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Salhouse Broad

Salhouse Broad is an oasis of tranquillity that’s separated from the River Bure by a shallow spit of land.  The broad has a little sandy beach and there are nature trails, canoe hire, a children’s play area and plenty of places to picnic. 

Salhouse Broad is a wonderful 32 acre lake surrounded by mature dry woodland and fen that’s thriving with wildlife including breeding pairs of Great Crested Grebes in spring. The broad was created by medieval sand and gravel digging (rather than peat digging like most broads) and is privately owned.  The landowner employs rangers to carry out conservation work and help you to make the most of your visit.

Unusually for the Broads there is a small sandy beach that’s popular for paddling and a picnic.  You can hire a canoe from the beach and quietly explore the broad and its abandoned Wherry Cut.

There is a network of pathways and boardwalks to explore through wonderful woodland and fen.  It’s also well worth climbing the grassy hill behind the beach for a panoramic view across the broad.

A children’s play area and picnic benches are tucked away in the western end of the broad.  An information board here tells you more about the award-winning Salhouse Spit Restoration Project that was completed in 2013.

The innovative project saved the spit of land, which separates the broad from the river from being lost to erosion caused by boat wash.  Mud was dredged from the river, pumped into giant geotextile bags and used to rebuilt the spit to the size recorded by an aerial photograph taken in 1946.  The new land was then planted with locally sourced reeds and scrapes were dug to create a valuable wildlife habitat.

Toilets and a bottle bank are located half a mile from the broad in the car park where a sign points you to eateries and attractions.

Moorings

Salhouse Broadeastern end
Two sections of mooring at the eastern end of the broad close to the beach. A Mooring fee applies. Rubbish disposal available.

Salhouse Broad – western end
A small mooring tucked away at the western end of Salhouse Broad. Fill up with water at the eastern moorings. Rubbish disposal available. A mooring fee applies.

Salhouse Island and Spit
Secluded moorings with no access to the mainland (unless you have a dingy). Drop into the eastern broad moorings for water and rubbish disposal. A mooring fee applies.

Eating out

Prima Rosa tea room and gift shop – Salhouse village
Vintage tea room serving home cooked lunches, cakes and bakes.  The gift shop has crafts from over 40 local artisans.  Located ten minutes walk from Salhouse Broad car park on Lower Street.  01603 927580.

The Bell – Salhouse village
Child friendly freehouse and restaurant in a former coaching inn with a beer garden.  Located twenty minutes walk from Salhouse Broad car park on Lower Street.  01603 720220.

The Fur and Feather – Woodbastwick
See Woodbastwick.

Woodforde’s Brewery – Woodbastwick

The village of Woodbastwick is ten minutes walk from Salhouse Broad car park and is home to the Woodforde’s Brewery.  Founded in 1981, it’s perhaps Norfolk’s best known brewery and has won two Supreme Champion Beer of Britain awards.

Real ale fans should visit Woodforde’s shop or better still arrange a tour of the brewery, which must be booked in advance. 01603 722218.

Eating out – Fur and Feather
Where better to try Woodforde’s beers than at its brewery tap?  The thatched Fur and Feather pub is located right next door to the brewery and serves locally sourced meals. 01603 720003.

Hoveton Great Broad Nature Trail

Visit Hoveton Great Broad – a hidden wilderness cut off from civilisation-  by following its wonderful nature trail, which is only accessible by boat, on boardwalks through wild wet woodland (from April to October).  There are free moorings at the start of the trail, opposite Salhouse Spit, or alternatively you can catch a little ferry from Salhouse Broad.

The nature reserve is managed by Natural England and their rangers will help you to moor and share their expert knowledge. The kilometre long nature trail winds its way through wild alder carr woodland to a viewing platform and hide that overlooks Hoveton Great Broad – a huge sheet of water that is cut off from boats and is rich with wildlife including a common tern colony.

Hoveton Great Broad is being transformed by an ambitious £4.5 million restoration project to improve water quality and promote plant growth. The broad, which has become very shallow through siltation, is being dredged and fish will be removed.  By removing fish, the tiny water fleas (daphnia) they feed on will thrive and feast on the algae that is currently clouding the water.