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Approaching the bridge at Potter Heigham Approaching the bridge at Potter Heigham

Suggestion for a Norfolk Broads Itinerary
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Four nights route plan starting from Stalham
This itinerary visits both popular and off the beaten track locations of the northern Broads, such as Wroxham,
Horning, Ranworth, Sutton Staithe and Acle.
*Click on the red links below for more location information
*Click the map for a larger image

Map of northern Broads rivers
Day 1 Afternoon
Stalham to Ludham Bridge
6.5 Miles
1 hour & 30 mins cruise time
Leave your boatyard and cruise down the River Ant. Continue on past the signposted entrance to Sutton Broad on your left, before meeting the junction with the channel marked for Wayford Bridge on your right bank. Keep left at this point and cruise on down to where the river opens out on to Barton Broad. You will notice a wide channel, market by buoys and posts. Don't be tempted to stray outside as to do so, could result in your boat going aground. Follow the channel across, which will take you to the exit point on the left of the Broad. The river narrows as it passes through the picture perfect village of Irstead. Continue on, passing the extensive moorings of How Hill House on your left, before arriving at your overnight stopover, Ludham Bridge. Free moorings are available either side of the river, leading up to the bridge. Avoid the area for yachts to de-mast, which is marked, just before the bridge on the right bank.
Day 2 Morning
Ludham Bridge to Potter Heigham
7 Miles
1 hour & 45 mins
Continue in the same direction, which will mean you passing under Ludham Bridge. This is a very busy area, and as it can be difficult to see oncoming boats from the other side, be aware that you may have to abort your passage if you come across a boat already on it's approach to pass under. Once through, continue on to the junction with the River Bure. Turn left, passing the entrance to South Walsham on your right and the ruins of St Benets Abbey on your left. A further cruise will bring you to the junction with the River Thurne. Take a left turn here, and cruise up past the white picturesque Thurne windpump, which stands at the entrance to Thurne Dyke on your right bank. Continue on, past the entrance to Womack Water, another Broad, which is on your left. After a while, you will come across rows of chalets and holiday homes, which marks the run up to Potter Heigham bridge. The river narrows here, so care must be taken when passing oncoming craft. Free moorings are available just before the bridge, on the right bank, or in the large Herbert Woods boatyard, accessed by passing under the foot bridge on the left bank.
Day 2 Afternoon
Potter Heigham to Acle
6 Miles
1 hour & 15 mins
Retrace your steps back down the River Thurne, past the entrance to womack Water on your right, and the white Thurne Windpump on your left bank. Re-enter the River Bure by turning left at the junction. Cruise on passing the entrance to Upton Dyke on your right, before seeing Acle Bridge in the distance. There is a good choice of moorings available at Acle. As you approach, free moorings are offered on the left bank just before the bridge. Moorings on the opposite bank are also available, but charged. Passing under the bridge, will bring you to the moorings for The Bridge Inn, on the right bank. These moorings in particular, are affected by the tidal flow, as it funnels through the bridge channel. As such, be sure to approach the bank, against the running tide, otherwise you would not have enough control, and could end up running into the next boat along.
Day 3 Morning
Acle to Ranworth
6.5 Miles
1 hour & 30 mins
Retrace your steps back up the River Bure, past the entrances to Upton Dyke on your left, and the River Thurne on the right. Next you will see the ruins of St Benets Abbey on your right bank, the entrance to South Walsham Broad on your left, and the junction with the River Ant on your right. Cruise on until you see the signposted entrance to Ranworth on your left. Travel down the dyke, which eventually opens out into Malthouse Broad. At the head of the Broad, are the free stern on moorings. These are quite popular, and you may need to wait a short while before one becomes available.
Day 3 Afternoon
Ranworth to Wroxham
7 Miles
1 hour & 45 mins cruise time
Make your way across the Broad, turning left at the junction with the River Bure. Cruise on, passing through the picturesque Horning village, with it's thatched roofs and millionaire holiday homes. Leaving Horning behind, you will pass the entrances to Salhouse and Wroxham Broads, before arriving at Wroxham, marked by the number of holiday homes and chalets which line the river. Free moorings are available at two boatyards, Barnes Brinkcraft, which you will soon come across on your right bank, and Faircraft Loynes, which are accessed down a dyke on the left bank, just before Wroxham Bridge. Moorings are also available outside the Wroxham Hotel, on the opposite bank, at a fee.
Day 4 Morning
Wroxham to Horning
5 Miles
1 hour & 15 mins cruise time
Head away from Wroxham, back down the Bure, passing the entrance to Wroxham Broad on your right. Soon after, you will see the moorings for The Hoveton Great Broad Nature Trail on your left. Take time to explore this walkway through native marshland, bog and scrub, culminating in a captivating view of Hoveton Great Broad. Back aboard you boat, continue in the same direction, passing the entrance to Salhouse Broad on your right bank. Soon after, you will see the line of holiday homes on the left bank which inform you that you are cruising in to Horning. Directly in front of you is the Swan Inn, which has fee pay moorings. Adjacent to the hotel are the free moorings provided by the local parish. They accommodate around 5 boats, and are always sought after. Cruise further through Horning and you come to The New Inn, which provides free stern on moorings for patrons buying food. At the far end of the village, is The Ferry Inn (TFI), which provides free side on moorings for patrons. Stern on moorings are also available at the next door Ferry Boatyard.
Day 4 Afternoon
Horning to Sutton Staithe
10 Miles
2 hours & 15 mins
Continue in the same direction, leaving Horning behind. Pass the entrance to Ranworth on your right bank, before coming across the entrance to The River Ant on your left bank. Turn left up the river, which leads to your home boatyard. Pass under Ludham Bridge, taking care to avoid oncoming craft, then on past the moorings for How Hill House on your right. Cruise on though Irstead to the mouth of Barton Broad. Keep to the right-side channel, which will deliver you to the exit point at the top of the Broad. Cruise down the dyke signposted for Stalham and Wayford Bridge. Keep right where the river forks, following the sign for Stalham and Sutton. Further on, the river forks. Follow the signposted channel for Sutton, to the right. Cruise on over Sutton Broad, making for the moorings at the head of the dyke in the distance. Free side on moorings are available here, either in the narrow dyke, or outside the Sutton Staithe Hotel. There is also a turning area just beyond the hotel moorings.
Day 5 Morning
Sutton Staithe to Stalham
1 Miles
30 mins cruise time
You need to return the boat to your home boatyard by 9am, so be sure to allow enough time to make the journey back. Return back across Sutton Broad, turning right at the junction with the river. Stalham, and your home boatyard is a short cruise from here.

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