Guide to Canoeing & Kayaking the Rivers & Broads in Norfolk & Suffolk
This is the river system on which the bulk of the Norfolk Broads are found. The river runs from well above Aylsham all the way down to Gt. Yarmouth. Navigation (the point where larger powered craft cannot go beyond) stops at Horstead mill. Paddling above Buxton is fraught with portages and access challenges.
Easiest access at Buxton is via TheCanoeManâ€™s Canoe Hire centre opening spring 2010 which will provide Canoe Hire, Guided Trails & Parking (at an additional charge for those not hiring equipment) for directions see www.TheCanoeMan.com From here to Coltishall is probably one of the most beautiful stretches of river in the county. The river meanders initially through open grassland and then into a stunning tree line section. There is plenty of wildlife to be seen here from Kingfishers to if you are lucky Otters.
From Coltishall onwards you will have to endure the 'pleasure cruisers' ranging from the small electric dayboats all the way up to the 12 berth super cruisers. In reality they pose no threat to the canoeist â€“ officially rule of the river is to stick to the right hand side to pass but so little room is taken up by a canoe that pulling in tight to either side of the river is usually more than enough. The river winds its way from Coltishall to Wroxham where the first of the Norfolk broads joins the river â€“ Bridge Road.
Wroxham often referred to as the capital of the Broads is a buzzing thriving village â€“ with the world famous 'Roys of Wroxham' stores who claim to being the 'largest village store in the world'. Many of the boatyards are based in and around Wroxham so motor cruiser traffic will significantly increasing from here on. Leaving Wroxham you will see many of the very expensive riverside holiday homes that are now an established part of the Broadland landscape. Below Wroxham is where the main Broads 'run' starts with Wroxham broad, Salhouse broad, Blackhouse broad, Cockshoot broad, Great Hoveton broad.
By now the Bure is a large very wide river which in the height o summer can be very busy. Places well worth a visit are the Norfolk Wildlife Trust centre at Ranworth along with Ranworth church said to have the best view over the broads. Soon after passing the turn off for Ranworth the ruined remains of St Benets abbey will be seen on your left â€“ these are well worth a visit if only to see graffiti dating back to the 13th century! Canoeing beyond this point is not recommended as the river is very wide becoming more tidal, exposed to high winds and very very busy.