A picturesque broadland village lining the banks of the River Bure, with plenty of waterside homes and other facilities.
An Introduction to Horning
Horning is a picturesque waterside broadland village and if you only visit one Broadland village, then Horning has to be that one. The village lines the northern bank of the River Bure, stretching for about a mile, and has many waterside properties (best viewed from a boat). There are waterside pubs, shops, restaurant, tea-rooms, boat trips and other attractions to enjoy. Horning Ferry is on the outskirts of the village, about a mile along Lower Street. It is well worth a walk on a fine day and there is a marina, leisure club and the Ferry Inn. The church of Horning is another mile walk along country lanes, but you are rewarded by a fine church and a path leading to views of the River Bure.
Horning staithe is a lovely spot to start our tour, but it is also a great place to just sit and watch the
world float by ... or to try and find a space to moor! The name Horning means the "folk who live on the high ground between the rivers" It's history dates back to 1020 when the manor was given by King Canute to the newly founded Abbey of St Benet.
Horning Green and Staithe
Mooring boats at Horning Staithe
Admiring the view at Horning Staithe
Moored in Horning, the Southern Comfort is a double-deck paddle-steamer, purpose built for the Broads with a capacity of 100 passengers for public trips or private hire. The Vessel is a luxury river cruiser which runs regular trips from Horning, along the River Bure, through the village and out to Ranworth and back. The boat has a bar and sometimes a jazz band playing onboard!
Southern Comfort Paddle Steamer
Boat trips from Horning
Picturesque Lower Street runs parallel to the river and contains some lovely shops and restaurants. Little has changed for years and the village looks very similar to what it did back in the 1930's.
Horning Lower Street
Bure River Cottage Restaurant, Lower Street
The Galley Delicatessen@ Horning
The Staithe and Willow Tea Rooms
Horning Post Office
Art Gallery, part of the Galley @ Horning
Horning has some great riverside pubs. The Swan Inn is a majestic building, situated on a sharp bend in the River Bure. The building mainly dates from the 19th century, but part is a cottage dating back to 1696. It has been a distinctive landmark for years and has featured in several books and films. A little further along Lower Street is the New Inn, which has a large riverside garden with various enterainment for the kids!
Swan Inn, Horning
Part of the Swan Inn, dating back to 1696
New Inn, Horning
The riverside garden at the New Inn
The village contains a real mixture of properties, of all ages and style. Many back onto the river and have pretty riverside gardens, balconies overlooking the river and private moorings.
Horning thatched cottage
Riverside properties backing onto the river Bure at Horning
The summer fete takes place on the village green during the summer months. Other events include regular sailing races, organised by the very active sailing club situated in the village.
The most famous race is called the "Three Rivers Race" and is a grueling 45 mile test along the rivers Ant, Bure and Thurne. The race takes place early in June and has been organised by Horning Sailing Club since the 1960's.
Horning summer Fete on the green
Racing from the Sailing Club at Horning
Walking along Lower Street takes us out of the main village, heading towards Horning Ferry. The walk gives fine views over the River Bure. This area of Horning has been likened to Venice, because of all the canals and bridges. There are many new waterside homes all with their own private riverside gardens (many of these are available as holiday homes).
Horning Lower Street
Views of the River Bure at Horning
After about a mile we come to Horning Ferry, consisting of a boat marina, small leisure centre and the 3rd of Horning's riverside pubs - the famous Ferry Inn. The pub had to be rebuilt after it took a direct hit from a German bomb on 26th April, 1941. 22 people were killed in the attack as they stood drinking at the bar, some were RAF pilots from nearby RAF Coltishall. The original Ferry Inn was built in around 1840 on the site of a monks' mead house which belonged to the old abbey many centuries ago. It is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a girl, who visits the Ferry in a 20 year cycle! Today, the Ferry Inn is a popular stopping point and the pub has a good restaurant (the Sunday carvery is excellent), a games room, plus a good kids outdoor play area (bouncy castle in summer).
The name ferry comes from an ancient foot ferry that has been operating for hundreds of years, allowing pedestrians to cross the river - a service that still operates to this day (summer only)
Moored up at the Horning Ferry Inn
Private boats moored at Horning Ferry Marina
Horning Ferry also contains many holiday cottages and lodges. Its a great place to base your holiday in the region, as you have good access by river to the some of the best places on the Norfolk Broads, and you are also not too far from the Norfolk Coast and the city of Norwich.
Holiday cottage at Horning
Log Cabins for hire at Horning Ferry
If we continue past Horning Ferry for another mile, we come to the impressive village church of St Benedict. The church dates from around 1220. The earliest parts of the building are the priest's door in the Chancel and the pillars in the wall on the north side of the Nave. Inside the church you will find a 14th century lead lined Baptismal font, interesting carvings on the Choir Stalls and four Coats of Arms which relate to the history of the church.
Horning Church of St. Benedict
Inside the church of St. Benedict, Horning
Around the side of the Church is a path that leads to a small staithe on the River Bure, belonging to the church. Its a great quiet spot to just sit and watch everybody else cruise by!
Church path at Horning church
Staithe at Horning church
Horning is pretty all year round, especially after a fall of snow - so make sure you get to visit in winter.
Horning Post Office in the snow
Staithe and Willow tea rooms in the snow
Horning summary of what to SEE and DO
Enjoy the views from the staithe
Take a trip up river on the paddle steamer
Browse the shops on Lower Street
Enjoy a refreshment in a riverside pub
Walk along Lower Street to Horning Ferry and the pub
Take a walk to the church and staithe
Meet Twiggles at nearby BeWILDerwood
No visit to the Norfolk Broads is complete without a visit to Horning. You can imagine the village looking pretty much the same nearly 80 years ago! Although much of the focus of the village is around the Swan Inn, the village extends along the village for about a mile and makes a great walk.