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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

Boats
Cottages
Riverside Park
Shopping
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, the Bure Valley steam railway and 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.

Hoseasons Cottages

Wroxham and Hoveton Map

Wroxham/Hoveton Map Coltishall Stalham Horning Norwich
 

Wroxham and Hoveton Guided Tour


We start our tour of Wroxham and Hoveton at the bridge over the River Bure, separating Hoveton (North) from Wroxham (South). The bridge itself is a semicircular road bridge and has 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 and a bridge pilot is available for nervous skippers!
Wroxham Bridge
Wroxham bridge over the River Bure
Hotel Wroxham
Wroxham Hotel by the bridge
Bridge View
The view of the River Bure from Wroxham Bridge


The two parts of this connected village are Wroxham and Hoveton, but collectively they are known as simply Wroxham; 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 Sign
Wroxham village sign
Hoveton Sign
Hoveton village sign

The first person known to have made a living out of hiring boats to holidaymakers 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 for the day (or hour).
Loynes Boatyard
Loynes Boatyard Wroxham
Boats
River cruisers for holiday or weekend hire
Broads Tours
Broads Tours from Wroxham
River Views
Self Drive Boat Hire from Wroxham

BOATING HOLIDAYS FROM WROXHAM

Wroxham is a superb starting point for a Norfolk Broads boating holiday and some of the largest boatyards are based in Wroxham, offering a wide choice of comfortable self-drive cruisers, with a good choice of layouts.
Barnes Brinkcraft
Faircraft Loynes
Royalls Boatyard
Summercraft

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. They make a good base for your Norfolk holiday, since they are at the heart of the Norfolk Broads and both the sandy beaches of the Norfolk Coast and the city of Norwich; all of these are less than 30 minutes drive away.
River Cottage
Riverside holiday cottages in Wroxham
Holiday Flats
Riverside apartments in Wroxham
Holiday Lodge
Riverside log cabin in Wroxham
Riverside Homes
Wroxham waterside homes

One shopping brand dominates the centre of Wroxham - Roys. Roys was founded in 1895 when brothers Alfred and Arnold Roy opened their first general store at Coltishall, Norfolk. 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!! But there are plenty of other shops in Wroxham - including a small precinct, a jewelry store, gift shops, newsagents, Estate Agents and one of largest boating shops in the region.
Roys
Roys of Wroxham
Department Store
Roys department store in Wroxham
Norfolk Marine
Norfolk Marine Boat Shop
Hoveton Precinct
Wroxham precinct

Wroxham has a hotel (Hotel Wroxham), a pub (King's Head), and loads of restaurants, cafes and tea rooms - most of which are situated with lovely riverside views.
Kingshead Hotel
The Kings Head Hotel Wroxham
Wherryman's Pizzeria
Wherrymans Restaurant and Pizzeria Wroxham
Cafe Bars
Various Cafe Bars and Fish & Chips in Wroxham
Bridge Restaurant
The Bridge Restaurant (a good fish restuarant)

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!
Wroxham Scene
A typical Wroxham scene of boats, refresments and feeding the ducks!
Day Boat Hire
Wroxham day boat hire
Wroxham Ices
Wroxham ice cream

Wroxham contains a lovely riverside park with public moorings, bridges, paths and seating areas. The path leads under the railway viaduct to the moorings opposite the entrance to Belaugh Broad. It makes a lovely spot for a stroll or to feed the ducks!
Riverside Park Staithe
Hoveton moorings and riverside park
Riverside Park
Bridge in Wroxham riverside park
Wroxham Viaduct
Boats moored at Hoveton Viaduct
Belaugh Broad
Entrance to Belaugh Broad

Wroxham is one end of the line 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. The line run regular steam and diesel train services and see the BVR website for more details and running times.
Bure Valley Railway
Steam train on the Bure Valley Railway at Wroxham
Wroxham Station
Wroxham station on the Bure Valley Railway

The church of St Peter at Hoveton is about a mile North of Wroxham bridge. 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.
St Peters Church
Hoveton parish church of St. Peter
Church Doorway
Church doorway at Hoveton
Church Inside
Inside Hoveton church
Church Bell
Church bell at Hoveton

Not far from the little church of St Peter is Wroxham Barns. 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.
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

Almost adjacent to the church is Hoveton Hall Gardens, a delightful 15 acre garden mixing both formal and informal planting across the seasons and part of the Hoveton Hall Estate. See our separate tour of the Gardens for more details.
Spider Garden
Hoveton Hall Gardens near Wroxham
Weeping Willow
The lake at Hoveton Hall near Wroxham

Wroxham church of St. Mary, is about a mile South of Wroxham Bridge and is much larger and more traditional than the tiny church in Hoveton.
Wroxham Church
Wroxham parish church of St. Mary
Church Inside
Inside Wroxham parish church
Stained Window
Stained glass window in Wroxham church
Church Door
Church doorway at Wroxham

Also about a mile south of the village centre 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.
Wroxham Broad
Wroxham Broad
Wroxham Broad
Yachts moored on Wroxham Broad
NBYC Club House
Norfolk Broads Yacht Club
NBYC Moorings
Boats moored at the sailing club on Wroxham Broad

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Wroxham and Hoveton summary of what to SEE and DO

Enjoy the views of the river and boatyards
Shop till you drop in Roys!
Take a refreshment in a pub or cafe
Hire a day boat or organised cruise down the river
Enjoy a walk through the riverside park
Take a ride on the Bure Valley steam railway
Visit the farm and craft centre at Wroxham Barns

Our Verdict

Any visit to the Norfolk Broads must include a visit to Wroxham. It seems to offer the visitor everything - shopping, attractions, resfreshments 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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