Stay safe on the water!
We want you to stay safe and enjoy your visit to the Broads National Park. It’s a wild and beautiful place – but like many wild and beautiful things, it’s best to treat it with a bit of respect. Relax, but be aware of potential dangers and the unpredictable nature of wild places. If you’re going boating, please follow this guidance to keep safe and read the Boating Basics guide on pages 25-32, including ‘How to cross Breydon Water’ on page 30.
Don’t jump when mooring
– plan where and how to moor safely, and share this plan with everyone on board
Don’t drink and drive or sail
– you need to stay in control to stay safe
Wear a life jacket to keep safe
– and always wear one when you are on deck, getting on and oﬀ or tying up your boat
– prepare and take care, there are very low bridges, tides and other challenges
Hold on when moving around
– boats are aﬀected by tide, wind and waves made by other boats
– never enter the water from a boat. If someone falls in, don’t attempt to rescue them from the back of a boat – boats have a sharp propeller at the back
– give yourself time to do things safely and enjoy your visit
For more guidance go to broads-authority.gov.uk/boating-essentials
We hope that you enjoy reading Broadcaster. It is produced by the Broads Authority – looking after the Broads National Park for visitors and its community.
If you would like a copy of Broadcaster sent in advance of your next visit, please contact the Broads Authority. Visit our information centres or yacht stations for more details on anything included in Broadcaster.
Grid references mentioned throughout Broadcaster (for example C2) refer to this map.
COVER: Kingfisher by Tracey Elphick traceyelphick.co.uk
Broadcaster is available in large print.
Please contact: Broads Authority, Yare House, 62-64 Thorpe Road, Norwich NR1 1RY 01603 610734
The visitor website for the Broads also has all you need to know about where to go and what to do, where to stay ashore and afloat, where to eat, boating, special events and everything else you need to enjoy the Broads by land and water.
The Ordnance Survey (OS) mapping used within this publication is provided by the Broads Authority under licence from the OS, in order to give recreational information to Broads visitors. People viewing this mapping should contact OS Copyright for advice if they wish to license OS mapping for their own use.
Wild days out
The Broads National Park is the place for wild days out, with wildlife, wild water, wild skies… Our small and friendly boat trips will all give you the chance to experience the wilder side of the Broads, but with our boat trip staff aboard to ensure your safety and comfort. They all know and love the Broads, and whether you’re a new or returning visitor, there’s always something to discover.
Liana at Ranworth
Set off on a voyage of discovery from Ranworth (C3) on board Liana, our Edwardian-style electric launch. As we cross Malthouse Broad, the activity of birds at the staithe subsides and there’s a wonderful view of St Helen's Church, known as the cathedral of the Broads. We go past the entrance to Ranworth Broad (the broad and marshes are part of the Bure Marshes National Nature Reserve) and if we’re very lucky, we may catch a glimpse of an otter or two as we pass along Ranworth Dam on our way to
join the River Bure, heading towards Cockshoot Dyke. Birds often peer out of the reed fringes at us, a kingfisher may be zipping across the water and look up too, a marsh harrier could be soaring overhead. These trips depart from Ranworth Staithe, where there are moorings and parking.
Trips 55 minutes, up to eight passengers (at driver’s discretion)
April, May, October: weekends, bank holidays, Easter week and local half-term only 10.30am, 2pm, 3pm
June-September: daily 10.30am, 2pm, 3pm Cost £10 adult, £8 child, £30 family Bookings Ranworth Broads Information Centre, 01603 756094
Ranworth Broads Information Centre
The Staithe, Ranworth NR13 6HY 01603 756094
Open (free entry)
April, May, October: Monday-Friday 9am-1pm and 1.30-5pm; Saturday-Sunday 9am-5pm June-September: daily 9am-5pm
• £5 during the day (until 5pm), and £10 for combined daytime and overnight (until 10am) or overnight only (until 10am)
• £3 for day boats to use dinghy dyke
• Please pay in the information centre
More wildness at Ranworth
Expand your wild day out with a free visit to Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s floating Broads Wildlife Centre (follow the boardwalk from the staithe, taking
you through the nature reserve). They also run a ferry service from the staithe (small charge) and boat trips. There are toilets near the staithe and refreshments available, including a tea shop at the church’s Visitors’ Centre.
Ra at Hoveton
Hoveton and Wroxham (B2/B3) lie either side of the River Bure. Take to the water here on our solarpowered boat and you’ll find yourself drifting into another world, transported along a beautiful and tranquil stretch of the river, going to Caen Meadow on the short trip and into Bridge Broad and along to Belaugh on the long trip. Listen to the birdsong and relax in a green world, with meadows and wet woodlands on either side that can’t be explored by land. Willow trees abound, watch for water birds such as herons and grebes, and in early summer look out for yellow irises. It’s hard to believe that you’re just minutes from the centre of Wroxham. You can also find out more about solar power, and how the Broads Authority and partners are developing
Discover how we are putting the sparkle back in Hoveton Great Broads murky waters!
Following a successful £4.5 million funding bid from EU LIFE and National Heritage Lottery Funds, Natural England has been leading a project to restore Hoveton Great Broad and Hudson’s Bay.
Decades of pollution have created an unhealthy, algal dominated environment that deprives the aquatic plants of sunlight. To restore a healthy ecosystem with crystal clear waters and diverse plant and fish communities two innovative techniques are being used.
Firstly, sediment removal returned the Broad to a depth better suited to the healthy ecosystem that used to exist. Head to our website to find out how we removed 55,000 m3 of highly nitrified sediment from the Broad, and how we used this sediment to create new wet fenland habitat.
Secondly, we are supporting nature’s own ability to heal the ecosystem. Water fleas already feed on the algae; however, their numbers are reduced by the fish which feed on them. To encourage the water flea population to grow and consume the algae, we are increasing the natural flow of water through the broad to encourage plant recovery from better quality water being in the Broad.
Overlooking the Broad is the Hoveton Great Broad Nature Trail, a magical oasis of wildlife and tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of the river, giving you a chance to relax and immerse yourself in the restorative peace of nature.
Come visit and experience it for yourself!
This year you can book a ferry crossing from Salhouse Broad to the Hoveton Great Broad Nature Trail on the following days:
May 17th, 31st | June 14th | July 12th
Aug 2nd, 23rd | Sept 6th, 27th | Oct 14th, 28th
Ferry will be from 12pm to 4pm each of the days.
Crossings £5 per adult (16+) return. Children go FREE.
Booking by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep an eye on the Hoveton trail website for further information: www.hovetongreatbroad.org.uk
Ferry transport may be organised for groups depending on availability, please contact us to enquire further.
Explore the Broads
the greener next phase of boating on the Broads. These trips depart from Hoveton Riverside Park, close to Hoveton Broads Information Centre and Hoveton & Wroxham Railway Station, which is on the Bittern Line between Norwich and Sheringham. There are free 24-hour moorings close by too. Ra is accessible via a ramp.
Trips 1 hour or 1½ hours, up to nine passengers (at driver’s discretion) including up to four wheelchair users – please check when booking as number depends on the type of wheelchair
April, May, October: weekends, bank holidays, Easter week and local half-term only 10.30am (short trip), 11.45am (long trip), 2.30pm (short trip), 3.45pm (short trip)
June-September: daily 10.30am (short trip), 11.45am (long trip), 2.30pm (short trip), 3.45pm (short trip) Cost Short trip £10 adult, £8 child, £30 family; long trip £12 adult, £10 child, £40 family Bookings Hoveton Broads Information Centre, 01603 782281
Hoveton Broads Information Centre
Station Road, Hoveton NR12 8UR 01603 782281 / 01603 756097
Open (free entry) April, May, October: MondayFriday 9am-1pm and 1.30-5pm; Saturday-Sunday 9am-5pm
June-September: daily 9am-5pm
More wildness at Hoveton
How Hill National Nature Reserve (C2), close to the village of Ludham, has something of everything that makes the Broads special. The River Ant runs through the reserve and there are reedbeds, grazing marshes, wet woodlands and even a broad – all full of wildlife for you to discover.
Visit Toad Hole Cottage, lived in by generations of eel catchers, and imagine home life on the marshes in Victorian times. Then take a boat trip to see where the marshmen worked. Explore the Wildlife Walking Trail, Secret Gardens (see page 20), riverside walks and maybe even Hathor, one of the Broads sailing wherries (see page 21). How Hill is still a working marsh – reed and sedge are cut for thatch, so you could see a marshman at work.
Entry to the site is free, there are public footpaths,
Explore the Broads
continued from p7
and there’s a free car park (open all the time) and 24-hour free moorings. Visitors with disabilities may find it helpful to telephone in advance to check if How Hill is sufficiently accessible for you. In the summer and autumn you may find it helpful to bring an insect repellent for the How Hill trails.
Toad Hole Cottage
How Hill, Ludham NR29 5PG 01692 678763 / 01603 756096
Open (free entry)
April, May, October: Monday-Friday 10.30am-1pm and 1.30-5pm; Saturday-Sunday 10.30am-5pm
June-September: daily 9.30am-5pm
The Electric Eel
Step on board, leave the River Ant behind and enter a tranquil, secret world, where reeds and flowers fringe the narrow dykes. Glide along until we stop for a short walk to a bird hide overlooking Reedham Water. The changing seasons bring changing wildlife. In May, the birds are showing off their breeding finery and, when the sun shines, the hidden warblers are in full song. June sees the Norfolk hawker dragonfly and the swallowtail butterfly on the wing. Summer is the season for flowers, including water lilies. In autumn, the birds are on the move again. The summer visitors leave for warmer continued on p10
Hiring a day boat, for an hour, a few hours or all day, is a fun way to get out on the water, and if you’re thinking about a boating holiday, it’s a good way to get the feel for it. Day boats are for hire throughout the Broads and many are electric – better for the environment, with a smaller carbon footprint, and quieter, so more relaxing, and you can get closer to the wildlife. On a day boat there’s no need for recharging. For longer trips with a hire cruiser you can top up your fuel by plugging in overnight at our network of charging points around the
Broads. The small but growing fleet of hybrid cruisers available on the Broads can also use these points.
The network of points will be expanding and we are working with partners to support the development of fully electric hire cruisers for holidays. We will also be working with private boat owners to enable them to move to greener fuels. broads-authority.gov.uk/looking-after
Broads National Park Experiences
Let us tempt you back to the Broads...
Unforgettable and unique experiences from just £18 per person ‒ available all year round
• Guided kayak and SUP adventures – Get closer to wildlife as you silently glide through the water
• Sailing tasters and leisurely wherry cruises – Harness the exhilarating power of the wind
• Walking tours that delve into the fascinating stories of the area whilst taking in the stunning views
• Skippered boat trips with delicious picnics aboard a vintage Broads cruiser
For inspirational experiences and a range of specially selected accommodation choices
climes and soon, duck including teal and wigeon will arrive from the north, as the marsh moves towards winter.
Trips (50 minutes) for up to six passengers (at driver’s discretion)
April, May, October: weekends, bank holidays, Easter week and local half-term only 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm
June-September: daily 10am, 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm
Cost £10 adult, £8 child, £30 family (not suitable for children under two)
Bookings Toad Hole Cottage, 01692 678763
Wildlife Walking Trail
Explore the trail to see wildlife for all seasons. In June look out for huge and very rare swallowtail butterflies; sometimes there’s a second brood in August. Assistance dogs only on the trail please. Open April, May, October: daily 10.30am-5pm
June-September: daily 9.30am-5pm
Cost £3.50 adult, £2 child, includes guide booklet
From Toad Hole Cottage the riverside footpath continues downstream to Ludham Bridge and St Benet’s Abbey. Or you can take a short stroll upriver, past the boat shed, to Boardman’s Mill and Clayrack Mill. The path then goes on to Sharp Street.
How Hill refreshments
Enjoy a tempting selection of takeaway refreshments, all made in the How Hill house kitchen, with hot and cold drinks. There are delicious locally made ice creams too (also available at Toad Hole Cottage). Refreshments are available, with some outside seating, from the wooden education centre near the main house. Open for the Easter holidays, the late spring holiday, weekends until the summer holidays and then daily until 3 September. 01692 678555 howhilltrust.org.uk
Before you go on these three trips…
• You may find it convenient to book your boat trip in advance at holiday times when trips may be busy; as well as booking yourself, you can also book at any Broads information centre
• Family tickets are for up to two adults and two children
• We are sorry we cannot take dogs, except assistance dogs, on any of these trips
• All passengers must wear the life jackets provided
• For spring and autumn trips bring warm, waterproof clothes
• Group bookings also available, including special dawn and evening trips – please ask for details
days out Accessible
…by land and water
National parks are for everyone and the Broads has lots to offer for accessible days out –which can be wild days out too.
Grid references (for example C2) refer to the map on page 4.
Easy access paths and boardwalks
These are often the best way to explore the marshy areas of the Broads and many are on nature reserves. They are suitable for wheelchair users and people with pushchairs.
• Barton Broad C2, Cockshoot Broad C3 (access by boat only), Filby Broad E3, Hickling Broad D2 and Ranworth Broad C3 01603 625540 norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk
• Beccles Marsh Trail D7, Chedgrave C5, Horstead Mill A2, Hoveton Riverside Park B2 (refurbishment work in progress) and Rockland St Mary C5 (route recently refurbished)
• Burgh Castle E5 norfarchtrust.org.uk
• Carlton Marshes E7 01473 890089 suffolkwildlifetrust.org
• Horsey Mere E2 01263 740241 nationaltrust.org.uk
• Salhouse Broad B3 07795 145475 or 01603 722775 salhousebroad.org.uk
• Wheatfen, Surlingham B5 (short boardwalk to bird hide) 01508 538036 wheatfen.org
• Whitlingham Country Park B4 whitlinghamcountrypark.com
For more accessible ways to visit the Broads by land see pages 12 and 14.
Boat trips, boat hire and other boating activities
Please check with operators for details of wheelchairs and weights they can accommodate.
• Beccles – River Waveney – Waveney Stardust D7 Private cruises for groups with at least one person who requires accessible facilities. Two single-deck cruisers with hydraulic lifts, designed for wheelchair users and people with other disabilities, for groups of up to 12 passengers, up to six in wheelchairs. Skipper and crew included, galley and accessible toilet, other starting points may be available, book in advance.
07817 920502 waveneystardust.co.uk
• Horning – River Bure – Southern Comfort C3 Takes up to six wheelchair users on its scheduled trips or 20 for private parties. Please book.
01692 630262 southern-comfort.co.uk
• Horsey – Upper Thurne – Ross’ Wildlife Boat Trips E2
Daily trips on the nature reserve on a classic boat from Horsey Staithe. Good access for those with limited mobility and room for one wheelchair user. Small group size allows commentary to be tailored to individual needs; popular with visually impaired
visitors. Book in advance (by text is best); on the day, you may be able to book at departure point.
07791 526440 Facebook Ross' Wildlife Boat Trips
• Hoveton – River Bure – Ra B2 (see page 5)
• Neatishead – River Ant – Nancy Oldfield Trust C2
Activities for disabled and disadvantaged people: motor cruises with wheelchair lifts and kitchen and toilet facilities, pedal launches, sailing, canoeing and wildlife watching; day activities, holidays and courses; self-catering residential bungalow for up to 10 people. Cruises also start from Ludham Bridge, exploring the rivers Ant, Bure and Thurne. 01692 630572 nancyoldfield.org.uk
• Oulton Broad – River Waveney – Waveney River Tours F7
Some wheelchair spaces available. Book in advance.
01502 574903 waveneyrivertours.com
• Oulton Broad – River Waveney – Waveney Sailability E7
Club for people with disabilities, offering the opportunity to sail in specially adapted dinghies. 07914 057678 waveneysailability.co.uk
• South Walsham – River Bure – Primula C3
Wheelchair-accessible boat trip (additional charge) when you visit Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden. For best prices, book in advance. 01603 270449 fairhavengarden.co.uk
• Stalham – River Ant – Marsh Harrier C1
Boat trip on an Edwardian-style electric launch,
with access for wheelchair users, based at the Museum of the Broads. Booking essential. 01692 581681 museumofthebroads.org.uk
• Wroxham – River Bure – Broads Tours B3 Wheelchair accessible trips on two river trip boats. Due to limited availability, pre-booking is essential. Wheelchair users are situated on the top deck, where there is an accessible toilet on both boats. There’s also accessible day boat hire (available for three hours or more) for up to five people, including one wheelchair user – with a maximum lift of 350kg. 01603 782207 broadstours.co.uk
Most Broads Authority 24-hour moorings are level and without steps.
These places have platforms or other access suitable for wheelchair users. They are free or for use with day tickets.
• Buckenham Ferry C5
• Postwick – platforms upstream of Ferry Lane B4 River Waveney
• Bungay Cherry Tree Angling Club C7 – membership and day or week tickets from Angling Direct, Beccles
Accessible days out – on video
This is the Broads Authority’s new video highlighting some of the more accessible places to visit in the Broads National Park – it’s available on YouTube youtube.com/watch?v=4KvfMlZ416g
There are suggestions for boating and landbased things to do, an example of holiday accommodation, tips on where to eat and shopping, and importantly, how to get help and advice. It will probably take some research and planning, but we hope that this video, and information in Broadcaster and on our website, will help you enjoy days out in the Broads.
Let’s give you a flavour of the video with a few words from participants – visitors as well as those offering accessible facilities.
Hannah: “Everyone that comes has different needs…so we try to make everyone as comfortable as possible.”
Mr and Mrs Fryer: “We come to Hall Farm Cottages because…it’s beautifully run and we
enjoy being here. One of our favourite trips is to go on the Mississippi (Southern Comfort) river boat from Horning.”
Stephen: “The Nancy Oldfield Trust is a local charity and we take anyone who is disabled or disadvantaged, in any way, out on to the Norfolk Broads boating. To help us to get people out we have such specialist equipment as hoists, which enable us to lift people into our sailing boats and into the canoes. And on our fleet of three motor boats we have hydraulic platform lifts.”
Dave: “Barton Boardwalk – a magical place to visit where you can venture through the enclosed carr woodland, but you have the benefit of a raised, smooth boardwalk, which takes you to a viewing platform, where you can soak up the vast expanse of water and sky.”
