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Walking in The Broads - Hardley Staithe

Updated: Mar 1

Our "Walking in the Broads" series continues with this lovely 4-mile walk which starts from the parking area at Hardley Staithe (Explorer Map OL40 G/R TG388012). 

Walking Map
Hardley and The River Yare

Hardley village can be reached from Chedgrave, which is on a good bus route between Norwich and Lowestoft but about two miles distant, via Hardley Road. The route of the walk goes through Hardley Street with its pretty cottages. It then visits St Margaret’s Church, Hardley, with its Norman round tower and 15th century wall painting. It then continues past the driveway to 16th century Hardley Hall to reach the bank of the River Chet. 

Broads Church
St Margarets Church Hardley

The remaining part of the walk follows a section of the Wherryman’s Way, a long-distance path linking Norwich with Great Yarmouth. At the junction of the Rivers Chet and Yare, the riverside path passes Hardley Cross, which marks the boundary of the jurisdictions of the City of Norwich and the Borough of Great Yarmouth.

Broads Monument
Hardley Cross

The cross dates back to 1543 and has been restored over the intervening years. The final part of the walk continues along the banks of the River Yare and Hardley Dyke beside Hardley Marshes to return to Hardley Staithe. This whole area is popular with birdwatchers and there are ample opportunities for watching birds all along the walk.

Broads Boat Dyke
Hardley Dyke

From the car parking area go across the end of Hardley Staithe. Don’t turn right along the other side of the dike but, instead, leave the Wherryman’s Way and go leftwards through a gap with a notice about a footpath. Then, after a few paces, go left again through a gap between posts with another notice and turn right on a field-edge path. Follow the path over a wooden bridge and through a gate. Continue along the left edge of the meadow and keep ahead in the next field.  Then go leftwards past Folly Cottage and continue along the track. On reaching a lane, turn left past a thatched cottage and a pink cottage in Hardley Street.

Continue along the street and then, just round the left bend, turn left on a signed byway (Fishes Lane). Go uphill on the field-edge path to a lane (Church Lane) and turn left. Follow the lane round a right bend to a junction and, here, turn left to go past Hardley Church on the right. Then turn right into Hardley Hall Lane. Follow the lane for about a third of a mile to a crossing path with Hardley Hall along the drive ahead. Turn left along the path to a large gate at the river. Go beside the gate, then turn left through a gate and along the river bank on the Wherryman’s Way.

Broads River
The River Yare

Continue for about a mile beside the river, going through several gates on the winding path. (Cantley Sugar Factory can be seen in the distance all along the river section). Eventually the River Chet joins the River Yare at the site of the stone cross. Now follow the path leftwards beside the River Yare for about a mile, passing Limpenhoe Drainage Mill (across the river), to Hardley Dike. Turn left alongside the dyke to return to the parking area at Hardley Staithe.


Refreshments: There are no refreshment opportunities on the route of the walk but The White Horse, Chedgrave, is nearby.

For more information about THE RAMBLERS’ ASSOCIATION, call 07505 426750 or click

Our thanks to from Sue Walker of the Ramblers’ Wensum Group for providing details of this great walk, originally published in Harnser Magazine Jan 2022. To get a the latest Harnser magazine delivered to your door four times a year, join The Broads Society today.

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