Your Wroxham Day Boat Hire Guide

A Wroxham day boat hire, docked by a wooden pier on the calm waters of the Norfolk Broads.

Wroxham Day Boat Hire, your Complete Guide

If you’re looking for a relaxing way to explore the Norfolk Broads, then Wroxham boat hire is an excellent option.

One of the main attractions in Wroxham is the Broads itself. The Broads are home to an array of birds and animals, including otters, herons, kingfishers, and even the rare and endangered Norfolk hawker dragonfly. You’ll also likely come across the many resident heron delicately perched on the river’s edge, stalking their next meal

Besides the Norfolk broads boat hire, Wroxham, which is just outside Norwich, has plenty of other attractions. The village is home to a collection of shops, galleries and restaurants called Wroxham Barns set on the stunning grounds of a traditional Norfolk farmhouse. Wroxham Miniature Worlds is a must-see for families with young children. This indoor attraction features an extensive display of model railways, including replicas of local landmarks and a fully functional miniature airport.

THE 5 BEST Wroxham Boat Hire Companies

When it comes to boat hire in Wroxham, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here’s a list of the top 5 boat hire companies in Wroxham, based on their fleet, service, and customer reviews:

1. Barnes Brinkcraft: With over 80 Norfolk Broads hire boats available from their boatyard, Barnes Brinkcraft is a popular choice for those looking to explore Wroxham on the water.

2. Richardson’s Boating Holidays: Catering to most parties and budgets, Richardson’s is a great option for first-time boaters, offering a diverse fleet of cruisers.

3. Herbert Woods: Specializing in luxury boat hire, Herbert Woods’ Elite Range boats are designed and built locally, ensuring top-notch quality.

4. Waterways Holidays: With experienced staff to assist with questions and bookings, Waterways Holidays provides top-notch service and options for boat hire.

5. Norfolk Broads Direct: Offering modern, high-quality cruisers for hire, Norfolk Broads Direct caters to parties of 2-9 people.

No matter which company you choose, a day on the water exploring the beauty of the Broads is sure to be a memorable experience.

Each of these companies offers a range of vessels for hire, with prices varying depending on the size and type of boat. You can choose from traditional wooden boats, modern cruisers, and even electric boats.

Explore the broads from Wroxham


Coltishall is roughly 4.5 miles from Wroxham. It’s situated in tranquil Broadland Village alongside the River Bure, offers a serene escape. If you’re arriving by boat, utilize the bridge pilot to navigate through Wroxham Bridge and leave the commotion behind as you peacefully cruise up the river. In the past, Coltishall was a prominent hub for the malting industry and the construction of numerous Norfolk Wherries. RAF Coltishall was also a significant base for Jaguar fighter bombers during WWII, but it ceased operations in 2006 and is now an enterprise park in the vicinity.

The River Bure flows to the north towards Aylsham, but the use of powered watercraft has been prohibited beyond Coltishall since 1912. This stoppage is due to the destruction of the five locks, including Coltishall & Horstead, Buxton, Oxnead, Burgh, and Aylsham, during the great flood that occurred on 26th August 1912.

The charming staithe is positioned a mile from the town’s main area, next to Coltishall common; a vast grassy space suited for playing games, taking one’s pooch for a walk, or having a picnic by the river. There are two pubs and a convenience store containing a post office near the staithe. Furthermore, the thatched church of St John is conveniently located nearby. If you wish to go to the village regularly, you can discover additional dining options and shops.


  • Free Broads Authority moorings are available at Coltishall common

Eating & Drinking 

  • The Rising Sun
  • The King’s Head
  • The Red Lion
  • A Piece of Cake
  • The Norfolk Mead Hotel
  • Nearby – The Recruiting Sergeant

General convenience stores in Coltishall

  • Mace Convenience Store & Post Office
  • Londis
  • Nearby – Farm to Fork & Fish
Coltishall I a place to moor up when visiting from wroxham on a day boat
Coltishall – Image Via Wiki Media

Ranworth –  Easily Explored from your Wroxham Day Boat Hire Trip

This 7 miles boat trip to ranworth is situated by Malthouse Broad, Ranworth is a charming Broads village. Anchor your vessel at the staithe and take a stroll on the boardwalk towards the floating wildlife center owned by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. The center offers stunning views of Ranworth Broad and is a great place to learn about the unique wildlife found in the Broads region. Here, you can spot a variety of birds such as great crested grebes, marsh harriers, cormorants, and even a few kingfishers.

