gardens Marina is available from this station. The station mainly serves the residential West end of Brundall.
Brundall takes its name from Brindisi in Southern Italy, (in Latin Brundisium ) whose patron Saint is St Laurence, hence Brundall Parish Church being dedicated to the Marytered Saint. Romans from this area of Apulia settled along the banks of the Yare and Roman remains have been found near to the A47 on the outskirts of Brundall. At Brundall, the station is located on the road down to the river and alongside are many marinas, where during the tourist season boats can be hired. If you wish to hire a boat it is always a good idea to book in advance. www.swancraft.co.uk of Brundall are just a short walk from the railway station and offer Wherry Lines ticket holders discounts on boat hire.
Brundall is a quiet Riverside village and home to one of the largest local boat building firms in East Anglia, Brooms Boats. The attractive church of St Laurence in the village is a short walk from the station along the High Street (The Street). Bed and Breakfast is available in Brundall at Braydeston House, Telephone 01603 713123. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further details please visit our accommodation page.
1¼ miles away is Strumpshaw Hall Steam Museum. A large collection, including working steam engines and mechanical organs, 1930's fairground carousel and a ¾ mile narrow gauge diesel railway. Annual Steam Engine Rally (see website for dates) and picnics in the park. Tel. 01603 714535. Open between Jun-Sep 1100-1600 - closed on Saturdays.
Taking the right hand route towards Great Yarmouth, the next station on this route is Lingwood, the pretty station has well kept gardens tended by the Station House which offers B&B; please visit www.stationhouseonline.com for further details.
A short walk to South Burlingham from here where there is late 16th Century Elizabethan Old Hall famous for its wall paintings and 3 story porch showing a merman and mermaid.
Travelling on, the next stop is at Acle, here in the village is the half-thatched church of St Edmunds, the village centre has hardly changed in many decades. In the town centre the Acle Coffee shop is the best place to visit for your tea or coffee break, this fine establishment also offers Wherry Lines ticket holders a discount on meals.
Acle is also home to Tipples Brewery and recommended for its fine ales. Acle coffee shop in the town centre offers a discount to Wherry Lines ticket holders and it is worth alighting here for a walk around this small friendly village.
Acle has two pubs worth a visit, the King's Head and the Riverside Inn, which is just off the Weaver's Way long distance footpath.
For further details on what Acle has to offer visitors please visit: www.acle-village.info
The railway passes Stracey Arms windmill on the left as it makes it way to Great Yarmouth, which is the end of line for this route.
At Great Yarmouth there are many things to see and do for the whole family. The pleasure beach is a children's favourite. Between the two piers and at the heart of Great Yarmouth's 'Golden Mile' lies the seafront leisure and fitness centre, which includes an all season Mediterranean-style swimming pool.
If that sounds too energetic, enjoy one of the most popular pastimes for visitors to Great Yarmouth instead - shopping! There is St George's Theatre a popular evening favourite.
With some of the best beaches around and miles of dunes to explore, with two Piers of entertainment as well there is so much to see and do for all ages.
Being a one time fishing and naval port, there are many treasures to find in Great Yarmouth if you know where to look, in a hidden corner of Great Yarmouth is the beautiful church of St Nicholas, it is remarkable for being nearly destroyed by enemy action in WW2, it is still with us today and well worth a tour around the inside and the grounds.
Great Yarmouth is also famous for its naval and fishing associations and one of the best places to learn more about the history and working of this self governing borough since 1209 is at the award winning Time & Tide Museum Just as Great Yarmouth is buzzing with activity during the day, when the sun goes down vibrant evening venues spring into life.
Whether you fancy a fun night out with the family, a romantic meal for two or you are looking to be entertained by the sounds of a world famous DJ, Great Yarmouth's nightlife has something for everyone.
On top of a full complement of nightlife necessities such as bars, clubs, theatres and restaurants, the resort is blessed with a unique mix of evening attractions and events. Soak up the special atmosphere of an evening horse-race meeting; experience the latest technological spills and thrills in the amusement arcades; enjoy the fun of a flutter on the "dogs".
Alternatively, a riding in the seafront road-train to see the Illuminations is a treat for all the family. The Pleasure Beach takes on a new personality as it becomes a mass of moving lights amidst the excited shrieks and screams.
Today Great Yarmouth is a famous seaside town but for centuries it was an important fishing port. Yarmouth was famous for herrings.