Matt: “Carlton Marshes has really been designed to look at getting people out into the countryside here, and accessibility has been one
01502 713379 and other local outlets bungaycherrytree.co.uk
• Ellingham – 1 platform C7
• Worlingham Staithe – platforms E7
• Upton Dyke D3
• Ludham – Cold Harbour Farm D3
• Martham Pits E2 – day tickets from Co-op shops in Martham – Repps Road, 01493 740190 and The Green, 01493 740230 marthamdistrictac.weebly.com
• Potter Heigham – south-east (Martham) bank, upstream of the New Bridge – 10 platforms D2
• Filby Broad – on one boardwalk E3
• Rollesby Broad E3
Norwich and District Pike Club has a wheelyboat, based at the Kings Head at Hoveton / Wroxham (B2), which can be booked for trips by nonmembers. Contact the club on 07776 221959. norwichpike.com
For more angling info see Broads angle on page 13 and these sites: broads-authority.gov.uk/angling
Scan to watch
of the things we have really looked at. Surface footpaths – they’re accessible for mobility scooters, people who are hard of walking.”
Dave and Alishah: “We’ve come to Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden at South Walsham, wandered through the ancient woodland, used one of the mobility scooters that you can book from here. And taken a trip on their accessible boat…” We hope you find the video helpful and everywhere mentioned and many more places besides, will be very pleased to welcome you.
Dave: “In Hoveton, home of boating holidays, you can find one of three Broads National Park information centres. They can also be found at How Hill and Ranworth. They’re a great starting point, where the knowledgeable staff can help you find suitable things to do and places to go.”
Into the saddle
With beautiful countryside, gentle slopes, quiet lanes and bike hire centres, the Broads is perfect for cycling. Most bike hire centres are open from Easter or April to October. Tandems and electric bikes may be available, and centres may supply maps, or you can download cycle routes from thebroadsbybike.org.uk
Clippesby Hall 01493 367800 clippesbyhall.com D3
Coltishall – Bure Valley Cycle Hire, Bure Valley Railway Station 07824 992513 burevalleycyclehire.co.uk B2
Ferries and small boats are part of the history of the Broads – they were essential for getting people and goods around and keeping people in touch.
Burgh St Peter – ferry across the River Waveney from Waveney River Centre to Carlton Marshes 01502 677343 (enquiries) or 07500 571232 (on demand service) carltoncolvilletowncouncil.gov.uk E6
Horning – ferry from just by the Ferry Inn, Ferry Road, taking passengers across the River Bure to Woodbastwick Staithe. The ferry also takes bikes and you can contact them in advance for other local trips 07393 458682 horningfootferry.co.uk C3
Reedham – vehicle chain ferry across the River Yare to Loddon and Chedgrave area 01493 700429 reedhamferry.co.uk D5
Small boat trips
Beccles – trips along the River Waveney between Beccles Lido and the Locks Inn, Geldeston 07532 072761 bigdogferry.co.uk D7
Horning – Broadland Cycle Hire at BeWILDerwood, delivery service, 07747 483154 norfolkbroadscycling.co.uk C2
Somerleyton Cycles, lifts from moorings and station, 01502 732004 somerleytoncycles.com E6
Bure Valley Railway and Path B2
The narrow gauge Bure Valley Railway runs from
Wroxham/Hoveton to Aylsham, with stops at Coltishall, Buxton and Brampton. The path for cyclists and walkers follows the same route, and the train can sometimes carry bikes. The path is about 9 miles and was widened and upgraded recently. If you’re starting from the bike hire centre at Horning, a route along country lanes will take you to the path. If you’re taking the train to Wroxham, you’ll find
Hickling Broad – wildlife boat trips 01692 598276 norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk D2
Horsey Staithe – see page 10 E2
Hoveton/Wroxham – Ra – see page 5 B2
How Hill, Ludham – Electric Eel – see page 7 C2
Ranworth – Liana – see page 5 C3
Ranworth Broad – ferry and wildlife boat trips 01603 270479 norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk C3
Rollesby Broad – trips from The Waterside 01493 740531 thewatersiderollesby.co.uk E3
South Walsham – see page 11 C3
Stalham – trips on a Victorian steam launch 01692 581681 museumofthebroads.org.uk C1 and see page 11
lots of boating opportunities to enjoy the Broads from the water too. The railway is accessible by wheelchair, please book in advance, 01263 733858 bvrw.co.uk
Whitlingham Country Park, Trowse B4
The path around the broad makes a lovely short bike ride. Coming from Norwich city centre, National Cycle Network Route 1 runs through the park. whitlinghamcountrypark.com sustrans.org.uk/national-cycle-network
Tour de Broads
The event takes place on Sunday 20 August, location: Octagon Park, Great Plumstead thepedalrevolution.co.uk
Another great way to take in the big skies and panoramic views of the Broads is on horseback, with riding available for beginners and beyond. Some places also offer riding for people with disabilities. VisitTheBroads.co.uk/horse-riding
The Broads is a great place to try angling and the Angling Trust anglingtrust.net has lots of information to help you get started. The Broads Angling Services Group basgonline.org is also keen to encourage newcomers and to support young anglers.
The coarse fishing season runs from 16 June to 14 March every year and you must have a current Environment Agency licence, available from post offices or gov.uk/fishing-licences. You’ll find many local fishing tackle shops and if you’re a beginner they’ll be happy to advise you. Take unwanted tackle home. Discarding it can cause problems for wildlife.
The beautiful and diverse Broads National Park offers so much to see and do for everyone.
But this magical place needs everyone’s support to safeguard its future for generations to come. The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Charitable Trust aims to do just that, by welcoming donations from visitors, local people and businesses through its fund-raising scheme, Love the Broads.
So far, Love the Broads has given over £100,000 in grants to 54 amazing projects that benefit the landscape and wildlife of the Broads, and help school groups and other visitors to really enjoy and understand the special Broads environment. You can find all the projects that have been helped thanks to donations raised at lovethebroads.org.uk
Please help Love the Broads and the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Charitable Trust to keep the Broads special. Anyone can make a real difference to the Broads by donating. Please go to justgiving.com/nsbct, become a member or consider leaving a legacy to fund a significant project – contact email@example.com
Give a little back to a place that you love. Charity number 1124552
You can fish from the bank or from platforms, or you can hire a boat – some boatyards hire day boats specifically for fishing and you’re allowed to fish in most of the Broads waterways provided there is public access. Bream, perch, pike, roach, rudd, tench and eel are the likely catch. Make way for boaters and canoeists if you’re fishing from moorings or a canoe launch platform. For accessible fishing locations suitable for wheelchair users see page 11. broads-authority.gov.uk/angling (includes map) VisitTheBroads.co.uk/angling
Connecting... by rail
The Bittern, Wherry and East Suffolk Lines are a great way to explore the Broads, with lots of opportunities to combine train travel with walking, especially on the wonderful expanses of Halvergate grazing marshes. You can really see how the landscape changes as you travel and if time is short, you can see a lot of the Broads even on a day trip.
The bitternline.com, wherrylines.com and eastsuffolklines.co.uk sites have lots of walks and places to visit from stations (some may require a walk to reach them), with links to greateranglia.co.uk for timetables and tickets. Please check timetables very carefully, as service times vary throughout the day and may change. Fares may also change.
The Bittern Line goes north from Norwich to Sheringham on the North Norfolk coast, passing through the northern Broads, while the Wherry Lines go east and south, one branch to Great Yarmouth and the other to Lowestoft, from where the East Suffolk Line continues to Beccles and then further into Suffolk. The map on page 4 shows lines and stations.
The lines themselves offer lots of interest, with traditional station buildings and historic bridges, including swing bridges that open to allow river traffic to pass – they are very much part of the history, architecture and landscape of the Broads. The current swing bridges at Reedham, Somerleyton and Oulton Broad all date from the early 1900s. They were designed to operate without the technology available today and until very recently the internal components hadn’t been replaced in more than 100 years. You’ll be travelling routes dating from the mid-1800s and travelling as many of the first Broads holidaymakers did, when rail travel opened up the Broads to visitors from further afield. By the 1920s rail companies were promoting use of their lines with the lure of a Broads holiday at your destination.
Some line highlights…
Explore Norwich, the City of Stories, escape to the country at Salhouse or try all kinds of boating activities at Hoveton & Wroxham, including Broads National Park boat trips (see page 5). visitnorwich.co.uk salhousebroad.org.uk VisitTheBroads.co.uk/boat-trips
Wherry Lines and East Suffolk Lines
From Reedham you can walk east on the Wherryman’s Way across beautiful marshes to Polkey’s Mill. If you stay on the track, one route continues to Berney Arms, a tiny, request-stop station. Berney Arms may be a small station but it’s a key junction for Broads walks, where the Weavers’ Way merges with the Wherryman’s Way (see page 18) as they head towards Great Yarmouth. There are moorings at Berney Arms for waterborne visitors, but no roads, only farm tracks and footpaths, including the Halvergate Mills Trail (see page 20), so it really is quite wild and remote. norfolk.gov.uk/out-and-about-in-norfolk/ norfolk-trails norfolk.gov.uk/out-and-about-in-norfolk/ windmills (Polkey’s Mill) watermillsandmarshes.org.uk/trails (Halvergate Mills Trail)
Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft have great beaches, so well as exploring their history, you can add a seaside trip to your Broads visit. visitgreatyarmouth.co.uk visitsuffolk.com/destination/lowestoft
From Somerleyton you can head off to Herringfleet Mill, or explore Somerleyton Gardens. Bike hire is also available, see page 12. somerleyton.co.uk
You can walk to Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Carlton Marshes (see page 20) on the Angles Way from Oulton Broad North (about 40 minutes) or Oulton Broad South (about 20 minutes) and Oulton Broad itself offers boating activities and Lowestoft Museum. Beccles has many historic buildings, including Beccles Museum and St Michael’s Church with its tower tours, plus a lido, boating activities and boat trips on the River Waveney (see page 12). suffolkwildlifetrust.org
For more about public transport, see page 52.
Ifit's not crafted, it's not here!
Ifit's not crafted, it's not here!
The Angel Inn Loddon is the oldest pub in the village, less than 200 yards up the High Street from the Church Plain carpark, serving homemade food, quality tea & coffee, local craft ale, lagers & ciders and award-winning family wines – all procured with the upmost care and dedication to provenance, ethics and the environment.
O D D O N
Lovely historic town with a 15th Century church
pportunities for boaters, cyclists, walkers and birdwatchers
iverse range of independent shops, including a launderette, plus a cash point
elightful selection of cafes, pubs, restaurants and take-aways
n the Southern Broads, with ample free moorings, public toilets with shower facilities and riverside picnic area
earby Norwich is only 20 minutes away by bus
• English Breakfast from 8:00
• Freshly Baked scones & Cakes
• Craft Ales, Ciders & Fine Wines
• English Breakfast from 8:00
• Freshly Baked scones & Cakes
• Casual Dining
• Dogs Welcome
• Board Games
• Casual Dining
• Dogs Welcome
• Food Hygiene Rating: 5
• Sunny Outside Space
• Cycle Friendly Accredited
• Food Hygiene Rating: 5
• Sunny Outside Space
www.TheAngelInnLoddon.co.uk 01508 520 417 firstname.lastname@example.org
• English Breakfast from 8:00
• Craft Ales, Ciders & Fine Wines
• Freshly Baked scones & Cakes
• Casual Dining
• Board Games
• Dogs Welcome
• Food Hygiene Rating: 5
• Cycle Friendly Accredited
• Sunny Outside Space
• Craft Ales, Ciders & Fine Wines
• Board Games
• Cycle Friendly Accredited
Gateway to the Broads
A historic market town in the Southern Broads on the banks of the River Waveney. Superb attractions and amenities including:
• QUALITY B&BS, HOTELS & RESTAURANTS • INDEPENDENT SHOPS • ATTRACTIONS FOR ALL AGES • LIDO • GO KARTING TRACK • ENTERTAINMENT • WALKS
• CANOEING, BOAT TRIPS • PARACHUTING • HISTORIC BELL TOWER TOURS • MUSEUM & AUDIO
WALKS • BIG DOG FERRY TO THE LOCKS INN & BACK • ANNUAL EVENTS INCLUDE: ANTIQUES MARKET, CARNIVAL, TRIATHLON, FOOD FESTIVAL, BEER FESTIVAL & CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH ON • PERFORMANCES & FILMS AT BECCLES PUBLIC HALL Please
Broads through the
Canoeing on the Broads is suitable for all the family. Canadian canoes usually carry two or three adults, but if you’re hiring, we advise you to check with the operator. Some hire centres offer paddleboards and other paddlecraft, plus related activities and facilities.
All canoeists should wear a buoyancy aid. Paddleboarders should wear a buoyancy aid and a safety tether. Don’t deliberately capsize your canoe or kayak. Stick to the right-hand side of the waterway unless it is unsafe to do so. Read the Boating Basics guide in Broadcaster, see page 25, for advice relevant to all boating. Wherever you are on the Broads, you must take account of local conditions at the time and put safety first. We don't recommend canoeing in the lower reaches (which have stronger currents and tides, and more powered boats). The lower reaches are the stretches of river approaching the sea at Great Yarmouth, so, beyond
Acle Bridge on the Bure, beyond Reedham Bridge on the Yare and beyond the Broads Authority moorings at Somerleyton on the Waveney. If you do canoe downstream beyond these places, you need to be extremely experienced, fit and able. Paddleboarders, please be aware that you are especially vulnerable to winds, currents and tides. It’s also much more difficult for boaters to see you and you are more likely to fall into the water.
During warmer spells you may see a blue-green coloured scum on the water. This can indicate the presence of toxic bacteria. Do not paddle in areas where the scum is present and avoid coming into contact with it or ingesting it, as it can lead to unpleasant symptoms and
diseases. One waterborne disease to be aware of is leptospirosis (Weil's disease). You can reduce the chance of becoming ill by covering open wounds, avoiding swallowing the water, washing your hands before eating or drinking and showering after paddlesports. If you start to feel unwell after taking part in paddlesports, please seek urgent medical advice.
Paddlesports allow exploration of the headwaters (less tidal waters). Please respect nature reserves and private land, as most smaller channels that lead off from the rivers and broads do not have a public right of access.
Please note that the Trinity Broads is a Norfolk Wildlife Trust nature reserve with no public right of access to the water, including for non-powered craft. In the spring and summer, please paddle away from the edges of waterways to minimalise disturbance to breeding birds.
Hire centres and trails
• For Broads canoe hire centres (mostly open from Easter or April to October) and trails (onehour, three-hour and six-hour return routes) go to VisitTheBroads.co.uk/canoe-hire
• Some centres are members of the Broads Canoe Hire Association canoethebroads.co.uk
• All centres are monitored for safety by the Broads Authority as part of the licensing agreement
• British Canoeing also has routes on gopaddling.info
Geldeston canoe pontoon
The Broads Authority has recently installed a new canoe pontoon, providing greater access to the River Waveney for paddlecraft. You’ll find the pontoon at
Paddlesports are a great way to discover this fragile wetland and get closer to the wildlife, whether you’re hiring or have your own craft
our 24-hour moorings by the Locks Inn, a pub that is owned and run by the local community. This is a beautiful and quiet stretch of the Waveney, perfect if you’re new to paddlesports. The pontoon is adapted to rise and fall with the tides, meaning it will always be at the right height for paddlers to launch or disembark safely. After disembarking, please remove your craft from the water and leave them (at your own risk) on the designated grassy area, directly behind the pontoon. This helps to keep the moorings and footpath clear.
Thanks to the Canoe Foundation and Love the Broads (see page 13) for funding to enable installation of this pontoon. canoefoundation.org.uk
If you have your own paddlecraft…
All canoes, kayaks and paddleboards (including inflatables) that are used on the Broads must have an annual or short visit licence. For details go to broads-authority.gov.uk/tolls
For launch points (for public but not commercial use) and slipways go to broads-authority.gov.uk/slipways
Follow the canoe manufacturer’s guidance on carrying capacity. Before you set off, tell someone where you’re going and how long you plan to be out. Let them know when you get back.
Be aware of biosecurity and help stop the spread of invasive species. Check out the Check Clean Dry campaign for more information. nonnativespecies.org/what-can-i-do/ check-clean-dry
For more about canoeing go to VisitTheBroads.co.uk/canoe-hire
The Broads Authority does not recommend swimming in the Broads, except as part of an organised event. For more information please go to broads-authority.gov.uk/boating/ navigating-the-broads/outdoor-swimming
Explore the Broads
meandering Marsh, and river
The Broads has over 190 miles (300km) of footpaths for you to explore. Whether you’re looking for accessible paths, village or town strolls, walks from moorings, walks with a historic site to explore, walks for wildlife (including many on nature reserves), walks for dogs or walks that take in many of these elements and more, you’ll find them in the Broads. If you’re taking your dog walking, please read the guidance on page 52. For guided walks and other outdoor events, have a look at What’s on, see page 48.
Here’s a taste of three walks to get you started. You’ll find full details and plenty more walks in Park Rangers – Favourite Walks, published by Collins, price £6.99. There are short strolls, long hikes and walks somewhere in between, and they will take you to all the seven river valleys of the Broads. The guide is available from the Broads information centres at Hoveton, Ranworth and How Hill, where you’ll also find lots of other guides and Ordnance Survey maps to help you.
Beccles Marsh Trail, about 4½ miles, D7 A walk to explore the Waveney marshes; there’s also a short, wheelchair-accessible route. VisitTheBroads.co.uk/walking
Horsey Mere, about 3 miles, E2 Discover Horsey Mere and Windpump, and pass the
Rivers Ant and Bure
How Hill and St Benet’s Abbey, about 8½ miles, C2 A walk incorporating two great places to visit and some exploration upstream from How Hill (see page 7). The St Benet’s Abbey site is wheelchairaccessible (see page 21). Part of the walk route is shown here:
• The Weavers’ Way passes though the northern Broads and then goes on to North Norfolk
• The Norfolk Coast Path takes you through the Broads at Horsey and Winterton
• The Wherryman's Way follows the River Yare from Norwich to Great Yarmouth
• The Angles Way goes south from Great Yarmouth and into the Suffolk Brecks
norfolk.gov.uk/out-and-about-in-norfolk/norfolktrails (long-distance routes and other walks)
discoversuffolk.org.uk alltrails.com komoot.com outdooractive.com
A day out or a visit to the Broads is the perfect opportunity to have a go at sailing, with training centres and sailing clubs who are keen to welcome you and do their best to make it all plain sailing…
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) also has lots of information about taster sessions, courses and clubs to help you get started with sailing and windsurfing. More details from 023 8060 4100 or rya.org.uk
Barton Turf Adventure Centre
01692 536411 btac-services.co.uk C2
Green Wyvern Yachting Club RYA Training Centre greenwyvern.org.uk
Horning RYA Training Centre
Hunter’s Yard RYA Training Centre –see page 44 D2
Nancy Oldfield Trust – see page 11 C2
Norfolk Broads School of Sailing – see page 44 D3
Norfolk Broads Yacht Club, Wroxham 01603 782808 nbyc.co.uk B3
BOAT BUILDERS AND MARINE ENGINEERS
Work on timber & GRP craft
Paint, varnish & anti-foul
Repair & refurbish timber & GRP
Slip up to 45ft craft
Winterize & de-winterize
Service inboard & outboard engines
Supply water, diesel, pump-outs
Deal with breakdowns
Do BSS work
Fit winches, bow & stern thrusters
Replace fuel tanks & engines
Change petrol to diesel engines
Supply outboard engines
Fit toilets & tanks
Supply & fit canopies
Supply & fit upholstery
Fit heating Fibreglass sheathe
CAN WE HELP YOU?
