River Yare – Langley Dyke to Reedham Ferry

The sugar beet factory at Cantley dominates this section of the Yare. This gives way to a more open landscape as the Yare meanders towards Reedham with vast skies above and views over the marshes.

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On the right is Langley Dyke, the dyke is narrow with boats moored on either side.  At the head of the dyke are the free Broads Authority 24 hour moorings for 6 boats.

Langley Dyke

Sunrise over Langley Dyke
Sunrise over Langley Dyke

Langley Dyke is a 1 ¼ miles long, bordered on the north by Abbey Carr with views over the marshes to the south and eastwards towards the sugar beet factory at Cantley. The Broads Authority moorings at Langley Staithe are in a quiet, pleasant spot away from the main river.

To the north of the staithe is Langley Abbey, built in the 12th century the abbey has recently been restored at a cost of £500,000 it is now the home of the Norfolk Polo Club, but still open to the public.

The nearby Wherry Inn closed its doors for the last time in 2003 and is now a private house.

The river meanders around Cantley Marshes up ahead the sugar beet factory looms large. On the left just before the factory are the Broads Authority moorings at Cantley and the Reedcutter Inn formerly the Red House, with moorings for patrons. Just after the Reedcutter Inn is Cantley Staithe the mooring pontoons are private but the slipway is free for the public to use.


Reedcutter Inn and Broads Authority Moorings at Cantley
Reedcutter Inn and Broads Authority Moorings at Cantley

The British Sugar Factory dominates the Yare at Cantley, it was the UK’s first sugar beet factory and was built in 1912. The factory produces over 200.000 tonnes of sugar annually from sugar beet sourced on average within 50km of the factory.  During the 140 day processing campaign the factory operates around the clock processing nearly 400 lorry loads of beet each day. The six silos dwarf the surrounding buildings, each one has a capacity of 10,000 tonnes.

The Reedcutter Inn is a family run pub offering home cooked food, live entertainment and award winning ales from local microbreweries. Rooms are available on a bed & breakfast basis. The inn also sells basic provisions and provides a takeaway service.  The recently refurbished moorings are available for patrons.

Between the pub and the sugar factory is Cantley Staithe. The staithe was in a poor state of repair and regularly flooded. Working in collaboration with others including the Broads Authority, British Sugar and Broadland Environmental Services Ltd the parish council opened the new staithe on 18th September 2010. The staithe includes an attractive landscaped area with benches and a picnic table set amongst young trees. There are mooring pontoons reserved for the residents of Cantley and a slipway freely available for the public to use.

The river meanders around Langley Marshes, on the right is The Round House, moorings here are private. A little way downstream is Hardley Mill, moorings are available on the pontoon, which also has an electric hook up point.

Hardley Mill

Hardley Drainage Mill
Hardley Drainage Mill

Hardley Drainage Mill was built in 1874  by Daniel England, millwright and  licensee of the King’s Arms in Ludham. It operated until damaged in a storm during 1950, an electric drainage pump later replaced it.

The mill has now been restored by Norfolk born architect Peter Grix. Peter had fallen in love with the mill as a boy while boating on the Broads. In 1991 with the help of a group of friends Peter began restoring the mill. It became a labour of love and by 2008 an eco-friendly visitor centre was built alongside the mill with pontoon moorings on the adjacent River Yare.

With the assistance of trainee millwrights from the Broads Authority a new cap was constructed. Essex millwright Vincent Pargeter made the stocks, frames and canvas-covered shutters. The cap was lifted into place and the sails finally turned on 9th October 2009. Watch the sails turning in the following video – Hardley Mill – Sails Turning

The mill was officially opened on Saturday 9th May 2009 and is now open to the public at weekends between May and September. Entry to the visitor centre is free, admission to the mill is £3 (2018) for adults opening times are 10am to 4pm.

Mooring is free on the pontoon but time limited to 3 hours when the mill is open to allow for river users to get onto the moorings. Overnight moorings is available for £5, electric hook ups are provided, payment by prepayment card.

Shortly after the mill is Hardly Dyke, there are no public moorings in the dyke and turning would be difficult for medium or larger craft.

The river meanders through Limpenhoe  Marshes on the left is Limpenhoe Drainage Mill built in 1831 by millwright William Thorold , further downstream on the right is Hardley Cross, the cross marks the point the River Chet joins the Yare. There are new Broads Authority 24 hour moorings here for about 8 boats.

Hardley Cross

Hardley Cross, erected around 1676 replaced an earlier wooden cross. It marks the ancient boundary between the City of Norwich and the Borough of Great Yarmouth. Every year in July the mayors of Norwich and Great Yarmouth would meet in their state barges at Hardley Cross to discuss grievances between the watermen of the different boroughs. From the new moorings at Hardley Cross a short 4 mile walk will take the visitor past Hardley Flood through Chedgrave Common and on towards Loddon. A longer walk is available along the Wherryman’s Way via Hardley Staithe.

On the right just after Chet Mouth is Norton Marsh Drainage Mill it was built in 1863 and is now a holiday let.

Ahead is Reedham Ferry and the Reedham Ferry Inn, slow right down here as the tide flows fast. Wait until the ferry has docked before passing through and beware of the chains. There are moorings on both sides of the Ferry Inn but the ones on the upstream side are in poor condition and often flood, they can also be very slippy. For maximum control of your boat always come into moor against the tide.

Reedham Ferry

Reedham Chain Ferry Crossing the River Yare
Reedham Chain Ferry Crossing the River Yare

Reedham Ferry is a chain ferry capable of carrying up to 3 cars or a maximum of 12 tonnes across the River Yare.  It is the only river crossing between Postwick Viaduct and Breydon Bridge at Great Yarmouth.  There has been a ferry crossing here since the 17th century, one of many on the Yare at the time. The Archer family has operated the ferry since 1949, the one in use today was built in 1984 at Oulton Broad.  The ferry operates from 7:30am to 10pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 10pm at weekends.

The Reedham Ferry Inn has moorings for patrons on either side of the ferry, the downstream ones being in better condition. Outside is a paved seating area where you can watch the ferry in operation. The inn also has it’s own touring park and fishing lake, pitches are set in an attractive tree lined landscaped area next to the river. During the summer the inn opens early serving hot beverages, ideal for walkers on the Wherryman’s Way. Showers are available on request for boaters dining in the restaurant. The inn is open all day at weekends during the summer but closes between 3pm and 5pm during the week.

River Yare – Reedham Ferry to Berney Arms

River Yare – Brundall to Langley Dyke

River Chet – Loddon to Hardley Cross