April 18 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Wroxham is known as the capital of the Broads, but there is more to the twin villages of Hoveton and Wroxham than riverboats
Where are Wroxham and Hoveton?
Seven miles north east of Norwich straddling the River Bure and amazingly 53 miles by river, because of the need to go via Breydon Water!
Drivers heading from the city will follow the A1151. But standing on a crossroads there are also routes in from Coltishall in the west, Stalham in the north and Ludham in the east. Anglia Railways Bittern Line services between Norwich and Sheringham also stop at Hoveton.
About Wroxham and Hoveton
To remove any confusion Hoveton is the bit north of the river, and Wroxham is the bit to the south. So Roys of Wroxham is actually in Hoveton. Thats clearer now?
Wroxham comes from Wrocs Ham, meaning a place frequented by buzzards. Hoveton means hill by the water.
The farming villages were transformed in Victorian times when an enterprising Norwich carpenter began hiring out boats from Wroxham for a growing holiday market, which was already transforming the coastal resorts, and really took off in the Broads in the 1920s and 30s.
Although the rivers are the busiest in the summer months, during the season for organised boat trips with commentary and entertainment, you can hire a day boat all year round and enjoy the waterways during more tranquil, but equally, beautiful seasion.
Shopping is a big draw 12 months a year too including the famous Roys of Wroxham complex.
Tthe narrow gauge steam track of the Bure Valley Railway (above) runs between Wroxham and Aylsham in the school holidays as well as the main summer season. It also runs boat trains which combine a trip to Wroxham with a 90-minute boat trip, and there are train-driving lessons in off-peak periods, starting this month.
There is a nine-mile walk alongside the railway line for ramblers, or bikes can be hired.
Roys of Wroxham was founded in neighbouring Coltishall in 1895, by brothers Alfred and Arnold Roy, and has grown to an empire of value shops.
The picture shows the store at around 1920.
The current complex embraces a department store including clothing, gifts, music and household goods, plus there is toy shop, ladies fashion outlet and garden centre.
But there are other shops, too, from jewellers to boat chandlers if you explore.
There is a wide range of food outlets from fast food takeaways, and cafes, to riverside pubs where, weather permitting, you can sit and watch the watery world go by.
Visitors venturing a little further afield will find other attractions, such as the award-winning RAF radar museum at Neatishead, a village which is also home to a dried flower centre.
And, of course, there is the popular Wroxham Barns, on the Tunstead Road, a year-round magnet for families which combines crafts and a caf with a range of rural shops and a childrens farmyard with cuddly creatures.