Yarmouth was founded by the Saxons. By the time of the Domesday Book, in 1086, it had grown into a little town with a population of a few hundred. To us it would seem tiny but settlements were very small in those days.
In 1209 King John gave Yarmouth a charter (a document granting the townspeople certain rights). From then on Yarmouth was a self governing community.
In the Middle Ages the prosperity of Yarmouth was based on herring fishing and by the 12th century a herring fair was held at Yarmouth. (Fairs were like markets but they were held only once a year. Merchants came from all over Europe to buy herrings at a Yarmouth fair). However certain ports in Kent called the Cinque Ports were given jurisdiction over the Yarmouth fair. That might seem surprising but ships from the Kentish ports fished off Yarmouth. Furthermore Yarmouth had not yet been given a charter and was not yet self-governing. So the Kentish towns ran the fair, which caused much resentment among the people of Yarmouth. In 1277 the King gave Yarmouth joint authority over the fair. However the people of Yarmouth were not satisfied and in 1297 ships from Yarmouth fought a naval battle with ships from Kent off Belgium.
However the Kentish ports were declining as they silted up and Yarmouth continued to grow in prosperity. In the late 13th century stonewalls were built around the town. The Old Tollbooth was also built at that time.
In the Middle Ages the church was very powerful and its presence was everywhere. A Benedictine Priory (small abbey) was built in Yarmouth in the early 12th century.
In the 13th century friars arrived in Great Yarmouth. Friars were like monks but instead of withdrawing from the world they went out to preach. In Great Yarmouth there were Franciscan friars (known as grey friars because of the colour of their costumes). The were also Dominican or black friars and Carmelites or white friars.
In the Middle Ages Yarmouth prospered. However the harbour kept silting up. Several attempts were made to dig a new haven during the Middle Ages and the 16th century. The present one dates from 1614.
The Elizabethan House was built in 1596. It is now a museum.
During the 17th and 18th centuries Yarmouth continued to quietly prosper. The Old Merchants House dates from the late 17th century. In 1702 a Fishermen's Hospital (almshouses) was built for poor fishermen. Also in the early 18th century the Custom House was built. (It was originally a private house). St George's Church was built in 1714.
Apart from fishing there was also a ship building industry in Yarmouth. Yarmouth was also an important port for trade with Europe due to its position near Holland.
The 19th century Great Yarmouth grew rapidly. The old town gates were demolished in the late 18th and early 19th century because they impeded traffic. Housing spread further and further beyond the old town walls.
The herring fishing industry reached a peak at the start of the 20th century. However it then went into a relentless decline. However during the 20th century there was a food processing industry in Yarmouth and an electronics industry.
Meanwhile, from the end of the 18th century Great Yarmouth developed as a seaside resort. In those days people believed that bathing in the sea was good for your health. Spending time at the seaside became fashionable with the well off.
Yarmouth developed still more when the railway reached the town in 1844. The railway made it easier for tourists to visit Yarmouth and so it boomed. Wellington Pier was built in 1854. (The pavilion was added in 1903). Britannia Pier opened in 1858. The first cinema in Yarmouth opened in 1908. During the 20th century Yarmouth flourished as a seaside resort. The Marina was created in 1927.
Meanwhile in 1811 a Royal Naval Hospital was built. (It is now St Nicholas's Hospital). A memorial to Nelson was erected in 1819. A new town hall was built in 1882.
However during World War I Yarmouth's position on the east coast made it a target for the Germans. There was a zeppelin raid in 1915, which killed 2 people. Furthermore the German navy bombarded Yarmouth in 1916 and 1918.
During World War II Yarmouth was a target for German bombers. St Nicholas Church was destroyed in 1942. Parts of the old town were also destroyed. There used to be many narrow streets in Yarmouth called Rows. Once there were 145 Rows. (They were so narrow goods were transported along them in two wheeled carts called troll carts). However most of them were destroyed during the Second World War.
Today Great Yarmouth continues to be an important and flourishing resort with a population of 92,000.
Great Yarmouth is one of the few seaside resorts with two casinos staying open into the early hours. Just as Great Yarmouth is buzzing with activity during the day, when the sun goes down vibrant evening venues spring into life.
For your Great Yarmouth Holidays and short breaks guide please click here.
