Coltishall - Walking The River Bure to Mayton and back along the Bure Valley railway line

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Starting point is at Coltishall upper common at the Salvation Army Hall car park and is approximately 5miles.

This walk has several exit places at roads and Bridges along the way, if you leave at anyone of them in general there are enough visual references to get you back to the centre of the village or to the lower common near the Pubs and Post Office

We are going to start at the small bridge over the culvert, the bridge can be accessed just before the B1150 road bridge,  left hand side on the Coltishall side. You will see a small pumping station just before it.
On the common land nearby look for barn owls, heron and egrets which have been seen recently
Water Bird Rescue
If during your walks along the river bank you come across a Swan in distress or any water bird The Swan Helpline phone number is 01603 782626

Having found the path turn left when you come to the riverbank of the Bure and walk about 750 yards along the bank , shown here in the autumn, until you come to the lock that denotes the end of the navigable end from Wroxham for holiday cruisers

The area around here is rather pleasant for fishing and picnics, if you walk on over the small bridge at the lock you will come to the remains of the Horstead Mill, 

The Mill sadly, was burnt down in 1963, hence the painting of its former glory.However this area is maintained as a local historic beauty spot, and the sluice runs dashingly into the lower reaches of the Bure at the mill pound, another favourite fishing area.

Once you have enjoyed the tranquility of the mill and pond it will be time to start off on opposite side of the bank from whence you came and head back 750 yards towards the Coltishall/Horstead road bridge. You will come out opposite Fines the Butchers. Cross-over here with care, turn right across the footbridge and then turn left at the end, through the double gate to join the river path again. If you go past the splendid Bridge House Bed & Breakfast (Formerly a local pub) you will have missed the turn

Continue 500 yds along the path and follow the bends until you meet a small footbridge, if you look slightly right across the grounds you will see the Patteson Lodge Girl Guiding Centre and may even come across guiders canoeing and taking in other sports in the grounds.

Just along from here you will see on the left bank what I call ,Knots Landing,(forgive the pun) and in the distance you can see the fine church of Horstead All Saint's. Carry on along the path and on the right hand side you will see a fishing lake accessible from Great Hautbois Road only

Carrying along the path in the distance you will also see the Ruins of St Theobold's Church which  lies about a mile to the West of the Patterson House, very close to the original site of St. Benedict's Abbey, and fell into such a ruinous state that a replacement was built in the 19th Century. A little further on there is, at your right  a local chicken farm. The river here can be quite clear in the summer and you may also see many coots, swan and even heron amongst other bird life. There have also been the occasional deer in attendance and an abundance of small blue dragonfly in the appropriate season

The path is not always clear along the river, but at most times is single width at least though some ducking and weaving among low trees can be a necessity. Once you have gone along following the path for about a mile and at the end of a large field on your right you come to a footbridge system which allows you access across the meadow towards Mayton bridge.

Many artists have used this area to capture the view back towards Coltishall on canvas.carry along across this field until you come to another safety gate and exit to the road.At the bridge turn right and go 200 yards until to you come to a bridge on a sharp bend.As you are passing by on your left is a old listed building, now usedby a member of the wine trade as a local outlet.


This bridge locally known as the Adam & Eve bridge (yet another pub gone to it’s maker) and was renown for catching many an unsuspecting Coltishall airman out on a bike or in a car on a frosty night, going straight on and not making the turn.

The cars are parked here in the photo at the Lay-by that leads to the steps shown below


Do not go over this bridge, unless you wish to walk to the former airbase, but turn right and on your left by the lay-by take the steps down to the Bure Valley Railway Line below.
If you turn left you will continue on to Aylsham via Buxton, but for now turn right at the bottom and continue towards Coltishall Railway Station, in season no doubt you will be passed and greeted by the train passengers traveling from Aylsham to Wroxham along this scenic line.

