Wroxham and Hoveton sit on either side of the river Bure, twin settlements alive with the joy of the Broads.

With the pretty riverside frontage, an abundance of boats and a fascinating history, they have been loved by generations of residents, holiday-makers and day-trippers.

Renowned as the capital of the Broads, they are great places to live too with a wide range of community groups ranging from thriving family-focused sports clubs to the Women’s Institute. Reader Carolyn Williams, of Hoveton, said: ‘One of the best things about Hoveton and Wroxham is Hoveton and district WI.’ Founded in 1922, it welcomes long-term residents and newcomers to its friendly weekly meetings.


Stay at Hotel Wroxham for a central location right on the river or soak up the atmosphere of a country estate and stay in grand Hoveton Hall. Or why not hire a boat, for anything from half a day to a fortnight or more, from Richardson’s, which has been helping people enjoy holidaying afloat for many decades.

Great British Life: Wroxham village sign.Wroxham village sign. (Image: Denise Bradley)


The twin villages are renowned for their shops including the ‘world’s largest village store’ the remarkable Roys of Wroxham. It is famously actually in Hoveton, not Wroxham, and was founded (in Coltishall) in 1895 by brothers Alfred and Arnold Roy. When they opened their third store in Hoveton, their stock arrived by train, addressed to the Roy brothers at Wroxham station (even though the station too was in Hoveton). The flagship department store, food hall, garden centre, DIY centre and toy shop span the main street.

Wander further along the bustling shopping streets to find Bradley Hatch Jewellers, which is this year celebrating its 30th anniversary in Wroxham. As well as selling a wide range of jewellery it offers bespoke design, valuations, repairs, engraving and watch servicing and buys pre-loved items and scrap gold and silver.

Just outside the villages, Wroxham Barns has everything from a delicatessen to crafts (plus cafes, clothes, a farm and a funfair.)


As befits a holiday hotspot, Wroxham is bursting with great places to eat – from fish and chips and ice cream to eat in or take away, to delightful cafes and tearooms, plus restaurants for a special occasion.

Fizz and Fromage on Station Road, Wroxham, serves lavish breakfasts, brunches and lunches, with a huge menu ranging from cheese-based delights such tartiflette and tapas-style cheese plates, to bottomless brunches and splendid afternoon teas.

Great British Life: Boats on the River Bure at Hoveton and Wroxham. Boats on the River Bure at Hoveton and Wroxham. (Image: Denise Bradley)


Wroxham and Hoveton are perfect for boating – whether you want to sail, row, paddle or holiday afloat. Boatyards line the banks of the Bure, with craft to hire ranging from modern day boats to historic wooden wherries.

Wroxham and Hoveton also have their own broads including Hoveton Little Broad (aka Black Horse Broad), Hoveton Great Broad and Wroxham Broad, meaning the area is rich in wildlife and a focus for outdoor activities.

Back on dry land the Bittern Line railway from Norwich to Sheringham meets the narrow-gauge Bure Valley Railway to Aylsham (with accompanying footpath and cycleway). More railway fun includes Miniature Worlds, the largest indoor model railway attraction in the UK, and beautiful Barton House Railway in riverside gardens which raises money for charity.

The whole family will love the fairytale woodland and water adventure of nearby BeWILDerwood with its tree houses, aerial walks, wobbly wires, slippery slopes, boat rides and tribe of tree and swamp-dwelling Twiggles and Boggles.

And for something very different, wander to Wroxham church and marvel at the pinnacled miniature chapel in the churchyard. The 200-year-old mausoleum was built for the Trafford family (think Manchester United’s Old Trafford as well as Wroxham Football Club’s Trafford Park.)

Great British Life: The Trafford family mausoleum at the Church of St Mary, Wroxham.The Trafford family mausoleum at the Church of St Mary, Wroxham. (Image: Denise Bradley)