Marsh Road, Wroxham, Norwich NR12 8UH 01603 782552 email@example.com
Dream, Explore, Discover
Independent boatyard with boating holidays starting on the Southern Broads at Loddon
For 28 years, we have welcomed visitors and locals to our lovely village inn, and look forward to serving you with home-cooked food, real ales, lager and a range of wines, spirits, coffees and soft drinks. Our dining room is reserved for two legged customers, and the bar and garden welcomes four legged varieties.
Food served daily, times may vary please ring 01692 598306 or go
Norfolk Punt Club, Barton Turf puntclub.co.uk C2
Norfolk Schools Sailing Association, Filby nssa.co.uk E3
Oulton Broad Water Sports Centre
Waveney Sailability – see page 11 E7
Whitlingham Adventure, Norwich 01603 632307 whitlinghamadventure.org.uk B4
Taster sessions, courses, craft hire, group activities, outdoor learning and clubs – activities include sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, raft building, climbing, archery, and bushcraft and survival
Builders of bespoke river, estuary and coastal cruisers
Mooring, winter storage, refurbishment, craning, servicing, full valeting
Wroxham Marine Ltd | 01603 701100 www.sheerlinemotorcruisers.com
Thorpe Marina, Griffin Lane, Thorpe St Andrew, Norfolk NR7 0SL
Free thingsto do
We asked Broads Authority colleagues for some of their favourites, with no special equipment needed, so here are suggestions from people working in planning, communications, operations, education, ranger services and volunteer services. Depending on where you are and where you want to go, you’ll obviously probably need to travel by some means to reach these, on foot, by bike, by train, by bus, by car or by water, and you may need to pay for parking or mooring. But apart from that – these places to visit and things to do are all free! Some places may ask for or appreciate a donation.
Climb the tower at Ranworth Church (C3) and take in the amazing view towards the coast, making this one for photographers too. You’ll need to negotiate 89 uneven steps, two ladders and a heavy trapdoor – but it’s worth it! ranworthchurch.com
For walking or cycling off the beaten track
Halvergate Mills Trail (E4) follows bridleways so you can walk or cycle. In summer it’s suitable for any
off-road bike, but it’s hard going. watermillsandmarshes.org.uk/trails
For short, relaxing walks
Barton Broad Boardwalk (C2) from Neatishead is one of the best. Or in the south, take the path from Rockland St Mary (C5), starting from the staithe or mooring place; Wheatfen Nature Reserve (B5), with free entry, is close by and is great for short strolls too. Further south, on the Waveney, explore North Cove Nature Reserve (E7), between Beccles and Carlton Colville. norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk rspb.org.uk wheatfen.org suffolkwildlifetrust.org
For garden lovers
How Hill’s Secret Gardens (C2) are open all the time, with free entry, though donations to the How Hill Trust are very welcome. These water gardens were created by local architect Edward Boardman
for the family home at How Hill, which dates from 1904. The gardens are always lovely and secluded, and in early summer there are spectacular displays of azaleas and rhododendrons. Follow signs from the car park, moorings and main house. The formal gardens surrounding the house are sometimes open too – check the signs on the gates. howhilltrust.org.uk
For nature lovers
There are so many places to choose from – a quarter of the UK’s rarest wildlife lives in the Broads – so here are just two, one north and one south. Carlton Marshes has a free play area, and they both have visitor centres and are good for accessible days out.
Carlton Marshes (E7) suffolkwildlifetrust.org Ranworth (C3) norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk
Do you enjoy fresh, seasonal, local produce? If so, what could be better than foraging? Searching
is full of great free things to do!
hedgerows for juicy blackberries in late summer and early autumn is perhaps the most familiar foraging activity, but elderflowers and their berries, wild garlic, common nettle, crab-apples, sloes, sweet chestnuts and fungi are just some of the easy but rich pickings to be had. Please remember to follow safety guidelines and respect ownership. woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/ things-to-do/foraging
For time travellers
Here are two accessible sites, both offering free guided tours for soaking up even more history. Details of all tours at norfarchtrust.org.uk
Burgh Castle Fort
(E5) is one of the most impressive Roman buildings to survive anywhere in Britain. Dating from the third century, it was one of the chain of Saxon Shore forts, built to defend the coast of south-east England. Burgh Castle overlooks Breydon Water, which in Roman times was the Great Estuary, when the sea came much further inland. Explore the site and enjoy one of the best views in the Broads over the rivers Waveney and Yare, and Halvergate Marshes.
Religious hermits may have lived at the St Benet’s Abbey site (D3) as early as the ninth century, then in 1019 King Cnut granted land and property to the hermits at St Benet’s and the Benedictine monastery began its long life. The Bishop of Norwich is still the Abbot of St Benet’s and an open-air service takes place at the abbey each summer, with the bishop arriving on a sailing wherry. Everyone is very welcome to attend.
For boating enthusiasts
The 3 Rivers Race, taking in the Bure, Ant and Thurne, is a Broads tradition dating back to 1961.
It’s Europe’s toughest inland sailing race and is run each year by Horning Sailing Club at the beginning of June. It takes place over 24 hours, with many competitors sailing through the night. One of the best places to watch the fun and the skill is the old bridge at Potter Heigham (D2). 3rr.uk
For a more tranquil experience, pleasure wherry Hathor is moored at How Hill Staithe (C2) from May to September when not in sailing use and you’re very welcome on board for a look round. For more about wherries see page 44. wherryyachtcharter.org
For art lovers
The Broads landscape has inspired many artists of all kinds – and it still does. Some of the best known are the painters of the early 19th century Norwich School of Artists, such as John Crome, part of the wider development of landscape painting at the time, exemplified by Turner and Constable. You can still see the landscapes that inspired Norwich School artists, and while it’s not quite free to see their paintings in Norwich and Great Yarmouth museums, cheaper ‘twilight’ tickets are available. museums.norfolk.gov.uk
If you’d like to see contemporary local art in all media – see page 49 for Norfolk and Suffolk open studios.
For detectives Geocaching
All you need to get started on this treasure hunting is a suitable phone (or GPS device if you have one). Go to geocaching.com to create a free account, choose the geocache you want to find, then navigate to its location. Most are small boxes, but some are disguised as other things such as pine
continued from p21
cones or snail shells. Some are linked together to take you on a circular walk and some take you to hidden places that you might never discover by yourself.
Whitlingham Country Park (B4) has courses that are suitable for children and adults, and they offer something for everyone, from absolute beginners who just want to have fun, to experienced orienteers. The aim is to visit all points marked on a map, deciding on the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. Go at your own pace, walking or running, and along the way you’ll learn
to read maps and navigate. The only equipment you need is a pen or pencil. whitlinghamcountrypark.com
Salhouse Broad (B3) has short walks and plenty of space close to the broad for picnics and play, including a wooden adventure play area. salhousebroad.org.uk
Beccles Quay (D7) has a playground close to the River Waveney and lots of space for play and relaxation, and Nicholas Everitt Park (F7) is close to the water at Oulton Broad. visitbeccles.co.uk thesuffolkcoast.co.uk/suffolk-coast-towns-andvillages/oulton-broad
Experience the dark skies and bright lights of the Broads. Due to their lack of light pollution, these are all good places for stargazing: How Hill National Nature Reserve near Ludham (C2), Catfield (C2), Horsey Windpump (E2), West Somerton (E2), Thurne Mill (D3), St Benet’s Abbey Moorings (D3), Geldeston Lock (D7), Beccles Marsh Trail (D7), North Cove (E7) and Herringfleet Mill (E6). If you have binoculars, they’ll help you see more. Please take extra care after dark, especially near the water.
Your 8-page guide packed with essential information and navigation advice
Welcome to our Yacht Stations
The quay rangers at our yacht stations are happy to help with all your boating questions, and to give advice about places to visit and things to do. The yacht stations aren’t just for boaters – land-based visitors are very welcome too!
Great Yarmouth (F4 - map page 4)
Tar Works Road, NR30 1PU 01493 842794 / 07766 398238 firstname.lastname@example.org
• Staffed from 1 April to 31 October, 8am-8pm (or dusk if earlier)
• Water, toilets and showers
• About 60 moorings (depending on boat sizes)
• Mooring charges - £8 during the day (until 6pm), and £16 for combined daytime and overnight (until 10am) or overnight only (until 10am)
Reedham (D5 - map page 4)
Reedham Quay, NR13 3TE 01493 701867 / 07733 102566 email@example.com
• Staffed from 1 April to 31 October, 9am-6pm
• 24-hour moorings, about 24 (depending on boat sizes)
• We intend to introduce mooring charges at this site this year
Norwich (A4 - map page 4)
Riverside Road, NR1 1SQ 01603 612980 / 07747 065378
• Staffed from 1 April to 31 October, 8am-8pm (or dusk if earlier)
• Water, toilets and showers
• Pump-out service from £15
• About 30 moorings (depending on boat sizes), starting on the far side of Foundry Bridge as you approach from Great Yarmouth (there are no other public moorings in Norwich)
• Mooring charges - £8 during the day (until 6pm), and £16 for combined daytime and overnight (until 10am) or overnight only (until 10am)
There are also yacht stations at Beccles (D7, 01502 712225 / 07938 845744, becclestowncouncil. gov.uk, Beccles Town Council) and Oulton Broad (F7, 01502 574946, yachtstation.co.uk, East Suffolk Council) on the River Waveney.Great Yarmouth Yacht Station
Top 10 Boating Tips...
Keep an eye on everyone on board at all times (especially small children).
• Don't let children sit on the front of a boat, or play at the back or on the roof unsupervised, especially when a boat is under way.
• Never allow anyone to travel in any kind of boat or inflatable that your boat is towing.
• Drive on the right-hand side, about 2m or 6’ away from the bank.
• Hold on to your boat when moving around it.
• Look out for paddlecraft, rowing boats and swimmers in organised events. Reduce speed and allow them plenty of space.
Before you go...
Read your skipper's manual – if you’re on a holiday cruiser, your boatyard should supply one on board.
• Our ‘essential guide’ boating videos have lots of practical boat handling and navigation advice for all (broads-authority.gov.uk/boating-essentials).
The videos cover Preparing for Your Holiday, Staying Safe, Mooring Up, Ropes and Knots, Man Overboard, Navigating Bridges, Crossing Breydon Water, Paddlesports, and Dealing with Accidents. The boating section of our website also has all you need to know about boating, including tide tables.
• Navigation maps (published by Heron Maps) and Broads tide tables are on sale at our information centres and yacht stations.
• You can get boating advice from your boatyard or yacht stations (see page 25) or by calling the Broads Authority’s Broads Control, staffed daily 9am-5pm (6pm from April to October) on 01603 756056. The rangers, who you’ll see out and about, are always happy to help too.
• aweigh.co.uk - Broads boating app
• what3words.com - app to help the emergency services find you
Always wear your life jacket when you are on deck, getting on and off or tying up your boat – even if you can swim. Step ashore, never jump, and wear shoes with a good grip.
• Children should wear life jackets even when your boat is moored.
• A life jacket will help you float. Try to relax and float on your back before trying to get out.
• Don’t forget to put a life jacket on your dog, too. Dogs are just as susceptible to cold water and other hazards as people. You can buy dog life jackets from boating suppliers and some hire boatyards provide or rent them for customers’ pets. Never enter the water to rescue a pet – you are putting your own life at risk. See page 52 for more about visiting with your dog.
Plan your journey before setting out.
• Keep a note of the important points for your journey. Water is always moving and your boat may be affected by wind and tides. Check the weather, the day’s tides for where you’re going, and sunrise and sunset times – that’s what we do. Hire boats are not allowed to navigate before sunrise or after sunset as they have no navigation lights.
• Always keep track of where you are on the waterways and make sure others on board know where you are too. They also need to know what to do in case of an emergency.
• Keep a phone charged.
• Keep out of the way of sailing boats – slow down and if you need to, pass behind, never in front.
• Keep away from maintenance boats and other large vessels.
• Keep out of the way of water skiers and other fast boats on the rivers Waveney and Yare and on Breydon Water.
Always have your ropes ready and drive into the flow of the water when mooring.
• Don't jump – always step aboard and ashore carefully. Beware of hazards on the quay such as ropes, posts and wet or other slippery surfaces. Everyone involved should always keep a good handhold during casting off and mooring, and don’t use arms or legs to stop your boat hitting the quay or another boat. Make sure ropes are ready and that everyone knows what to do. Everyone not involved should stay off deck.
• Always approach a mooring against the tide or flow of the river, with a careful hand on the throttle. You’ll then be able to hold the boat stationary heading into the tide and approach the mooring sideways under control. If necessary, go past the mooring and turn the boat around so you can approach against the flow. If you approach the mooring with the tide or flow of the river you will have little or no control at low speeds.
• The fittest adult should step ashore once the boat has stopped. Tie the front rope first – this is especially important in areas with strong tides. We recommend that you moor at signed moorings only. Other areas are not maintained and there may be no posts. Never moor under bridges. Make sure that your boat is securely tied up. Take a torch and spare batteries if you will be returning to your boat after dark.
Stay safe – follow the advice from the Broads rangers, who work on the Broads all year round. Colin Hart (left) is part of our River Waveney team of rangers, who look after a large part of the southern Broads.
Keep your head down
Mind your head at all bridges.
• Think ahead for bridges. Tides go up and down so be very careful. Check how high your boat is with the canopy down. Check the clearance boards that tell you the height above water under the bridge.
• Take down your canopy and windshield, get everyone off deck and make sure that all hands, feet and heads are inside the boat. Make sure you have the boat well under control before the bridge, especially if there’s a strong current.
• Watch carefully for signs of other boats coming through – usually the boat travelling with the current has right of way as it’s more difficult for it to manoeuvre. Never stop or moor under bridges.
• Keep hands, feet and heads inside the boat until you are well clear of the bridge, and if things go wrong, don’t try to fend off using your hands or feet.
• Remember that bridge clearances given in our table are averages, based on normal tides. But tidal levels can vary considerably and so affect the figures.
• At railway swing bridges a single red flag indicates bridge in service/operable. Two red flags indicate bridge out of service/inoperable. Take note of the electronic signage at each bridge. If you are unable to pass under due to water levels, approach the bridge, give three blasts on the horn and follow the instructions on the illuminated signs on the bridge. You can contact these swing bridges on VHF radio Channel 12 or the following telephone numbers:
Oulton Broad 0330 852 5351,
We don’t recommend swimming in the in the rivers and broads, except as part of an organised event (see page 17).
7 Keep your wits about you
Don't drink and drive on the water.
• You’ll never see a ranger swimming – it’s too dangerous, no matter how hot the weather is or how good a swimmer you are. There are currents and obstructions and cold water can be dangerous.
• If someone falls in, throw them a lifebuoy and pull them to a bank or ladder. If you have to bring someone up on to your boat from the water, make sure the engine is switched off as they get close. Never reverse towards them and keep them clear of the back of the boat – this where the sharp propeller blades are. Never put yourself in danger by entering the water.
Take care with barbecues, in permitted areas.
• Never light or use barbecues on deck or anywhere else on your boat, or on wooden moorings.
Reedham 0330 858 4655, Somerleyton 0330 858 4656; Trowse 01603 675297 or 01603 763440 (seven days’ notice required for openings). In hot weather, you may like to check ahead to see if Somerleyton Bridge is working as temperature can affect the mechanism.
• At Potter Heigham all hire cruisers must use the bridge pilot from Phoenix Fleet boatyard and private boats are advised to do so. The pilot service is available daily 8.30am-5pm, depending on tide and weather conditions, 07990 686097 (pilot) or 01692 670460 (Phoenix Fleet boatyard). The cost for hire cruisers is £10 return and for private boats £10 each way.
• At Wroxham there are two bridges close together. Hire cruisers must use the bridge pilot if available.
• We recommend that people driving and sailing boats don’t drink alcohol until their boats are moored for the night.
Slow down and relax
Stick to speed limits and check your wash (the waves made by your boat).
• Always look behind your boat – there should be no big waves (they damage banks, disturb wildlife, rock moored boats and can even capsize small craft).
• Call 999 or 112 from any type of phone for coastguard, fire, police or ambulance services.
• Ask for the coastguard if you are on or next to the water – they’re not just for the sea. They will call the other services if needed.
• Tell the emergency services or your boatyard where you are. Always keep track of where you are when boating.
• If you are on a holiday boat the contact details for your boatyard are in the back of your skipper's manual.
• The Broads Authority 24-hour moorings have name plates with Ordnance Survey grid references and postcodes on them. If you are near one, give these details to the emergency services or your boatyard so they know where you are.
Note: In all cases, tidal levels can vary considerably and so affect the above figures.
• Arched Bridges – clearance is given at the centre.
•• Canopies, windscreens, etc. should be lowered and extra care taken.
••• As references • and •• combined.
• Lift or Swing Bridges
• Keep your mobile phone charged.
• For other important numbers see the telephone directory on page 52.
• Defibrillators are available at some boatyards and villages (usually near a pub, shop or village hall). They are also available at Broads Authority information centres and yacht stations, and Yare House, Norwich NR1 1RY (all only when staffed).
Stokesby Village Shop
Stokesby Village Shop is at the same location as The Ferry Inn public house, nestled on the River Bure. We stock a range of homemade cakes, chocolates and deli produce, all made by our onsite baker. We pride ourselves on our freshly baked generous portions, offering a huge selection of delights which also include gluten free and vegan options.
Come and stop by and treat yourself to a sausage roll and chocolate brownie, before heading out for a ramble around the local countryside. We have car park for our customers, and moorings at the pub if you are coming by boat. Alison, her family, and the team look forward to welcoming you to Stokesby Village Shop.