The boardwalk passes through different habitats such as reed beds and woodlands brimming with fascinating flora and fauna, including woodland birds. If you visit during summer, be sure to keep an eye out for the eye-catching Swallowtail butterflies and Norfolk hawker dragonflies.

St. Helen’s church in Ranworth, also known as the ‘Cathedral of the Broads’, is another popular attraction. To enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views, one must ascend 89 steps, two ladders, and a trap door to reach the top of the church tower. Having been completed around 1450, the church boasts one of the most exquisite rood screens in all of England.

The Ranworth Antiphoner, which is a collection of 285 vellum pages containing various writings and illustrations, can also be found inside the church. Throughout the year, Ranworth is a favourite destination for boaters, who find the staithe to be a convenient spot to dock. Mooring spots on the staithe typically fill up quickly, and some boats may have to anchor offshore until a spot becomes available. The staithe provides a range of facilities, including water, electrical hookups, and refuse disposal.


  • There are available moorings at Ranworth Staithe with the Broads Authority free of charge.
  • Ranworth Island (tender required mooring charges apply).

Dining in Ranworth

  • The Maltsters
  • The Granary Stores

Convenience stores in Ranworth

  • The Granary Store
Ranworth is a beautiful broads only a short distance from Wroxham via a day boat
Ranworth – Image Via Wiki Media

Horning – A Must See During Your Wroxham Day Boat Hire Adventure

Horning is only a 5-mile boat ride from Woxham.  An attractive village located by the northern bank of the River Bure, boasts a range of pubs, eateries, and stores. Travel along the footpath for two miles from Horning (accessible by taking the 12/12A buses every day except Sunday) to reach BeWILDerwood, an adventure park with treehouses ideal for all ages. The park is inspired by the Boggles and Twiggles children’s books, and it features zip-lines, a “sky maze,” boat rides, and treehouse experiences. However, be careful of the Crocklebogs!

At BeWILDerwood, you can rent bicycles from Broadland Cycle Hire and ride through the meandering roads of Horning or take the Three Rivers Way cycle path to Hoveton & Wroxham. Broadland Cycle Hire caters to all age groups and also offers helmets, maps, and locks. Present your Privilege Card to avail a 10% discount on bicycle rentals.

Take a leisurely walk outside of the town and explore the charming St Benedict church, or opt for a guided tour to Ranworth Broad on the Southern Comfort paddle boat. Additionally, Horning Sailing Club provides rental services for rowing boats and hosts the renowned Three Rivers Race in early June, which is considered one of the most demanding and remarkable sailing competitions on the Broads.


  • Free Broads Authority moorings are available at Horning parish staithe and Perci’s Island (tender required).
  • Ferry Marina
  • Freedom Cruisers
  • Norfolk Broads Yachting Co
  • The Swan Inn
  • The Ferry Inn

Dining Experiences in Horning

  • The New Inn
  • The Swan Inn
  • The Ferry Inn
  • Bure River Cottage
  • The Staithe & Willow
  • The Galley
  • Country Treats
  • Pedros Horning

Convenience Stores In Horning

  • Tidings Newsagent & Convenience Store
  • The Galley

Pump Out/Water/Diesel 

  • Ferry Marina
Horning is one of the best places to visit from wroxham when hiring a boat, or a spot of fishing
Horning – Image Via Wiki Media

Great Yarmouth

This trip is around a 25 mile boat journey. It’s not one I would personally recommend for just a day trip. You’ll pass through many of the main attractions. You’ll sail through Stokesby and acle before getting to Yarmouth.

Again, I would strongly recommend spending more time visiting this destination as you’ll have to take in daylight hours, tide and time of year. It’s a tidal stretch or river so it may take longer depending on if you fight against the tide.


  • You can moor up against Bure park as you head in to yarmouth

Dining In Yarmouth.

