Coltishall Lock is the limit of navigation on the River Bure. The Bure is the longest river on the Broads flowing for 32 miles from Aylsam to Bure Mouth where it flows into the Yare and out to sea at Gorleston. At one time it was possible to navigate the Bure all the way up to Aylsham but a devastating flood in 1912 damaged the locks. Repairs were uneconomical and the navigation closed and officially abandoned in 1928.
The approach to the lock from Coltishall Common is narrow and shallow in places (less than 1.5 m) take care if water levels are low. Informal moorings are available before the lock with a good depth of water with room for turning. Beside the lock is a picnic area with picnic tables. A lovely walk from here follows the Bure upstream returning alongside the Bure Valley Railway. Nearby is The Recruiting Sergeant an award winning pub and restaurant. Provisions are available at Farm to Fork and Fish, a couple of minutes walk away in Horstead.
Coltishall offers extensive moorings at the common, which is an attractive overnight stop. The Coltishall Commons Trust a registered charity run by volunteers looks after the common. The common is long and slopes down to the waters edge with mature trees overhanging the river. The sun sets over the grazing marshes opposite; it really is an idyllic mooring whatever the time of day. The nearby road into the village can be busy, but is set well back from the river.
Pubs at Coltishall Common
At the Coltishall village end of the common are two pubs, The Rising Sun with it’s beer garden overlooking the river and the Kings Head.
A small, well-stocked convenience store and Post Office is next door to the Kings Head, but the main part of the village is a short walk up the road. In the village is a petrol station, fish & chip shop, supermarket, pharmacy and The Red Lion Pub. The pub features live music on a Sunday afternoons during the summer. Coltishall was once know for its brewing industry, at one time it had eleven malting and three breweries. It even had its own ship building yard.
Dutch Architecture at Coltishall
Due to its historic links with the Netherlands the Dutch has for centuries influenced architecture in East Anglia. Coltishall has a number of fine houses with Dutch or Flemish gables like this one set in a leafy lane at the back of the common.
Anchor Moorings Coltishall
Downstream of the common is the old Anchor Hotel, now a private house. Anchor Street is the site of Coltishall’s ship building industry , it is reputed to be the birthplace of the wherry. The last trading wherry, Ella, built here at Allen’s yard was launched in 1912.
Water is available here and moorings too but most are long term private moorings.