1 Some other moorings (charges may apply)
Broads Authority 24-hr moorings (free except where marked *)
Approximate numbers of moorings are shown in brackets below. Estimates include double alongside and stern on mooring where permitted.
1 Dilham Staithe (5)
2 Wayford Bridge (5) Wayford Marine (2)
3 Stalham Staithe (4)
4 Sutton Staithe (22) Sutton Staithe (2)
5 Paddy’s Lane, Barton (15)
6 Neatishead (12)
7 Gay Staithe (12)
8 Irstead Staithe (2)
9 How Hill Staithe (32)
10 Horning Marshes (22)
11 Coltishall Common (46)
12 Belaugh Staithe (2)
13 Castle Staithe (3)
14 Hoveton Viaduct (64)
15 Hoveton St John (20) Barnes Brinkcraft (6)
16 Wroxham Broad Island (10)
17 Horning Staithe (12) Horning Pleasurecraft (2)
18 Cockshoot (15)
19 Ranworth* (22)
20 St Benet’s Abbey (60)
21 Boundary Farm (4)
22 Acle Bridge (16)
23 Stokesby (6) Marina Quays (10)
24 Catﬁeld Staithe (3)
25 Deep Dyke (19)
26 White Slea (2)
27 Deep Go Dyke (7)
28 West Somerton (14)
29 Potter Heigham (14) (Martham Bank)
30 Potter Heigham (14) (Repps Bank)
31 Womack Island (3)
32 Womack Dyke (14)
33 Commissioners Cut (4)
34 Bramerton (19)
35 Postwick Wharf (6)
36 Brundall Church Fen (8) Brundall Church Fen (2) Swancraft (2) Eastwood Marine (2)
37 Rockland St Mary Staithe (8)
38 Rockland Short Dyke (15)
39 Langley Dyke (9)
40 Cantley (26)
41 Hardley Cross (10)
42 Reedham Quay* (24)
47 Chedgrave (4)
48 Loddon Staithe (12)
49 Pye’s Mill (30) Pye’s Mill (2)
50 Geldeston (6)
51 • Beccles North Bank (2)
52 • Beccles South Bank (6)
(• demasting and vessels unable to pass under the new bridge)
53 Worlingham (6)
54 North Cove (5) Peto’s Marsh, Carlton Colville (2)
Broadlands Marina (4)
55 Dutch Tea Gardens, Oulton Dyke (8)
56 Somerleyton (28)
57 Herringﬂeet (14)
58 St Olaves (4)
59 Burgh Castle (15)
How to cross Breydon Water
Beautiful Breydon Water, on the edge of Great Yarmouth, is an internationally important site for water birds. A cruise across it takes you to and fro between the northern and southern rivers. It can be challenging, so you need to prepare and take care.
Follow our guidance here for a safe crossing.
Think about your journey well ahead. You can contact our staff at Great Yarmouth Yacht Station on 01493 842794 or 07766 398238 (see page 25). They’ll work out the best time for you to cross and give guidance. If anything’s not clear to you, ask again. Leave a message if necessary (with your telephone number) and they will get back to you.
Plan your crossing so that you can go under Great Yarmouth bridges at slack water, which is about an hour after low water. The tide will be less of a hazard and you’ll have maximum clearance under the bridges. Larger vessels (with an air draft over 2.32m or 7’6’’) may need to cross at low water rather than waiting for slack water – please contact Great Yarmouth Yacht Station for advice. The tide tables on page 31 give the times of low water. Crossing at other times is inadvisable. There are two bridges close together. The old metal railway bridge, Vauxhall Bridge, is 7.62cm (3”) lower than the concrete road bridge, Yarmouth/Acle Road Bridge. You should be passing under bridges with at least 30cm (a foot) to spare.
Always wear life jackets when on deck. Have your canopy or mast lowered ready for passing under the bridges. Before going under any bridge check your boat height (shown on a plate in the cockpit or in the skipper’s manual). Check the bridge clearance boards to make sure that your boat will fit under the bridges. Don’t steer your boat from the outside steering position – if something goes wrong you are vulnerable.
In an emergency call the coastguard on 999 or 112
Work out the time you need to leave your previous mooring by working backwards from the time you need to be in Great Yarmouth. It will take about 2¼ hours to get to Great Yarmouth from Acle and about 2 hours from Reedham or St Olaves. Make sure that you won’t be navigating in the dark – hire boats are not allowed to navigate before sunrise or after sunset as they have no navigation lights. Check the weather forecast – don’t cross if visibility is poor or there are strong winds.
Berney Arms Reach Broads Authority 24-hr free moorings for 8 boats
Berney Mill and Berney Mill 2
Broads Authority 24-hr free moorings for 12 and 6 boats
River Waveney to St Olaves and Oulton Broad
Burgh Castle Broads Authority 24-hr free moorings for 15 boats, electric charging point
Check the map here to make sure you know what to do. Keep everyone inside the boat or cockpit during the crossing. Concentrate on what you are doing. The channel has some bends in it, but don’t take shortcuts. Never go outside the red and green navigation posts. If you get stuck, try and reverse. If that doesn’t work, call your boatyard.
Shallow water and mud
River Bure to northern Broads
Shallow corner - go around yellow post
Great Yarmouth Yacht Station Moor against tide –quay rangers will help when possible
North Quay Mooring for emergencies and demasting only
No hire craf t beyond here Haven Bridge
Dangerous tides and North Sea ahead
Shallow water and mud
Watch out for water skiers in the central straight of Breydon Water – see signs on posts
Channel Strong currents outside slack water
Shallow water and mud
Clearance at average high water during the summer is given below but always check the bridge clearance boards (pictured right). Look out for additional advance bridge clearance boards as you approach Breydon Water and also on the Lower Bure. The river is narrow and tides can be strong. Lower your canopy in plenty of time. Make sure everyone is down inside the boat.
1 Breydon Bridge 3.96m (13’)
Go through the right- hand side span.
Navigate between the two arrows on the bridges.
Stop lights indicate you must not pass through the centre span.
2 Vauxhall Bridge 2.06 m (6' 9'')
Yarmouth/Acle Road Bridge 2.13 m (7')
Note: In all cases tidal levels can vary considerably and so affect the above ﬁgures.
Low water predictions for Great Yarmouth Yacht Station (corrected for BST)
Use these tables to work out when to cross Breydon Water, see page 30. Slack water is about 1 hour after low water at Great Yarmouth Yacht Station.
September June July October May August April
More details on all these points from our yacht stations and information centres
• For Broads Authority 24-hour free moorings see map on centre pages
• Broads Hire Boat Federation (BHBF) operators allow other member companies’ boats to moor in their boatyards free of charge, subject to availability; look out for the BHBF logo at boatyards or check your skipper’s manual
• Many other places also provide moorings
• All Broads rivers are close to the sea so are all affected by tides (or are tidal)
• Consideration of tidal flow may be important as journeys by boat are harder and slower when the flow is against you
• Rise and fall of the tide is on average about 2.2m/7’ at Great Yarmouth and Reedham, while at Norwich it’s about 60-90cm/2’-3’ and at Wroxham it’s about 15cm/6’’
• There are usually two high tides and two low tides each day but times vary daily
• Knowing when high and low tide times occur can be important for getting under bridges, and tides can create strong currents in certain areas
• If you are staying on a holiday boat, your skipper’s manual may include tide tables
Broadcaster tide tables
• These show times for low tide at Great Yarmouth Yacht Station, close to Breydon Water
• We include these times because at Breydon Water it is essential to pay careful attention to the tide in your planning
• Read the instructions for crossing Breydon Water on page 30
• Where there are red and green posts, keep in the main channel between them
• Red and green posts and buoys don’t mean red for danger and green for go – they mark the edges of channels
• Yellow posts usually mark a hazard – keep well clear and keep to channel Water
• For water points at Broads Authority moorings see map on centre pages (some are seasonal, such as Gay Staithe and West Somerton)
• Water points are available at many other moorings and boatyards (small charge)
• Boil water from all water points before drinking
• Waste water from boats, except sewage, empties into the waterways, so use biodegradable washing-up liquid and other cleaning products, and use only small amounts
• Pump-out services available at many boatyards throughout Broads
• Absorb oil on to kitchen paper and put paper in bin
• See page 16
If you find yourself on the water during a regatta:
• Keep close to the right-hand bank and slow down as you pass through
• Sailing boats have right of way
• If they are zigzagging across the river to catch the wind, slow down and try to pass behind them
• Make your course clear – do not weave about
• Watch for indications on when to pass, but do not put yourself or others in danger, or just moor up to watch
• Where channels are provided for safe passage, stay in channel
• Listen to and follow advice from rangers or safety patrol boats
Oulton Broad racing
• Races held Thursday evenings, bank holidays and some Sundays
During powerboat racing:
• Do not enter or leave via main body of broad where event is taking place
• Keep speed down and follow instructions from patrol boats, rescue boats and yacht station staff for safe passage and mooring North Walsham and Dilham Canal
• For small craft only, charge or donation payable to the trust nwdct.org
Peace and quiet
• Be sensitive to your neighbours –don’t leave your engine idling late at night or early in the morning
• Be aware of radio and TV volume too, especially when the roof of your boat is open
continued on page 32
continued from page 31
• Boat owners who are already registered with the Broads Authority can renew annual tolls online
• There are many slipways and launching points – some free, some with charges
• Many boatyards also have slipways – charges apply Electric charging point cards
• £1 from Broads National Park information centres and yacht stations at Hoveton, Ranworth, How Hill, Norwich, Reedham and Great Yarmouth, and from some shops and boatyards
• Keep cards away from mobile phones – they can interfere with credit on cards
• See link below for details on where to find electric charging points, how to use them and where to buy cards
• Between Oulton Broad and Lake Lothing at Lowestoft –limit of hire boat navigation
• Not for use by hire boats
• For private boats, call 01502 574946 or 01502 531778, 24 hours ahead, to book a passage (£17)
• Now in their 28th year – a team of Royal Yachting Association-trained police officers and support staff who patrol the Broads throughout the year, preventing and detecting crime, reducing anti-social behaviour and disorder, assisting boaters and ensuring the safety of all on land or water
• Officers work with the other emergency services and partnership agencies, including the Broads Authority, RNLI, Border Force, Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, and Environment Agency
• Broads Beat is supported by many businesses and is the UK’s longest-running police and public sponsorship scheme
• Call them on 101 for non-emergencies, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Follow their daily activities on Twitter @BroadsBeat
Journey times in the Broads (in hours)
Times are a rough guide only. When planning your journey remember traffic, tide and weather may make it take longer.
Northern Rivers/ Broads RiverBure
ColtishallWroxhamHorningAntMouthThurneMouth Acle StraceyArmsMillGreatYarmouth PotterHeighamHicklingStaithe BartonBroadStalham RiverThurne
Southern Rivers/ Broads
• Recycling and other waste disposal facilities are often available near moorings or in towns and villages
• Be careful with waste –don’t leave bags at the back of boats where they could easily fall into the water
• Dispose of waste at proper sites – don't leave bags at sides of moorings or adjacent roads and don't overload bins or leave bags by bins if bins are full
• If necessary, hang on to waste till you reach the next site
• Discarded litter and fishing tackle can entangle and kill wildlife
Boat waste facilities on each river (available at time of compilation)
Wensum / Yare
Norwich Yacht Station
Brundall: Broom Boats, Silverline Marine (both hire craft only)
Loddon: Staithe, Pye’s Mill; Maffett Cruisers, Pacific Cruisers (both hire craft only)
Coltishall: Kings Head
Wroxham/Hoveton: Broads National Park Information Centre;
Barnes Brinkcraft, Norfolk Broads Direct (both hire craft only)
Salhouse Broad Horning: Ferry Marina (hire craft only); Swan Inn
Acle: Acle Bridge
Moorings (car park); Bridgecraft (hire craft only)
Great Yarmouth Yacht Station
Stalham: Richardson’s (hire craft only)
Barton Turf Staithe
Ludham Bridge Staithe
Potter Heigham: Staithe; Herbert Woods (hire craft only)
Geldeston: Locks Inn
Beccles Yacht Station
Burgh St Peter: Waveney
River Centre (hire craft only)
Oulton Broad Yacht Station
Waste • broads-authority. gov.uk/waste
VISIT THE BROADS
2 DAY BOATING ITINERARY 1
Upper River Bure –Wroxham, Salhouse Broad and Horning
Day 1 – Wroxham and Salhouse Broad Holiday cruisers are available to hire from Norfolk Broads Direct and Barnes Brinkcraft in Wroxham and Ferry Marina in Horning.
This 2-day itinerary starts in Wroxham, the heart of the Broads. The two villages of Wroxham and Hoveton sit on either side of the River Bure. Bustling hubs full of places to eat and shop, they are often referred to as the capital of the Broads. There is a Broads National Park Information Centre based at Station Road Hoveton, where you can also book boat trips on Ra, which is accessible to wheelchair users.
Book an early table at the Hotel Wroxham where you can enjoy breakfast on the terrace overlooking the water. The restaurant and stunning waterside terrace are open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Watch the hustle and bustle of the day
unfold as the hire boats go out and people start to arrive for their Broads Tours river trips.
After breakfast, wander up to the Bure Valley Railway station at Wroxham, where you will take a nostalgic trip by steam train on Norfolk’s longest narrow-gauge railway. Steam trains operate regularly between the old market town of Aylsham and Wroxham. The Bure Valley Railway was built on the trackbed of part of the former Great Eastern Railway and the nine-mile line runs through
meadowland, ancient pastures and picturesque Broadland villages. The trip to Aylsham by train takes about 45 minutes.
At Aylsham station, you’ll find lots of facilities including the Whistlestop Café and a shop stocking a wide range of railway-themed souvenirs and gifts, as well as being a paradise for any model railway enthusiasts.
Leave the station and take in the historic market town of Aylsham. The prominent marketplace is surrounded by beautiful 18th-century houses and reflects the town’s prosperity from the textile and cloth trade at the time.
A mile from the marketplace you will discover Redwings Horse Sanctuary, home to almost 90 friendly horses and donkeys who now live there. They love visitors and you can get up close and cuddly every day between 10.30am and 4pm until the end of August.
Take the return journey by steam train back to Hoveton station, where you will pick up your holiday cruiser.
Follow the River Bure south out of Wroxham, taking in the pretty riverside properties along the way. After about 30 minutes, gently cruising you’ll come to Salhouse Broad. Moorings are available but it can get very busy in high season, so please arrive early.
Salhouse Broad is a place of great natural beauty,
membership organisation for Broads businesses. We hope you enjoy these itineraries featuring our members, which we have designed to help you get the most from your visit to the Broads National Park.
WHO NEEDS ABROAD WHEN YOU'VE GOT THE BROADS
Visiting the Broads has never been so easy. With a choice of lodges, holiday homes, boats and marinas across the Broads you can secure your very own place in this magical waterway to enjoy time and time again. Join us in making the Broads your perfect place to stay and play.
HOLIDAY HOMES & LODGES FOR SALE
Pass on the passports with a UK holiday home where there is time to be you. Our locations on the Broads are carefully chosen so you get the chance to relax and discover what this unique part of the country has to offer. Choose from a range of villas and lodges for a holiday home to suit your style and budget.
Onsite you can enjoy excellent facilities including heated indoor swimming pools, bars and restaurants. Or head out to explore the beauty of untouched nature and coastlines and the many attractions that lie in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk.
MARINAS & BOAT SALES
As one of the top activities on the Broads, boating is the best way to explore this water playground. If you become an annual berth holder with us you can take advantage of our Privilege Scheme and enjoy 28 nights free visitor moorings* at our three marinas across the Broads, so you can cruise this fabulous waterway at your leisure.
Indoor heated swimming pools
CARAVANS TO BUY & BRING ON
Whether you already own a caravan and are looking for a new location, or are wanting to set down some roots and enjoy quality time time with friends and family, we have a range of caravans and plots available at our holiday parks across the Broadlands area for you to make your second home.
Onsite bars and restaurants
Gym and sauna
If you're looking to buy your own boat or get a feel for life afloat come along and see the boats we have available on our Sales Pontoon at Waveney River Centre.
Children’s play areas
*Subject to availability
Combine your time with a round of golf at Caldecott Hall, Fritton, or enjoy beautiful seaviews at North Denes Park, Lowestoft. Wh atever your preference there's most certainly the perfect pitch for you.
where you can explore the nature boardwalks, walk through the woods or hire a canoe. In fact, you might find that one night just isn’t enough.
If you decide to stay on, it’s worth hiring a canoe and paddling over to Hoveton Great Broad to discover some real Broadland wilderness at one of Britain's finest National Nature Reserves. Hoveton Great Broad Nature Trail is only accessible by boat and promises a peaceful hour-long stroll around this isolated reserve. Alternatively, you can moor up on the River Bure, just on the other side of Hoveton Great Broad, and walk to the start of the route.
Spend some time enjoying the peace and tranquillity of Salhouse Broad before dinner. You’re on holiday, so it’s time to leave the cooking to someone else! When hunger gets the better of you, head up to Woodforde’s Brewery and the Fur & Feather Inn, 20 minutes’ walk from Salhouse Broad. Their award-winning real ales and traditional homecooked food are a Norfolk institution. Visit early for a brewery tour and some shopping, or just enjoy a great meal and a pint in the cosy pub or outdoor beer garden.
You’ll need to take a torch if you’re planning to walk back to your mooring at Salhouse Broad after dark.
Day 2 – Horning
After a leisurely breakfast on board your holiday cruiser, continue your journey south along the River Bure for about half an hour or so to the pretty village of Horning.
There are several places for you to moor at Horning, either side of the river, although it can get incredibly busy so please do arrive early. For this itinerary, you’ll need to access land from the north bank.
Horning is full of riverside houses and pubs, restaurants and shops. It’s a stunning iconic Broads waterside location with so many places to sit back, relax and watch the world go by. At the weekends you can watch the sailing races from Horning sailing club.
If you’d like to try something a little more energetic, book yourself a paddleboarding session with Go Paddle. They provide beginner sessions for adults and children of all ages and abilities as well as daily and weekly hire.
After all that fun and adventure, it’s time to relax on board your cruiser and plan what you’re going to do tomorrow. Why not book Perfect Pamper – a pop-up-salon who travel to your holiday accommodation?
Many popular fishing spots throughout the Broads have been supplied with fishing line recycling bins by Love The Broads. The aim is to reduce the amount of fishing litter (line) in the Broads, protecting not only wildlife but reducing the build-up of micro plastics in the ecosystem.
