Ian Sherwood

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- Perspective -

A bad day in a kayak is better

than a good day in the office.

Kayaking in Norfolk

The north Norfolk coast line is excellent for kayaking, plenty of in shore creeks and harbours.  Brancaster Straithe is one of my favourite places to kayak.  It’s coastal waters so subject to tidal sea levels but apart from that minor inconvenience it’s a superb place to go for a relaxing paddle.  There are two places to launch from both have parking and beach access.   Brancaster Straithe and Burnham Overy Straithe.  At both locations you can either just explore the local creeks or go further out towards the coast line as both have in land water ways and natural harbours.

Brancaster Straithe - North Norfolk


This is one of my favourite places to kayak.  Parking is easy (national trust members free) toilets , small sandwich bar for drinks and food. Off the main road down Quay Lane. The parking has a formal visitors area then as you go through the yacht yard there is a wide open area for those using the water sport facilities and the seal trip boats.  The tide here doesn’t stay low for very long so usually there is enough water level to canoe. The Blakeney Point harbour is sheltered so more calm than out on the sea. If you know where to go you can get a magnificent views of the grey seal colony on the west side of the harbour. Keep your distance from the large adult ones but the young seals will come and investigate. See my gallery for some fantastic shots of seals right up near my kayak. The sand spit can be a great place go ashore and have  a pack lunch. Check out Beans Seal  trips . Worth the £10 just find out where the seals are . I then went back 3 hours later in my kayak to the same spot

Morston Creek and Blakeney Harbour.


As a child my family came to Wells next to sea on a regular basis. Fish and chips sitting on the harbour wall and crabbing off the Quay side. This kayak trip was to see the harbour from the water . Tidal current not too strong. Can get very fast and strong on the incoming tide. A lovely sunny day with the tide half out. There is a slip way at the end of the harbour as the water goes into the Creek. Very easy to launch from here. But no parking near by. I usually park in the main car park near the front and then take the kayak by trolley up to the slip way . There are plenty of places to pad lock the trolley. Just go in east ward direction along The Quay and follow narrow road E Quay .  Slip way on left.  It was very relaxing just sitting in the kayak in the middle of the harbour looking across to the Quay. Worth checking at the Harbour Master office to ask if kayaking is okay in case there is a restriction in place on leisure craft. There are toilets in the main car park just behind the Ark Royal Pub on Holkham Road. The parking on the quay side is fairly expensive per hour.  Good quay side chip shops, but look out for the sea gulls.  

Wells-next-Sea Harbour


I’m fortunate to live and work in Bedfordshire along the path of the Great Ouse river. In fact the Great Ouse is literally 1/2 mile from my office. It’s a lovely river to navigate. Just a few locks to negotiation. Portage is mostly straightforward as long as you can carry your kayak 50 yards or so. Once you are on the river the wildlife and surrounds provide a fantastic relaxing place for a good few hours. Great Barford bridge at the intersection of Barford Road and New Road is a good place to start . Either go up or down river from the lock. Carrdington lock is also good . Ample parking near the lock.

Great Ouse - Bedford


The Norfolk broads are a fantastic place to spend a few hours kayaking along the rivers or open broads. Wroxham town is an excellent place to have a great day out. There is plenty of parking in the town centre. The river Bure runs through the middle. There a a few good places to launch from. The main car park has a wooden platform on the waters edge. This gets you onto the main river. If you paddle away from the boat yards you will be in open broads within a few minutes. Watch out for the swans around netting time they can be very protective of their young. Just give them a wide berth. South of the town is Wroxham broad . Drive to the Wroxham Yacht club, just before their main gate there is a small parking area on the right with a slip way (Pay and display) . The broad is small but you can navigate out into the main river. The “Canoe Man” main offices are in Wroxham. Address 10 Norwich Road NR12 8RX 0845 4969177 . So if it’s canoe hire or info about guided trips pop in for a chat . Also Wroxham Marine Ltd on Griffin Lane have canoes and accessories for sales

Woxham Broad and River Bure - Near Norwich


Google map of area with key points