The Marriotts Way
The Marriotts Way is a 26 mile footpath which follows the routes of two disused railway lines. It runs all the way from Aylsham to Norwich and is much used by dog walkers, cyclists, joggers, horse riders and just gentle strollers like myself.
It’s a county wildlife site and rich in bird and animal life and wild flowers scatter the banks as you walk along. In places it follows the Wensum River valley and you may even catch a glimpse of a kingfisher (I’m still hoping).
There are also interesting pieces of sculpture along the way, mostly salvaged from the old railways, which mark the miles off along the way, and a very poignant marker with the names of all the men who travelled from Whitwell to the battlefields of the First World War, which always makes me feel a bit teary.
I am lucky enough to have this on my doorstep and if I’m feeling energetic I often get up early and walk or cycle along it before work, listening out for a cuckoo or spotting violets and primroses as I go (whilst trying not to fall off!). In autumn it’s great for blackberries and sloes and there are a couple of old apple trees too.
A good stopping off place is Reepham, where Norfolk Country Cottages first started out, with interesting shops and cafes and a welcoming pub, the King’s Arms, which has a roaring fire in the winter and does good food.
It makes a great day out if you’re staying in mid-Norfolk. You can join it at Aylsham, Reepham, Cawston, Hellesdon or even in Norwich.
And was I there before work this morning? Well, no, sadly it was raining so I stayed in bed with a nice cup of tea and looked out at it from my bedroom window. But I could still hear the cuckoo……