A walk along the River Chet

From Loddon Staithe to Hardley Cross

A map is not strictly necessary as the route runs along the north side of the Chet but if you wish to extend your walk Ordnance Survey Landranger sheet 134 (Norwich and The Broads) or Explorer sheet OL40 (The Broads) cover the area.

The walk starts at Loddon Staithe (MR 361990) and takes you to Hardley Cross (MR 401012), a distance of about 4 miles, and constitutes part of the Wherryman’s Way a long distance path that follows the course of the River Yare from Norwich to Great Yarmouth.

2016/19 updateRegrettably the stretch of the public footpath along the river from Chegrave Common onwards has been diverted due to failure of two of the footbridges at Hardley Flood.

Whether this part of the river, arguably one of the most beautiful and tranquil stretches of the Werryman’s Way,  will ever be re-opened is extremely uncertain.

A, hopefully temporary, diversion to the route, shown in green, can be found here.

Part of the diversion runs along a country road. It’s not that busy but visibility for traffic is poor – please take extreme care.

The Staithe Start the walk from the Staithe.

You can park here or at Church Plain in the centre of Loddon.

Pay and Display parking charges apply (first two hours free – ticket must be displayed).

From the Staithe cross the bridge over the Chet by the Water Mill.

Pass the Millenium Gardens and turn right along an unmade roadway past the housing development and towards the boatyards.

Millenium Gardens
Looking up-river towards the boatyards Take the narrow permissive path between the boatyard and the boat storage area and follow it past the remaining boatyards until you reach the road.

Through the gate, into the meadow and onto the river bank.

Opposite you will see Pyes Mill, a popular picnic spot with free moorings.

Continue along the path on the river bank to Chedgrave Common.

2016-19 update – From here the public footpath has been diverted until beyond Hardley Hall due to seriously damaged footbridges. Currently there is no date for re-opening this route, if ever.

Click here to see the diversion (shown in green). Extreme care is needed when walking the stretch of road (poor visibility).

Pyes Mill
Update Autumn 2017
Part of the old path appears to be accessible from Chedgrave Common.
It is a bit overgrown in places and only runs to the second of the bridges,

The start of Hardley Flood, where the path is finally closed.
Whether this is a sign of the start of remedial work or an attempt to more permanently block the path, who knows?

State of the bridge September 2019


Hardley Flood

Hardley Flood, a popular spot for bird watching.

Public footpath closed – no access.


The path continues between Hardley Flood and the River Chet, very narrow in places and bridged where the river feeds the Flood.

Public footpath closed – no access.

Gentle bends
The river follows a series of gentle bends as it passes Hardley Flood

Public footpath closed – no access.

Gentle bends
Gentle bends
At the end of the Flood the path turns sharp left and then continues right, through a gate, along the river bank.

Public footpath closed – no access.

Eastern end of Hardley Flood
Reed lined stretches The path follows the top of the flood bank and the river is lined with reeds.
On your left you can look across the fields and see Hardley Church in the distance.

The river continues in a series of broad sweeping bends until it reaches the River Yare.

Hardley Church
Hardley Cross Where the Chet joins the Yare can be found the 16th Century Hardley Cross, the ancient boundary between the City of Norwich and the Borough of Great Yarmouth.

From here you can re-trace your steps to Loddon or continue your walk along the banks of the Yare towards Hardley Staithe and beyond.