A long Broadland village about half a mile from its lovely broad, surrounded by woodland.
An Introduction to Salhouse Broad and Woodbastwick
Salhouse is a long Broadland village stretched out along the road from Wroxham. The main village is not actually adjacent to Salhouse Broad, but a half-mile path links the village to Salhouse Broad. The village itself is well served with a pub and shop. Salhouse Broad is a lovely place to moor and take a walk on the nearby grassy bank, it is also the only broad to have a "sandy" beach.
Nearby Woodbastwick is a small picturesque village, just to the south of the River Bure. The main attraction is the Woodfordes Norfolk Ales brewery, which is located here. There is a visitors centre, shop and a pub in which to sample a trial pint. The village itself is very attractive, with an open green, thatched cottages and a fine church.
We start our tour of Salhouse at the path that links the residential village with Salhouse Broad. This half mile long path passes through beautiful woodland, with nature watch signs along the way (dogs allowed). There is a free car-park at the village end of the path.
The path to Salhouse Broad
Pochard sign on Salhouse nature walk
Salhouse Broad is surrounded by attractive woodland and is a quiet spot to moor and put the kettle on. You can also enjoy a quiet sail or a walk in the surrounding woods. The broad is a great place to try canoeing and you can hire a canoe and give it a go! A water taxi service operates to nearby Hoveton Great Broad Nature Trail, which is only accessible by boat.
Mudweight in the middle of Salhouse Broad
Boats mooring at Salhouse Broad
Dinghy sailing at Salhouse Broad
Woodland at Salhouse Broad
A panorama view of Salhouse Broad in autumn (click to view the full panorama)
Returning along the path to the residential village of Salhouse, we find a shop, post office and a real mixture of old and new properties. Just off the main Wroxham road into Salhouse, is the village pub - The Bell - the pub has recently re-opened after a spell of being closed.
Salhouse Post Office
Salhouse village sign
The Bell pub Salhouse
Woodbastwick Guided Tour
A brisk 30 minute walk from the moorings at Salhouse Broad, brings us to the picturesque village of Woodbastwick.
The village contains some pretty cottages grouped around the village green.
Woodbastwick village sign
Cottages around the green at Woodbastwick
The village green and well, overlooking the church
Picture postcard thatched cottages at Woodbastwick
Woodbastwick has an impressive church - St Fabian and St Sebastian - which is usually open for visitors. This beautiful medieval church is built from local flint with a thatched roof. The church dates back to the 14th century, but the current building was a restoration project during the 19th century, with the famous Sir George Gilbert Scott as the architect (he also who designed the Albert Memorial in London). The work was paid for by the Cator family, who were patrons of the church and behind the pulpit is a memorial to Elizabeth Cator who was bridesmaid to Queen Elizabeth the Queen mother. Much of the Church interior is Victorian and contains some glorious stained glass showing scenes from the life of Christ. A wooden screen carved in the 13th century separates the nave from the chancel and a figure of Christ, carved from a single piece of wood, hangs above the screen.
Woodbastwick church of St. Fabian and St. Sebastian
Victorian stained glass inside St. Fabian and St. Sebastian
Inside Woodbastwick church
What brings most visitors to Woodbastwick is the Woodfordes Brewery and thatched pub, the Fur & Feather. The brewery was named after Parson Woodforde, a noted 18th century Norfolk clergyman whose diaries reveal he had a passion for good food and ale, which he often brewed himself. In 1981 Woodforde’s Norfolk Ales produced the first commercial brew of Wherry Bitter. In 1996, just 15 years later, Wherry Bitter was awarded the ultimate prize in the brewing world - it became CAMRA Supreme Champion Beer of Britain. Visitors can see this and other famous beers being brewed in the visitors centre, where there is also a shop (guided tours can be arranged). Adjacent to the brewery is the Fur & Feather pub, where you can sample all the beers for yourself. Originally, two cottages, they were converted into a pub in 1992 and are now one of the most popular pubs in Norfolk.
The Fur and Feather pub Woodbastwick
Woodfordes Brewery at Woodbastwick
Barrels of beer ready to be drunk!
Loading up for another delivery of Woodfordes Beer!
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Salhouse and Woodbastwick summary of what to SEE and DO
Salhouse Broad is beautiful and takes our vote for the prettiest of the Norfolk Broads. The path to the village makes a lovely walk. Make sure you also get to visit the lovely village of Woodbastwick to try a pint of Norfolk Wherry!