Norfolk Walk: Rockland St Mary & Surlingham

This walk is based on a circular walk from the Wherryman's Way long distance path. It links the two villages and visits St Mary's Church, Surlingham, with its Saxon round tower. It also passes the Ted Ellis Nature Reserve.


Start: Rockland St Mary Staithe Car Park (almost opposite The New Inn).

Map: Explorer OL40 G/R 328046

Distance: 7 miles.

Public Transport: There is a bus service from Norwich to Rockland St Mary.

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Timetables: 0871 2002233,

This walk from Tony Smith is based on a circular walk from the Wherryman's Way long distance path. It links the two villages and visits St Mary's Church, Surlingham, with its Saxon round tower. The walk also passes the Ted Ellis Nature Reserve at Wheatfen Broad – well worth a visit if time permits.

Refreshments are available from The New Inn at Rockland Staithe, from Coldham Hall and from the Surlingham Ferry House.

The villages of Rockland St Mary and Surlingham are jointly organizing a Celebration of Arts in the Broads during the last two weekends of June.

There will be a series of exhibitions and workshops together with guided walks, and the three local pubs will be organizing barbecues. Further details can be obtained on 01508 538197.

t Go back to the car entrance and turn right up the pavement for about 200m, then turn right down Green Lane past a playground. Continue ahead along a track past the buildings of Broad Hall Farm with views of Rockland Broad over to the right. Go on along the path between the fields. Go through a hedge gap and turn right along the field edge then go left at the field corner. Continue ahead along the field edge keeping the woods immediately on the right. Keep on along a dirt track, soon passing a seat and then the Ted Ellis Nature Reserve on the right.

t Continue on along the lane (The Covey) past the buildings of Grange Farm on the left. At the junction, with The Green off to the left, keep ahead into The Street. About 300m beyond the junction, and with The Croft on the left, turn right along a driveway, initially metalled and then a dirt track. At the fork bear left into a path between the marshes. At the end of the path, go ahead through a sailing club yard to reach the River Yare. Turn left with the river on the right and go through a gate. Go past some unusual mosaic covered sculptures before reaching Coldham Hall.

t Turn left away from the river past the car park entrances and up the narrow lane. After about a quarter of a mile turn right into a bridle-way and follow it around two left bends past some houses to the road. Turn right and follow the road (The Common) past a shelter with a seat and on past cottages. Keep ahead, slightly rightwards, at the junction and continue on down Ferry Road through a marshy area to reach The Surlingham Ferry House.

t With the river ahead, turn left over the grass and through a wooden gate. Follow the winding path beside the River Yare. Go through another gate and keep right, ignoring a path off to the left. Continue along the riverside path, passing a bird lookout at Bird Marsh Nature Reserve, for three-quarters of a mile. Then, at Surlingham Land Spring, turn left with the path away from the river and follow it uphill and ahead to Surlingham Church.

t The route now leaves The Wherryman's Way. Turn right opposite the church wall into the drive signed to River Barn (not the path to the right of it). Pass through a gate, go ahead and then turn left with the path to reach a road at a junction. Go over the road into Cross Lane and follow the lane for half a mile to a junction. Turn left along Holloway Road. After a long quarter of a mile, near the top of the rise, turn right into a green track which soon becomes a field edge path. Follow the path round a copse and then on round right and left corners. Continue on along the field edge path, later with a row of trees on the left.

t Turn right at the field corner with the backs of houses now on the left. Then turn left along an enclosed track, and then a drive, between houses to reach The Street in Rockland St Mary. Turn left along the pavement past the post office and shop. Continue on over Surlingham Lane and Broadfields Way. Then go round a right bend and down New Inn Hill back to the car park at Rockland Staithe.


The Ramblers is Britain's walking charity which has been working to encourage more people to take up walking and to safeguard footpaths and the countryside for 75 years.

Whether you're an old hand or a complete beginner, the organisation can help you get the best out of walking through its network of local groups.

The Norwich Group has been established for more than 35 years and was the first group in the Norfolk Area of the Ramblers Association. Non-members are welcome to join all walks in national festivals and some special events and programmes. Most regular walks are intended for Ramblers members, but you are welcome to attend two or three walks on a try-out basis.

t For more information about the Ramblers' Association call 01508 538654 or visit: