Kayaking in Norfolk: Paddling The Coast & Broads [Best Guide]

If you’re a water sports enthusiast like us, then Kayaking in Norfolk should be on your wish list for sure!

With its beautiful coastline, serene rivers, and the picturesque Norfolk Broads, this region offers some of the best paddling experiences in the UK.

Norfolk is a paradise for paddlers, with a wide variety of kayaking available for anyone interested in water sports – all that’s required of you is to choose your kayak (we have some great ones on our website), grab a paddle and decide where you want to go – it’s that easy!

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive right into the best places to
Kayak in Norfolk and explore some fantastic launch sites for some unforgettable paddling adventures.

Sea Kayaking the Norfolk Coast: Where the Sea Meets the Sky

One of the best aspects of Kayaking in Norfolk is the stunning coastline.

The Norfolk coast offers a diverse range of sea kayaking experiences, from tranquil coves to thrilling open sea adventures.

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, sea kayaking along the Norfolk coast offers an unforgettable adventure.

The ever-changing seascape, incredible marine life, and stunning views make it an experience like no other. Just remember to keep an eye on the tide and weather conditions, and always paddle with a buddy for safety.

Kayaking Norfolk and the Hunstanton Cliffs

Kayaking Blakeney: A Coastal Haven

Nestled in the North Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Blakeney offers fantastic kayaking opportunities. And is one of our favourite places to Kayak in Norfolk.

Paddle out to Blakeney Point, a nature reserve renowned for its colonies of grey and common seals and witness these magnificent creatures up close. Remember to be respectful however and maintain a distance of at least 100 meters for both your safety, and for the safety of the seals.

You can also explore the creeks and saltmarshes that abound in the area which are home to a variety of bird species, including terns, avocets, and redshanks.

Kayaking Gorleston-On-Sea: A Picturesque Paddling Spot

Situated on the east coast of Norfolk, Gorleston-On-Sea boasts a glorious sandy beach, perfect for launching your kayak.

Paddle along the coastline, taking in the views of the impressive cliffs, or head towards the nearby Scroby Sands wind farm for a unique kayaking experience.

Keep an eye out for playful seals and porpoises, as they’re often spotted in these waters.

Kayaking Cromer: A Victorian Gem

Cromer, a charming Victorian seaside town, is another excellent location for Kayaking in Norfolk.

Launch from the Blue Flag awarded beach and paddle towards the famous Cromer Pier, or venture east towards Overstrand and Mundesley for a more secluded experience.

The waters around Cromer are also teeming with crabs, so don’t be surprised if you spot a few scuttling around during your adventure.

Kayaking around Cromer Pier in North Norfolk

Kayaking Hunstanton: A Colourful Coastal Adventure

Hunstanton, often referred to as “Sunny Hunny,” is a popular destination for Norfolk Kayaking.

The town’s unique cliffs, with their distinct red and white stripes, make for a striking backdrop as you paddle along the coast. Here are some highlights of kayaking in Hunstanton:

  • Old Hunstanton Beach: Launch your kayak from this sandy beach and explore the picturesque coastline, taking in the views of the magnificent cliffs. As you paddle, keep an eye out for various seabirds and seals that call this area home.
  • The Wreck of the Steam Trawler Sheraton: For those interested in history and a bit of adventure, Hunstanton offers a unique kayaking experience. About a mile offshore lies the wreck of the steam trawler Sheraton, which sank in 1947. On calm days, it’s possible to paddle out to the wreck for a closer look. Just remember to take all necessary safety precautions and check the tides and weather conditions before setting off.

Paddle east towards Brancaster and Burnham Overy Staithe, or west towards Heacham and Snettisham. You’ll be mesmerised by the rich wildlife and breathtaking views.

Kayaking Wells-next-the-Sea: A Charming Coastal Getaway

Wells-next-the-Sea, a quaint seaside town, is an ideal spot for Paddling in Norfolk.

With its picturesque harbour, charming beach huts, and expansive saltmarshes, Wells offers an unforgettable paddling experience.

Here’s just a little of what you can expect when kayaking around Wells-next-the-Sea:

  • Wells Harbour: Launch your kayak from the bustling harbour and paddle out into the calm waters of the North Sea. As you head east, you’ll pass the iconic beach huts and the vast saltmarshes, home to various bird species.
  • Creeks and Saltmarshes: If you prefer a more tranquil kayaking experience, explore the creeks and saltmarshes surrounding Wells-next-the-Sea. Paddle through the maze of channels, taking in the unique landscape and observing the abundant wildlife, including wading birds, seals, and even the occasional deer.
Kayaking on the Norfolk broads on a canal in the afternoon

Kayaking The Norfolk Broads: A Paddler's Paradise

Kayaking the Norfolk Broads is quite simply, a MUST!

This network of rivers and lakes, is a magical place for kayaking and water sports enthusiasts and as an avid paddler, trust us when we say, you don’t way to miss kayaking, canoeing or paddleboarding on the Norfolk Broads.

With literally thousands of miles of navigable waterways, diverse wildlife, and stunning landscapes, it’s no wonder we keep coming back for more.

Here are a few of our favourite spots and some additional pointers to make the most of your Norfolk Broads Kayaking Adventure.

Kayaking Wroxham & Hoveton: The Gateway to the Broads

Known as the “capital” of the Broads, the twin villages of Wroxham and Hoveton offer excellent kayaking opportunities.

We’ve enjoyed paddling the picturesque Bure River, exploring the charming villages, and spotting an abundance of wildlife.

With numerous boatyards, shops, and eateries, Wroxham and Hoveton are the perfect starting points for your Broadland adventure.

Kayaking Hickling Broad: The Largest and Most Diverse

Hickling Broad is the largest of the Norfolk Broads and boasts a fantastic array of wildlife and unique habitats.

Paddle through the tranquil waters, discovering hidden creeks and secluded spots.

Don’t forget to visit the birdwatching hides to observe the incredible array of birdlife, including marsh harriers, bitterns, and bearded tits. If you’re into that sort of thing of course!

Kayaking on the Norfolk Broads as a group

Kayaking Filby and Nearby Broads: A Tranquil Escape

Filby Broad, located close to the village of Filby, is a peaceful spot for kayaking in Norfolk.

The broad is surrounded by beautiful woodland and reedbeds, providing a serene setting for your paddling adventure.

Nearby, you’ll also find Ormesby and Rollesby Broads, which are part of the Trinity Broads.

These interconnected broads offer an extensive network of waterways to explore, perfect for a full day of kayaking.

Kayaking Near Sutton & Stalham: Charming Villages Amidst the Broads

Sutton and Stalham, two charming villages located in the heart of the Norfolk Broads, offer excellent kayaking opportunities amidst the unique Broadland landscape.

These picturesque villages are surrounded by tranquil waterways, teeming with wildlife, and provide the perfect setting for a relaxing paddling adventure.

Sutton Broad

Sutton Broad, a smaller, lesser-known broad, is an ideal spot for a peaceful paddle.

As you glide through the calm waters, you’ll be surrounded by a stunning landscape of reedbeds, woodlands, and marshes.

The broad is home to a variety of birdlife, including kingfishers, herons, and marsh harriers and is teeming with fish of all kinds.

Stalham Staithe

Stalham Staithe, a picturesque inlet in the village of Stalham, is a great launching point for kayaking expeditions.

From here, you can easily access the River Ant and explore the surrounding Broads, such as Barton Broad and Wayford Bridge. As you paddle along the river, you’ll pass charming, thatched cottages, historic windmills, and an abundance of wildlife.

Stalham & Sutton Attractions

While in the area, don’t forget to visit some of the local attractions. The Museum of the Broads in Stalham provides a fascinating insight into the history and heritage of the Norfolk Broads, while the nearby Sutton Pottery offers a chance to browse and buy handmade ceramics.

For a relaxing break from kayaking, take a stroll through the picturesque villages, visiting the quaint shops and cafés.

Kayaking Norfolk Rivers: Serenity in Every Stroke

The rivers of Norfolk provide a tranquil setting for a leisurely paddle.

Each river offers its own unique charm and picturesque scenery, making them perfect for a relaxing day out on the water.

We haven’t paddled them all yet and frankly, with so many options, we’re not likely to either. But anyway, here are some great spots to Kayak on Norfolk’s wonderful rivers.

Kayaking The River Wensum: Flowing Through History

The River Wensum, winding through the heart of Norwich, is a hidden gem often overlooked by kayakers who are often drawn to the allure of the broads before considering some of the fine inland kayaking Norfolk has to offer.

As you paddle past historic buildings, lush meadows, and picturesque villages on the Wensum, you’ll feel like you’ve paddled back in time.

The river is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including otters, kingfishers, and herons, making it a nature lover’s paradise.

For a truly immersive experience, explore the many tributaries and backwaters of the Wensum, discovering hidden corners and tranquil oases along the way.

Kayaking The River Yare: A Gentle Journey Through Nature

The River Yare is another fantastic option for Kayaking Norfolk.

Its gentle current makes it perfect for beginners and families, while the idyllic scenery and abundant wildlife never cease to amaze us.

The river passes through the enchanting Whitlingham Country Park, where you can spot waterfowl, dragonflies, and even the occasional deer.

The Yare also offers easy access to the Norfolk Broads, providing endless opportunities for exploration and adventure.

Kayaking Blakeney harbour in North Norfolk

Kayaking The River Great Ouse: A Royal Paddling Experience

Originating in Buckinghamshire, the River Great Ouse makes its way through the historic town of King’s Lynn in Norfolk.

The river’s wide, gentle waters are perfect for a leisurely paddle, offering stunning views of the town’s well-preserved medieval architecture. As you explore the river, you’ll also pass through picturesque countryside and quaint villages, providing a delightful backdrop for your kayaking adventure.

Don’t forget to stop by the King’s Lynn waterfront, with its charming, cobbled streets and fascinating maritime history.

Kayaking The River Bure: The Heart of the Norfolk Broads

The River Bure is one of the main rivers that make up the magical Norfolk Broads.

Starting near Aylsham, it meanders through the picturesque countryside, passing through the bustling boating hub of Wroxham and eventually joining the River Yare.

Kayaking on the River Bure offers a diverse experience, with tranquil stretches, charming villages, and abundant wildlife to discover. Make sure to stop by the iconic Thurne Windmill and the beautiful village of Horning for some quintessential Norfolk sights.

Each of these rivers offers its own unique kayaking experience, making Norfolk a true haven for paddlers. With a wealth of diverse waterways to explore, you’ll never run out of new places to discover and enjoy.

Kayaking Norfolk Lakes

There are actually very few lakes in Norfolk that aren’t connected to either the sea or to the Norfolk Broads if truth be told.

Well, Lakes to Kayak anyway.

Many lakes are privately owned with most being watercraft-free and designated for fisherman or as reserves for animal and plant life.

One lake in Norfolk that we have kayaked on before is the Lynford Lake (and Lynford Water) which is owned by Forestry England.

Kayaking on Lynford Lake and Lynford Water is not really permitted unless you go through the Forestry England preferred operator which is Watsup Paddleboards.

However, and you didn’t hear this from us, but during the week when it is very quiet, it is certainly possible to walk your kayak over from the River Wissey (just 8 meters away in some places), for a serene early morning paddle.

Kayak Hire in Norfolk: Renting vs. Bringing Your Own

If you don’t have your own kayak, fret not as there are plenty of Kayak Hire Norfolk options available throughout the region.

You can also find SUP Norfolk rentals and Canoeing in Norfolk rentals, providing you with various watercraft to suit your preferences.

Here are some well-known and reputable places to hire a kayak in Norfolk.

The Canoe Man

The Canoe Man, based in Wroxham, offers a range of kayak and canoe rentals, as well as guided tours and experiences on the Norfolk Broads. With their extensive knowledge of the area and top-notch equipment, they’re a popular choice for both novice and experienced paddlers.

