Wroxham is often called the Capital of the Broads, an accolade that may, with some merit, be challenged by Hoveton. Hoveton is Wroxham’s twin village on the other side of the river, where most of the local businesses and boatyards are situated. Wroxham & Hoveton was the first centre for boating holidays and excursions on the Broads, beginning in the late 19th century after expansion of the rail network made access to the area much easier. The East Norfolk Railway arrived in Wroxham & Hoveton between 1874-76 and John Loynes started the first boat hire firm on the Broads at Wroxham. There is a Broads Authority tourist information centre on Station Road in Hoveton. This article lists some helpful information for those visiting Wroxham and Hoveton!
Visiting Wroxham and Hoveton
There are free Broads Authority 24-hour moorings on the Coltishall side of Wroxham Bridge (some hire boats cannot pass under the bridge and using the bridge pilot – £15 fee – is compulsory). There are also free moorings when available at the Norfolk Broads Direct and Barnes Brinkcraft hire boat yards.
Visit the Broads’ latest family attraction, Wroxham Miniature Worlds on Station Business Park, Hoveton (01603 781728), billed as the largest indoor modelling centre in the UK, stretching over 10,000sq ft. The attraction houses some of the largest model railways in the world on permanent public display. It is made up of many zones including model railways in various scales, slot car displays, doll displays, a whole city made from Lego and a host of toys from across the decades!
Wroxham Barns (01603 783762) is a popular craft and retail centre with a restaurant and café renowned for its locally sourced produce. It’s also a great destination for children, with a fun fair and junior farm, as well as a top class mini-golf course. Wroxham Barns can be reached by car or by bus from outside the Roys store in Wroxham.
Broads Tours (01603 782207) are an award winning tour operator offering a range of river trips from Wroxham. Tours feature entertaining live commentary and a bar offering light refreshments.
You can also hire a canoe or book a canoe trail or bushcraft course from The Canoeman (01603 783777), based at the Norfolk Broads Tourist Information and Activities Centre on Wroxham Bridge.
Shopping is also one of the biggest leisure activities in Wroxham, with a visit to the famous Roys stores, including the toy shop, a must on the to do list!
You could also take a ride on the Bure Valley Railway, Norfolk’s longest 15in gauge line, running between Aylsham and Wroxham with country stations serving the villages of Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall. The 18-mile round trip goes through the picturesque Bure Valley countryside, following the meandering river through meadowland and ancient pasture (01263 733858), simply lovely!
There’s a wide choice of takeaways and reasonably-priced cafés in Wroxham & Hoveton.
The Bridge Restaurant, on Norwich Road, gets good reviews from holidaymakers, according to staff at Norfolk Broads Tourist Information and Activities Centre, while the nearby King’s Head Hotel remains popular with boating visitors.