Suggested 7 day cruise
Wroxham is easily one of the most visited parts of the Broads and is often referred to as the capital, but forget any notions of bright lights and big cities as its more a peaceful village, with lots of local shops and 15 acres of beautiful gardens to potter around at Hoveton Hall. Wroxhams main claim to fame is that its home to Roy's the largest village store in the world.
Upon leaving the boatyard head upstream, through Wroxham Bridge (boat height permitting). This stretch of water is very quiet and undeveloped. You will pass though the sleepy hamlet of Belaugh and continue cruising until you reach Coltishall. Plenty of moorings are available alongside the green. Moor up and sample one of several restaurants and pubs such as The Kings Head, The Recruiting Sergeant or The Norfolk Mead.The River Bure is thought to be the most scenic of all the rivers offering countless pockets of unspoilt beauty with plenty of secluded areas to explore.
Depart Coltishall heading downstream towards your destination of Potter Heigham. After Wroxham, the next village you come to is Horning peppered with traditional Norfolk Thatched Cottages. However, ensure you visit Salhouse Broad with its beach and play area, or Hoveton Great Broad opposite, with its fascinating Broads Authority Nature Trail. Continue through Horning and on towards Ranworth & South Walsham Broad passing St Benet's Abbey. Our team recommends " St Helen's in Ranworth - or rather the view from the top of the bell tower. Climb the 89 stone steps and 2 ladders to the roof of this pretty little parish church - known as the Cathedral of the Broads - is a great way to work off excessive Norfolk fayre. Those hardy enough to make the climb are rewarded with what is arguably the best view of the Broads" This is the remains of what was once an important East Anglian monastery and dates back to the 11th century.
Turn into South Walsham Dyke and cruise fifteen minutes up to the broad. You can either moor to the bank alongside the dyke or drop your mud-weight over board and swing peacefully in the middle of the broad. After lunch it is approximately a 1 1⁄2 to 2 hour cruise to Potter Heigham.
Upon arrival at Potter Heigham moor in view of the tiny hump backed bridge and marvel at the skill of the bridge pilots threading these large cruisers through such a tiny opening. Highly recommended (boat height permitting) is to explore the river beyond the bridge as far as Hickling Broad and Horsey Mere.
Head downstream along the River Thurne towards the Thurne mouth, where it meets the River Bure. Turn left and continue downstream towards Acle, and under Acle Bridge towards Stokesby and the Ferry Inn. This is a real traditional pub and is an ideal place to stop for lunch. With Great Yarmouth a bustling seaside town being your final destination, this is also a good place to wait for the tide; it is preferable to leave Stokesby two hours before low water at Great Yarmouth in order to arrive there at slack water. This will make your mooring up much easier. Take advantage of the Harbour Master on hand to assist with mooring up. Yarmouth is a bustling seaside town with much to offer, including a first class beach, shopping centre, amusement arcades and funfair. Beside the seaside fond childhood memories will come flooding back when you take time out to explore the traditional seaside resort of Great Yarmouth. Children will go wild for the seaside Pleasure beach with over 70 rides and attractions. There are wonderful gardens to explore and a mini golf course to pit your wits at and of course mouth-watering fish and chips. And on a wet day there is the Sealife Centre to explore all the hidden secrets of the sea. We can guarantee all the fresh seaside air will send your little ones off to the land of nod with ease.
The River Bure, Thurne And Ant with wide open spaces , serene countryside and delicate church spires. The Middle Bure, Thurne and Ant are effortlessly beautiful. The three Rivers combine to create an area of outstanding natural beauty in Britain's largest protected wetland. You can cruise along and enjoy the panoramic views of farm and marshland, discover untold history and pass though the reed beds which are still used in the art of thatching to this day. Explore the peaceful corners of this breathtaking part of England and discover pretty little villages with their truly local charm. Head off in any direction down either of these Rivers and you will be treated to a wealth of experiences, which will capture the heart of even the hardiest of traveller.
It is time to head for Reedham. First check the height gauge beside the Yarmouth bridge and cross reference with your Skipper's Handbook to ensure there is enough room to pass under (please check with the Harbour Master if in doubt). Follow the posts to your right after the second bridge, then through the third bridge and across Breydon Water the mud flat either side are a rich habitat for wildlife and are a conservation area. . At the far end of Breydon Water fork right towards the Berney Arms. (Now closed). From the Berney Arms it is approximately an hour's cruise to Reedham where you will find a long quay available for visitor moorings. On the quay are two pubs and shops where you can buy milk, bread and papers for the next day's trip to Norwich.