  • Wrights Restuarant
  • Pamelas
  • The courtyard

Coltishall, Ranworth and Horning are by far the time most time-efficient adventures to visit. Great Yarmouth is most certainly worth visiting but maybe opt for this with a longer boat hirings trip on the Norfolk broads.

Explore the beautiful Norfolk Broads at your own pace

With plenty of options for hiring a day boat, I recommend speaking with some of the companies mentioned. They will help you make a more informed decision on how long to rent a boat and suggest the best routes for beginners. Most people opt for a half day just to get used to being out on the stunning waterways.  With a Wroxham broad day boat hire especially has some fantastic areas to have a picnic. It’s extremely popular for visitors to opt for a picnic and then venture out on a boat.

Picnic boats are also available to hire by the hour, but in my opinion, keep the expensive options like picnic boats and electric boats when you get into the full-day boat trip and have a good understanding of your preferred paths to travel.

Beat the queues and book your boat early.

Booking a boat early is a great way to beat the queues and ensure a smooth day. By booking in advance, travellers can save themselves the hassle of waiting in long lines at the dock or missing out on their preferred departure time. Many times I’ve either not booked, or booked last minute and always just sort of settled for what’s available. On some occasions, I’ve missed out altogether.

When planning a boating adventure, it’s always a good idea to research and book as early as possible to avoid any unnecessary stress or disappointment. Plan this as you would a holiday. Be organised, be ready and be prepared to be flexible if you do miss out.

Species of fish found on the Broads

The Norfolk Broads are home to a diverse range of fish species, making it a popular destination for anglers. Some of the most commonly caught fish include roach, bream, perch, pike, and Tench. If you’re purely wanting a Norfolk broads day boat hire just to fish, make sure you have an up-to-date fishing license. You can’t get these from the companies you hire from so get that before you go. The companies will be able to give you advice on some good fishing locations, so please call before you visit.

You can fish from all the boats, so if this is something that may interest you, give any company a call and they’ll happily point you in the right direction.

FAQs For Your Wroxham Day Boat Hire

  1. What is the cost of Wroxham boat hire? The cost of Wroxham boat hire varies depending on the size and type of boat you choose. Prices typically start at around £50- £100 per day.
  2. Do I need a boating license to hire a boat on the Broads? No, you don’t need a boating license to hire a boat on the Broads. However, you will be given a comprehensive briefing on basic boat safety and navigation
  3. How long can I hire a boat for? Most boat hire companies in Wroxham offer boats for hire for a minimum of 3 hours, up to a full week. It’s always better to plan your route ahead if you can, use a guide of how far the destination you’re looking to travel 
  4. Can I bring my dog on board? Yes, many boat hire companies in Wroxham allow dogs on board their vessels. However, it’s always best to check with the individual company before you book. We’ve never had an issue with any company bringing dogs. Just remember, you’re responsible.
  5. Is there parking available near the boat hire companies in Wroxham? Yes, there are several car parks located near the boat hire companies in Wroxham. Charges vary depending on the length of your stay.
  6. Can I fish from the boat? Yes, you can fish from the boat, but you will need to obtain a fishing license before you start.
  7. What is the best time of year to hire a boat on the Broads? The best time of year to hire a boat on the Broads is from June to September when the temperature is nice, but boats are available for rent all year round.
  8. Are there any restrictions on where I can go on the Broads? Yes, the Broads is a protected area. As such, certain areas are off-limits to boats and there are speed limits in some spots.
  9. Do I need to book in advance? It’s always recommended to book your boat hire in advance, but some companies may have last-minute availability.
  10. What should I bring with me? You should wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes, bring a hat to block the sun, pack some food and water in case you get hungry or thirsty—and don’t forget your camera!


    Wroxham boat hire is an excellent way to explore the beautiful Norfolk Broads. With a variety of boat hire companies to choose from and plenty of routes to explore, you can customize your experience to suit your needs. Just make sure to choose the right boat. You’ll soon see why Wroxham Day boat hire is chosen by hundreds of thousands of people every year. Whether you’re after broads tours or just a fun day out, remember it’s all subject to availability. 

    If you’re looking into some paddleboarding or another day out on the water, check out the guide to get you started