From where the line divides at Brundall, the route South proceeds to the small station of Buckenham (limited train service) on the edge of the RSPB wetland bird sanctuary. Adjacent to Strumpshaw Fen is Buckenham Marshes RSPB reserve with free access along a public footpath. The marshes are the place to see wintering widgeons, and, with luck, England's only regular wintering flock of bean geese.
At dusk, there is the spectacle of one of the largest known roosts of rooks and jackdaws. The reserve is 1.25 miles/ 2 km south of Strumpshaw. Follow directions for Strumpshaw Fen, but continue along Stone Road out of Strumpshaw following signs to Buckenham. Trains to Buckenham operate on Sundays only so use Brundall instead as this has a very frequent service. The marshes are also on the Yare Valley cycle route. www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/s/strumpshawfen/index.asp
A short walk from Buckenham station is the little used church of St Nicholas with one of only five hexagonal church towers in the County.
The line continues through the wild open expanse of marsh and fen across Fleet Dike(sic) to Cantley.
The small village is dominated by the large Sugar Beet refining factory next to the station, which is one of eight operated by British Sugar in England. It processes over a 1 million tonnes of sugar beet per year producing 160,000 tonnes of sugar.
There are some pleasant walks from this station along the river towards the Reedham Ferry and through Limpenhoe to Reedham. Towards the river from the station and situated on the riverbank is The Reedcutter offering superb food and local ales while you can sit and watch the boats and ducks go by. The pub offers discounts to Wherry Lines ticket holders. The Reedcutter also offers Bed & Breakfast accommodation as a traditional country Inn. For further details and to book a table or room call 01493 701099 and please mention the Wherry Lines.
The next station is Reedham, and is very popular with visitors for a walk along side the riverbank toward the railway swingbridge.
Here there is much to see and do for all the Family. You can sample real ales in The Ship at Reedham pub situated next to the unusual railway swingbridge on the riverbank, which also has an excellent range of food and offers a discount to rail ticket holders. The river is a short walk from the rail station and in the summer is a haven for tourist boats, which moor here to sample the pubs and small shops along the riverbank.
Pettitts Animal Adventure Park offers admission discounts to Wherry Lines ticket holders and is about a mile away. It provides family rides, adventure playground, crazy golf, miniature railway, theatre with daily live shows, reptile house, animals to feed and pet. A Cafe and picnic area is also available. Tel. 01493 700094. Open Easter-Oct, Daily 10:00-17:00.
Next door to Pettitts, is the renowned Humpty Dumpty Brewery where, samples can be had of the products made at the brewery. A discount is available upon production of your Wherry Lines ticket.
Offering a 10% advanced booking discount to Wherry Line ticket holders, we can recommend the following accommodation. THE PYGHTLE at Reedham offers a warm welcome to guests for Bed and Breakfast or Self-catering. The accommodation is for 2 people and comprises of a downstairs sitting room with a kitchen area and upstairs a double-bedded room with en-suite bathroom facilities. The accommodation is annexed to the Pyghtle and is self-contained - you have your own key. Please note, that we are a non-smoking house. The address is 26a The Hills, Reedham, Norwich NR13 3AR. For more information please ring Mrs Mary Blanche, Tel 01493-701262 or 07810 648611 or email us at email@example.com. Ideal for walkers as both the Weavers Way and the Wherrymans Way go through the village. The area is also ideal for cycling and the North Sea Cycling Route no.1 is not far away.
A visit to Reedham's small parish church, near to Pettitts is worth the short walk.
After leaving the delights of Reedham the route again divides into two, with the left hand line going off to Great Yarmouth via the smallest station on the National Rail network at Berney Arms.
Berney Arms station is England's most remote and smallest railway station on the national rail network, two miles distant from the nearest road and accessible only on foot, cycle, by boat or on The Wherry Lines. Located on the Weavers Way long distance footpath and on the new Wherryman's Way.
You can alight here and walk along the riverbank past the windmill and pub of the same name, to Great Yarmouth, the path passes several drainage mills and alongside Breydon Water Nature Reserve, the walk is about 4 miles in length. The route from the station will take you past Berney Arms windmill, at 70 feet tall it is one of the highest windmills in the country. For more information on this unique location please visit: www.berneyarms.co.uk
The Berney Arms line was part of Norfolk's first railway, the Yarmouth and Norwich, which was opened by the Eastern Counties Railway via Reedham in May 1844. The station takes its name from the landowner, Thomas Trench Berney, who sold it to the railway company on condition that they provided a stopping place in perpetuity. For details of good bird watching along the path to Great Yarmouth from Berney Arms, please visit: www.rspb.org.uk
Back at Reedham, the right hand railway line swings towards Lowestoft and the train passes over the river on the swing bridge and runs parallel to the New Cut which was built to link the river Yare to the river Waveney providing access for the Wherries from Lowestoft to Norwich.
