Reedham village is now a main tourist attraction on the Southern Norfolk Broads and is used as a place to stop for the day or overnight, as the start of a day trip, or a land base for a visitors to the area. The riverbank of the quay has a red-bricked wall, built to protect the village from rising tides, and there are benches along the riverside as it is a popular place for people to sit and admire the beautiful scenery or stop to watch the traffic on the Broads. It becomes extremely busy in September as it has a great vantage point for viewing the Yare Navigation Race, which takes place in the area. Boats start and finish at Coldham Hall but they often congregate at the swing bridge and visitors can watch them making difficult manoeuvres as they wait for the swing bridge to open.
At either end of the village is a form of river crossing. At one end is the only vehicle chain ferry on the Norfolk Broads, Reedham Ferry, whilst at the other end of the village, to the East is the swing bridge that takes the railway across the river Yare. The village has several pubs, a fish and chip shop, village store and free moorings on the quay with a Broads Authority river ranger present to offer advice to novice boaters. The village sits along the northern bank of the river Yare and is lined with moored boats and pretty riverside cottages (many available to rent by holiday makers).
Reedham quay covers about a quarter of a mile and runs parallel to the River Yare. If you were able to see the quay in the 19th century, you would find an area dotted with boatyards and a hive of activity. Reedham quay was once the focus of boat building in the area, with several Norfolk wherries being built by the boatyards here. Wherries are large sailing boats that are designed specifically to transport cargo around the Broads. They were very specific boats designed to be able to navigate the shallow waters of the Broads but also capable of carrying weights of up to 40 tons. Wherries such as 'Wonder', considered the largest built, and 'Fawn', considered the fastest built, were both built at Reedham Quay by the Hall family. This is commemorated by a statute of a boat builder at work that has been erected to memorialise this important part of the Norfolk Broads history.
Reedham has great views overlooking Norton Marshes so it is a popular spot to moor. There are various areas for mooring at Reedham and along Reedham Quay there are many Broads Authority free 24 hour moorings. Other moorings are just before the swing bridge outside the Ship Inn, outside the Lord Nelson pub, and by the Ferry Inn at the west end of the village by the ferry (public houses may charge for mooring outside or require you to use the pub). Sanderson Marine Craft boatyard have private moorings only but do offer diesel and toilet pump-out facilities to hire craft. The tides can be very fast in the area so it is important to moor against the tide. If heading towards the bridge and you need to turn in order to moor, you will need to complete the turn before the end of the public moorings. If you cannot do this then you will need to go through the railway swing bridge and turn around further downstream and then come back to moor. There is often a quay ranger in attendance at the quay ranger's office by the bridge to help with mooring and turning in the area.
Reedham Ferry - The vehicle chain ferry is the only way to cross over the River Yare between Norwich and Great Yarmouth and is located at the Western end of Reedham by the Ferry Inn pub. This useful ferry crossing saves drivers a long trip of around 30 miles or more to cross the river at the next closest crossing. The crossing at Reedham has been used since the 17th century when it was used to take horse and carts across the river and was called Norfolk Horse Ferries. The ferry boat was chain drawn across the river by hand up until 1949, after this it was replaced by a motor drawn chain system. The ferry used today was built at Oulton Broad, in 1984 by Fred Newson and carries a maximum of three cars at a time operating throughout the year.
Reedham Swing Bridge - The Reedham Swing Bridge is at the East end of the village at the end of Reedham Quay, taking the railway tracks over the River Yare. The railway line leads to a railway station in Reedham that is served by the Wherryline between Lowestoft and Norwich. There are two pubs located here by the riverside, the Ship and the Lord Nelson, both are located on the riverbank with amazing views of the bridge and river Yare.
The bridge provides headroom of just over 10 foot (3 metres) at average high water, which is sufficient for most cruisers to pass through except at very high tides. With a rise and fall of approximately 2 foot 6 inches the bridge clearance height increases to 12 foot 6 inches (3.8 metres) at average low water. As this bridge is a swing bridge craft that cannot clear under the bridge can request the swing bridge to open, the signal to the bridge keeper is three sustained blasts on your horn. Take note of any signage relating to the bridge as you approach and the flags flying at Reedham Bridge, one Red Flag indicates the bridge is in operation whereas two Red Flags indicates that the bridge is currently not in operation. You may need to be patient with the bridge operator as the bridge can only be opened when it is safe to do so and no trains are due (this bridge will usually be closed 15 minutes before the hour and 15 minutes after the hour to allow for the train schedule).
