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With two Broads and a nature trail – all overlooked by a spectacular medieval church offering staggering views from the top of its tower – Ranworth is a village not to be missed.

The lovely village and its scenic staithe occupy an enviable position on the edge of Malthouse Broad – a mecca for boaters in the summer and the only point of access if you are arriving by water.

Once moored at the staithe, which has a large lawned area that’s perfect for a picnic,  it’s well worth visiting the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Information centre where they can help you to make the most of your visit.

Once you’ve enjoyed the staithe make sure that you visit Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Ranworth Broad Nature Reserve.   Simply follow the boardwalk from the village through woodland and reed beds to a unique and informative floating conservation centre on Ranworth’s second Broad – Ranworth Broad.

From the conservation centre you can enjoy panoramic views across Ranworth Broad.  Look out for Otters and Kingfishers as well as a Common Tern colony on a floating raft and an artificial Osprey nest, which encourages these magnificent birds to visit in summer.

No visit to Ranworth would be complete without paying homage to the “Cathedral of the Broads” – St Helen’s church – which dates back to 1450 and dominates the skyline.  An absolute rite of passage is climbing the 89 steps and two ladders to reach the top of the church tower for stunning views. On a clear day five broads can be seen and nearly 200 sites have been spotted including 116 churches, Norwich Cathedral and Happisburgh lighthouse!

While inside St Helen’s don’t miss one of the finest medieval painted rood screens in the country and an 15th Century prayer manuscript, which is kept in an illuminated box. There’s also a lovely visitor’s centre, tea room and gallery in a converted cart shed (see Eating Out).


Ranworth Staithe (on Malthouse Broad)

Ranworth Island
A mooring fee applies. You will need a dinghy to reach Ranworth village.

Eating Out:

The Maltsters
Family friendly pub serving traditional pub food and real ales. Located opposite Ranworth Staithe with a large terrace and garden overlooking the broad. 01603 270900.

Granary Stores and Tea Room
Beautiful spot on Ranworth Staithe with Post Office and shop.  Serves tea, cakes and light bites. 01603 270432.

Ranworth Visitor Centre tea room at St Helen’s Church
Tea room in a converted cart shed to the rear of St Helen’s Church serving tea, cakes and light bites.  Garden and terrace with views of Ranworth Broad.