During your Norfolk Broads holiday you will have plenty of beautiful broads to explore and many winding rivers but believe it or not, there is only one canal in the entire broads network.
This canal is the Dilham Canal and can be found towards the northern Norfolk Broads, just to the north east of Barton Broad and Hickling Broad Nature Reserve. The canal is very narrow, so you will need to hire a canoe or kayak to fully explore this unique area. The plant life on either side of the canal is overgrown giving it a jungle like appearance and its also very quiet and motorboats can’t access it. This makes it one of the most peaceful places on the broads and because there are no noisy engines nearby, you will stand a much better chance of seeing some of the amazing wildlife that lives within the broads such as birds, insects and animals like otters, voles and maybe even deer.
If you’re not too confident about getting into a canoe or kayak straight away and heading down the canal don’t worry, as basic courses are available, so you can build your confidence before heading out by yourself onto the water. When you’re ready, head west along the river and turn right when the river forks. This will take you up the canal and onto Honing Lock, which is as far as you can go. If you paddle all the way to the lock you can expect it to take around two and a half hours with a round trip of approximately five miles. It’s a trip that is highly recommended and well worth trying on your next Norfolk broads holiday.
Location of Dilham Canal?
Dilham Canal is 14.9 miles (32 minutes) from the centre of Norwich & only 8.5 miles (19 mins) from Hoveton Village (Wroxham) at the Wayford Bridge.
Where can I stay near Dilham Canal?
Horning Ferry Marina in the village of Horning is a great place to stay, as it’s close to the most popular area of the Norfolk Broads around Wroxham. Located on the bank of the bank of the River Bure, the marina boasts an impressive fleet of holiday cruisers ranging in size, which are ideal for a relaxing break on the water. Although the canal is only accessible by canoe & kayak, you will still be able to get to the entrance by taking a cruiser along the River Ant. You will then be able to moor, hire a canoe or kayak and start exploring the canal.
If you would prefer to stay on land, it’s also easily accessible by road and with the fantastic choice of holiday properties in the area, you will never be too far away.
What else is nearby?
Barton Broad is nearby and so is Hickling Broad Nature Reserve. These two large broads are well worth visiting, as you will get the chance to see some more of the wildlife that lives within the broads. Although Hickling Broad is not open to regular boat traffic, you can still enjoy the sights by enjoying the walk around the reserve and also a trip in a specially designed electric boat across the broad itself.
As you head back south towards Horning village, you will come across Bewilderwood, a fun filled adventure park set in the woodland that’s perfect for the whole family. Wroxham (Hoveton village) is also just a short distance from here and this is known as the capital of the broads, so expect to find plenty of activity, busy shops and a selection of fish & chip shops.