Hoveton & Wroxham

Wroxham Old Bridge | Faircraft Loynes | Barnes Brinkcraft Boat Yard
Broads Tours Boat Trips | Roys of Wroxham | Eat & Drink | Wroxham Broad
Salhouse Broad | Hoveton Hall Gardens | Bure Valley Railway

Otherwise known as the Capital of The Broads, Wroxham is 'THE' place to visit while in this area of the Broads, with its twin village Hoveton located on the opposite side of the River Bure. Hoveton and Wroxham first became the main hub for boating holidays and excursions in the late 19th century, after expansion of the local rail network made it much easier to reach the area. Generally the area on both sides of the river as a whole is collectively called just Wroxham by locals and visitors alike.

You'll find the majority of the facilities are located on the Hoveton side of the two villages, including local businesses and restaurants, although many of the boat yards are actually located on the Wroxham side of the river. There are a variety of visitor attractions here, including a beautiful nature reserve nearby, the Bure Valley steam railway, Wroxham Broad, Salhouse Broad, Wroxham Barns Crafts and Hoveton Hall gardens.

Wroxham Restaurants and Pubs

You'll find a range of fantastic restaurants and pubs throughout Wroxham and Hoveton, providing a wide selection of food from Fish and Chips to Lobster and fine dining.

Some of the restaurants and pubs include :

  • The King's Head Hotel – a great place for an informal meal that also offers a Sunday carvery, located just off of the river on Station Road opposite Roys store.
  • The Shed - is a pub converted from a traditional old Broads boat shed offering many fine real ales from all over Norfolk – a great place to sit and chat with the locals. Located on the Wroxham side on Staitheway Road, this is definately one of the hidden gems of the Broads.
  • Hotel Wroxham - part of the Arlington Group this hotel and restaurant boasts a prime position right by the bridge overlooking the river Bure. With a wide range of meals served including breakfast and daily specials the restaurant or terrace backing onto the river is perfect for a glass of wine and bite to eat.
  • The Bridge Restaurant - enjoy a meal ranging from lobster or steak to cod and chips right by the bridge on Norwich Road, watching the ducks on the river as you eat.
  • The Bridge Tea Rooms - just off the bridge in Hoveton this Tea room is ideal for a spot of breakfast or a short stop for some Tea and cake.
  • Greys Traditional Fish and Chip Shop - located right on the bridge this large Fish 'n' Chips shop offers take away as well as the ample sized restaurant. For some of the best freshly cooked to order Fish 'n' Chips around Greys is worth a visit.

Roys of Wroxham

If you've heard of Roys stores you'll be interested to know that its flagship store is located in Wroxham, where you'll find a unique shopping experience with everything you need all in one place – perfect for visitors who don't have time to shop around. A visit to Roys is almost a day out in itself and you'll find all you could possible require, from food to fashion, DIY to gardening and toys to household electricals. Once known as "the World's largest Village Store", Roys now has several locations nationally but its flagship in Wroxham is still arguably the best and biggest of the lot. As well as the main Department Store, Roys also own many properties in Hoveton, including Roys Toys, a Baby and Childrens Fashion store, Roys Garden Centre, a Food Hall, a DIY Centre and more.

Boat Yards in Wroxham

Faircraft Loynes

From this very location 120 years ago, John Loynes first started out in the boat hire industry and since then his boatyard has continued to flourish and provide a wide range of vessels, embracing the very latest in technological advancements and always showing a real passion and commitment to customer service.

There are vessels available for every type of boater, from luxury cruisers offering first class living for up to six people, to smaller day boats. All craft are easy to operate and they will make sure you feel comfortable with your self drive broads holiday boat after a quick lesson with a member of the experienced team.

Barnes Brinkcraft

Another family-run business offering boating holidays is Barnes Brinkcraft, who have been operating a well-known boatyard on the Norfolk Broads for more than 40 years. They have an Elite Fleet of cruisers available that can include a range of luxury additions to make your self-catering boating holiday even more special. Barnes Brinkcraft have 80 different vessels available, from 2 – 12 berth and all fitted with modern facilities to ensure a comfortable holiday. Here you'll find your home away from home – this boat yard is the perfect base from which to begin your Norfolk Broads holiday.

If you're only in the area for one day, why not visit them and hire a Day Boat so that you can explore The Broads National Park or indulge in a spot of fishing? From here you can easily reach Salhouse Broad or Wroxham Broad on a small boat hired for the day.

