The Norfolk Broads consist of a 120 mile network of rivers across Norfolk and part
of Suffolk, based on two main rivers, the Bure (North Broads), and the Yare (South
Broads). These two halves of the Broads meet at Breydon Water at the back of Great
Yarmouth. The river then goes out to sea through Yarmouth Harbour between Great Yarmouth
and Gorleston. There are no locks on the whole of this water way, making it ideal
for river cruising. This also means there is no separation between sea and fresh
water, and the lower stretches of both Broads is tidal and therefore consists of
brackish water. This is important for anglers as obviously it affects the species
of fish in different areas. This also means that the river level in the lower 10
miles or so tends to rise and fall with the tide. This is important when mooring
boats, as spare rope needs to be left.
The South Broads is mainly a single river, the Yare, flowing from Norwich to Gt Yarmouth,
passing through Breydon Water at Burgh Castle, a Roman settlement. There are also
some minor rivers, and Oulton Broad. Only a major boating holiday would allow the
traveller to cover both the North and South broads so often a choice has to be made
when selecting a holiday area.
The North Broads has a much greater range of Broads and rivers, with the river Ant
and Thurne, and the Broads of Wroxham, Salhouse, Malthouse, South Walsham, Barton,
Sutton and Hickling. This whole area provides a much more diverse “Swallows and
Amazons” feel and has become the favoured area for most holiday makers. There are
the really beautiful natural places to visit, such as the “beach” in Salhouse Broad,
The famous windmill at Thurne Dyke, the subject of chocolate boxes and jig-saws,
and of course the old abbey, St Benet’s, where all the rivers seem to meet. As more
holiday makers want to start their boating holidays in this area, this has lead
to the development of many boatyard and hire craft companies. The bridges at Potter
Heigham and Wroxham, have limited headroom, and so this is the Head of Navigation
for the larger holiday craft.This in turn has caused the picturesque villages of
Potter Heigham, Horning and Wroxham to develop, with the associated number of riverside
pubs, restaurants, moorings and shops. Of course day boats / picnic boats can easily
get under both bridges giving holiday makers at the Peninsula a unique opportunity
to explore the quieter Amazon-like stretch from Wroxham bridge to Coltishall, about
a 2 hour cruise through mainly forest areas.
Of course the Peninsula Cottages are ideally located to explore this area!