M&gn Norwich City To Drayton

Welcome to Norfolks disused railways.




Part one from Norwich City station to Drayton Station via Hellesdon in Norfolk.

Marriots way walk starts in the centre of Norwich at the Barn road and Barker street inner-ring road roundabout .

You will see the railway monument and the old Railway gates at the start of the route.

I personally found it easier to park at Drayton and cycle to Norwich and then photograph this old route on the return cycle ride on the 29th of march 2021.Drayton was also less distance to drive personally for me but depends on where you live.


There will be more easier parking at Norwich as Drayton has very few spaces to park.

The Marriott way walk in total is 26 miles long opened in 1991 and this page covers the first part from Norwich City station to Drayton via Hellesdon station what still partly still remains to this day as does Norwich City station and Norwich City station engine sheds.

Marriotts way walk covers two old disused railway lines now used as public footpaths.

Norwich to Themelthorpe & Themelthorpe to Aylsham .

The Norwich Themelthorpe line was built in. 1882 by the Lynn & Fakenham Railway company what was then taken over by the M&Gnjr in 1893 and ran up to Melton Constable giving a through route to the midlands.

The Themelthorpe branch to Aylsham was completed in 1893 to provide a link to other lines at Wroxham and County school station and North Elmham.Now owned by the mid Norfolk Railway who hope to reopen this part of the line as part of there heritage railway.

Both lines Never made any profit and in 1959 both lines closed to passengers but in 1960 the lines were joined by the sharpest curve in British Railways network the Themelthorpe curve.

For movements of Concrete products from Lenwade This line closed to freight in the 1980s and the track was lifted.

Part of the old line was reopened and now used as the Bure Valley Railway line.

Most Infomation was sourced from Wikipedia.

click me for Marriots way info


Here we see googlemaps coverage from Norwich at the start of the Marriott way walk at the former site of the Norwich City station now partly remaining.From the inner ring road roundabout you cant miss the start of the walk just look for the monument and the old railway gates as seen in the pictures below.

Thanks to Google maps for all the maps used in this page.

Marriots way part one photographed 29th march 2021

Norwich City station was opened in 1882 an closed in 1959 to passengers and 1969 to freight.Norwich city station had four platforms and was the southern terminus for the Midland Great Northern joint railway from Melton Constable linking Norwich to the Midlands,Peterbrough,Leicester and more locally Cromer and King's Lynn and Sheringham 

Norwich City station had 4 platforms and in 1942 the building was badly destroyed by bombing raids from the Second World War and one usaf aircraft crashed into the site to save more loss of life by crashing or a more populated area 

After this temporary buildings were used at Norwich until the line closed shortly after 

In 2021 all that still remains are one platform and thanks to Friends of Norwich City Station this and the base of the old train sheds can still be seen.

Norwich City station drawing acquired from Wikipedia

IMG_1382 2.JPG

Norwich City station in 1942 after the blitz | Credit to edp Archant library

Archant library

Melton Constable train at Norwich City station in 1958. | Credit

Edp Archant library.


Norwich City station in 1966 | Credit goes to archant library via edp 


Norwich City station in 2021

Entrance to Marriotts way 

The railway monument that can be seen from the ring road roundabout

Marriots way Monument

Marriotts way entrance and just behind the gate part of Norwich City station lays. 


Here we see the only remains in 2021 of Norwich City station

Norwich city station
Norwich city station
Marriotts way

After Norwich City station we next see this old remain what is either a signal base or more what I think is a base for a old water tower that was used on the railway please feel free to comment if you know.


Next just down the line we arrive at the old Norwich City station engine shed remains. Where they sit in 2021.

All that remains to this day are the recently unearthed brick remains from the base of where these sheds once stood at Marriotts way just past the old station platform remains In-between the station and the river Wensum.

The engine sheds were big enough to hold 6 steam engines with inspection pits.


 In 1942 the old station sheds were damaged beyond repair and was replaced with a smaller shed with just two bays and no doors.

A far less elegant structure.

Here we see the engine shed remains recently unearthed by volunteers at Norwich .

Norwich city engine sheds
Norwich city engine sheds
Norwich city engine sheds
Norwich city engine sheds remains

After Norwich City engine sheds we come to where the river Wensum bridge once stood.Here was where the first of the three victorian a frame bridges once stood this the fist one was removed in the 1970s and  this new foot path/cycle way bridge spanned the river Wensum in 2002.

These a frame bridges were built by the contractor Wilkinson & Jarvis.

William marriott trained and held his first job with Wilkinson & Jarvis who were also responsible for lots of the infrastructure on the m&gn

Two bridges still remain one in amazing restored condition at Hellesdon &

the other just outside Drayton

The wensum dipper

Was a story I found on the information board thanks to Mariotts way heritage trail,Norfolk county council council for this information .

In November 1846 a steam train was leaving Norwich heading for Melton Constable in heavy morning mist.

A mistake in the yard accidentally sent the train down a siding off the main line and towards a set of buffers.

At the last moment the driver realised the mistake and applied the breaks sadly it was to late and the train crashed and went down the bank towards the river Wensum.

The crew escaped unharmed and walked back to the goods yard.

The next day the crew were expected back to work.

Next we see one of the old A frame bridges on the old railway before the line was lifted the year is unknown of this picture 


Credit: Archant Library


Here we see the new river Wensum crossing in 2021

Marriotts way bridge
Marriotts way bridge

After the river Wensum bridge the line kept curving to the right before reaching this road bridge where after the line goes on a straight trajectory heading towards Hellesdon.

This is the A1024 mile cross road bridge that carries the road over head and the railway ran underneath.

