Large Broad for mudweighting
nearby Nature reserve
Village has Post Office & General store
The Ferry House 01508 538659
Surlingham Broad is a series of shallow waterways, both large and small, sitting south of a bend in the River Yare near Brundall.
The broad is named after Surlingham, a small village lying south from the river. A ferry used to operate across the Yare, just east of the broad, making it a three mile journey between Surlingham and Brundall. The ferry no longer operates and the shortest journey between the two villages is now nine miles via the A47 and A146.
The Bargate is the well-frequented part of the broad being around 300 metres wide and two metres deep. Boats are often seen mud weighted in the Bargate, as the broad is very scenic, although quite a windy, spot.
The best parts of Surlingham Broad are sadly not accessable by boat. Surlingham Inner is connected to the Bargate by a very narrow stream that runs behind a wrecked wherry, and can only be navigated using a canoe or other small boat. Surlingham Inner is less than a metre deep at high tide and nearly empties at each low tide.
Another hidden part of Surlingham Broad is a long series of shallow waterways that lie to the west of the Bargate. The entrance to this part of the Broad is clearly visable and marked shallow water but the first 10 metres of silt and water lillies make it impassable for motor boats. Canoeists can explore this area known as 'The Shallows' but a good detailed map is advisable as it is easy to get lost.
At nearby Surlingham Wood is Wheatfen Broad home to Norfolk naturalist Ted Ellis where he lived in a remote cottage for 40 years. Since his death in 1986, Wheatfen Broad has been turned into a permanent nature reserve, through the Ted Ellis Trust. A wild and remote area of open fen, reed-beds, alder and willow woodlands with two small broads and a nature trail, some Boardwalks are suitable for wheelchairs and car parking facilities are available.
Also nearby is Surlingham Church Marsh a 68 acres RSPB reserve. Notable amongst the breeding birds are gadwall, shovellers, and reed, sedge, grasshopper and Cetti's warblers. Marsh harriers are also regular visitors and migrants include Jack snipe and green sandpiper, and winter visitors include hen harriers and bearded tits. Church Marsh is overlooked by the ruins of St. Saviours church. In the late middle ages, the village of Surlingham moved over the hill leaving St Saviour's alone and neglected. Eventually the round-towered St Mary's eclipsed its neighbour as the place of worship and St Saviour's was left to settle into a prolonged decline.
The village of Surlingham itself is centred around the village pond and has a shop, post office and a garage.
The Ferry House Inn has ample mooring and is a pleasant spot to stop off for a drink or bite to eat when travelling along the Yare.
Ferry House 01508 538659