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The Norfolk Broads Forum / First Time on the Broads / First timers worried about Bridges
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Posted By Discussion Topic: First timers worried about Bridges

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rosajois
Jul-11-2017 @ 9:08 PM                           Permalink
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We will be hiring a boat (King of Light) from Herbert Woods Potter Heigham in a couple of weeks time and as the boat has 7 foot bridge clearance, I am trying to come up with a rough itinerary that doesn't cause us problems with very low bridges. We will be 2 adults and 3 youngish children (and a dog) and are completely new to the Norfolk Broads. We are looking for a relaxed holiday without too much hustle and bustle, so I am not too worried about visiting any of the bigger places.
Any help or advice would be much appreciated as I have spent the evening googling and am feeling rather confused!
Thank you!

boat-mad
Jul-12-2017 @ 6:24 AM                           Permalink
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Hello rosajois and welcome to the forum.

You really have nothing to worry about. If you will be remaining on The Northern Broads and not passing through Yarmouth.  There are only two bridges in the North with very limited clearance. Wayford Bridge and Potter Heigham.  At Potter Heigham it is compulsory to get the Pilot to take the boat through but unlikely that there would be sufficient clearance anyway.HERE is a link to my Bridge Gaps Page. you will also find maps on this website.
Edited to mention Wroxham Bridge (well done Paladine) I should have mentioned Wroxham Bridge and using the pilot.
Kind Regards
Alan...
www.mynorfolkbroadsboating.co.uk/


This message was edited by boat-mad on Jul-12-17 @ 9:48 AM

Paladine
Jul-12-2017 @ 8:07 AM                           Permalink
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And another welcome to the forum from me.

If you are staying on the Northern Rivers, there are only two bridges that you are permitted to navigate without a pilot. Ludham Bridge and Wayford Bridge. At the other two, Wroxham Bridge and Potter Heigham Bridge, you MUST use the pilot.

With an airdraft of 7', it's unlikely you'll get through P/Heigham Bridge, but you can always ask the pilot what the chances are. Wroxham Bridge is doable (with the pilot), at the right state of tide. If you take a look at the Wroxham webcam (click on this
clicky-linky-thingy , you'll see, just in front of, and to the right of, the bridge there is a small staithe (landing place). This is the pickup/drop-off point for the pilot. Above Wroxham Bridge, you can access a quieter section of the Bure, all the way to Coltishall Green.

The clearance at Ludham Bridge is rarely below 8' and the opening is square(ish), rather than curved like the Wroxham and P/Heigham bridges, so it shouldn't cause you any problems. You then get access to one of the best parts of the Broads (IMO), the Upper Ant. Wayford Bridge is also square(ish) and isn't very affected by tide, so the clearance is usually stable at about 7'3", so provided you check the height gauge that is situated before this and all bridges, again that shouldn't be a problem. 3" might not sound like much clearance, but it's all you will need.

Edited to add a mention of Acle Bridge, but with a clearance at Average High Water of 12', it can be disregarded as being in any way a problem to you  Smile  

"..for the avoidance of any doubt, the broads are not legally a national park and do not come under the national park legislation, and nor will they."
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA (Hansard 2015)


This message was edited by Paladine on Jul-12-17 @ 9:11 AM

Calixte
Jul-12-2017 @ 8:09 AM                           Permalink
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"Hi" Welcome to the Forum, as already said you have no major problems with bridges, just take your time and check the tides if your going down towards Great Yarmouth other than that you will only have between 4 to 6 inches most of the time whilst on the northern rivers, don't forget to phone ahead and make a booking if you are looking to moor up at a pub for the night or even trying to moor at Horning you may be as well to book with the new inn, have a great time and take care. Smile

Kindest Regards Mike

PizzaLover
Jul-12-2017 @ 7:18 PM                           Permalink
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Or... try it this way:

Potter Heigham Bridge:  You will need a pilot. The pilot station is a white hut on the right bank, just before the bridge. But you can pick up a mooring close nearby on the right bank and walk to the pilot's office.
Since you are picking up from Potter... talk to the person who does your hireboat handover about your options to go through the bridge.

Wroxham Bridge: You will need a pilot. The pilot station is on the right bank, very close to the bridge.  Be prepared to practice your boat handling skills.

In both cases, talk to the pilot about your return.




Ludham Bridge: Pay attention to the traffic around the bridge, on both sides. It can get busy.

Wayford is easy because it is quiet.



The bridges have height indicators - very visible planks of wood driven into the water before the bridge with water lapping at the marked level.... if you can't see a 7 very clearly, then this bridge is not your friend.


If you plan to go to the Southern waters, through Great Yarmouth, then more is needed.

This message has not been deleted.

ruby
Jul-12-2017 @ 9:45 PM                           Permalink
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Hi and welcome from me as well

My advice is un bridge related. Although  having an itinerary seems like a sensible idea please do not think of it as a plan.

I have seen loads of people rushing from place to place because it has been planned whilst completely missing or ignoring wonderful experiences that just happen on the broads.

If you see an otter why not slow down and moor for a bit. You might see two. The same applies to kingfishers . Alternatively you might discover a spot that looks too inviting to ignore . So don't. Throw your itinerary in the bin.

Some people think of the broads network as a motorway for getting from place to place.  To me the rivers themselves are the best bits and deserve to be savoured in their own right.

Just have fun. You can come back next year to do the things you may have missed



ruby
Jul-12-2017 @ 9:50 PM                           Permalink
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My bridge related comment is to forget about potter completely.  My own boat is 6 foot 10 inches and would only have fitted through on three occasions last year. At 7 foot you have more chance of winning the lottery.euro millions.



Bluebell
Jul-13-2017 @ 4:29 PM                           Permalink
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Hi did you see this from Lord Paul:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqi0ZOtAutQ

rosajois
Jul-13-2017 @ 8:45 PM                           Permalink
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Thanks everyone for your advice! I will look at it all with a map in hand, and I like the idea of no route plan. The whole point of this holiday is to relax and enjoy the moment.

rosajois
Jul-15-2017 @ 3:06 PM                           Permalink
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Thanks so much for your help. I just have one further question. With a 7ft clearance is it possible for us to get into Yarmouth? Are the bridges only relevant if we are passing through Yarmouth and out the other side? Or is Yarmouth a no-go area in general?
Thanks again!

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