Safety is our number one priority. With that in mind, many of our visitors are first timers to boating on the Norfolk Broads so we’ve put together some helpful tips for navigating the waterways safely.

At certain times water and tidal conditions can make navigating some of the Broads’ famous bridges a little tricky, and in some cases impassable. Therefore, it’s important that before setting off on your route, you’re prepared and ensure you know the height of your vessel.

Navigating Bridges on the Broads

There are a number of historical bridges on the broads which you may encounter whilst enjoying your boating holiday. When approaching any bridge, always slow down.

Prior to the bridge you’ll notice Broads Authority gauge posts, these will advise of the maximum clearance at the peak of the arch. If a bridge gauge reads less than the height of your cruiser, do not attempt to pass under it – you risk getting stuck under the bridge which will result in damage to the bridge and boat.

Even if there is a narrow clearance margin please use extreme caution and be advised by the pilots if available.

Navigating Wroxham Bridge 

This bridge is at the heart of the Broads, home to Norfolk Broads Direct. Built in 1619 Wroxham bridge is one of  lowest bridges on the Broads, holiday cruisers are only allowed to pass under it with a bridge pilot safely at the wheel. To use the Pilot service call 07775 297638 to navigate for you. Use of this pilot service is free of charge.

Navigating Potter Heigham Bridge –  Gateway to Upper Thurne 

Navigating this famously low medieval bridge is tricky even in perfect conditions. The bridge has 6ft 6” headroom at average high water, and it has been known to catch some boats underneath, don’t let this happen to you.

If your boat is capable of passing beneath Potter Heigham bridge, please use the pilot service  call 07990 686097 to navigate for you. The fee of £10 is payable to the Pilot. (Navigation of bridges is always at the Pilot’s discretion.)

If you find yourself unable to pass, you’ll still find plenty of mooring to ensure you can enjoy Potter Heigham by foot.


Approaching Low Bridges on the Broads.

Follow these instructions for every bridge you encounter whilst visiting the Broads.

  • Slow down.
  • Notice the bridge gauge and check the size of your cruiser. Ensure that you have enough space between the sides and roof to pass through with ease. You’ll find a marker gauge on both sides of the bridge which will indicate the height clearance of the bridge. If you’re unsure, avoid passing.
  • Always lower your canopy and windscreen.
  • Ensure all parties stay onboard and in the cockpit or below decks. Particularly children and dogs.
  • Remove any loose equipment from the cabin top and remove TV aerial and store inside whilst travelling through.
  • If you have any problems or are unsure of any procedures, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We want to make your trip as enjoyable as possible, which is why we’ve created several helpful video guides to help you with your stay. When you book with us you’ll have access to lots of safety on the Broads information guides. As well as access to our 24/7 helpline should you need us urgently.