Sanderson Marine Craft Ltd is the main boatyard in the village and offer cruiser boat hire, pump-out facilities, diesel sales and private moorings. Sanderson's have a fleet of cruisers that will accommodate 2 - 9 guests with all required facilities onboard, and the boatyard is set in an ideal location to begin your boating holiday. All craft have a fully equipped galley kitchen, flushing toilet and shower, and 12 volt power onboard with cigarette lighter style charging sockets (with the larger berth cruisers being fitted with a 240 volt electricity system). All guests are treated with a friendly welcome, a full induction to your craft and onboard safety procedures and a test cruise on your boat to ensure you are comfortable operating your hire craft.
The quay and village is home to many holiday accommodation cottages, a general store, a Post Office, Fish and Chip shop, Sanderson Marine Craft boatyard, and three pubs. There are often activities going on in the village including the Reedham Charity Duck Race and the Reedham Beer Festival sponsored by the Humpty Dumpty local brewery.
The Ship - located right next to the Swing Bridge on the quay providing an excellent view of the bridge and the river Yare. The Ship has an excellent Wine list and offers many local ales and beers which compliment the hearty menu with ample portions well. As the closest pub to the bridge, relaxing in the riverside beer garden gives you an amazing view of trains crossing the Swing Bridge (and the bridge opening for boats of you are lucky).
Reedham Ferry Inn - next to the ferry is a pub that takes its name from the chain ferry. The Reedham Ferry Inn has moorings for boats; making it a great stopping point for any boats on the Broads, and it also has an adjoining campsite The Archers Touring Park for accommodation by the river. As a family run business the attention to detail is excellent with food made from the freshest local ingredients and drinks from local Norfolk breweries and wines from around the world.
The Lord Nelson - can be found just a little way up from the Ship on the quay with moorings right by the pubs river frontage patio area.
The village has a church, St. John the Baptist, which is the most prominent building in the village; this dates back to the 15th century and with a wall that includes Roman stone and brick recycled from a Roman lighthouse that was in the village before the area was drained of water for sheep grazing. The church has only recently been restored since a fire in 1981 caused by a workmans lit cigarete falling from the tower onto a thatched part of the building completed gutted it. Opposite the church is the Pettitts Animal Adventure Park, this is a popular tourist attraction in the area and is a children's farm with shows, rides, and animals.
Pettitts Adventure Park is located on Church Road in Reedham and can provide great fun for all the family with many rides, play areas, and animal attractions. As well as domestic animals Pettits have more exotic animals on site such as Meerkats, Parrots, Marmoset Monkey and Ring Tailed Lemurs. A petting zoo area is popular with the kids where they can get close to farm animals such as Chickens, Rabbits and miniature Pigs. As well as the many animals on the park Pettitts has much more to see and do, such as; Crazy Golf, an Adventure Playground, Reptile House, live shows with 'Bingo' the Clown, Bouncy Castle, Gnome Village, Roller Coaster ride, Cup and Saucer ride, Farmyard trail walk and more!
Also located on Church Road near St. John the Baptist Church and next to Pettitts Animal Park this local Norfolk brewery is great to visit. The on site shop is open from Spring to November daily (check with brewery for exact opening times) and sells their full range of nearly 30 bottled beers as well as products from other local manufacturers. Tours of the Humpty Dumpty Brewery are available for groups and can include food and Beer tastings (these are by appointment only, contact brewery for arrangements). Humpty Dumpty microbrewery is involved in local events such as the Reedham Beer Festival, and the Village Guided Walk that ends with a brewery visit and Beer tasting. They have been brewing Beer in Reedham since 1998 (and at the current Church Road site since 2001) and have a substantial repertoire of Ales such as 4.1% Good Egg (a Dry Hopped Dark Golden Ale), 4.1% Bad Egg (a Malty, Hoppy Ruby Ale), 4.6% Norfolk Nectar (an Amber Ale with Vanilla and Honey notes), 5.0% Big Sharpie (a strong Pale Ale with Citrus finish), and 3.6% Reedham Gold (a Hoppy flavour session Pale Ale) to name but a few.
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