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River Ant

Guide to Canoeing & Kayaking the Rivers & Broads in Norfolk & Suffolk


River Ant - Guide to Canoeing & Kayaking the Rivers & Broads in Norfolk & Suffolk | TheCanoeMan, Canoeing & Kayaking in the Norfolk Broads National Park, England, UK

The River Ant starts well above North Walsham but unfortunately the river has little to offer, other than narrow field ditch paddling, until you reach Honing.

Access at Honing Lock is somewhat challenging to find and has very limited parking (a maximum of 2 cars). If you intend to use this access point you are better of to arrange a shuttle transport (getting you and your equipment dropped off. Whilst leaving your vehicle at the get out point) this can be arranged via TheCanoeMan.

The first half a mile of this trip is along a very narrow reed lined stream which at the wrong time of the year can be a 'jungle warfare' but all good fun. The further along you get the river widens - this is the disused North Walsham Canal - very peaceful and beautiful. Just before you reach the main (A149) road bridge a network of dykes joins from the right. Well worth an explore if you have the time. Immediately on the right after the road bridge is a very easy get out at the Weyford Parish Staithe beside Banks boat there is also parking available here.

River Ant - Guide to Canoeing & Kayaking the Rivers & Broads in Norfolk & Suffolk | TheCanoeMan, Canoeing & Kayaking in the Norfolk Broads National Park, England, UK

From here on your likely to encounter more day boats and cruisers but you should still find quieter stretches. The river winds and widens on it way down to Barton Broad just before it enters the broad a tributary enters from the left - this runs down from Stalham where there are several boatyards, a hotel as well as 'The museum of the broads' which is well worth a visit. The Ant runs through Barton Broad a wonderful broad a real haven for wildlife probably Norfolk's best Otter spotting territories. It is also home to the Norfolk Punt Club and has regular sailing regattas. As with all the broads it is recommended that paddlers should stay close to the windward bank for several reasons but not the least to avoid being run over by a high speed sailing yacht!

There is good access and egress as well as parking at Barton Turf and an excellent pub and Tea room at Neatishead accessibly by a small network of dykes marked on the right hand side of the broad. You leave Barton via 'The Shoals' just above Irstead. When you reach Irstead church (on your right) there is a nice green where you can picnic or access or egress. Please be aware the locals have added signs saying no canoes but as this is a Broads Authority key heading access/egress is allowed.

The river here is initially quite pleasantly tree lined but soon deteriorates into quite desolate open fields, combine this with the river being relatively narrow, putting you in close proximity to other river users. Having passed by 2 or 3 derelict windmills you will eventually reach Ludham Bridge where there is a small general store, boatyard and 200yds down the road a pub. The river before Ludham bridge is generally of little interest and tends to be quite busy at peak times. The Ant finally joins the Bure just before St. Benets Abbey.


If you require any further details or would like to talk about other dates, please do not hesitate to contact me either by email info@TheCanoeMan.com or on 0845 4969177/01603 783777

© Copyright Activ-8 Adventure Ltd 14 January 2013

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