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Wroxham & Hoveton

The capital of the Norfolk Broads, these connected villages are full of boats and plenty of facilities to tempt the visitor.

An Introduction to Wroxham and Hoveton

Broads Boat
Cottages
Riverside Park
Roys Toys
Sailing Club

Wroxham and Hoveton St. John are two connected villages, split by the River Bure. Most of the village facilities are actually in Hoveton, but are generally known as Wroxham - the capital of the Norfolk Broads. Boats of all kinds are for hire and there are also an abundance of hotels, pubs, restaurants, shops and a large department store. Most of the shopping is dominated around the Roys brand, claiming to be the worlds largest village store! Wroxham contains many visitor attractions including a riverside park, Miniature Worlds indoor model museum, the Bure Valley steam railway and nearby Hoveton Hall gardens and Wroxham Barns craft centre. The village certainly is a busy spot in high season, but is open all year round and is well worth a visit at any time of the year. A little way out of the village centre is Wroxham Broad, home to the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club. Large free car-parks can be found behind Roys department store.
Dogs Hoveton Riverside Park is a great place to walk your dog.
Children Kids can enjoy feeding the ducks at Granary Staithe or the Riverside Park. There is an ice-cream shop in the centre of Hoveton (near the bridge). There is always the option of exploring Roys Toy Shop!

Norfolk Cottages

Wroxham and Hoveton Map

Wroxham/Hoveton Map Coltishall Stalham Horning Norwich
 

Wroxham and Hoveton Guided Picture Tour


We start our tour of Wroxham and Hoveton at the bridge over the River Bure, separating Hoveton (North) from Wroxham (South). The old part of the bridge dates back to 1619 and is a semicircular road bridge with only an average high water headroom of 7 ft 3 in; making it one of the most difficult bridges to navigate on the Norfolk Broads; a bridge pilot is available for nervous skippers! A modern pedestrian bridge stands adjacent to the old bridge and gives walkers good views over the river. Even though the bridge technically divides Hoveton from Wroxham, they are collectively known as simply Wroxham - the capital of the Norfolk Broads; however, the majority of the facilities are actually located in Hoveton! To help you remember which bit is called what, the two parts, do have their own village signs!
Wroxham Bridge
Wroxham Bridge over the River Bure
Wroxham Sign
Wroxham village sign
Hoveton Sign
Hoveton village sign

Wroxham is centre of the Norfolk Broads boat hire industry. The first person known to have made a living out of hiring boats to holiday makers was John Loynes who founded his Wroxham business in 1878. The following 50 years saw many others follow his example as the popularity of the Norfolk Broads grew and boating became a recognised leisure interest for the ordinary person. By the late 19th century, boating on the Broads by the Victorians had mushroomed into a substantial tourist trade, with boatyards offering for hire craft of all description. Although visitor numbers have now fallen back from the pre-war heyday, hiring boats on the Broads is still a major industry. Today you can holiday on all shape and size of boat, take an organised cruise or hire your own boat for the day (or hour).
Barnes Brinkcraft Cruisers
Holiday cruisers for hire at Barnes Brinkcraft
Loynes Boatyard
Loynes Boatyard Wroxham
Broads Cruisers
River cruisers for holiday or weekend hire
Broads Tours
Broads Tours offering oranised cruises from Wroxham
Broads Day Boat
The inside of a typical Broads Day Boat

Hoseasons Boats


For holidaymaker's wishing to be land based, there is a labyrinth of dykes leading from the main river to attractive waterside houses, cottages and lodges, many of which are for hire. Wroxham makes a good base for your Norfolk holiday, since it is located at the heart of the Norfolk Broads and within easy access of both the sandy beaches of the Norfolk Coast and the city of Norwich; all of these are less than 30 minutes drive away.
Riverside Holiday Cottages
Riverside Holiday Cottages in Wroxham
Riverside Homes
Wroxham waterside homes
Holiday Flats
Riverside Apartments in Wroxham
Riverside Lodge
Riverside Lodge in Hoveton
Riverside Property
Riverside Property in Wroxham

Wroxham offers plenty of places to eat and drink. There is a hotel, located near the bridge (Hotel Wroxham) that has a riverside bar and restaurant. Opposite is the Wherryman's restaurant, cafe and bar. Both offer good views of the river. Situated on the other side of the bridge is Wroxham's only pub - the Kings Head. This pub has a fabulous riverside beer garden and inside they have a restaurant, plus a bar screening live football. Also located near the bridge is a new place, called 'The Bridge American Restaurant'. This fabulous structure, again overlooks the river and the family run American themed restaurant serves burgers and milkshake. Scattered around Wroxham are numerous caf's and worthy of mention are the riverside 'Old Mill' Restaurant and Cafe Bar, plus Number 14 Cafe in the main street.
The Bridge American Restaurant
The Bridge American Restaurant
Hotel Wroxham
The riverside Hotel Wroxham
Kings Head Pub
The riverside entrance to the Kings Head Pub
The River Kitchen
The River Kitchen Cafe
Wherrymans Restaurant, Bar and Cafe
Wherrymans Restaurant, Bar and Cafe in Wroxham
Old Mill Restaurant and Cafe Bar
The Riverside Old Mill Restaurant and Cafe Bar
Number 14 Cafe
Number 14 Cafe in the centre of Hoveton