Broads Tours

Running throughout the season (March-October annually) Broads Tours provide 1-2 hour long boat tours for passengers from their base at Wroxham Bridge. Tour the local waterways on one of their large double decker passenger boats such as the Vintage Broadsman, the Queen of the Broads or Belle of the Broads, each accepting between 60 and 120 guests (depending on boat).

These trips take in the local areas of Wroxham Broad and Salhouse Broad, and each boat includes a well stocked bar and toilets on board. During Summer months evening music cruises are also offered, allowing you to taking in the beautiful Norfolk sunset whilst enjoying the musical talent supplied on board. Returning at 10pm these Summer cruises are ideal for relaxing with a glass of wine or a beer on the top deck on a warm evening.

They also hire a wide range of day boats all with canopy covers, including electric powered versions and a boat fully equipped with wheel chair lift for disabled passengers.

Wroxham Bridge

At the centre of the village you'll find Wroxham arched bridge which after Potter Heigham old Bridge is probably the next lowest and difficult to navigate on the Broads. Hence there is a Bridge Pilot service available here and many boat hire yards make it compulsory to use the Pilot with hire cruisers. The bridge has a height indication board so you should be able to gauge whether your particular boat will fit under the bridge. At high water the clearance is approx. 2.3m (7 foot 6 inches) with the water rise and fall at approx. 0.13m (5 inches). The bridge is set at a slight angle to the river so a slight turn is required during passing through the bridge, making it difficult for beginners.

Salhouse Broad

The Salhouse Reach is found immediately after you leave Horning towards Wroxham, where you'll see the entrance to Black Horse Broad (otherwise known as Hoveton Little Broad). The river passes through trees and reeds past Dyall's Mill (starboard) and past Decoy Broad (port) onto Salhouse Broad. You'll see red marker posts to your port side before the first entrance to Salhouse Broad and moorings directly in front of you as you enter. Stick to the 4mph speed limit on Salhouse Broad. Once inside moorings are available stern on only, on the Spit or the Island for a small fee, alternatively on the river at the Broad opening you can moor side on.

If you continue on the river Bure on your starboard side keep an eye out for Hovetone Great Broad Nature Reserve. There is a popular Nature Trail around the reserve and hopefully you'll find some moorings available on the river (as boat traffic is not allowed onto the Broad) for anyone who wishes to take the kilometre long walk which travels in a loop and back to here. The river Bure continues to wind past Hoveton Great Broad and you'll soon see Wroxham Broad to port past Salhouse Little Broad.

Wroxham Broad

As you travel along the Wroxham reach of the river Bure towards Hoveton you will come across the home of the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club, Wroxham Broad to your port side. The club holds regular races and training sessions here so be sure to give them enough room and pass along the edge of Wroxham Broad rather than directly through the middle. Visitors cannot moor at Norfolk Broads Yacht Club, but navigation through the Broad and in between the two navigable openings is permitted. In between the two openings to the Broad on the main river there are some free 24 hours moorings available on Wroxham Broad Island.

Just upstream of the north entrance to Wroxham Broad the speed limit becomes 4mph and care should be taken as you start to meander between houses and bungalows. Eventually as you enter Hoveton and Wroxham by boat you will see Barnes Brinkcraft boat yard to starboard and Broads Tours to port just before Wroxham Bridge.

Nearby Attractions

Hoveton Hall Gardens

At Hoveton Hall Estate and Gardens you'll find a stunning Regency Hall set against the backdrop of 620 acres of parkland, gardens, woodland and farmland. Spend an afternoon exploring these exquisite and inspiring gardens, which are also host to events throughout the year including Easter egg hunts, artists exhibitions and Country Fairs.

The gardens are laid out in specific sections including :

  • The Spider Garden being a classic walled garden
  • The Old Kitchen Garden
  • The Glass House which is a restored classic Victorian Glass House
  • The Woodland Walk
  • The Lake and Magnolia Garden with Stream
  • The Ice Well a traditional cool storage area built into a hill
  • The Kidney Lake
  • The Arboretum

Bure Valley Railway

Be sure to visit the Bure Valley Railway, where you’ll find the regions longest 15" gauge line that runs between the market town of Aylsham and Wroxham. The 18 mile trip is fun in itself, travelling through picturesque countryside and following alongside the Broads riverways through farmland and quaint country villages.

The railway runs steam and diesel locomotives and during peak season there are at least two trains running every day, with up to six running at peak weekends or during local events. A cycle and footpath runs along the railway's entire length, allowing you to enjoy the same countryside that you would on the train if you chose to alight at one of the stops and enjoy a walk back. The trains stop at 3 villages in between Wroxham and Aylsham by request only, Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall.