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Windmills, meadows and the River Waveney — hiking the Angles Way

Nick_Rowland (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Windmills, meadows and the River Waveney — hiking the Angles Way

Hiking Collection by Kit P

6-13

days

3-6 h

/ day

99.0 mi

2,050 ft

2,000 ft

Starting in Great Yarmouth where the North Sea laps at the shore, this fantastic long-distance hiking trail retains its watery essence as it travels inland for 92 miles (148 km), following the River Waveney and the Little Ouse. With much of the route founded in 1989 by The Ramblers, its extension to Thetford is more recent and allows for greater accessibility.

Hiking this beautiful and largely flat trail, you’ll walk the entire extent of the River Waveney, passing its source at Redgrave where you’ll pick up the Little Ouse River to the finish. These rivers form the border between Suffolk and Norfolk and you’ll find yourself meandering from one to the other constantly.

Starting in the phenomenal landscape of the Norfolk Broads National Park, you’ll get to experience plenty of marshlands and the thriving life it holds. There’s little in the way of built-up areas along the Angles Way. Instead, you’ll ramble across farmland and heaths, glimpsing the winding river and exploring small towns and villages.

Castles, manor houses and old bridges bring an intriguing history to this adventure and people have been using many of the footpaths for generations. The Waveney is a quiet, serene river with water meadows and plenty of birds, but once upon a time, it was a busy trading route. Roman artefacts have been found here and you’ll find signs of times gone by in every town.

There’s little in the way of ascents on the Angles Way making longer days more manageable. I’ve split this route into seven stages which correspond well with accommodation and food options. However, you could easily join stages together if you’re a more experienced long-distance walker, particularly the middle stages.

The ends of the Angles Way are well-served by trains as there are several stops along the route (although the lines don’t necessarily link up). Much of the route runs near the A143 which has the frequent 581 bus service, allowing you to walk the stages separately or stay at the same accommodation for multiple nights. While I’ve written this Collection east to west, you can, of course, do the reverse.

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Angles Way

77.5 mi

1,575 ft

1,500 ft

Last updated: November 3, 2021

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Great Yarmouth to Oulton Broad — hiking the Angles Way

    Difficult
    07:41
    18.7 mi
    2.4 mph
    325 ft
    325 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Once a considerable estuary, Great Yarmouth lies on land that hasn’t always existed. A lively seaside town, the Angles Way begins at the train station, making it about as easy as possible to reach. You’ll find numerous supermarkets at the beginning too so you can easily fill your pockets with snacks

    by Kit P

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  • Difficult
    05:16
    12.9 mi
    2.5 mph
    125 ft
    100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage of the Angles Way spends its entirety alongside the River Waveney, unlike the other stages. You’ll find small local supermarkets at the start where you can stock up on snacks before heading directly out across low fields to the river. Half way, I've added in an optional pub stop which takes

    by Kit P

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  • Intermediate
    04:30
    10.9 mi
    2.4 mph
    250 ft
    250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Unlike the Oulton to Beccles stretch of the Angles Way, this Tour scarcely meets the River Waveney at all. Instead, it leaves the Saxon port town of Beccles and goes off on a fantastic meander of the fields, villages and histories of this intriguing area. With some gentle hills, this 11-mile (18 km

    by Kit P

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  • Intermediate
    04:35
    11.1 mi
    2.4 mph
    325 ft
    250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This section of the Angles Way wanders about from Norfolk to Suffolk and back again, through fields, across meadows and past grazing cows. Starting in the sweet little town of Earsham, this Tour rises up just enough to offer sweeping views before heading back down to the river’s banks and marshes. At

    by Kit P

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  • Difficult
    05:45
    13.9 mi
    2.4 mph
    350 ft
    375 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This 13-mile (21 km) hike meanders along the River Waveney between two old market towns, never quite knowing if it wants to be in Norfolk or Suffolk. There’s so little in the way of elevation gain here that you don’t need to worry about any ascents and instead you can ramble along past water meadows

    by Kit P

    View
  • Difficult
    06:41
    16.3 mi
    2.4 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    At just over 16 miles (26 km), this is one of the longest Tours on the Angles Way but it’s essentially entirely flat, making the distance easier on the feet. Hiking from Diss to Rushford, you’ll pass classic water meadows and even reach the source of the Rivers Waveney and Ouse, which dominate this adventure

    by Kit P

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  • Difficult
    06:20
    15.3 mi
    2.4 mph
    400 ft
    425 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    At 15 miles (24 km) long, the final stage of the Angles Way travels through the majestic landscapes of the Brecks. There’s little elevation gain on this Tour and you’ll spend most of it rambling along tracks and footways past grazing land and farms. With a completely different atmosphere from the wetlands

    by Kit P

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    99.0 mi
  • Duration
    40:47 h
  • Elevation
    2,050 ft2,000 ft

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