Shopping in Wroxham is dominated by one brand - ROYS. Roys was founded in 1895 when brothers Alfred and Arnold Roy opened their first general store at Coltishall. In 1899, a second store was opened 3 miles away at Wroxham to meet the needs of the holiday makers visiting the Norfolk Broads. During the early years of the 20th century, the business expanded due to the increasing volumes of holiday traffic, and this helped Roy’s to win it’s accolade in a widely publicised competition as The World’s Largest Village Store– a title that has yet to receive serious challenge!! Roys is split into a number of stores including Roys Department Store, Roys Supermarket, Roys Garden Centre, Roys DIY and Roys Toy Shop. But there are plenty of other shops in Wroxham - including a small precinct, a Jewelry store, Gift shops, Newsagents, Butchers, Estate Agents and one of largest Boating Chandlery in the region. There are also numerous take-away food outlets including Fish & Chips, Pizza, Kebab, Indian and Chinese.
Department Store
Roys Department Store in Hoveton
Roys Garden Centre
Roys Garden Centre
Roys Supermarket
Roys Supermarket
Roys Toys
Roys Toys
Hoveton Precinct
The small shopping precinct in Hoveton, now with a Costa Coffee
Bradley Hatch Jewellers
Bradley Hatch Jewellers
Norfolk Marine
Norfolk Marine Chandlery for all things boating
Broads Tourist Information Centre
Broads Tourist Information Centre
Angling Direct
Angling Direct for all things fishing
Worxham Take Away
A row of take-away food outlets in Hoveton
Bridge Gift Shop
Bridge Gift Shop

Although Wroxham is an all-year round resort, it comes to life in the summer, with a range of facilities ranging from day-boat hire to ice-cream stalls. Granary Staithe is a great place to eat your ice-cream and can be found adjacent to the bridge; it is also a great place to observe the boating scene or to feed the wildlife!
Wroxham Scene
A typical Wroxham scene of boats, refreshments and feeding the ducks!
Garanry Staithe
Granary Staithe, adjacent to the bridge
Wroxham Ices
Wroxham Ice Cream

Hoveton contains a lovely riverside park with free 24 hour public moorings, bridges, footpaths and seating areas. The small park offers visitors the ability to escape the hustle and bustle of the village and enjoy the natural environment the Broads is well known for. A path leads under the railway viaduct to Hoveton Viaduct Moorings, located opposite the entrance to Belaugh Broad. It makes a lovely spot for a stroll or to feed the ducks! The riverside park is also the starting point for cruises aboard the Broads Authority launch Liana, a stylish Edwardian style launch (book inside Hoveton Tourist Information Centre).
Riverside Park Staithe
24 Hour free moorings at the Riverside Park in Hoveton
Liana Edwardian Launch
The Broads Authority Edwardian Launch 'Liana'
Hoveton Riverside Park
Hoveton Riverside Park
Belaugh Broad
A footpath bridge in the park
Wroxham Viaduct
Boats moored at Hoveton Viaduct

Wroxham is one end of the Bure Valley Railway. Opened in 1990, the Bure Valley Railway offers an 18 mile round trip through picturesque countryside which is as varied, interesting and beautiful as any to be found on a railway journey in England. Norfolk's longest fifteen inch gauge line runs between the ancient market town of Aylsham and Wroxham. There are also intermediate stations at Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall. Visitors can walk or cycle the along the side of the entire line to Aylsham. For those wishing to travel by train, the line run regular steam and diesel train services and see our separate guided picture tour of the Bure Valley Railway for more information.
Bure Valley Railway
Steam train on the Bure Valley Railway at Wroxham
Steam Engine
Close up of steam engine 'Spitfire'
Wroxham Station
Wroxham station on the Bure Valley Railway

Situated opposite the railway station in Hoveton, Miniature Worlds offers numerous classic model and toy displays from around the world. Displays cover classic's such as 00, HO, N & G gauge model railways, Scalextric, Lego and Cindy Dolls. The major displays are themed "worlds" and are named Great Britain, European, Japanese, Little Brick World and Desert Race. Each of these displays is described below. Miniature Worlds has been created by 3 generations of the Green Family - Sean, Robert and Ray, who have created enough models to fill a football pitch sized building. Their work took 3 years of hard work to complete and is continually evolving, with new additions and modifications. The model exhibition is open all year round and is a short walk from the centre of Wroxham. See our separate guided picture tour of Miniature Worlds for more information.
Great Britain Model Layout
Part of the Great Britain model layout at Miniature Worlds
Model European City
A typical European town, part of the European layout
Model Racetrack
Twists and turns of the desert race track