Places to stay nearby…
Hotel Wroxham – Hotel, Wroxham
Hoveton Hall – Luxury B&B, Hoveton
Hall Farm Cottages – Self-catering Cottage, Horning
Salhouse Broad – Camping, Salhouse
Cobbleacre Holidays – Camping, Hevingham
Cotenham Barn – Self-catering and B&B, Panxworth
DAY OUT ITINERARY 2
Lower River Bure –& Great Yarmouth
The day starts with a visit to Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens
The 250-year-old landscaped gardens are renowned for a collection of Asian mammals, birds and reptiles. You can get up close to the snow leopards, gibbons, deer, otters and crocodiles in the swamp house. Get a fantastic view of Kabu and Dua, the two critically endangered Sumatran tigers resident at Thrigby when you complete the Tiger Treetop Walk.
There is also a play area which includes a 3D Adventure Maze, climbing frames, a large slide and pyramid climbing frame. A separate tree ropes play area and another maze on the front lawn, with a play area and slide suitable for younger children, provides plenty of ways for the little ones to burn oﬀ some energy.
Just a mile up the road at Filby Broad, stop oﬀ for lunch at Filby Bridge Restaurant . This is a family run restaurant that serves lunch and evening meals, with beautiful views over the Trinity Broads. The Trinity Broads are three connected lakes which are landlocked and not connected to the main Broads network of rivers. They provide a haven of tranquillity and are perfect for ﬁshing and enjoying nature and wildlife.
It’s possible to hire a two-person rowing boat from Filby Broad Restaurant to explore the broad and experience the amazing scenery and wildlife found in Norfolk. Or just enjoy a spot of bird watching from your table.
After lunch, a 15-minute drive will take you into Great Yarmouth, one of the UK’s most popular
seaside resorts for an afternoon at the seaside.
Great Yarmouth’s vibrant seafront harks back to the traditions of yesteryear, but remains upbeat, modern and fun, packed with family attractions and entertainment. The famous golden mile runs between two fun-packed piers, stretching from the Pleasure Beach to North Beach.
The sea has played a huge part in shaping Great Yarmouth. The town has the second most complete mediaeval town wall in England complete with several gate towers and was used to raise taxes on arrival or departure and to keep pirates out altogether. Nelson's monument is a stunning 44m (144 feet) memorial to Norfolk's most famous son, Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson who frequently sailed from the town in the 1800s.
Several museums in the town recall Great Yarmouth's maritime past and herring heyday which lasted until the mid 1900s, when Silver Darlings were ﬁshed and packed, employing a vast industry of workers, who were housed in Great Yarmouth's famous Rows, unique tightly packed together houses built onto narrow alleyways, with wealthy merchant houses at one end and bars and brothels at the other.
In the early 1700s the ﬁrst tourists came to take the waters at Great Yarmouth as hundreds of visitors ﬂocked to the seaside to stroll along the esplanade and enjoy the warm weather. When the sun goes down there’s plenty of evening entertainment and colourful seafront illuminations to enjoy.
Places to stay nearby…
Beachside Holidays Norfolk – Self-catering, Great Yarmouth
Richardsons Hemsby Beach – Holiday Park, Hembsy
Alternatively, stay on the water with Eastwood Whelpton Sailing Holidays, Upton
36 Visit the Broads DAY OUT ITINERARY
River Waveney –Geldeston, Beccles and Oulton Broad
With miles of beautiful scenery, the river Waveney in the Southern Broads is the perfect place to explore. This full day itinerary will start and ﬁnish in the historic market town of Beccles.
Beccles is full of history. The narrow streets and quaint architecture are home to lots of independent shops and cafés. Much of the town’s architecture has a strong Flemish inﬂuence. The popular quayside, once a herring port, is now home to the myriad of cruisers which moor here.
Option 1 – Explore by boat
A short walk out of town will take you to Gillingham Dam and Hippersons Boatyard, where you can pick up your day boat. Free parking is also available. Hippersons oﬀer day boats and houseboats for longer stays. Canoes and kayaks are also available for hire in high season. (Book your day boat in advance to avoid disappointment.)
Leave the boatyard and turn port (left). Go under the road bridge and past the sailing club on the starboard side. You will enter a really beautiful stretch of the River Waveney. Keep an eye out for wildlife: herons, kingﬁshers, marsh harriers, otters and barn owls can all be seen along this stretch.
A little further along you will come to the Beccles old railway bridge and it is best to steer through on the port side (left).
Continue on your journey until you reach Waveney River Centre at Burgh St Peter (approximately 1.45 hours). You will see the entrance, where you can steer in and moor up to take the ferry over to SWT Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve or you can continue downriver to Oulton Broad and take the 20-minute walk back to the reserve.
The park is set in beautiful surroundings with fabulous views across the Norfolk and Suﬀolk marshes and a wealth of on-park facilities. Visit The Waveney Inn, a popular riverside pub and restaurant with its fabulous outdoor decking area.
Another 45 minutes or so downriver and you will arrive at Oulton Broad, where you can explore Nicholas Everitt Park , a beautiful open space alongside the broad, with tennis courts, bowling green, toilets, putting, trampolines, all-inclusive play area, museum, bandstand, boating lake, ponds and refreshments.
From Oulton Broad it is possible to join the Angles Way footpath for a 20-minute walk to SWT Carlton Marshes. Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve lies at the southern tip of the Broads National Park and comprises over 1000 acres of beautiful Suﬀolk grazing marsh, fens and peat pools teeming with interesting plantlife, such as the insectivorous bladderwort, which traps and digests water ﬂeas in bladder-like sacs under water. Scan the dyke edges too, for a glimpse of Britain’s biggest spider, the fen raft spider which was
released here in 2012 to bolster the precariously low UK population.
The trip back to Beccles will take roughly 2.5 hours.
Option 2 – Explore by canoe or kayak Canoes and kayaks can be hired from Three Rivers Pitch & Paddle in Geldeston and Hippersons Boatyard in Beccles. (Please book in advance to avoid disappointment.)
Once on the water you can explore the River Waveney between Geldeston and Beccles. Keener paddlers will comfortably make it to Beccles from Geldeston and back in 3 hours. However, going at a more leisurely pace with time for some breaks you should allow 6 hours.
This is a lovely, tranquil stretch of river with few large boats.
From Geldeston village paddle down the dyke and at the end turn right on to the River Waveney towards Geldeston Lock. You can tie up and get out at The Locks Inn, where they serve traditional homecooked food using locally produced ingredients.
The Locks Inn is one of the oldest pubs in the Broads, with a fascinating history. In 1670 an Act of Parliament was passed to improve the navigation upstream of Beccles and three locks were built, at Geldeston, Ellingham and Wainford. This made it possible for sailing wherries laden with cargo to travel to Bungay, with its brewing and malting industries. Ellingham and Geldeston were also railway stations on the now dismantled Waveney Valley Line, on the north side of the river, opened in the early 1860s.
From Geldeston Lock, continue back in the direction you came, along the river towards Beccles.
As you pass Dunburgh Hill on the left look out for marsh harriers that nest in the reeds there close to the ground. Continue past Barsham Marshes on your right. There is evidence here of a Bronze Age river crossing or ferry point.
River Ant –Wayford Bridge and Stalham
Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Vera’s Coﬀee Shop, on the site of site A G Meales & Sons farm shop. Their menu uses local and home-grown ingredients, and they are open from 9.30am every day. If the weather is pleasant, sit out on the patio and enjoy views of the garden and living wall, while you plan what goodies to stock up on for lunch. You can even pick your own fruit and veg.
Suitably refreshed, it’s time to spend some time out on the River Ant. There are a number of options for you to choose from. However, all will need to be booked in advance.
Nancy Oldﬁeld Trust provide a variety of activities including sailing, canoeing, motor boating, ﬁshing, bird watching and environmental
Towards Beccles the large buildings on the righthand side are part of the old industrial area of the town which included maltings, glassworks and tanneries. Return your canoe or kayak to the hire operator and head into Beccles.
Option 3 – Sit back and relax
Skippered boat trips are available on the River Waveney from Waveney River Tours at Oulton Broad, who also hire day boats. Waveney Stardust Trust provide fully accessible boat trips from Gillingham Dam. (Booking essential.) Keep an eye out for open days on board historic Wherry Maud, one of just eight studies, available for anyone who is disadvantaged or has a disability be it physical, mental or emotional, temporary or permanent. Please contact them in advance as booking is essential.
From Wayford Bridge, you can explore the River Ant up to Dilham or down to Barton Broad. Some people believe that this is where Admiral Nelson learnt to sail! Barton Broad was purchased by Norfolk Wildlife Trust in 1945 and is the second largest of the broads. Look out for local wildlife on the way. Common terns (which nest on artiﬁcial platforms), otters, kingﬁshers and herons can all be spotted along this stretch of the Broads.
Once you’ve ﬁnished on the water, a short drive of about 10 minutes will take you to the Barton Broad main car park. From here, take a stroll to and along the Barton Broad Boardwalk (approx. 2.4 km). There’s a separate car park for disabled visitors at the start of the boardwalk. The boardwalk is easily accessible by wheelchair and will take you on a mysterious journey of discovery into a lost world, which has remained isolated for half a century. The mystery trail leads you through swampy, wildlife-ﬁlled carr woodland, with resting places and tapping edges along the way and emerges to give a surprise panoramic view over Barton Broad.
wherries to survive, although at their peak there were around 300.
Another option is a sailing experience with the Excelsior Trust from Lowestoft, for a day getting hands-on with sailing on their traditional Lowestoft ﬁshing smack.
Once you’re back in Beccles
Seek out the bell-tower of St Michael’s church. The church dates from the 1500s and is unusual as its tower is separate from the rest of the building. The tower has three clock faces but not a fourth. The side without a clock is the one facing Norfolk,
a reminder that the river is the boundary between Suﬀolk and Norfolk.
Standing on a cliﬀ overlooking the river, the bell tower rises an additional 97 feet (29.6m) and is 30 feet square (9m) at its base. The tower is open for visitors to climb to the top and take in the spectacular views!
Further along the river at Puddingmoor, if you have time enjoy a late afternoon dip at Beccles Lido. Beccles Lido is a heated outdoor swimming pool with separate heated toddler pools, sitting right next to the river. For the very brave hearted they are open for cold swims right throughout the year!
Whether you’ve spent the day exploring on the water by electric day boat, or silently paddled this beautiful stretch of river, no trip to Beccles would be complete without a trip to OakFired Pizza. Finish your day with award winning Neapolitan pizza cooked on a traditional woodﬁred oven. One of only three restaurants in the UK accredited by the Azzociazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) Naples, to serve True Neapolitan Pizza, a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed product.
If you would like to complete this itinerary as part of a longer boating holiday, holiday cruisers can be booked from Paciﬁc Cruisers in Chedgrave.
Places to stay nearby…
Wheatacre Hall Barns – Self-catering cottages, Beccles Waveney River Centre – Holiday Lodges and Marina, Burgh St Peter Hippersons Boatyard – Self-catering Houseboats and Glamping Pods, Beccles
Outney Meadow Caravan Park – Camping and Touring, Bungay Wardley Hill Campsite – Camping and Touring, Near Bungay
Three Rivers Camping – Camping and Touring, Geldeston
After lunch, a few miles’ drive will take you to Stalham and the Museum of the Broads. Spend a couple of hours learning all about living and working in the Broads. There are superb displays telling stories of Vikings, marshmen, boatbuilders, holidaymakers and life in the area during the two World Wars. There is also a cracking range of boats: a water bicycle, an airborne lifeboat, racing yachts, punts and even an ice yacht. End your day out with dinner in the relaxed atmosphere of the Wayford Inn. They serve food every day until 9.30pm. Sit back and relax on the patio with views over the River Ant and Wayford Bridge. Or you could try the Swan Inn, a traditional village inn, in the
heart of Stalham, serving a variety of food and drink. Food is served daily between 12pm and 2.30pm and then again from 5pm until 8pm.
If you want to spend a few days on the water, holiday cruisers or traditional sailing yachts are available from…
Richardsons Boating Holidays at Stalham
Norfolk Heritage Fleet at Hunter's Yard, Ludham Sutton Staithe Boatyard – Day boats
Places to stay nearby…
Riverside Rentals – Self-catering, various locations
2 DAY BOATING ITINERARY 5 River Yare –Norwich, Surlingham, Reedham or Loddon
Holiday cruisers are available to hire from Broom Boats in Brundall, or from Waterways Holidays who have several bases in the region.
Day 1 – Norwich to Surlingham
This 2-day boating itinerary starts in Norwich. Mooring is available at Norwich Yacht Station, approximately 2 hours’ cruising from Brundall, with easy access by foot to the mediaeval city of Norwich.
Norwich is the only English city with part of a national park in its midst. The stretch of the River Wensum that ﬂows through the city is part of the Broads.
From the yacht station, follow the riverside path on foot into the city, until you reach signs for the cathedral. Set in beautiful grounds, Norwich Cathedral is an awe-inspiring, welcoming building with spectacular architecture, magniﬁcent art and a fascinating history. The grounds are a lovely place to sit and watch the world go by or enjoy a picnic.
Norwich is full of fabulous places to shop and eat out. Spend some time browsing the quirky, independent shops in the Lanes, or visit one of the many museums and historical sites. To learn more about this vibrant city and its fascinating history, book a guided walking tour with Paul Dickson Tours. A range of tours are available including Norwich: an introduction, Historic Pubs, or Rivers, Merchants and Markets.
When you’ve ﬁnished getting to know the city, it’s time to get back on board your holiday cruiser and head down the River Yare to Surlingham, where you’ll moor up for the night. Please leave plenty of time for the 1.5 hour journey.
Stop for dinner or a drink at the Ferry House, Surlingham. This is a delightful pub right on the water’s edge with ample mooring (free to patrons) and an attractive outdoor seating area. It’s one of the last
places in the area where you can see the sunset and geese ﬂ ying over in the evening, it is quite magical. They also serve breakfast between 9am and 11am.
Day 2 – Surlingham to Reedham or Loddon
After breakfast, another 2 hours or so of gentle cruising will take you to Reedham. Reedham has a beautiful riverside frontage and has Broads Authority moorings. The village has a post oﬃce, a general store and a ﬁsh & chip shop. Reedham is famous for having one of the last operating railway swing bridges in the country and at the other end of the village is the Reedham Chain Ferry. The Reedham Ferry is the only remaining vehicle chain ferry in East Anglia, which crosses the River Yare, forming the only crossing point between the city of Norwich and Great Yarmouth and saving users a journey of more than 30 miles.
Find a suitable place to moor up and make your way to Pettitts Animal Adventure Park for an afternoon of fun for all the family. They have over 25 diﬀerent species resident at the park and no less than 3 themed play areas. You can take a trip around the whole park on the Miniature Railway then discover the super fun adventure rides, soar through the sky on the Little Explorers Balloon Ride or check out the Crazy Caterpillar Rollercoaster!
Next door, you’ll discover Humpty Dumpty Brewery, a ten-barrel brewery producing cask and bottled conditioned real ales. There is a shop on site which sells their own bottled beers, plus beer from other Norfolk breweries and a wide range of locally produced honeys, ciders, wines and chutneys. The Brewery Shop is open every day from 12-5pm, with tours and riverside
deliveries available by arrangement. Make sure you stop oﬀ and stock up while you’re there.
Opposite the chain ferry at Reedham is the Reedham Ferry Inn. This is a great pub with a true country pub atmosphere. Much of its 400-year history is hanging on the walls of the 16th century building. The pub serves lunch and dinner, with seasonal menus and is a great place to end the day, watching cars coming and going across the river. Please book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Or for a diﬀerent itinerary ending, instead of heading straight to Reedham, why not cruise to Loddon on the River Chet, and head to the nearby Chet Valley Vineyard (a taxi might be useful). Enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting, and a vineyard tour. Stock up on your favourites, and spend the night at Loddon Staithe sampling a bottle or two with your dinner.
If your boating holiday has given you a yearning to buy your own vessel, take a trip to Norfolk Yacht Agency in Brundall when you return your cruiser. It is the largest dedicated new and used boat sales centre in the area, they also oﬀer boat servicing.
Places to stay nearby…
Whitlingham Broad Campsite – Camping, Near Norwich
Poolside Lodges – Self-catering, Rackheath Norfolkbreaks.co.uk – Self-catering, Brundall
The Original Cottage Company – Self-catering, various locations
Hoseasons – Boat or land accommodation across the region
The Vine House – Self-catering, Chet Valley Vineyard
River Thurne –Potter Heigham, Thurne and Hickling
Day boats are available to hire along the River Thurne from the following boatyards and should be booked in advance to avoid disappointment…
Martham Ferry Boatyard
Potter Heigham is set right in the heart of the Broads and people have been visiting for holidays from the early 1900s. Boatbuilding has been established in the area for decades and Herbert Woods Boatyard, one of the ﬁrst boatyards to operate Broads cruisers is still in Potter Heigham today.
No trip to Potter Heigham is complete without a visit to Lathams of Potter Heigham. Lathams opened in 1963 as an ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ primarily stocking everything for the holidaymaker and ﬁshermen. Today they still sell almost everything. Pick up some ﬁshing tackle and get some local, inside knowledge
about the best ﬁshing spots and what to catch while you’re on the river. Potter Heigham is a great place to catch bream.
Collect your pre-booked day boat and get out onto the water.
Head south, towards the iconic Thurne Mill, with views across the marshes over to St Benet's Abbey.
Thurne Mill is a distinctive part of the Broads National Park landscape and the only white mill on the Broads. Finishing its working life in 1936, this iconic mill has now been restored to full working order.
Potter Heigham to Ludham Bridge and back will take you around 4 hours, not including stopping time. The Dog Inn at Ludham is worth a stop for lunch. They are a short walk from Ludham Bridge (approx. 500 metres) with an outdoor seating area that looks over open ﬁelds and marshes back towards Thurne Mill and St Benet’s Abbey.
Alternatively, head north and explore the stunning Hickling Broad. Potter Heigham to Hickling will take 3 to 4 hours (not including stopping time). Norfolk Wildlife Trust Hickling Broad is the largest broad and is a year-round haven for wildlife. Look out for common cranes as well as important breeding numbers of bittern, marsh harrier, bearded tit and
You could relax and cruise the Broads in style, Broadland Charters oﬀer luxury, skippered cruises. Simply choose the number of hours you want to cruise and they will supply the scenery and unlimited refreshments.
The Greyhound Inn in the heart of Hickling village is the perfect place to end your day. This traditional village pub serves food seven days a week and they have a varied menu to suit all tastes. The Greyhound boasts a roaring open ﬁre and a sheltered outside area for the winter, and in the summer, there’s a sun-trap front terrace.