The next station is Haddiscoe - a short walk from St Olaves, a typical broad's riverside village. On the way you will pass the Bell Inn, reputedly the oldest licensed premises in Norfolk which is situated on the river with a delightful garden comes and comes highly recommended. The village of Haddiscoe is some 2 miles distant from the station and St Olaves is the closest settlement. St Olaves is not an unattractive village as first impressions may suggest. The Bell Inn situated on the river has a delightful garden and comes highly recommended.
Just a short walk east along the busy main street are the ruins of the Augustinian Priory of St Olaves and St Mary. If you feel energetic walk a little further along the main street and visit Fritton Lake Countryworld. The lake is 3 miles long, in a beautiful setting surrounded by trees and parkland. Other attractions their include fishing, golf, pottery, a falconry centre, cafe and adventure playground. The railway then crosses the river Waveney on Somerleyton Swing Bridge and we leave Norfolk behind to enter Suffolk.
At Somerleyton the Angles Way footpath passes close to the station and you can alight here for Somerleyton Hall www.somerleyton.co.uk and the splendid thatched village around a large green. Not far from the station is Somerleyton Marina were Christopher Cockerell experimented with his prototype Hovercraft. The Duke's Head pub is a short walk from the station and offer discounts on meals to Wherry Lines ticket holders Tel 01502 730281. The Post Office in the village is a delightful emporium of local items and in the summer months does afternoon teas outside in the garden. Please click here for a Somerleyton interactive map.
About a mile and a half from Somerleyton, on the B1074 there is the beautiful church of St Margaret's in the wonderfully named settlement of Herringfleet - it has nothing to do with fishing, as the name derives from a family of Viking invaders around the end of the 10th Century. The head of the family being Herela his children "ing" and flet, the Viking for a riverside tidal settlement.
The early Norman tower is attached to a thatched nave and tiled chancel. Crafted decorated windows punctuate sunny walls. The small sized nave seems quaint compared to the tower as it was a much later addition. There is evidence that the tower was previously attached to an earlier nave which can been seen from the outside of the church. A pervious tower, which may have been there, was presumed to be an early watch tower, during the troubled period of Dane Law or under the decree of Athelstan's law of around 937AD for all thanes to erect bell towers on their estates. The glory of this church is its tremendous collection of European stained glass, collected in the early nineteenth century and installed around the chancel. A booklet "A thousand Years of Village History" Herringfleet by the Revd Dr Edward Brooks, Rector of Somerleyton 1969 - 1983, is available in the church to purchase as well as very attractive tea towels and cards. The Revd Has also written "Sir Morton Peto Bt 1809-1889 Victorian Entrepreneur of East Anglia" who was instrumental in the construction of the Wherry Lines railways.
Sir Morton Peto was an extraordinary man. From the age of 21, he was in partnership with his cousin Thomas Grissel in the construction of many major public buildings and monuments, including Nelson's column, the Reform Club, the Oxford and Cambridge Club, 3 major London theatres, a prison, many hospitals and the London brick sewers that are still in use today. In 1843, he purchased Somerleyton Hall, and proceeded to turn Lowestoft from a small fishing village into one of the main ports of the country, with a new harbour for 1000 ships, and some luxurious hotels for the growing holiday trade. He also built the railway connecting Lowestoft to the rest of the railway system, thus fulfilling his promise that "fish landed in the early catches would get through to Manchester in time for high tea".
From 1843 onwards, he built 750 miles of railway line in England, and 2,300 miles abroad, including the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada (539 miles), and others in Argentina, Russia, Algeria, Norway, Denmark and Austria. During this time, he completely rebuilt Somerleyton Hall, and was also a very hard-working Member of Parliament for 20 years. This brilliant career unfortunately ended on a sombre note when he became technically insolvent in 1866, being owed £1 million in unpaid debts.