Hoveton and Wroxham Parish Churches
The parish church of St Peter at Hoveton is about a mile north of the main village and hidden in the local countryside. This tiny, very pretty little church dating from 1624, is built of red brick, with stepped gables and a roof of Norfolk Reed. Inside the church has a fine array of hatchments hung from the walls from the 18th and early 19th Centuries. Wroxham parish church of St Mary is situated in the middle of a housing estate, south of the bridge in Wroxham, near Wroxham FC. Parts of this medieval church date back to the 12th century, such as the doorway.
St Peters Church Hoveton
Hoveton parish church of St. Peter
Church Inside
Inside Hoveton church
Stepped Church Gables
The stepped brick gables of Hoveton church
Wroxham St Mary
Wroxham Parish Church of St Mary
Medieval Church Doorway
12th Century Doorway at Wroxham Church

The Barton House Railway is tucked away in the back garden of a large house in the residential part of Wroxham. This unusual railway consists of 2 narrow gauge railway lines on which steam, diesel and electric trains operate. There is also a signal box, museum and cafe. The BHR is run totally by volunteers and opens on the 3rd Sunday of the month from April to September, but please check opening times on their website before planning a visit. See our separate guided picture tour of the Barton House Railay for more information.
Riverside Line
A steam train on the Riverside Railway
Riverside Bridge
The bridge over the water to Riverside West
Narrow Gauge Track
Train rides on the oval track on the lawn

Wroxham Barns is located a couple of miles north of Wroxham. Here you will find a working craft centre, where craftsmen demonstrate their skills in individual studios and you can chat to them as they work. Studios include stained glass, pottery, colourful children's clothes and real Norfolk cider! You can purchase a range of unique products exclusive to Wroxham Barns and many of the crafts people undertake private commissions. Wroxham Barns also contains a Junior Farm, a Children's Funfair as well as a country food shop and a lovely restaurant/cafe. See our separate guided picture tour of Wroxham Barns for more information.
Craft Barns
Individual Craft Barns, situated around a courtyard at Wroxham Barns
Stained Glass
One of the Craft Barns
Farm Animals
Feeding the Farm Animals at Wroxham Barns Junior Farm

Situated about a mile north of Hoveton village centre, Hoveton Hall Gardens is a delightful 15 acre garden mixing both formal and informal planting across the seasons. Beginning with the burst of early Spring bulbs, the spectacular Rhododendrons and Azaleas in May and June through to the mid-summer delights of the 'Spider Garden'. Full summer colours of Hydrangeas followed by autumn berried shrubs and leaf tints complete what is truly a garden for all seasons. The gardens form part of the Hoveton Hall Estate and have limited opening times, mainly during the spring and summer months. See our separate guided picture tour of the Hoveton Hall Estate for more information.
Hoveton Hall Gardens
The cottage in the walled Spider Garden at Hoveton Hall Gardens
Walled Garden
Walled Garden Entrance
Hoveton Hall Lake
The Lake, surrounded by flowering Rhododendrons

Finally, about a mile south east of the village is Wroxham Broad, home to the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club. The best way to get there is by boat along the River Bure, but there is also access by road down a small private track. The yacht club has a large club house, moorings and there are organised events for both members and guests.
NBYC Club House
Norfolk Broads Yacht Club
Wroxham Broad
Wroxham Broad as seen from the small public car-park
NBYC Moorings
Boats moored at the sailing club on Wroxham Broad

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10 Top Things to SEE and DO in Wroxham and Hoveton

Enjoy the views of the river and the boating scene - watch nervous skippers negotiate Wroxham Bridge!
Shop till you drop in Roys - in the department store, toys, DIY, garden centre, supermarket and more!
Take morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner in one of the many eating and drinking places.
Hire a day boat or take an organised cruise down the River Bure.
Feed the ducks or walk the dog in the Riverside Park.
Take a ride on a miniature train on the Bure Valley Railway or walk/cycle alongside the track to Aylsham.
Visit one of the gardens at the nearby Hoveton Hall Estate or Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden.
Explore the models and toys at Wroxham's Miniature Worlds or visit Roys Toy Shop.
Visit the farm, craft centre, mini-fair and shopping outlets at Wroxham Barns.
Explore the local area and find Wroxham Broad or the little parish church at Hoveton.

Our Verdict

Any visit to the Norfolk Broads must include a visit to Wroxham. It seems to offer the visitor everything - shopping, attractions, refreshments and local walks. But to say the Norfolk Broads is Wroxham is a mistake, to see the REAL Norfolk Broads you need to get out on the river in a boat!
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