Destination: Potter Heigham

The pretty village of Potter Heigham lies some 26 miles north of Waveney River Centre by road or 32 miles by boat. The historical centre is the gateway to the quietest and wildest parts of the Broads and tourists flock to the village for its traditional pubs, riverside walks and historical streets.

Potter Heigham Bridge
Potter Heigham Bridge on the Norfolk Broads by Robert Cutts licensed under Creative Commons 4.0

A seven hour cruise along the Waveney, navigating through Breydon Water, Great Yarmouth and the Rivers Bure and Thurne will bring you out at Potter Heigham’s famous medieval bridge. Extra time may be needed depending on the tidal conditions at Yarmouth.

Potter Heigham Bridge

Potter Heigham Bridge spans the Thurne and is believed to date from 1385. The bridge opening is particularly narrow and is renowned for being the most difficult to navigate on the Broads.

You will need the help of the river pilot to guide you through and standing to watch boats squeeze through the tight passage is quite the local attraction.

It is said that every year at midnight on the 31st May a phantom coach appears on the bridge. Driven by a skeleton, the coach bursts into flames and crashes into the river below. Taking Lady Carew to her death on her wedding night, the tragic event is Satan’s price for the lady and her mother obtaining a love potion from a local witch.

The Church of St Nicholas

Set away from the busy centre of the village, the late Middle Ages church at Potter Heigham is dedicated to the patron saint of children, sailors, fishermen and repentant thieves. With its neatly thatched roofs and Norfolk’s only brick font, the church is perhaps the most attractive in the county.

St Nicholas’ 12th Century round tower is a distinctive feature of churches in East Anglia. The octagonal extension, added to the top of the tower in the 14th Century, is one of the best preserved in Great Britain.

More things to do at Potter Heigham

The Herbert Woods boatyard is one of the most famous on the Broads; the Staithes area of the village is a popular visiting spot with eateries, river views and ducks to feed; and no visit to Potter Heigham is complete without a visit to Latham’s discount store which has a garden centre and stocks household items, toys, gifts and clothes.

There are a handful of traditional pubs and cafes in the village and the area around Potter Heigham is popular for its walking routes and the 56-mile Weavers’ Way passes through on its way from Cromer to Great Yarmouth. Boasting two national nature reserves in the parish, Potter Heigham is also popular with cyclists and fishing enthusiasts.