Places to stay nearby…
Broads Escapes – Self-catering throughout the Broads Abbots Park Homes – Holiday Lodges, Potter Heigham Limes Farm – Self-catering, Ludham Waterside Breaks – Self-catering throughout the Broads
Alternatively, Olivers Sailing Holidays in Martham and Swallowtail Boatyard in Ludham, are both ideally located for sailing on Hickling Broad or Horsey Mere.
DAY OUT ITINERARY 7
Upper River Bure –Coltishall, Wroxham and Neatishead by car and bike
This itinerary starts with a gentle cycle ride of approximately 8 miles, taking in three stops and lots to see along the way. Some of the route is on the road. Please take care as you will meet cars and other traﬃc along the way. Your day will end with a visit to the RAF Defence Museum at Neatishead.
Bikes for ages 8+ can be hired from Bure Valley Cycle Hire in Coltishall, for either a half or full day, but please do book in advance. You will have easy access to the the Bure Valley Path, a 9-mile traﬃc free track running alongside the railway line, much of the path was re-surfaced in 2022. A route map can be provided when collecting your bikes.
Steam trains operate regularly between the old market town of Aylsham and Wroxham. The Bure Valley Railway was built on the trackbed of part of the former Great Eastern Railway, the line runs through meadowland, ancient pastures and picturesque Broadland villages. The train ride from Wroxham to Aylsham takes about 45 minutes.
Once you have your cycle, follow the path from Coltishall station for just under 3 miles towards Hoveton and then continue into Wroxham.
In Wroxham, you’ll ﬁnd plenty of places to get a bite to eat, watch the hustle and bustle of boats coming in and out, or do a bit of holiday shopping. The “World’s Largest Village Store”, Roys of Wroxham has been a family run business in Wroxham since 1895. Although Roys has stores throughout Norfolk and Suﬀolk, it is synonymous with Wroxham where the company was born. See if you can spot all ﬁ ve of Roys stores that are based here!
When you’re ready, jump back on two wheels and follow the Tunstead Road north out of Wroxham. You’ll shortly arrive at Wroxham Barns, where there really is
something for everyone. Chat to the talented makers in their craft studios or watch them while they work. Take the children to the funfair or visit Junior Farm where you can groom, cuddle and bottle-feed the animals. Before you leave, take a break in the award-winning restaurant or the Farmyard Café.
Leave Wroxham Barns and head back towards Coltishall, along Belaugh Lane. Make sure to spend time at Coltishall common which looks out on the River Bure and the marshes beyond. It’s ideal for a picnic or visit one of the two local pubs situated just at the water’s edge. The houses here haven’t changed much since Flemish gables were the fashion and make for a welcome time warp for true quintessential relaxation. Head back to the cycle hire via the hamlet of St James.
From Coltishall, a short 10-minute car journey will take you to Neatishead, home of the RAF Defence Radar Museum. The museum occupies the site of the
world’s longest continuously operating radar station and tells the story of air defence and radar from 1935 to date. The museum is not open all year, so please check opening times before you visit.
If museums are not your thing, why not spend a couple of hours on the water and hire a self-drive day boat from Richardsons back in Wroxham? A couple of hours will give you the opportunity to relax and take a peek at all of the pretty and quirky riverside properties that are synonymous with the area.
End your day out with some entertainment on the water. Every Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and selected Friday evenings during the summer Broads Tours run evening music cruises. Sit back, tap your feet to the music with a drink and enjoy the sunset. Prebooking is essential for the evening cruises, so please check availability beforehand.
Places to stay nearby…
Hotel Wroxham – Hotel, Wroxham
Hoveton Hall – Luxury B&B, Hoveton
Hall Farm Cottages – Self-catering, Horning
Salhouse Broad – Camping
Cobbleacre Holidays – Camping, Hevingham
Cotenham Barn – Self-catering and B&B, Panxworth Tunstead Cottages – Self-catering Cottage, Tunstead
All itinerary times are approximate. Please leave plenty of time for your journey as times may be aﬀected by tides, traﬃc or weather. Please obey the speed limits. The Broads Authority provides a network of free 24hr moorings. Many more are available at places such as staithes, public houses and boatyards although these may charge a fee.
For more information visit www.broads-authority.gov.uk
Remember to take a torch if you’re planning to walk back to your mooring after dark.
For lots more ideas of things to do, places to eat out and where to stay, visit visitthebroads.co.uk
HORSE & GROOM
‘Sport’, science, food and profit
On 8 September 1838, a porpoise was ‘taken’ from the river at West Somerton, at the staithe. It was duly recorded as weighing a hundredweight and measured 5’3” long. It was marvelled at, as West Somerton was, by river, more than 25 miles from the porpoise’s natural habitat of the sea. Then it was boiled down to produce 5½ gallons of oil.
The fate of this poor porpoise just about summarises the relationship between the residents of the countryside and their wildlife from 1800 to 1914. There was an increasing interest in scientific study, closely allied to a growing sense of appreciation, but underlying always was the desire to make money.
Here we’ll look at what happened to some of the birds, which eventually led to the more enlightened attitude we have today.
‘Sportsmen’ and collectors
The main way that birds were studied during this time was to shoot them first. Data could then be taken in museums fairly easily, before the birds were stuffed and mounted for display. Very soon private collections of stuffed birds became popular. While some sportsmen certainly shot for their own gratification, other Broads ‘gunners’ quickly realised that if they shot unusual or unidentified birds, they could quickly sell them on to collectors and taxidermists.
Sometimes such widespread collecting could be harmful to a species. Writing about black terns in 1906, WA Dutt says, “Nearly fifty years have elapsed since the last British nest was found near Sutton Broad by a marshman who shot both of the birds.
Formerly the black tern nested in great numbers in the Broadland marshes….” The marshman would seemingly have no need to shoot these birds other than to sell them on as rarities, but this was no doubt welcome additional income. For both the sportsman and collector there were really three main target categories for collection: big, colourful and rare.
Big: the sea eagle
During the early 19th century a surprising number were shot in the Broads, including near Great Yarmouth, at Cantley, Rollesby and Winterton. The wingspan, length and weight of each specimen was meticulously recorded. Many more were shot across Norfolk and the implication is that more may have been seen but not shot. A ‘small eagle’ shot at Barton Turf was probably an osprey.
Colourful: the waxwing
The waxwing is a pretty, starling-sized bird with a warm reddish-brown plumage and it’s not that common. It doesn’t breed in this country but usually one or two crop up somewhere in the winter. It normally breeds in the forests of northern Scandinavia and Siberia, but some years they breed so successfully that there isn't enough food to sustain them through the winter, so there’s a mass departure and they arrive on the east coast of the UK in vast numbers: a waxwing winter!
Such a winter occurred in 1866. And such a strikingly colourful bird, normally rare but suddenly numerous, was irresistible to the local gunners, taxidermists and collectors. Charles Mackie tells
continued from p41
us (from issues of the Norfolk Chronicle) that in the last week of December newspapers claimed, “that more than one hundred specimens had been procured.” This included birds from Wroxham, Rollesby, Worstead, Mutford and Horsham St Faith near Norwich.
Rare: the strange case of the Limpenhoe warbler
In the spring of 1819, two local ornithologists, the Reverend James Brown and Sir William Hooker, were puzzled by a bird singing in the marshes at Limpenhoe, which they could not identify. They called it ‘the reel bird’, on account of “the resemblance of its monotonous note to the continuous whirr of the reel at that time used by the hand spinners of wool.” As luck would have it, the eminent Dutch naturalist Coenraad Temminck was at the time visiting London. The dead bird was parcelled off for him to identify and he finally decided it was a variety of reed wren, or Cetti’s warbler. Now, the song of Cetti’s warbler is nothing like the ‘continuous whirr’ made by the Limpenhoe warbler, but of course Temminck, faced with a dead bird, had never heard it sing! Nevertheless, the dead bird was duly labelled and sent away to Norwich Museum, where it languished unnoticed.
In 1824, the eminent Italian naturalist Paolo Savi re-examined a warbler he had shot (a bird that he presumably had heard singing). It had a plumage a bit like a Cetti’s warbler but a song more like a grasshopper warbler. He realised he had found a warbler new to science! It became known as
Savi’s warbler. The bird in Norwich Museum was consequently re-examined and it was discovered in fact to be a Savi’s warbler too. So, the Limpenhoe warbler from the Broads was in fact a bird new to science, pre-dating Savi’s discovery by several years! If only Temminck had realised this, Savi’s warbler might be known as the Limpenhoe warbler to this very day.
Big, colourful and very rare: Pallas’s sandgrouse
In shape and size, Pallas’s sandgrouse looks a bit like a cross between a grouse and a dumpy pigeon. It is predominantly buff coloured but has a delicate black speckling on its back and wings, an orange face and a distinctive brown belly. Its usual range is the grassland steppes of Central Asia, but, like the waxwing, climatic conditions sometimes cause vast eruptions from their homelands, which sometimes reach this country.
Such was the situation in June 1863, when a flock of about 40 appeared on Horsey beach. As a bird of dry grasslands, they preferred to stay on the beach and dunes and so didn’t really venture further into the Broads. Mackie tells us it was noted that in June 1863, “altogether twenty-six specimens of these rare visitants from the Kirghis steppes of Tartary were procured in the county, and all were found either basking in the sands or feeding in grass fields close to the sea shore.” There was another eruption in 1888-89 and a third in 1906, when they appeared at Winterton and Somerton. After this, they were (to my knowledge) never seen in Norfolk again.
Being fairly common was no protection either, the feathers of great crested grebe were much in demand by Victorian milliners creating extravagant hats for wealthy ladies, and their soft feathers were also used as a fur substitute.
Given the abundance of wildfowl in the Broads during this period, it is hardly surprising that many
birds were taken for food. Birds for meat were usually trapped or shot. Trapping had the advantage that customers weren’t buying birds full of lead shot, so the provider could negotiate a higher price from the dealer. A gun, on the other hand, was easier, being more portable and requiring less preparation and, as time moved on, they were becoming more advanced and available.
Trapping ducks and waders
Decoys, like the one at Fritton Lake, were the main method used to trap ducks. Decoy netting was usually undertaken in the winter, when large numbers of duck arrived from the north to spend the colder months in the Broads. Ducks were mainly roasted or stewed.
A different method of netting was used for waders and horsehair snares were also used. In winter, lapwing and golden plover were targeted on the fields where they gathered in large flocks. In spring, ruff and black-tailed godwits were sought on their breeding grounds. Wading birds were usually cooked by roasting on a skewer in front of a ‘brisk’ open fire, while being basted with butter. Being small, they were usually served on toast.
at your own pace Scan me to book
From the 1860s birds were shot for family consumption, for ‘sport’, for sale to the game markets and for collectors’ specimens. At Hickling there were annual winter coot shoots, when thousands of continental coot arrived on the broad. As a goodwill gesture after the shoot, it was the tradition to give one coot per household to the residents of Hickling to eat. Coot were skinned, not plucked and thought to be rich in protein.
thousands of continental coot arrived on the broad.
fleet of self-drive day launches available to hire by the hour or daily and are suitable for 6-8 persons. Equipped with a fold-down hood to protect you from the sun or rain
Our picnic boats are suitable for all weather conditions and can seat up to 9 people. They are equipped with a two ring burner, full tea making facilities including crockery as well as an onboard toilet
On the water, a punt gun was often used –a gun fixed to a low-lying boat. It fired a massive spray of shot. As the single firing of one gun would scare off a flock of birds, it was important to hit a large number of birds. The gunner lay flat and manoeuvred the punt as stealthily and as close to the flock as possible.
Black-headed gull eggs were taken from around Hoveton Little Broad, the adjacent Pound End and Hoveton Great Broad, where the birds nested on small islets to be safe from rats. By 1906, the Hoveton Little Broad colony was the only Broads gullery. Lapwing eggs were usually eaten hard boiled, often in salads. By the 1880s these eggs were becoming so scarce that they had to be imported from the Netherlands. Finally, in 1926, the Lapwing Act was passed to protect this bird by making collection of its eggs illegal.
Ornithology without a gun
Towards the end of this period there was a growing band of people who decided to study birds without killing them, beginning the long story of bird appreciation. These included Arthur Patterson at Breydon Water and Emma Louise Turner at Hickling. One reason for this may well have been a revulsion at the slaughter of wildlife under the guise of study, and there were a growing number of journals and societies of like-minded people who would accept a record without having it backed up with a corpse. However, the main reason was probably scientific advances.
For Patterson, it was developments in binoculars. These had been around for a while as ‘opera glasses’ but in the 1890s Zeiss of Germany perfected the 1854 invention of the more effective (but still affordable) prism binoculars. Now you didn’t need to shoot a distant bird in order to see it properly.
For Turner, it was the development of cameras.
She became famous for photographing nesting birds in the Broads. Her photographs of nesting bittern at Sutton Broad in 1911 were able to prove the return of this bird after an absence of some 40 years, without the need to produce dead bittern chicks.
At last, birdwatching and ornithology were becoming something like what we recognise today, and Hickling Broad became the place for birdwatching in the Broads. Jim Vincent, the gamekeeper for Hickling, recorded over 170 different species in 1911, including such rarities as white-winged black terns and lesser grey shrike.
The 20th century and beyond
The naturalists of the early 20th century, while acknowledging the damage done by exploitation, saw a much greater danger to the birds of the Broads, and that was habitat loss, in particular reedbeds due to development and drainage for crops, and hay meadows, with hay no longer in such demand to feed London bus horses. There was no sale for the marsh grass, except as animal bedding.
Deep drainage for arable crops continued, but those early naturalists would no doubt be amazed and delighted by the course and that environmental and wildlife conservation has taken. For example, since the 1980s water quality in the Broads has improved to the extent that otters are now a frequent occurrence at Barton Broad and beyond. And among birds, populations of the rare bittern and marsh harrier have recovered in the Broads, though in the UK the marsh harrier is still as rare as the golden eagle.
The early naturalists were right about the danger of habitat loss, but despite events like those waxwing winters, they probably didn’t anticipate the scale of climate change ahead. Broads species are continuing to change with the climate and other environmental influences, for instance great white egret and common crane, once occasional visitors are seen more frequently here now, while the recent examples of the bittern and marsh harrier show that change for the better can happen quickly too –given half a chance.
In the interests of brevity we haven’t included full sources here, or indeed sauces, but I’ll be delighted to supply details if anyone would like to know more. Or perhaps more details on traditional Broads cooking will have to be another story.
For where to see wildlife go to VisitTheBroads.co.uk/nature-reserves
Robin Jeffries, Visitor Services Ofﬁcer
WHITE HOUSE STORES
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Explore the Broads
and other tales
You may know that Broads holidays go back to the 19th century, but did you know that some Broads holiday boats are around 100 years old and still sailing strong? In the Broads, historic boats are as much a part of the landscape as historic buildings.
This year is the 100th anniversary of a sailing boat that’s still welcoming holidaymakers and giving them an experience to remember – the chance to sail a piece of Broads history.
Bootlegger was built and launched in 1923 by Walter Woods and was part of their hire fleet until 1938 (the Herbert Woods boatyard is still flourishing at Potter Heigham). The hull is Columbian pine on oak frames, and the cabin sides and cockpit sides are teak. The brass builder’s plate is inside the cockpit. Bootlegger is a gaff-rigged Broads river cruiser, the core design dating back to Victorian times and those first wealthy or at least comfortably-off holidaymakers. The Whelpton family bought Bootlegger in 1946. They sometimes used the yacht for racing and then when Eastwood Whelpton set up in business in 1959, Bootlegger was added to the fleet. Significant work was carried out in 2019 by their highly skilled boatbuilders, when it was found that the original nails had rusted to the point where they no longer really had heads. Very little planking needed to be replaced and many of the original features remain. The fleet also includes half-deckers – day boats, three of which are over 100 years old – and a classic wooden motor cruiser from the 1950s.
Celebrations will be taking place for the centenary year including a challenge to Eastwood Whelpton customers to sail Bootlegger to all the
ends of the Broads navigation, raising money for Love the Broads (see page 13) and making sure that visitors all around the Broads can see history sailing. Crews will pick a section of the Broads to explore on their holiday and there’ll be checkpoints at different locations around the Broads. More details from 01493 750430 eastwood-whelpton.co.uk
The Norfolk Broads School of Sailing is also based at the Eastwood Whelpton boatyard at Upton (D3), 01493 750430 norfolksailingschool.co.uk. For more places to get you started with sailing see page 19. If you’re think about a sailing holiday, go to broadssailing.com for all Broads boatyards offering sailing holidays, with more opportunities to take your holiday on a vintage craft, including Zoe, built in 1897, the only Victorian yacht available for holiday hire, from Martham Boats, 01493 740249 marthamboats.com. For many sailing boats training can be included if you wish, so you can start your holiday as a complete beginner, even on Bootlegger.
Not quite 100 years old, but not far off, is the Norfolk Heritage Fleet at Hunter’s Yard, Ludham. These 1930s boats retain their original fittings and a visit to the boatyard is like a trip back to the 1930s – in a good way! Percy Hunter, with his two sons Cyril and Stanley, built the first shed in 1932 and by the following year they had designed, built and launched the first two cabin yachts of the fleet. Much of what they offered remains today, but with other opportunities as well, such as a skippered two-hour sail. Whether you can’t sail but would love to try, just need a little refresher, or would rather sit back and relax, this is one for you! Find out more from 01692 678263 huntersyard.co.uk
Some of the oldest craft sailing on the Broads are the wherries, originally built as cargo craft. Some
trading wherries were adapted to holiday use, and as waterborne trade declined and holiday trade developed, pleasure wherries and wherry yachts were built.
Norfolk Wherry Trust and Wherry Maud Trust
Of the original 300 trading wherries that moved a huge variety of goods and materials from staithe to staithe (mooring places) there are now only two still sailing the rivers and broads, Albion (1898) and Maud (1899). The Norfolk Wherry Trust offers public day trips and charters (hires) on Albion, plus open days when Albion is moored at different places around the Broads and you are welcome on board for a look round. Wherry Maud Trust offers day and short sailings (you need to become a trust member to join these), open days for all and many other events.
Wherry Yacht Charter
This is a fleet of five historic pleasure wherries and wherry yachts. The pleasure wherries are Hathor (1905) and Ardea (1927); the wherry yachts are Olive (1909), Norada (1912) and White Moth (1915). These magnificent, fully-restored vessels are based in Wroxham and usually sail the Broads from May to September each year. The wherries can be chartered (hired) for your exclusive use – they can be booked by the day with a skipper and crew, or for weekends or longer visits. There’s also a programme of scheduled public sailings where you can join a half-day or day trip, with a skipper and crew. You can read about visiting Hathor on page 21.
