Pubs of the Norfolk Broads III
The River Bure

The Bure: From Belaugh, (above which it is no longer navigable) and Coltishall, it travels through the capital of broadland, Wroxham, through the picturesque village of Horning, past the ruins of St Benet’s Abbey to Acle and then on through vast drained grazing areas to Great Yarmouth

Navigation Authority: Broads Authority, 18 Colegate, Norwich NR3 1BQ : Telephone 01603 610734

 ● The original guide to Pubs of the Norfolk broads covered the Southern half of the broads with inns mainly on the rivers Yare and Waveney. This section covers the the River Bure with the final section covering the Ant and Thurne.
 ● Please note most of this Information dates from May 1999 and desperately needs updating.
 ● As well as the light blue links, most pictures / logos contain links to relevant third party sites. Small text is additional information found on the Web.

Wroxham (Map) (Wroxham)

Kings Head (Map) (Kings Head)

Station Rd, Hoveton, Norwich, NR12 8UR. Tel: 01603 782429

 ● The King's Head is the large pub just after the infamous bridge at Wroxham (arch is fairly narrow and clearance is limited, not all boats are capable of going through so beware). There is some mooring outside but the main moorings are beyond the railway bridge further upstream. The pub has two large areas, one of which contains a carvery. The pub is one of the ever growing chain of carvery style restaurants/pubs serving standard food and beer. It's the sort of establishment you'll find all over the country, and not the sort of place I particularly enjoy drinking or eating in.

Wroxham Hotel (Map) (Wroxham Hotel)

The Bridge, Wroxham, Norwich. NR12 8AJ. Tel: 01603 782061

 ● The Hotel is the large modern hotel on the right before the bridge. The hotel was crowded and served a wide selection of food. The real problem is this is the only other alternative to the King's Head, and is probably the lesser of two evils. Given the size of Wroxham and the number of tourist there you would have thought there would have been more choice. If your boat is capable of going through Wroxham bridge I would suggest you keep going, Coltishall awaits.

Coltishall (Map)

Coltishall is at the limit of navigation but is well worth trip, possibly because of the previous night at Wroxham we found Coltishall an extremely pleasant change. There is plenty of mooring along the green in front of the Rising Sun and King's Head. There is even more mooring just downstream before you reach the main green, but this would involve a fairly long walk to the pubs.

Rising Sun (Rising Sun)

28 Wroxham Rd, Coltishall, Norwich, Norfolk. NR12 7EA. Tel: 01603 737440

 ● The Rising Sun is the largest pub in Coltishall and is situated on directly on the River bank at the end of the green. There was plenty of seating inside and out and was very busy, so busy in fact they had ran out of nearly all draught beers (this was the May Bank Holiday). There should have been a large selection of beers but ended up drinking John Smiths. The pub had a pool table.

King's Head (Map) (Kings Head)

Kings Head, Coltishall, Norfolk, NR12 7EA. Tel 01603 737426

 ● The King's Head is next door to the Rising Sun, in fact they share the same car park. The pub appeared to be more of a restaurant, with a smallish drinking area however they did not discourage drinkers. The menu was extensive and looked extremely good but we did not eat. Look out for the Pike above the dining area. Reasonable selection of beers including Adnams.

Red Lion (Map)

77 Church Road, Coltishall, Norwich, Norfolk. NR12 DW. Tel: 01603 737402

Follow the road outside of King's Head up the hill towards the church. Opposite the church is the Red Lion. The smallish pub had a wide selection of beers including Weasel Pis, a beer brewed for the pub by Woodforde and only available at the Red Lion, we even managed to get a committed lager drinker to try the Weasel Pis and he kept on it all evening. There was a wide selection of food which was excellent. There was plenty of secluded seating areas which together with the friendly atmosphere made the Red Lion our favourite pub on the entire Broads.

