Indispensable information
for the first time boat hirer
and the regular Broads sailor
The moorings at Rockland staithe The moorings at Rockland staithe

Suggestion for a Norfolk Broads Itinerary
- option to print at foot of page

Four nights route plan starting from Wroxham
This itinerary explores many of the most popular stopovers on the northern rivers, including Ranworth, Potter Heigham, Acle and Horning
*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
Wroxham to Ranworth
7 Miles
1 hour & 45 mins cruise time

Leave your moorings, cruising away from Wroxham Bridge. Soon you will leave the holiday homes and chalets that line the river, and pass the signposted entrance to Wroxham Broad on your right hand side. Further on you will see the moorings for the Hoveton Great Broad Nature Trail, which is a boardwalk through the native habitat of the area. It's well worth a stop, with views across Hoveton Great Broad, as well as possible encounters with dragonflies, kingfishers and waterfowl. Continue in the same direction, passing the entrance to Salhouse broad on your right. The pretty village of Horning will come into view, with it's holiday homes and chalets lining the left bank. A sharp right turn takes you along Horning's waterfront, with it's million pound homes. Cruise on noting the Ferry Boatyard on your left bank, which marks the end of the village. Soon after on the opposite bank is Cockshoot Dyke, with it's moorings. After a further cruise, you will see the signposted entrance to Ranworth Broad on your right. Turn down this dyke, which will take you to the village of Ranworth. There are free moorings here, and you will need to stern moor.
Day 2 Morning
Ranworth to Potter Heigham
7 Miles
1 hour & 45 mins cruise time
Make your way back out onto the River Bure, turning right at the junction. After a while you will pass the entrance to the River Ant on your left and the dyke leading to South Walsham on your right. A little further on you will come across the signposted turn for the River Thurne. Take this left turn and proceed on, passing the picture perfect Thurne Windpump adjacent to the dyke leading to the village of Thurne on your right. Next you will see the entrance to Womack Water, another of the Broads, on your left. Soon after, the river narrows, chalets and holiday homes start to line the river on both sides. These continue right up to Potter Heigham bridge. Free moorings are available either on your right bank just before the bridge, or by passing under the footbridge to enter the moorings of the Herbert Woods boatyard on your left.
Day 2 Afternoon
Potter Heigham to Acle
6 Miles
1 hour & 15 mins cruise time
Return the way you came from Potter Heigham, cruising with care down the narrow river at this point. You pass the entrance to Womack Dyke on your right, and the White Thurne Windpump on your left, before meeting the junction with the River Bure once again. This time, take a left turn to go down river towards Acle. You pass the entrance to Upton Dyke on your right before seeing Acle road bridge in front of you. Acle has plenty of moorings, though the only ones which are free are on your left hand bank, just before the bridge. The ones on the right are offered at a fee, as are the ones just past the bridge, outside the appropriately named Bridge Inn, though in this case, the fee paid is refundable against food purchases. As you are getting closer to Yarmouth and the sea, you will find the tide can run fairly fast at times here, so always ensure you come in to moor against the direction the tide is running, so that you don't lose control and run into the boat moored in front of you.
Day 3 Morning
Acle to Ludham Bridge
6.5 Miles
1 hour & 30 mins cruise time

You need to leave the moorings and turn back up the River Bure. Ensure you leave against the direction of the tidal flow so that you don't get pushed into the next boat along by the current. Pass the entrance to Upton Dyke on your left, followed by the entrance to the signposted entrance to the River Thurne, leading to Potter Heigham, where you were yesterday lunchtime. Keep left so that you stay on the River Bure. Cruise on passing the entrance to South Walsham Broad on your left, and St Benets Abbey (ruin) on your right. After a while you will see the entrance to The River Ant on your right. At the junction take the right turn. After a short cruise you will see Ludham Bridge ahead of you. Take care when passing under as it's set at an angle to the river, which makes it difficult to see oncoming craft until the last minute. As such, be prepared to give way at the last minute. Sound your horn just before shooting the bridge. Once through you will see the free moorings, which are available either side of the bridge.
Day 3 Afternoon
Ludham Bridge to Stalham
6.5 Miles
1 hour & 30 mins cruise time
Continue in the same direction, cruising up the River Ant and away from Ludham Bridge. After a while, you will see the imposing How Hill House, set on a hill above the river. Below it is a long stretch of free moorings. There's time to step ashore here to explore the grounds of this educational establishment, included boardwalks, a secret garden and access to a restored eel catchers cottage. Click HERE for more information. When ready, set sail again in the same direction. Soon you come to the charming riverside village of Irstead, and then on out onto Barton Broad, reputed to be where Lord Nelson learned to sail. There are two wide channels marked by posts and buoys. Keep to the right channel and follow it across the Broad to the exit at the far end. Don't be tempted to stray out of the channel as it's easy to run aground here. The exit dyke is marked my a signpost to Stalham and Wayford Bridge. Keep to the right channel and cruise on down the River Ant. You pass the entrance to Sutton Broad on your right, before arriving at the moorings for Stalham, which are situated either within the large signed Richardsons Boating Holidays boatyard, or at the head of the dyke running to the left of the boatyard. Both are free for overnight stays, but the latter is very small with only room for around 5 boats.
Day 4 Morning
Stalham to South Walsham
9 Miles
2 hours & 15 minutes cruise time
So it's back down the River Ant, retracing your cruse from yesterday, all the way back to Barton Broad. Keep within the channel, which will take you back down to the exit dyke, and on past the village of Irstead, the moorings at How Hill, and under Ludham Bridge. Shortly after you will come across the junction with the River Bure. Here you should take a left turn and cruise back down the Bure for a short distance, until you see the signposted dyke for South Walsham on your right hand bank. The dyke is quite long, and has two sets of free moorings along it. Further down the dyke, is South Walsham Broad, a particularly scenic location. Within walking distance, is the Fairhaven Woodland and Garden Trust, These water gardens, woodland walks and boat trips are well worth the walk, filled as they are with all manner of plants and wildfowl.
Day 4 Afternoon
South Walsham to Horning
4 Miles
1 hour cruise time
Return back to the main river, turning left at the junction with the Bure. You will pass the entrance to the River Ant on your right once again as you continue upriver. The entrance to Ranworth Broad will pass you by on the left before you come across the pretty village of Horning. There's a good choice of mooring spots in Horning. The first you will pass is those belonging to The Ferry Boatyard, which offers free stern on overnight moorings. Almost next door is the Ferry Inn (TFI) which offers free moorings for patrons. A little further on is the stern on moorings belonging to The New Inn, which are free to those dining in the pub. Next are the free local authority moorings situated just before the Swan Inn. They are limited and tend to be snapped up as soon as someone leaves. Finally, the Swan Inn offers fee paid moorings, which can be offset against food purchases.
Day 5 Morning
Horning to Wroxham
5 Miles
1 hour & 15 mins
You will need to be back at your home boatyard by 9am, so it's important you allow enough time for your return. Continue in the same direction, up the River Bure, passing the entrances to Salhouse and Wroxham Broads on your left, before arriving at the outskirts of Wroxham, marked by the holiday homes and chalets which begin to line the bank. Slowly make your way back to your home yard, before disembarking.

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2023 & 2024 HOLIDAYS
Sleeps minimum
Taking pets
Duration of holiday

Start dates

2023 & 2024 HOLIDAYS
Sleeps minimum
Steers from
Northern or Southern Broads
Standard of boat
Please read guidance

Pet(s) allowed
240v system (?)
Has microwave
Bow thrusters (?)
Wifi onboard (?)
I know its name
From this boatyard

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