The Marriott's Way is a peaceful and secluded walk along the former railway line between Hellesdon, on the north-west fringe of Norwich, and Aylsham. It passes through typical lowland arable fields, woods and water meadows near to the river Wensum, before going on to the slightly higher and drier lands beyond Reepham. The Way is 21 miles long, and is available to walkers, horseriders and cyclists. The whole route is waymarked in the brown and cream livery colours of the former Midland and Great Northern Railway (M&GN), which once operated one of the lines that now form the Marriott's Way.
At Hellesdon, Marriott's Way joins the Norwich Riverside Walk, which runs for 5 miles through the heart of the City to the Boom towers near Carrow Bridge. At Aylsham, the Way joins the Bure Valley Walk, which runs for 9 miles through the river valley to Hoverton, beside the narrow gauge railway. Another path goes off to the north between Cawston and Aylsham, and joins up with the 56 mile Weavers' Way, a countryside route running between Cromer and Great Yarmouth.
The History of the lines
Marriott's Way originally consisted of two lengths of railway, from Themblethorpe
to Aylsham, and from Themblethorpe to Norwich. These were joined by the
so-called 'Themblethorpe curve' in 1960.
route is named after William Marriott who was chief engineer and manager
of the M&GN system for 41 years. Marriott was based at and lived in
the village of Melton Constable, which was then a sizeable town and the
main depot of the M&GN system. To maximise efficiency Marriott had
a railway saloon that served as a 'mobile office' in which he could travel
around the railway system. His activities included all aspects of railway
work, ranging from the design and construction of locomotives to the purchase
of bricks for bridge building. He also introduced the use of concrete
fence posts, and set up and ran a concrete factory in Melton Constable
to produce them. Some of the gatekeepers' houses on the Way include large