As you progress along the walk on your left you can see the end of Coltishall runway and the old concrete aircraft revetments, in it’s heyday you would, dependent on the decade, have had, many varieties of aircraft. Hurricane’s, Spitfire’s Mosquito’s, Venom's, Javelins, Lightning’s or the last of the line in Jaguars landing over the top of you, just to name a few.

Once past the end of the runway about 500 yards on, is a bridge over Frogge Lane, if you look to your right and fancy a break, you will see Great Hautbois common and pond, go down the steps and take a rest on the Alan Spinks commemorative bench and watch the wild geese, ducks and swans.
You can even go through the rail arch nearby and see the horses around Grove Farm or visit Periodglassworks located in the farm outbuildings.

If you carry on, not taking a break, walking along the railway line path, you will go under the next bridge and 200 yards further on arrive at Coltishall Railway Station. Where there is also a  Bed & Breakfast facility converted from the old station house
If you wish to terminate the walk here turn right out of the station and go down Station road , along which is The Railway Pub which also has some historic remains of lime kilns in its grounds at the rear. If you continue on you will arrive back in the village high street and the upper common.

But please carry on under a further three bridges and finally go down the steps at the St James, High Street bridge and turn right and take this road, go past a farm on your right, further on past the junction of The Hill and 25 yards further on, and at a sharp bend left, take to the field and cross to the corner to a small path that leads you out at the Coltishall Post Office Stores and a Hair Salon

Note: if you miss the path just carry on along the road to the left and turn right at the next triangle along White Lion Street and you will come out at Coltishall lower common.
If in error you go right up the farmers field this will lead you into Coltishall allotments, if you follow path and go down Chapel Lane, shown here, you will come out near the Red Lion Pub and St John’s the Baptist Church.

Once you have reached the Post Office there is the lower common on your left, where free moorings are available. The car park nearby is also home to  two fine pubs and restaurants, The Rising Sun, & The Kings Head. 

Moreover there is a public toilet here on the car park.

If you walk up the hill from the post office, past Broadgates B&B you will come to our lovely thatched roofed church St John's The Baptist and another pub and restaurant The Red Lion, a little further along is a Complementary Health Practice, Swallowtail Picture Framing, Arts & Crafts Shop ,Thai Restaurant, and  just past the church, a small lane left will lead you to The Coltishall Mead Hotel and Restaurant.

If you carry on straight past the church you will come to the upper common again and the centre of Coltishall, where there is an Antique Shop, Pharmacy, Fuel Station, Fish & Chip Shop, Londis Store with Bakery, Butchers, Greengrocers, various Hair and Beautification Salons, Estate Agents, Chinese take away, The Piece of Cake Tea Rooms, Saddle Shop and garage.

We hope you enjoyed  your walk and stay

This is just one of the walks around our lovely village and below are further images of places to visit

Many thanks to Charles & Joy Boldero who's articles gave me the idea to have a go myself. You can find out more about  about walks in Norfolk detailed by Charles & Joy   from the link opposite


Rising Sun Lower Common

Kings Head

Lower Common Boat House

Bridge House B&B

The Limes B&B

Old Railway Station B&B

The Red Lion

Andaman Orchid

 The Railway Tavern

Hewitt's the Butchers

Londis one stop store

Roger Bradbury's Antiques

Central Garage

Coltishall Norfolk Mead Hotel & Restaurant

The Pharmacy


Forget-me-Not Dress Agency

Londis One Stop Filling Station

Do's and dont's when walking in fields containing cattle

Some information supplied by the Chief Excutive of the Ramblers who offers the following advice when walking in a field with calves
Do Don't
Try not to get between cows and their calves Don't hang on to your dog,if you are threatened by animals,let it go as the cow will chase after that.
Be prepared for cattle to react to your presence, especially if you have a dog Don't put yourself at risk. Find another way round the cows and rejion the footpath as soon as possible.
Move quickly and quietly, and if possible walk around them Don't panic! Most cows will stop before they reach you. if they follow just walk on quietly
Keep your dogs close and under proper control Don't forget to report any problems to the highway authority