A milestone for mills
Norfolk Windmills Trust celebrates its diamond anniversary in 2023. It was established 60 years ago, with the aim of preserving the county’s remaining windmills, watermills and their associated buildings and machinery.
The trust cares for several former corn mills (including the windmills at Billingford, Old Buckenham and Wicklewood), the combined watermill and windmill at Little Cressingham, and the water-powered Gunton Park Sawmill, but most of the sites in its care are Broads drainage windmills.
When the trust was founded, it was a critical time for these mills. For around 200 years they had been used to manage water levels on the Broads marshes to create pasture dry enough for cattle grazing. As electric pumps took over the drainage in the first half of the 20th century, the mills became redundant. No longer required for their original purpose they were not maintained. Many fell into a state of disrepair, others were demolished entirely.
Norfolk Windmills Trust has always sought to preserve the most important sites, either by managing them directly, or in earlier years, overseeing fundraising and organising repairs.
The area with the densest concentration of drainage mills on the Broads is Halvergate Marshes. The trust cares for several mills here including High’s Mill (the oldest on these
marshes, dating from the early 19th century) and Ashtree Farm Mill, which was built in 1912 and continued working until 1953 (a contender as one of the last drainage mills to be built and worked on the Broads). On the southern edge of Halvergate Marshes, Polkey’s Mill shares its site with a steam engine house, diesel engine shed and a modern electric pump – the whole history of Broads drainage technology in one location. Cadge’s Mill (owned by the trust) and North Mill are also on the same site, which you can see walking east along the River Yare on the Wherryman’s Way from Reedham. The first drainage mill to be looked after by the trust also celebrates a significant anniversary in
2023. Stracey Arms Drainage Mill (left) was constructed for its owner, Sir Henry Stracey of Rackheath Hall, in 1883. It’s on the River Bure, not far from Halvergate Marshes. The 140th anniversary of its construction coincides with the end of a major restoration project supported by a generous grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Maintaining mills is a continuous challenge and restoring them is extremely expensive, while the number of active millwrights with the necessary skills to carry out work on them has been decreasing. The Water, Mills & Marshes landscape partnership scheme (see page 47) has been working to address this through an apprenticeship scheme and High’s Mill, mentioned earlier, received work as part of the scheme.
Another mill looked after by the trust is Hardley Mill on the River Yare, not far from Loddon and Chedgrave on the River Chet. Water, Mills & Marshes worked with the Friends of Hardley Mill and Julian Claxton, a local film-maker, to produce a video taking you on a tour of the mill and explaining how it actually worked – not always apparent from just looking at a mill! Hardley Mill is fully restored and welcomes visitors.
The trust’s work continues today with Councillor Martin Wilby as chair and over 20 mills in its care. Look out for special events taking place in Norfolk and Suﬀolk during National Mills Weekend, 13-14 May 2023, including at Stracey Arms Mill. For details of the trust’s mills that are open to the public or viewable from public footpaths (including those at How Hill, see page 7), go to norfolk.gov.uk/out-and-about-in-norfolk/windmills
CANAPE and a new Broads Peat Partnership
Creating A New Approach to Peatland
We’ve had the canape, the starter, the main event and now it’s time for afters – but don’t worry, they are everlasting afters…
From 2017-22, with funding from the European Regional Development Fund North Sea Region, the Broads Authority led a partnership of 14 organisations in the UK, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, to restore peatlands and develop wet farming, bringing economic benefits. Globally, peatlands store twice as much carbon as forests, helping to combat the effects of climate change.
For the Broads part of the CANAPE project, we carried out restoration work at Hickling Broad (above) on the River Thurne, building on previous restoration projects and working with the owner of the broad, Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Almost 31,000 cubic metres of sediment was dredged from the navigation channel and used to recreate a hectare of lost reed swamp at Chara Bay. Deepening the channel improves clearance for boat propellers, reducing suspended sediment, and making the water clearer and better for aquatic life. The reed acts as a filter, improving water quality by absorbing excess nutrients, which have a negative impact on much wildlife. We hope the reed swamp will provide a sheltered area of water for plants
such as stoneworts and holly-leaved naiad. In the UK, some of these plants are so rare that they only grow in the Upper Thurne area.
This uses wet peatlands to grow plants that are adapted to wet conditions. It’s traditional in the Broads, where reed has been grown for hundreds of years for thatch. However, over 95% of the UK’s thatching reed is imported from China and Eastern Europe, so we want to grow more. But we need other products as well. We investigated using reed for compost, reedmace for fibreboard and clothing insulation material (which can fill jackets or duvets), and used waste wood from scrub clearance to produce biochar (a soil improver) and charcoal. A wet farming demonstration project at Horsey, growing reed and reedmace, is encouraging discussions with farmers about the viability of this kind of farming.
What happens next?
A new Broads Peat partnership project is taking us into the next phase of almost £800,000-worth of peatland restoration planning in the Broads, funded by the Government’s Nature for Climate Peatland Grant Scheme. Partners include the Broads Authority, Natural England, the Broads Internal Drainage Board, the Environment Agency, Palladium (which carries out global environmental projects), other UK national parks, and wildlife, land management and farming
organisations and individuals. The partnership is working with farmers to develop peatland restoration schemes. It provides environmental evidence and brings in private finance (through the Revere initiative), at the scale and pace needed to tackle the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis.
What culture?! Paludiculture – that’s the official name for wet farming and one important role for the partnership is spreading the word about this farming system. Interactive exhibitions at farming shows, presentations at COP26, national and local conferences, farm walks, carbon finance workshops and a discovery day for young people took place in 2022, and these events will continue. The discovery days are aimed at future decision makers, who can influence the way we use the precious peatland in the Broads and surrounding area. Young farmers, architects, artists, crafters and fashion designers can learn about business opportunities to grow paludiculture crops, and to build and create from paludiculture products. The events are also a chance to discuss sustainable and regenerative land management techniques, to help us adapt to climate change and reduce carbon emissions.
Here’s news of three Broads Authority partnership projects. To find out more about all our projects go to broads-authority.gov.uk
Rails, Sails & Trails
What happens next following the hugely successful Generation Green? This was a national project coordinated by YHA, involving national parks and outdoor organisations, which provided more than 100,000 opportunities to connect young people with nature – many for the first time. Rails, Sails & Trails is just one example from the Broads showing how we have continued our activities with young people.
This 2022 project helped to introduce young people to what, for many of them, was a new world – the Broads. The project was managed by our education staff, with funding from the Community Rail Network, which includes Greater Anglia’s Wherry and Bittern Lines, and with support from many Broads Authority partners. The aim was to provide opportunities for young people and families who wouldn’t usually see the Broads to get out into the landscape by train. Many had never been to the Broads before and train travel was also a new experience for some.
The project took school and family groups by rail to stations along the Wherry Lines – the railway network connecting Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. On their journey through a typical Broads landscape, participants learnt about the history and wildlife of the Broads, and how trains gradually displaced the wherry – the local, traditional trading boat – as the main form of transport across the region. Walks, games, presentations and other activities were an important part of the days out, including creating
artwork with Norfolk Art Club, based around the people, places and history of the Broads and the Wherry Lines.
Groups from New Routes Integration have participated in both Generation Green and Rails, Sails & Trails. New Routes Integration is a local charity supporting refugees, asylum seekers and migrants through promoting cross-cultural integration and community awareness. A young participant who came to the Broads as part of a group of girls and young women said: “I breathe and see differently in nature. I feel free." Another group, on their first trip across the Broads by train,
Water, Mills & Marshes (WMM)
Twenty twenty-three is the final year of our WMM landscape partnership scheme, though as with CANAPE, many of its projects will continue and develop. Mill restoration can be a seemingly neverending task, but that’s in the nature of such historic and unusual buildings. One of the main projects, to restore six of the Broads drainage mills, will be completed this summer. You can read about Norfolk Windmills Trust, one of the organisations caring for the drainage mills, on page 45.
Historical research has been another major aspect of WMM, with many projects contributing to our knowledge and understanding of life in the Broads in previous times. One of our long-term WMM volunteers has been carefully going through all the old tithe maps of the Broads and has done some wonderful cartography as part of the project. Tithe maps were used for tax purposes in the 19th century.
Water for waders
In terms of the actual marsh landscape, one of the big WMM successes has been a project led by the RSPB, in partnership with the Broads Authority and the Norfolk Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group, working to create new breeding wader habitat across the Broads. This project is supporting landowners to restore wet grassland habitats and to boost numbers of breeding waders, such as lapwing and redshank. These birds are part of the history of the grazing marshes, but their numbers declined as farming intensified. As part of the project, the RSPB’s Broads Wet Grassland Adviser organised an event at the Raveningham Estate, where they have long been involved in such conservation management. The event was attended by over 60 farmers, conservationists, land managers and graziers, and provided inspiration
enjoyed fun and games at Oulton Broad and Nicholas Everitt Park, before going on to Lowestoft. As well as the Broads, the North Sea and the traditional seaside experience were something new for our visitors.
Similar work is continuing through these partnerships and we look forward to welcoming many more new Broads visitors.
You can read more about train travel on page 14 and about wherries on page 44. yha.org.uk/generationgreen communityrail.org.uk newroutes.org.uk
for many new wetland projects. The RSPB adviser has worked with 43 farmers and landowners, leading to improved wet grassland on 4,586 hectares of land, with over 54km (33 miles) of wet features (or small waterways) restored or created. Wader numbers have increased dramatically, showing that nature can respond and recover quickly, given the right approach.
You can find full details of what’s on, including Broads Authority events such as guided walks and wildlife activities, as well as places to visit and things to do, at VisitTheBroads.co.uk
While the spring and summer are lovely times to visit, autumn and winter are also great seasons in the Broads. The colder months are wonderful times for walking and wildlife, especially birds, and many places stay open throughout the year.
Please take appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather and conditions – you may need boots or wellies. You may also need something to eat and drink, sunscreen and insect repellent.
Broads Authority walks and activities
Wednesday 12 April 10.30am-1pm
BUNGAY COMMON WALK
Bungay Common car park, NR35 1DS
Enjoy a gentle stroll with the local rangers around the beautiful environs of the common, following the river loop. We’ll talk about (and hope to see) some of the varied wildlife along the river and on the adjoining heathland, and we’ll also dip into the history of the area. The ground is uneven and can be wet; there will probably be farm animals on some paths and there may be vegetation growing over some paths.
Booking essential 01603 782281
Saturday 15 April 7.45-9.45pm
How Hill, Ludham
Explore the night world around
How Hill National Nature Reserve, on an adventure with night creatures, astronomy and sensory discovery, rounded off with just a touch of night magic!
Cost £8.50 under 16, £12 adult Booking essential 01692 678763
Wednesday 3 May 4.30-7am
DAWN CHORUS WALK
North Cove Nature Reserve, Wadehall Lane, North Cove Take in the cacophony of dawn birdsong, on this stroll with the local rangers around North Cove Nature Reserve and the surrounding area. It’s also a chance to talk about the different species that are singing and discover why they sing. We may see other wildlife and if it's clear, witness the beautiful sunrise across the marshes. The walk is on uneven and potentially wet ground, and vegetation can grow over paths in some places.
Booking essential 01603 782281
Wednesday 17 May 10am-12pm
EEL SETT GUIDED WALK
St Nicholas’ Church, Potter Heigham
Take a 3-mile walk on footpaths and some minor roads, visiting a traditional eel sett and a bird hide overlooking a nature reserve. All welcome, including children age 8+.
Booking essential 01603 782281
Wednesday 7 June 10.30am-3pm (meet at 10.15am)
Horstead Mill car park
Enjoy a walk of just over 4 miles, going from the mill to Coltishall, along the Bure Valley Path to Mayton, then along the river path back to Horstead. Bring lunch if you wish – we’ll take breaks along the route. There are no toilet facilities. Dogs on leads are welcome.
Cost Free Booking helpful 01603 782281
Saturday 10 June 9-11am
Broads Infromation Centre, Ranworth Staithe
Explore Ranworth on this 2½-mile walk with a ranger, taking in views of Malthouse Broad, marshes and Ranworth Church. Find out about the seasonal wildlife, and the history and management of the area.
Booking essential 01603 756094
Wednesday 14 June 10.30am-1pm
BECCLES MARSH WALK
Beccles Quay car park, NR34 9BB
Discover the ancient history of the area, as well as its wildlife, on this lovely walk around the historic Beccles Marshes with the local rangers. The walk follows the River Waveney out of Beccles and returns across the marshes. The ground can be slippery, uneven and wet.
Booking essential 01603 782281
Saturday 17 June 10am-1pm
A TASTE OF THE WILD –WILD FOOD FORAGING
How Hill, Ludham
Find out about edible wild plants, including their history, tips on
identification and recipe ideas, with the opportunity to sample some seasonal wild food treats.
Cost £17 per person
Booking essential 01692 678763
Wednesday 21 June 10am-12pm
MARSHES AND FENS
Kingfisher Lane car park, South Walsham
Take a walk of about 4½ miles on footpaths (uneven ground) and some minor roads, visiting an ecologically important fen and enjoying views across the River Bure to the historic St Benet's Abbey site. All welcome, including children age 8+.
Booking essential 01603 782281
Wednesday 21 June 7-9pm
SOLSTICE BARTON WALK
Long Road car park, Irstead NR12 8XP
Enjoy an easy-going stroll around the area of Barton Broad on the longest day, finding out a bit about the wildlife, with a local Broads Authority volunteer.
Booking essential 01603 782281
Monday 17 July 8-10.30pm
BAT WALK How Hill, Ludham
Join a summer’s evening guided walk into the dark at this national nature reserve, listening for and locating bats.
Booking essential 01603 782281
Wednesday 26 July
For details see 10 Jun.
Wednesday 9 August 10.30am-3pm
GELDESTON LOCK WALK Beccles Quay car park, NR34 9BB
This is a lovely walk with a ranger along the fabulous River Waveney to Geldeston Lock, returning along the Angles Way. We’ll talk about the wildlife we see and hear, and discuss the fascinating history of the valley. The tracks can be uneven and wet.
Booking essential 01603 782281
Wednesday 23 August EEL SETT GUIDED WALK
For details see 17 May.
Saturday 2 September
For details see 10 Jun.
Discover National Parks Fortnight
Find out about Conservation and Nature Recovery, including outdoor learning and immersion in nature for young people. The fortnight focuses on the diversity of precious habitats and species in national parks, and on the many people who look after them with dedication and imagination, helping them to flourish. nationalparks.uk
Norfolk & Norwich Festival
12-28 May nnfestival.org.uk
Suffolk Walking Festival
13-28 May suffolkwalkingfestival.co.uk
National Nature Reserves Week 20-29 May nationaltrail.co.uk/en_GB/nnr_ week_2023
Wednesday 13 September
MARSHES AND FENS
For details see 21 Jun.
Saturday 30 September 7-9pm
DARK SKY ADVENTURE
How Hill, Ludham
Explore the night world around How Hill National Nature Reserve, on an adventure with night creatures, astronomy and sensory discovery, rounded off with just a touch of night magic!
Cost £8.50 under 16, £12 adult
Booking essential 01692 678763
Sunday 15 October 10am-3pm: drop-in activities 10.30am-12.30pm, 1-3pm: guided
FUNGUS FAMILY FUN
How Hill, Ludham
Experience the world of magical mushrooms and terrific toadstools
There’s lots of delicious Norfolk and Suffolk produce – here are just a few examples.
Norfolk produces some of the best malting barley in the country and the Broads has many small breweries offering beers to quench your thirst after all the fresh air and outdoor activities on offer. Some come with a pub conveniently attached and some offer tours and special events.
Beccles Food and Drink Festival
27 May, plus two weeks of fringe events becclesfoodfestival.co.uk
Suffolk Open Studios Weekends in June suffolkopenstudios.org
Royal Norfolk Show
Visit the Broads Village royalnorfolkshow.co.uk
Heritage Open Days 8-17 September heritageopendays.org.uk
Out There International Festival of Street Arts & Circus 15-17 September great-yarmouth.co.uk/whats-on
Norfolk Open Studios 23 September to 8 October norfolkstudios.org.uk
Woodfordes (C3) at Woodbastwick on the River Bure in the northern Broads was one of the first local breweries to be established in recent times and has its own spring water. Their Fur & Inn is next door and the brewery offers tours and has a shop. Combine a visit with activities at nearby Ranworth or Salhouse. Over at Neatishead on the River Ant, the White Horse Inn (C2), with brewery, is very convenient for the boardwalk at Barton Broad. In the southern Broads, Reedham, on the Wherryman’s Way long-distance walk along the River Yare between Norwich and Great Yarmouth, is home to Humpty Dumpty Brewery (D5), named after locomotives that operated on the Norwich to Lowestoft line in the early 20th century. These particular engines were front-heavy and looked as if they might fall off the line, so were known as Humpty Dumpties. The brewery has a shop and offers lots of events. Redwell’s Brewery (A4), on the edge of Norwich, not far from Whitlingham Country Park, is continuing the city’s rich brewing history, which goes back for centuries. They offer a taproom, beer garden and brewery tours. Another southern Broads brewery to try is St Peter’s (C7) near Bungay (with Bungay Castle to visit), on the River Waveney. They are replicating a traditional pre-19th century practice of adding fruit and honey to create special seasonal brews. They also brew alcohol-free beers. Brewery tours and a shop are available. woodfordes.co.uk
thewhitehorseinnneatishead.com humptydumptybrewery.com redwellbrewing.com stpetersbrewery.co.uk
accompaniments to our local wines and beers.
Fen Farm Dairy (C7) is another source of great local produce close to Bungay. They say: “It is our responsibility to be excellent stewards of the land we farm and the delicate ecosystems that live here. Our mission is to become carbon negative. Almost all our energy comes from renewable sources including our unique cow-poo powered heat exchange system and solar battery storage.” Their Baron Bigod (of Bungay Castle) cheese is a Brie-style cheese and you can also buy milk, butter, cream and yogurt produced in the dairy. Baron Bigod was named the best British cheese brand for 2022/23 in the Fine Food Digest awards. fenfarmdairy.co.uk
The Mack family have been farming in the Yare Valley (C4) since the early 1900s. One of their crops is oil-seed rape and more recently they’ve been producing rapeseed oil, cold pressed to retain its nutritional benefits. They also use the oil to produce infusions, dressings and sauces. Their farm shop sells an extensive range of their own and other local produce, and there’s a separate patisserie serving lunches, teas and other refreshments. The nature reserves at Surlingham and Rockland are close by to explore. yarevalley.com
at this event with drop-in activities and guided walks. Find out about fungi friends and scream with the spores on a fungtastic guided walk looking at mushrooms, with activities along the way. A mushroom display and fungi craft activities are available through the day.