Thanks once again to Google maps for the map coverage


Mile cross railway bridge seen here in 2021 from the Marriotts way walk.

Sadly like all railway bridges this is covered in graffiti but apart from that is in good condition.

This bridge carries the A1024 Mile cross road across the top of this bridge.

The railway used to run underneath this road bridge .

Milecross railway bridge

Sadly like most railway bridges used or unused most are sadly covered in graffiti.


Mile cross road bridge heading to Norwich

Mile cross raod railway bridge

Not long after the mile cross bridge we come to this sculpture.

The first of many of the mile markers dotted along the Marriotts way walk.

Marriotts way 1 mile marker
Marriotts way one mile marker
Marriotts way 1 mile marker

After the one mile marker we head off down Marriotts way towards the Next bridge.


Next to come to Sweet briar road bridge A140 on the Marriotts way walk.

Like the Mile cross road bridge this carried the railway underneath the bridge and the road went over the top of this bridge.


Thanks again to Google maps.


Sweet Briar road road crossing bridge on the Marriotts way walk

Sweet Briar road railway bridge
Sweet Briar road railway bridge
Sweet Briar road railway bridge

Next along this lovely walk we come to one of the highlights of this the what would have been the second iron bridge when the line was open.The first one was removed as seen in the pictures above.

Along this walk this is the first original river crossing bridge you will encounter on this walk.

Bridge 249

Restored with help from the national lottery heritage fund.

Thanks to Google maps.

Bridge 249 Marriotts way

Here we see this marvellous restored bridge from the banks of the river Wensum

Marriotts way iron bridge
Bridge 249 Marriotts way

Marriotts way iron bridge crossing the

River Wensum

Marriotts way River Wensum iron bridge
Marriotts way
Bridge 249 Marriotts way
Bridge 249 Marriotts way

After the iron bridge and before Hellesdon road crossing we come to the second mile marker as seen below.

Marriotts way mile marker two

After the second mile marker just before we reach Hellesdon station we have to cross Hellesdon Road.

From what I can see there used to be a railway bridge here but sadly has been demolished due to the change in the road lay out.


Hellesdon station


Next we come to Hellesdon station on the Marriotts way walk.

Hellesdon station opened along with the rest of the line in 1882 

Closed to passengers in 1952

Closed completely in 1964

The station building was demolished in 1975

In October 2010, the platform wall was cleared by the amateur group Friends of Norwich City Station.

Hellesdon was the first stop after Norwich city station 2 1/4 miles away 

Hellesdon station only had the one platform that had a slight curve heading off towards Drayton.

Hellesdon Station sign
Hellesdon station
Marriotts way
Hellesdon platform

Just after Hellesdon Station I found this concrete plaque.

I'm not sure what its represents.

By the looks of the inscription its related to the river Wensum.


After Hellesdon station we head off towards the next and final station of this part of Marriotts way Drayton.

Before we reach there there are a few more railway remains to see a couple more bridges and mile markers.

So off we go and as we can see from the picture below after Hellesdon we head off through this cutting before reaching the next river crossing bridge.

Marriotts way cutting

Next we arrive at this small bridge that crosses the River Tud

The River Tud comes off from the River Wensum.

Thanks again too google maps.


The River Tud Crossing

River Tud railway crossing
Marriotts way river tud
River tud railway crossing

Off we head again down Marriotts way towards Drayton. 

Close to the third mile marker.

Marriotts way

Mile marker number Three.

Marriotts way mile marker three
Marriotts way mile marker three

After the Third mile marker the old railway line pretty much goes through country side and in parts goes down the side of the River Wensum.


Just off to the side of Marriotts way non railway related there is this small picnic sitting area under the trees a lovely area to take a well earned short rest.

Marriotts way picnic area

Off to Drayton once again here the old line opens up a bit into more open fields here for a short while up to the 4th mile marker on Marriotts way.


Old railway remains left behind from the railways 

long gone days

Marriotts way remains
Marriotts way remains

Mile marker number 4

The last mile marker before we reach Drayton.

Marriotts way mile marker

Here we see some old railway fencing in-between mile marker number 4

And Drayton.


Heading off to drayton we come across this next small railway bridge that crosses what looks like a farm track .

Sadly this bridge like most has been graffitied but with bad language.


Top of the railway crossing bridge.

Marriotts way bridge

View of the railway bridge from the bottom of the bridge


Top view from the disused railway bridge looking down towards the farm track


After we head off again to Drayton just a short distance ahead.

But before we reach Drayton we come to the final River Wensum bridge and also the second iron A Frame bridge that survives to this day.There used to be three during the lines pre closure days.


This bridge is not in as good condition as the first one previous but structurally is looks fantastic.


Final a frame bridge before we reach Drayton just after this bridge.

Marriotts way iron bridge
A frame iron bridge
Marriotts way iron bridge
Marriotts way

View of the river wensum from the top of the bridge.

River wensum

I managed to get down to the bottom of the bridge with out slipping or falling and ill be honest it was not the easiest of places to get to so if you venture please take care.

Marriotts way
Marriotts way

So here we are at the end of part one of Marriotts way walk photographed on the  29th of March 2021 inbetween Norwich and Drayton. 

Thanks to all that have visited and please feel free to look through my other pages and follow me on twitter. 


Just after the start of Marriotts way walk wee see here station road Drayton

Here there is no trace at all left of any railway station or remains at all sadly in 2021


Welcome to Norfolks Disused railways Google Maps Coverage from 

Marriotts way part one.

This part is best viewed on a Pc/Laptop Or Tablet.