Recruiting Sergeant (Map)

Norwich Road, Horstead, NR12 7EE. Tel: 01603 737077

 ● Continue past the Red Lion and you will find the main village of Coltishall to the left by the roundabout. If however you take the road to the right you will find the Recruiting Sergeant. This pub is run by the same company as the Red Lion, however the comparison ends there. The Recruiting Sergeant appeared to be more of a restaurant than a pub and when we arrived the bar was crowded (although the pub was empty). I ordered our round at the only place I could get near the bar and was welcomed by cool looks from the people sitting at the bar as to how I dare disturb them. This is uncalled of in any pub, there was plenty of seating available and although I've nothing against people sitting at bars there should always be a place for people to order and collect drinks, that is what the bars for. The unfriendly atmosphere spoiled what could have been a nice pub, and was totally opposite to the atmosphere at the Red Lion. There was a wide selection of beer including one I haven't come across before Golden Gate.


Swan (Map)

Lower Street, Horning, Norwich, Norfolk. NR12 8AA Tel: 01692 630316

 ● The White Swan is probably the most photographed pub on the Broads. The large pretty mock Tudor building is directly on the river with mooring in front. However its another one of these chain restaurant/pubs like the King's Head in Wroxham. Having moored there we were obliged to have a drink there, which we did before going to look for a more decent pub.

New Inn (Map)

Lower Street, Horning, Norfolk, NR12 8PF. Tel: 01692 631223

 ● Head downstream from the Swan and you will find the New Inn. Although there is some mooring at the pub it is extremely restricted, if we had moored our 42 foot boat there nobody else would have got in. However as we were looking for decent pub we found it at the New Inn. The food was not mass produced and was excellent. There was a wide selection of beers including a locally produced brew Pheasant Plucker. In all a friendly and pleasant traditional pub, a total opposite to the Swan. Unfortunately the pub closed after lunch and fancying another pint we had to move on.

Ferry Inn

 ●  The Ferry Inn lies at the far end of Horning and is probably best approached by boat. There is plenty of mooring on both sides of the river, but how you cross when the pedestrian ferry is not operating is a good question as there is no bridge for miles. The inn is extremely large with several sections and lots of seating outside. In the summer I can imagine that it gets very busy and is a favourite with families with children, as the pub seemed have lots of activities for them. The inn did food, but we did not eat there. As for beer there was a small selection including Theakstons.


The Bridge Inn

 ● The Bridge Inn is a modern pub just past the bridge at Acle. There is a large bar area with play area for children outside. The pub did do food and had a limited selection of beers including Sam Smiths. There was basically nothing wrong with the pub but it simply had no atmosphere.

Reba's Riverside Inn

 ● Take the main road across the bridge into Acle itself. Riba's Riverside Inn is almost the first building you come to. It is a oldish pub which served a selection of good kept beers including Theakstons XB and Wherry. Food was reasonable bar meals. Like the Bridge Inn it lacked any sort of atmosphere and was almost completely empty. Of the two pubs in Acle it get the vote, but only just.

Great Yarmouth

The Swan

 ● The Swan stands at the end of the main moorings at Great Yarmouth. The pub served good food but had a limited selection of beers. Saying that the bar staff were very friendly and was a pleasant change from the dullness of Acle. Beers included John Smiths and Caffreys.

Pier Tavern

 ● A modern pub at the entrance of the pier. Nothing spectacular but I imagine it would be popular with younger drinkers, and could well be fairly lively in the evenings. Beer selection was virtually non existent (unless you drink lager or bottled) and we ended up trying Kilkenny

BroadSideMarket Tavern

 ● On the way back from our walk round Great Yarmouth, having previously stopped off at the Pier we were driven into the Market Tavern (we think that was the name) by a sudden down pour, well that was our excuse. The large bar was dimly lit and served a wide selection of beers including Boddingtons on draught (not the modern gas pumped stuff advertised by the transvestite cow).


Ferry Inn

 ● The Ferry Inn at Stokesby lies between Acle and Yarmouth. There was plenty of mooring outside and downstream from the pub. The pub itself is large and had a friendly atmosphere. Food was excellent and had a wide choice of beers including Broadside. Our only regret about this place is that we stopped at Acle on the way down instead of here.

Norfolk Broads Pub Guide - 4 - The Rivers Ant and Thurne

Comments and additional material on the bars in this area are always welcome.
I can be contacted on Neil MacPherson.
Last Updated 5th February 2000
Last Revised 23rd December 2004