Project Description


When visiting the Norfolk Broads, there are a number of ways to explore the landscape in order to get a feel for the area, but in our opinion, hiring a Canadian canoe and paddling quietly along the river while kingfisher-spotting, stopping for lunch at a country pub, takes some beating.

There are a number of canoe hire centres located throughout the Broads, and you can find your nearest centre by telephoning the Broads Authority on 01603 782281, or by picking up the bike & canoe hire leaflet from any Visitor Information Centre. We have chosen one such centre, Bank’s Dayboats at Wayford Bridge, and designed a day based around the River Ant, Barton Broad and Neatishead, but other centres will be happy to provide suggestions for days out in their local area.

Start: Clippesby Hall Reception, Clippesby, near Acle
Ordnance Survey Explorer map OL40; grid reference TG426144
SatNav postcode NR29 3BL

Bank Boat & Canoe Hire has been providing quality safe day boat and canoe hire services for over 30 years. Their activities and services are available for all, elderly or young, with everything included within your package. Tel: 01692 582457

The White Horse Inn is also home to Neatishead Brewery offering a core range of real ales and beers.
The brewery is located through a glass panel in the restaurant so you can see where your beer is made whilst you eat.
  • Visitors with disabilities should check directly with Bank Boats as to what may be suitable for their circumstances
  • There are toilet facilities at Bank Boat & Canoe Hire and the White Horse Inn at Neatishead

Our recommended itinerary is as follows:

• Drive to Bank’s Boatyard located on the A149, west of Wayford Bridge

• Hire a canoe, turning right out of the boatyard, and spend a peaceful day paddling at your own speed down the River Ant towards Barton Broad

• The Broad itself has been the subject of a major water quality improvement programme in recent years, and it has become a flagship example of best practice across Europe

• As you enter the Broad, bear right and follow the signs to Neatishead.

• Moor at Neatishead and wander along the lane into the village for lunch at the White Horse public house, a traditional Norfolk pub, serving several real ales and tasty home made food

• Feeling revitalised, return up river at a leisurely pace, taking plenty of time to look for the kingfishers that are known to live along this stretch of the river. Paddling quietly in a canoe is an ideal way to view these magical, brightly coloured birds as they dart along searching for their next meal

Young Family Option
The trip from Wayford Bridge to Neatishead does take a full day, and may not be suitable for younger children. For a shorter alternative route, turn left out of the boatyard and head up river.

This is a lovely, quiet part of the river with very few other craft to disturb you or the wildlife as you paddle along. Having gone a short distance, fork left towards the small village of Dilham. You can moor at the end of this channel and walk into the village to the Cross Keys public house for refreshment


For our nest tunnel, we choose a vertical bank clear of vegetation, as this provides a reasonable degree of protection from predators.


Kingfishers are small unmistakable bright blue and orange birds of slow moving or still water. They fly rapidly, low over water, and hunt fish from riverside perches, occasionally hovering above the water’s surface.