Website: thecanoeman.com

Norfolk Outdoor Adventures

Located in Sea Palling, Norfolk Outdoor Adventures provides kayak and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) rentals for those keen to explore the beautiful Norfolk coastline. They also offer guided tours, lessons, and even sunset paddles, ensuring a memorable experience for all skill levels.

Website: norfolkoutdooradventures.co.uk

Bank Boats

Bank Boats, situated in Ludham, offers kayak, canoe, and day boat rentals on the River Thurne and the surrounding Norfolk Broads. With their well-maintained equipment and convenient location, they’re a great choice for a day out on the water.

Website: bankboats.co.uk

Hunstanton Kayaks

Hunstanton Kayaks is a premier kayak rental and water sports provider in Hunstanton, Norfolk.

With their top-quality equipment, friendly staff, and prime location on the stunning North Norfolk coast, they offer a fantastic kayaking experience for all skill levels. Hunstanton Kayaks also provides guided tours, ensuring an unforgettable adventure on the water.

Website: hunstantonkayaks.co.uk

Each of these kayak hire Norfolk locations provides high-quality equipment and expert advice, ensuring a safe and enjoyable paddling experience.

Renting a kayak is a great option for those who don’t have their own equipment or want to try different watercraft types before committing to a purchase. With so many rental options available, exploring the stunning waterways of Norfolk has never been easier.

To check out some Kayaks for Purchase please head over to our Kayak Shop.

Paddle Boarding The Norfolk Broads: A SUPer Alternative

Fancy trying something different, perhaps you’re on a trip with your family and they aren’t quite so MAD ABOUT KAYAKING as you might be?

I know my kids prefer to Paddleboard rather than Kayak, so I’m always on the lookout for alternate places for them to enjoy their preferred water sport pastime, and Paddle Boarding the Norfolk Broads is a fantastic alternative for those who want a change of pace.

SUP Norfolk offers a unique perspective of the stunning waterways and landscapes, and it’s an excellent workout too! Here are five reasons why SUPing in and around Norfolk is a great choice:

  1. Diverse Landscapes: With its vast network of rivers, lakes, and coastline, Norfolk offers a wide variety of scenic locations for SUP enthusiasts. From the tranquil Broads to the picturesque coastline, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to paddleboarding spots.
  2. Wildlife Encounters: Paddleboarding in Norfolk provides an opportunity to get up close and personal with the region’s abundant wildlife. Glide silently through the water and observe birds, seals, and even otters in their natural habitats.
  3. Easy Access: Norfolk’s waterways are easily accessible, with numerous launch sites and rental facilities available throughout the region. Whether you’re an experienced paddler or a complete beginner, you’ll find the perfect spot to start your SUP adventure.
  4. Suitable for All Skill Levels: The calm waters of the Norfolk Broads and gentle rivers make it an ideal location for paddleboarders of all abilities. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first timer, you’ll find the perfect conditions for an enjoyable and safe experience.
  5. Social and Fun Activity: Paddleboarding is a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors with friends and family. With numerous SUP groups and events throughout Norfolk, it’s easy to make new connections and share your passion for this exciting sport.

Kayaking, Canoeing and Paddleboarding in Norfolk: The Kayak Mad Opinion

Well, there you have it! Kayaking, Canoeing and Paddleboarding in Norfolk offers a unique and memorable experience for both beginners and seasoned paddlers alike.

With its extensive network of waterways and stunning natural scenery, Norfolk provides ample opportunities for kayaking enthusiasts to explore and enjoy the outdoors.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful paddle along a tranquil river or an adrenaline-fueled sea kayaking adventure, Norfolk has something to offer.

From the broads to the rivers, to the coast, there are endless opportunities to discover new routes and experience the beauty of Norfolk from the water.

So, grab your paddle, put on your life jacket, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable kayaking journey in Norfolk.

We hope you enjoyed the read.

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