For further information and a fascinating history of this area please visit www.lothingland.co.uk/herringfleet1.htm
Oulton Broad Is for the sailing and boat fraternity and here you can alight and enjoy a discount boat trip from Mutford Lock a short walk from the station.
Waveney River tours do trips in the summer months along the Waveney to points of interest. For details contact Waveney River Tours 01502 574093 to book.
The world's first working hovercraft model was tried and tested at Oulton Broad in 1956. Sir Christopher Cockerell had the idea (using a cat food tin inside a coffee tin in a bucket, powered by a vacuum cleaner!) then with a boat-building friend he made a working model to be tested on the Broads.
The Elizabeth Hotels Group have an excellent hotel at Oulton Broad - The Wherry Hotel, just a short walk from the station. Elizabeth Hotels offer discounts to Wherry Lines ticket holders, for more information please visit www.elizabethhotels.co.uk or telephone 0845 230 5678 for details. Also see our accommodation page.
At Oulton Broad is the delightful Nicholas Everett Park with it's tree lined avenues and an olde world renaissance it's the perfect place for a quiet afternoon. If afternoon tea is your cup of tea, then a visit to Petit four tea rooms are nearby at 142 Bridge Street, they will offer you a discount when you show your Wherry Lines ticket. For details of afternoon teas and meals please call 01502 566119.
Lowestoft at the end of the line; is Britain's most easterly point and the focus of the 'Sunrise Coast'. The station is situated conveniently close to the pedestrianised town centre shopping area and only a few minutes walk from the award winning South and Victoria beaches.
Lowestoft is still a busy port and centre for the fishing industry and the towns historic and maritime heritage may be easily explored on foot. Attractive settings and careful design have given the pleasant parks of Lowestoft a well-deserved reputation. Many special entertainment events, including the Lowestoft Air Festival are held throughout the year (see diary of events page).
With the Broads, the villages and the coastal resorts to explore there is so much to see and do that the Wherry Lines are by far the best way to see this beautiful part of East Anglia. Don't forget that your Wherry Lines train ticket offers discounted entry to many of the attractions and at many place to eat., We hope you enjoy exploring the Wherry Lines.
Sir Samuel Morton Peto was responsible for much of the town's development and enhancement during the mid 19th Century. Embark on the Peto Trail (Leaflets are available from Lowestoft Tourist Information Centre-01502 533600) and travel around the various architectural sites, which were formally developed by him. Buildings including Somerleyton Hall, Lowestoft Central Railway Station, Wellington Esplanade and Marine Parade are all associated with Peto.
Benjamin Britten - Was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk on 22nd December 1913. He died at his home in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, on 4th December 1976 and is buried in the churchyard of the Aldeburgh Parish Church.
Lowestoft is the largest town on the Sunrise Coast and is promoted through the Sunrise Coast Partnership.
The maps shown on these pages have kindly been provided by John Hewes from his site at visitbytrain.info. For additional information on these pages the Wherry Lines Partnership are indebted to:
Mike Page - www.norfolkskyview.flyer.co.uk
Elizabeth Group Hotels - www.elizabethhotels.co.uk
British Sugar - www.britishsugar.co.uk
The Sunrise Coast Partnership - www.visit-sunrisecoast.co.uk
Waveney District Council - www.waveney.gov.uk
Norfolk County Council - www.norfolk.gov.uk
Suffolk County Council - www.suffolk.gov.uk
Great Yarmouth Borough Council - www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk
The Bell Inn St Olaves - www.bellinn-stolaves.co.uk
Lothingland on the internet - www.lothingland.co.uk
Norwich City - www.norwich.gov.uk
Norfolk Churches Trust - www.norfolk-churches.co.uk
Norfolk Windmills - www.norfolkmills.co.uk
John Hewes - www.visitbytrain.freeuk.com
The North Norfolk Coast AONB - www.norfolkcoastaonb.org.uk
Please note that the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership nor its members are responsible for the links offered on this site. We rarely get dead links reported but if you find one please do let us know.
All images and text are unless stated, copyright of The Passenger Transport Group, Department of Planning and Transportation at Norfolk County Council and may not be used on any other media without prior consent of the County Council, for details please call 0344 800 8003 or visit www.norfolk.gov.uk
Where discounts are offered on goods and services to Wherry Lines ticket holders, all proprietors reserve the right to change the level of discount offered, refuse entry or discount.
This does not affect consumer rights and is deemed to be correct at the time of uploading to the internet. April 2007