Cost Drop-in activities free; guided walk £13 for child + adult, £22 for family (up to 4 people), no unaccompanied children
Booking essential for guided walks 01692 678763
Winbirri Vineyard (B4) is producing award-winning Broads wines, and offers a wine garden and vineyard tours. It’s convenient for a visit to the RSPB nature reserve at Surlingham or a stroll to Bramerton, both beside the River Yare. Chet Valley Vineyard (B5) at Bergh Apton offers vineyard tours, picnics and self-catering accommodation for six in the Vine House. Not far away, you can explore the River Chet at Loddon and Chedgrave. Flint Vineyard (C7) at Earsham, near Bungay on the River Waveney, includes a shop and offers tours with lunch, as well as guided tastings. winbirri.com
Cheese, oil and sparrow grass
These are all more produce from the Broads and would be great local
One of the other suppliers to the Yare Valley shop is the The Tacons (D3) at Rollesby, near the Trinity Broads in the northern Broads. Norfolk is known for asparagus or sparrow grass, to use a traditional name, and The Tacons have made it their speciality. They introduced it over 30 years ago, following a chance broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and the enterprise has developed from an acre of plants prepared in the kitchen sink to approximately 20 acres (about eight hectares), all still hand-picked and bundled. The farm shop is open all year and from June to October you can ‘pick your own’ soft fruit, onions and pumpkins. thetacons.co.uk
thetacons.co.uk hope you enjoy it!
Whatever you’re eating and drinking in the Broads, we hope you enjoy it!
See also page 53 and VisitTheBroads.co.uk/eating-out
Tel: 01493 751096
The Green, Stokesby NR29 3EX
The Ferry Inn, situated on the River Bure, sits within picturesque, tranquil and unspoiled surroundings, perfect for enjoying a meal in the beer garden while watching the boats go by. Inside the 19th century bar and restaurant, the open fireplaces, wooden settles and beams make the atmosphere cosy and warm.
Our home cooked food menus offer something for everyone and we offer food all day. We have an extensive selection of Adnams ales, wines and spirits. Alongside these we also offer other lagers, beers and ciders as well as a good selection of soft drinks.
Come and sit in our large beer garden and soak up the riverside atmosphere. Dogs are welcome inside and out, our car park is for our customers and we are fully accessible.
Please call us to discuss your requirements. Alison, her family and the team look forward to welcoming you to our home. theferryinnstokesby
Brand new kitchen for 2023!
Vera’s COFFee sHOP
We’d like to help you have a great visit to the Broads
What did you call that bird?
Many birds have traditional local names as well as their oﬃcial names. Can you match these birds with their local names? Write the number for the correct local name beside each bird name.
buttle or bottle-bump
Frank or harnser
black poker or golden-eye
If you’re wearing a life jacket when you see a ranger or quay ranger at a Broads Authority yacht station, ask them for a sticker. Show this completed page (even if you haven’t seen all the birds) at Broads Authority information centres or yacht stations (see pages 5,7,8 and 25) and collect a small prize.
Here are some mixed up Broads water birds. Match each bird’s head with the correct body and put the letters next to the name of the bird. The ﬁrst one has been done for you.
great crested grebe
Have you spotted any of these birds?
Give yourself a tick in the boxes below when you see them and add the place and date. You’ve become a birdwatcher! The RSPB is the place to ﬁnd out about birds rspb.org.uk
great crested grebe grey heron
• mute swan – many live here; in cold weather some arrive from mainland Europe • Eurasian coot –it patters noisily over the water before taking oﬀ
• great crested grebe – they carry young grebes on their backs • grey heron – these water birds nest in the treetops • cormorant – a sea bird that often comes inland • greylag goose – they graze like farm animals • mallard – the commonest duck
• kingﬁsher – they hunt ﬁsh from the riverside
• moorhen – they are found all over the world
Remember, Competent Crew always wear life jackets for getting on and oﬀ or mooring their boat. Competent Crew never get into the water. Competent Crew always plan ahead, listen to instructions when they arrive, follow advice and go slowly while they’re boating.
Competent Crew are great!
The visitor website for the Broads is mobilefriendly, and has all you need to know about where to go and what to do, where to stay ashore and afloat, where to eat, boating, special events and everything else you need to visit the Broads by land and water. There’s also a blog, full of inspirational ideas for your visit. Or find us on Facebook: Visit the Broads
For all the latest news, offers and events from the Broads National Park, sign up to our newsletter mailing list: VisitTheBroads.co.uk/newsletter
If you organise special events, you can submit events for our website at any time – go to VisitTheBroads.co.uk/whats-on
If you have a business in the Broads and would like to add or update your company information on the site, please contact us – see page 4. Find out how to join Visit the Broads, which works in partnership with the Broads Authority to provide a strong voice for Broads tourism-related businesses, at VisitTheBroads.co.uk/business
You can also find the Broads National Park on: Twitter @BroadsNP
Facebook Broads National Park Instagram @broadsnationalpark
Broads National Park information centres
For a warm welcome and expert local advice whatever your enquiry, visit the Broads National Park information centres, where our knowledgeable staff will help you make the most of your time in the Broads. You’ll find the centres at Hoveton, How Hill and Ranworth. See the telephone directory and pages 5-10 for more details. The map on page 4 and the boating map on the centre pages will also help you to find your way around.
The centres stock leaflets and sell an extensive range of maps, guides, books, postcards, souvenirs and locally made ice cream. They have lots of boating info to help you too, including tide tables and navigation maps. You can book for Broads National Park boat trips and buy short visit boat licences. At Hoveton we can also help you to find bed and breakfasts, guest houses or hotels.
For guidance on drone use go to broads-authority.gov.uk/drones
We look forward to seeing you! VisitTheBroads.co.uk/information-centres
Broads Briefing and UK National Parks
Sign up for our Broads Briefing newsletter, which covers all aspects of our work broads-authority.gov.uk/newsletter
Find out about all UK National Parks nationalparks.uk
For all bus services in the Broads contact Traveline 0871 200 22 33 traveline.info
National Rail Enquiries 03457 48 49 50 nationalrail.co.uk greateranglia.co.uk bitternline.com wherrylines.com eastsuffolklines.co.uk
See page 14 to find out about visiting by train.
Visit the Broads with your dog – on land or water
• Dogs are allowed on public rights of way (footpaths, bridleways and byways) under effective control
• Routes called permissive paths may not allow dogs and many nature reserves don’t allow dogs
• On areas known as open access land, dogs must be kept on a lead no more than two metres long between 1 March and 31 July to protect ground-nesting birds, and all year round near farm animals
• Dog owners must not allow pets to ‘worry’ or attack farm animals
• Restrictions on dogs shouldn’t unreasonably restrict access for assistance dog users. If you have a problem, contact the local authority or the Kennel Club.
01296 318540 thekennelclub.org.uk
• For places to visit try thebarkingbugle.co.uk
• For boating with dogs, see Boating Basics, starting on page 25
• clear up after dogs
• keep dogs close by, under effective control (on leads if necessary) and in sight
• check access for dogs with places you plan to visit and respect restrictions on dogs
• don’t let dogs disturb people, wildlife or farm animals, or wander near them
• if you or your dog are bothered by farm animals, let go of their lead so that you can both get to safety
• never enter the water to rescue a pet –you are putting your own life at risk gov.uk/government/publications/the-countrysidecode
Emergencies – coastguard, fire, police, ambulance 999 or 112 Bridges
Potter Heigham Bridge pilot
• 07990 686097 or Phoenix Fleet boatyard 01692 670460
Swing bridges – you can also contact these swing bridges on VHF radio Channel 12
• Oulton Broad 0330 852 5351
• Reedham 0330 858 4655
• Somerleyton 0330 858 4656
• Trowse 01603 675297 / 01603 763440 – seven days’ notice required for openings
Broads Authority – main office 01603 610734
Broads Control – Broads Authority navigation advice and incidents 01603 756056
Broads information centres
• Hoveton/Wroxham (see page 7) 01603 782281 / 01603 756097
• Ranworth (see page 5) 01603 756094
• Toad Hole Cottage, How Hill, Ludham (see page 8) 01692 678763 / 01603 756096
Environment Agency – incident hotline 0800 80 70 60 – use this for pollution incidents. During the day you can also call Broads Authority Broads Control on 01603 756056 or for serious pollution incidents outside office hours you can also call the coastguard on 999 or 112.
• James Paget University Hospital (Gorleston, Great Yarmouth – 24-hour casualty) 01493 452452
• Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (Norwich –24-hour casualty) 01603 286286
Mutford Lock 01502 574946 / 01502 531778
NHS 111 – call 111 for 24-hour urgent but non-emergency medical advice 111.nhs.uk
Police – non-emergency 101
Tourist information centre and points – may be seasonal
• Beccles: Bear & Bells, 11 Old Market; Beccles Books, 1 Exchange House, Exchange Square 01502 716806; Beccles Station Cafe, Station Road; Library, Blyburgate; Quay Deli & Coffee House, Fen Lane; SportStore, 33 New Market
• Bungay: Art Trading Company, 55 Earsham Street; Library, Wharton Street
• Loddon: Library, 31 Church Plain
• Lowestoft: Kirkley Centre, 154 London Road South; Library, Clapham Road South; Lowestoft Arts Centre, 13 St Peter’s Street; Railway Station, Denmark Road
• Oulton Broad: Library, 92 Bridge Road; Yacht Station, Bridge Road
• Marine and Wildlife Rescue 01692 650338
• RSPCA 0300 1234 999
• Beccles 01502 712225 / 07938 845744
• Great Yarmouth (see page 25) 01493 842794 / 07766 398238
• Norwich (see page 25) 01603 612980 / 07747 065378
• Oulton Broad 01502 574946
• Reedham Quay (see page 25) 01493 701867 / 07733 102566
Broadcaster is produced on behalf of the Broads Authority by Countrywide Publications. While every effort is made to include accurate and up-to-date information at the time of compilation, the Broads Authority and Countrywide Publications do not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. If you find any inaccuracies please let us know. Inclusion of an advertisement in Broadcaster does not imply any recommendation or approval by the Broads Authority or Countrywide Publications.
If you would like to advertise in Broadcaster 2024, please contact Countrywide Publications, Fountain Way, Reydon Business Park, Reydon, Suffolk IP18 6SZ 01502 725800
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Contact the Broads National Park information centres (see opposite page) for help with finding the best places, whether you want a drink in a waterside pub, a traditional tea, a special meal or a tasty takeaway, or for a great selection of places to eat with links to each establishment’s website, go to VisitTheBroads.co.uk/eating-out
WHERE TO STAY IN THE BROADS
Contact the Broads National Park information centres (see page 52) for help with finding places to stay, whether you want a thatched cottage, a campsite close to the water, a historic hotel or a friendly bed and breakfast, or go to VisitTheBroads.co.uk/where-to-stay
Nice bungalow 200 yards from the Broads and within reach of Norwich and the coast. 10 minutes walk to Wroxham offering all local amenities including numerous pubs and restaurants and boat hire. Plenty of space for car parking. Storage available for resident cycles. Sorry, no pets or smoking allowed.
1 double room with walk-in shower.
58 NORWICH ROAD, WROXHAM, NORFOLK NR12 8RX Contact Pam Hipkiss on 01603 783998
Bureside Holiday Park
Boundary Farm, Oby, Norfolk NR29 3BW
• Well spaced pitches in the heart of the Norfolk Broadland
• Close to Thurne river mouth and our 4 acre wildlife/conservation area
• On site launching slipway with direct access to some of the best fishing, sailing and cruising on the Broads.
• Canoe and dinghy storage
• 10 minutes’ walk to the pub
• Pool table, table tennis, full size
The Moorhen Bed & Breakfast
Situated in the centre of the village of Horning, the jewel of the Norfolk Broads, just steps away from the River Bure. Located in a building which dates back to the 17th century with four en suite double or twin rooms and a larger room ideal for families or groups, all with Wi-Fi. Waterfront pubs and restaurants within a minute’s walk and within 20 minutes of Norwich and the coast. Delicious continental and fully cooked breakfasts included. Double/Twin from £90, single occupancy from £70. Discounts for longer stays. Family accommodation available. Open all year.
Neil & Josie Grant
Tel: 01692 631 444
45 Lower Street, Horning NR12 8AA
01692 660274 hicklingcampsite.co.uk
• Secluded family and pet-friendly campsite on the Weavers’ Way
• Generous pitches for tents on wonderfully flat grassy pitches
• Shepherd huts and a pod for the glampers among us
• Camp shop serving fresh bread, pastries, locally sourced meats and fresh coﬀee
• A walk away from 2 superb pubs, and Whispering Reeds boatyard, where you can navigate yourselves around the broads on canoes or boats.
Great value holidays in the heart of the Norfolk Broads
• Self-catering cottages sleep from 2 to 50 guests
• Dogs welcome • Family friendly • Wheelchair access Tel: 01692 630385 Email: email@example.com Website: www.hallfarm.com
snooker table and heated pool.
• New toilet block
• Find us on Google Earth and on Ordnance Survey Map no 134 Norwich and The Broads.
• 170 tent/caravan pitches - please call for prices
• Open end of May (bank holiday) to mid-September
Contact 01493 369233 or 07747 041153 visit www.bureside.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
FULLY FURNISHED SELF CATERING ACCOMMODATION
01502 562981 | 07917 147776
email@example.com campsheathbarn.co.uk | oultonbroadapartments.co.uk
Camps Heath Barn, Queens Highway, Oulton NR32 5DW
“The finest sea views in Norfolk”
Self-catering seaside holiday accommodation in Great Yarmouth
BeachsideHolidays Norfolk Tel 01493 730279 07375 297388 E: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.beachside-holidays.co.uk
A unique chalet park in a beautiful part of the Norfolk coastline
This delightfully landscaped estate of holiday homes has private access to Winterton’s fine sandy beaches, with no main roads for children to cross. This makes it a wonderful place for a real away from it all holiday. The lush valley, situated between the holiday park and the sea is ideal for walks. Pets are very welcome on site. The village of Winterton is a short distance away, with shops and a 300 year old pub.
Telephone: 01493 377175
Email: email@example.com www.wintertonvalleyholidays.co.uk
01493 367800 firstname.lastname@example.org
This 300 year-old thatched house is ideally positioned for a quiet retreat where Norfolk wildlife is all around you. Bird-watching and lovely walks on the doorstep. Rowing-boat, table-tennis, push bikes, garden furniture in south-facing garden overlooking Hickling Broad are included.
Sleeps 1-9 people |Two bathrooms | Modern kitchen inc laundry facilities | FreeWi-Fi | Bedding supplied | Electric included | Pet friendly
Hill Common, Hickling Norfolk NR12 0BT
T: 01889 505000 or 07876 654 724
E: email@example.com www.watersedgehickling.com
Our visitors centre will provide you with lots of inspiration for great days out in the Norfolk Broads. BASECAMP, open all year, serves freshly prepared breakfast, light lunches and evening meals and is the ideal place to relax whilst enjoying local produce and home cooked food.
*Facilities subject to seasonal opening times
Within easy reach of the Broads
Overlooking North Beach and the Venetian Waterways, enjoy exceptional hospitality and fantastic dining on The Terrace and at the 2 AA Rosette Café Cru Restaurant. Dog friendly bedrooms available and dogs welcomed on The Terrace and in Bar Fizz.
01493 842000 | www.imperialhotel.co.uk
Imperial Hotel, 13-15 North Drive, Great Yarmouth. NR30 1EQ
Outney Meadow Caravan Park
Outney Meadow, Bungay NR35 1HG
The park is situated beside the River Waveney and Outney Common. The park has a wooded area and open grass pitches. We have on-site fishing and a canoe hire centre. Within walking distance of Bungay’s pubs, shops and restaurants.
Luxury self-catering accommodation located in beautiful rural South Norfolk. These eight sympathetically converted barns can be found amidst a working dairy and arable farm. They provide the perfect escape for a family holiday or romantic weekend with the largest sleeping seven and the smallest suitable for two. Each barn comes with parking, garden and patio area with furniture and barbecue. Hot tub, games room, fitness barn and soft play barn.
Contact Mrs Joanna Burroughs for booking information: Tel: 01502 677208 Mob: 07860 161895 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wheatacrehallbarns.co.uk
RIVERSIDE HOLIDAYS RIVER THURNE, POTTER HEIGHAM www.riverside-holidays.co.uk
Pets welcome Fish from your lawn Bungalows and launches for hire
Free brochure 01692 580496 • email@example.com
We have pitches for touring caravans, motorcaravans and tents. Open from March-October. firstname.lastname@example.org 01986 892 338
The Swan Motel
Welcome to The Swan Motel, a motel, restaurant and public house situated on the Norfolk and Suffolk border just outside the
Wake Robin Chalet Lower
Henham Park Bed and Breakfast
Beccles - Suffolk - NR34
Broad Farm Caravan and Camping Park
Broad Farm, Fleggburgh, Gt Yarmouth NR29 3AF • Tel 01493 369273
Situated on the A1064, between Acle and Caister-on-Sea, close to Trinity Broads.
Facilities include shop within walking distance, toilet and shower block, disabled facilities, launderette, children’s play area, bar/restaurant, fun pool, amusements, electric hook-ups. Some facilities not open during the low season. 300 tents/touring caravan pitches, 25 static caravans. Open: May to 30th September. Adults £15 per person per night. Children £6 per person per night. Electric by pre-payment meter.
Join us on a magnificent all inclusive boating holiday on The Norfolk Broads
•Fuel and damage waiver included
• Bow thrusters for easy handling
• Free outdoor customer parking
• Free unlimited WI-Fl
• Smart TV's
• Full induction provided
• No experience needed
Broom Boating Holidays I Riverside Estate
Brundall I Norfolk I NR13 SPX 01603 712334
Visit our newly refurbished pub and restaurant with stunning
views over The Norfolk Broads
• Visitor moorings available to book
• Family and dog friendly
• Sports Bar with Sky Sports
• Breakfast, lunch and dinner menu
• Pub garden with stunning views
The White Heron I Station Road
Brundall I Norwich NR13 SPL 01603 558505