The Three district Rivers- Yare, Chet, and Waveney all have a unique story to tell, but combined they offer the ultimate Broadland experience. The River yare for instance is often called the "Gateway to the Broads" a nickname which stuck after it became a main trading route- linking Norwich with the seaside port of Great yarmouth. Today the river is a haven of woodland flora, fauna and impressive marshland. The Chet in comparison offers a sleepy backwater feel with the quaint market town of Loddon drawing visitors in. This three mile stretch of River makes an effortless detour and before you know it you'll be back to the River Yare. The Waveney takes its place between Norfolk and Suffolk and is the Broads most southerly main River. It has a very unique feel with its secluded coves and bustling market towns.
Heading upstream it is about a 2 1⁄2 hour cruise to Bramerton. a great place to stop for lunch or to enjoy a walk along part of the Weavers Way footpath. However we would recommend detours into both Surlingham and Rockland Broads before stopping at Bramerton for lunch. After lunch depart for the cathedral city of Norwich. En route pass through Thorpe (bridge height permitting), and travel past Thorpe Green. This detour takes about fifteen minutes and is very rewarding. The scenery tends to take on a more commercial theme as, in times gone by, Norwich relied heavily on river transport and the Norfolk Wherries to carry cargo. Moorings can be found in the heart of the city at Norwich Yacht Station.
The City of Norwich is famous for many things including the magnificent Norman cathedral and its heritage in the wool trade. Today you can explore the cobbled streets surrounded by the medieval buildings and sample fresh fish, fruit and vegetables from the local sellers at Norwich Market. But be sure to take a second look and you'll discover a bustling city with its contemporary restaurants and wine bars which come alive at night. See a show in the theatre or catch the latest movie release in one of the cities cinemas.
Leave Norwich retracing your steps until you arrive at the narrow River Chet. At the head of this narrow river the small town of Loddon, is an ideal place for provisions and a lunch stop. On leaving Loddon, head back through Reedham, and take a right hand turn along the New Cut. Dug to facilitate easier passage for the trading wherries between Lowestoft and Norwich it takes you directly onto the River Waveney and St Olaves. Upon reaching St, Olaves turn left and head downstream under the bridge (height permitting) towards Great Yarmouth. We suggest that this evening you moor at Burgh Castle situated at the head of Breydon Water and the site of a Roman castle, the ruins of which can still be explored today." Our team recommends whilst visiting Norwich explore one of the superb cafes or restaurants. One of my favorite areas is St Giles Street to the west of the city offering a selection of fish restaurants and even a Belgian Waffle House"
Today, it is time to head back. Set off half an hour before low water at Yarmouth. This will ensure you make the best use of the tides and obtain maximum clearance under the bridges at Yarmouth. Once through Great Yarmouth head upstream towards the Stracey Arms Mill. The four-storey mill is worth visiting and has the first proper mooring you will reach. Continue to head upstream towards Horning, about three hours cruise away. This is a convenient location for your final night being only 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours cruise from the boatyard.
This route plan is only a ‘taster’. There are many more Broads, villages and byways you can visit and many more routes you can take. To help explore them all, our cruisers are equipped with maps and information. There are also many excellent navigational guide books available from local shops. Enjoy your holiday.
The Norfolk Broads and Broadland area is home to some very quaint and pretty villages and towns, We have listed just a few.
Wroxham-On the River Bure with a very low semicircular road bridge. It has only 7ft3in headroom at average high water. Wroxham is considered by many to be the gateway to the Broads and home to the Roy's, the largest village store in the world.
Coltishall-At the head of navigation on the River Bure. A pretty village with several pubs all of which serve food and local beers. There are a variety of local shops to stock up on supplies. It is possible to walk up along the River beyond the no navigation sign to the old lock gates and mill pool which is very beautiful.
Horning-On the River Bure. Quite possibly the prettiest village on the Norfolk Broads.
Potter Heigham-On the River Thurne. The Medieval bridge here is believed to date from 1385, and is famous for being the most difficult to navigate on the Norfolk Broads. Know locally as just 'Potter', the village is also home to one of the largest discount stores in the country 'Lathams' which also sells a huge range of fishing tackle.
Ludham-Off the River Ant. Ludham is home to the Hunters Fleet a superb fleet of traditional wooden sailing boats. These date back to as early as 1931. It is also home to the last remaining trading wherry known as the Albion easily distinguishable with her vast black sail.
Acle-A small market town on the river Bure. The weekly market and auction is held on a Thursday at the sale ground. There are also a selection of butchers, good restaurants and local supermarkets.
Great Yarmouth-Where the River Bure meets the North sea. A popular seaside resort with a large selection of tourist attractions and lovely sandy beaches.
Reedham-On the River Yare. The River flows very fast through the village which makes for interesting watching when boats come though to moor up along the quay. One of only a few chain ferries left.
Norwich-On the River Yare. An historic city known as the capital of East Anglia. It has over 1500 medieval buildings.