Discover the Norfolk Broads
A guide to 12 great days out in the unique environment of the Norfolk Broads compiled by people who live there

Discover the Norfolk Broads - A guide to 12 great days out in the unique environment of the Norfolk Broads compiled by people who live there

Accommodation Activities Attractions Food and Drink Shopping What's On
and Events
Where are the
Norfolk Broads?

Day Nine: Canoe trip – Martham to Horsey

This is one of our favourite days out, and was a must for inclusion as the second canoe trip in the Guide. There is very little that can beat paddling a Canadian canoe quietly along the river and this route offers you the opportunity to get up close and personal with marsh harriers, the Norfolk Broads bird of prey, as this is an ideal habitat for them. There are a number of canoe hire centres located throughout the Norfolk Broads, and you can find your nearest centre by telephoning the Broads Authority on 01603 610734, or by picking up the bike & canoe hire leaflet from any Visitor Information Centre. We have chosen Martham Boats for this day, but other centres will be happy to provide suggestions for days out in their local areas.

Start: Martham Boatyard, Cess Road, off the B1152 west of Martham
Ordnance Survey Explorer map OL40; grid reference TG439192
SatNav postcode NR29 4RF

Cost Guide: £££

Our recommended itinerary is as follows:

•  Drive to Martham Boats located off the B1152 west of Martham on Cess Road

•   Hire a canoe, turning right out of the boatyard onto the River Thurne and then left shortly afterwards up Candle Dyke into Duck Broad and then on into Heigham Sound.

•   Spend a peaceful day paddling at your own speed into Meadow Dyke at the top right hand corner of Heigham Sound, heading for Horsey Mere.

•   Meadow Dyke is a lovely meandering stream, and with several small channels branching off, it is possible to spend a little time exploring these and to feel well and truly part of a wilderness in the Norfolk Broads.

•   Marsh harriers can often be seen hunting over the wetlands that surround the dyke and paddling almost
silently in a canoe means it is possible to get very close to these majestic birds.

•   As you enter Horsey Mere, keep to the right hand side and head up the staithe towards Horsey Windpump, where it is possible to tie up. Mooring fees are payable to the Horsey Estate.

•   An alternative is to moor carefully at the entrance to the staithe, where there are bench seats providing an ideal spot for your picnic.

•   The windpump is well worth a visit for the view from the top and the display of historic photographs of the local area. There is also a small friendly café here, selling teas and snacks, including toasted teacakes and bacon rolls.


•   Acquired by the National Trust in 1948 from the Buxton family, who continue to manage the Horsey Estate, the 5-storey windpump has been fully restored and also now has a wheelchair-accessible nature garden, with raised ponds for pond-dipping.

Useful Norfolk Broads Contacts

Below you will find suggestions for accommodation, activities, attractions, food & drink and shopping.  All useful contacts while visiting the Norfolk Broads.




Food and Drink


Anchor & Riverside Cottages

Four bedroomed cottages directly on the main riverfront with small private mooring for a dayboat & free WiFi access. 20% under occupancy discount all year for up to 4 guests!

Moonfleet Marine

Moonfleet Marine offers high quality day boats to seat up to 6 people, available in both diesel and electric engine options. The boatyard is by the historic staithe at Stalham. Easily accessible by road, just off the A149 with plenty of free parking.


A huge forest of wild family fun and adventure. Treehouses, zip wires, jungle bridges, Crocklebogs, boat trips, marsh walks and really yummy food.

Susies Coffee Shop

Pop in from from 9.00am for freshly baked bread and croissants, along with tasty breakfast baps and delicious Italian coffees. Lunchtimes we bake fresh pizza to order along with a selection of baguettes and homemade cakes and treats.

Linda H. Matthews Artist

Working artists studio & gallery, in the beautiful northern broads. Paintings & gifts from Lindas work. Also offering structured painting courses and private tuition, for individuals & groups, with an experienced tutor & art materials for sale

Day One Day boat trip Wroxham to Coltishall – £££££
Day Two Walk / Wildlife watching Ranworth & Fairhaven Gardens – ££££
Day Three Walk / Seal watching Horsey Mere and Beach – £/££ - YF
Day Four Guided boat trip / Wildlife watching Hickling Broad & Sutton - ££££
Day Five Canoe trip Wayford Bridge to Neatishead, via Barton Broad – £££ - YF
Day Six Cycle ride and Picnic Clippesby to How Hill – £/£££ - YF
Day Seven Day boat trip Ludham Bridge to Neatishead via How Hill – £££££
Day Eight Walk / Wildlife watching Salhouse & Cockshoot Broads – ££
Day Nine Canoe trip Martham to Horsey – £££
Day Ten Learn to Sail from Hunter’s Yard at Ludham - £££££
Day Eleven Walk / Boat trip Barton & Alderfen Broads – £/££ - YF
Day Twelve Cycle ride Discover the Norfolk Broads in a Day - £/££
YF - Young Family option available

A cost guide is included for each day out, ranging from lower cost (£: free or up to £15) to higher cost (£££££: £80 up to £100). These costs are based on a family of 4
undertaking all the activities suggested and are accurate as at the date of publication.

"Two of Arthur Ransome's 'Swallows & Amazons' books feature the Broads, 'Coot Club' and 'Big Six'"

Wildlife Fact File

Circus aeruginosus

The largest of the Harriers, it is unmistakeable in and around the Norfolk Broads, soaring at high levels with its wings raised in a shallow V. It makes its nest in tall reed beds on shallow fresh water, ideally suited to the Norfolk Broads and feeds on small mammals, birds and insects. With a wing span in excess of 1m it is often seen above the marshes around Horning and Hickling.

1. Choose a warm, dry day if possible with not too much wind
2. Remember to take a hat, sunscreen and a drink
3. In high season it is advisable to telephone Martham Boats in advance on 01493 740249 and pre-book your canoe, or for more information visit their website at
4. There is free customer parking at the boatyard
5. The windpump and tearoom is open from March to October. There is a small charge for entry to the windpump. For more information see the National Trust website
6. There are toilet facilities at Horsey Windpump

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Accommodation Activities Attractions Food and Drink Shopping What's On
and Events
Where are the
Norfolk Broads?

Discover the Norfolk Broads - A guide to 12 great days out in the unique environment of the Norfolk Broads compiled by people who live there