River Bure – Acle Dyke to Great Yarmouth

The river narrows after the dyke and reed beds again line the banks.

The village of Stokesby is 2 miles below Acle Bridge. The tide flows very fast here, and it’s imperative you moor against it. If the tide is with you go past your desired mooring and turn with your bow towards the opposite bank, the tide will then help swing you round, you can now moor against the oncoming tide. If you try this any other way, its possible to slam into boats already moored, so care is needed.

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Stokesby Village Green
Stokesby Village Green

Stokesby is a delightful village with a large tree lined village green. The riverside stores are now closed and have been converted to a holiday let. In front of the green is a children’s play area and the village staithe. The Ferry Inn is just downstream of the staithe, it has a cosy open fire for those colder spring and autumn evenings.  In the games room you can play darts or pool and on Sunday evenings they hold a pub quiz. Outside are picnic tables overlooking the River Bure. Mooring is available for patrons.

Just over a mile down stream is Stracey Arms. This is the last safe mooring between here and Gt. Yarmouth. The river below this point has a rise and fall of over 3 feet, the banks can be unsafe in places and there is a risk of going aground on shoals of shelving mud. The river between here and Yarmouth contains no fewer than six windpumps, all needed to drain the land of which much dips below sea level.

Stracey Arms

Stracey Arms Mill (2007)
Stracey Arms Mill (2007)

Extensive moorings (fee) lie either side of the old Stracey Arms pub. The Spanish restaurant Embrujo is now located in Acle. The moorings near the Stracey Arms Mill are the most attractive although a little road noise is encountered as the busy A47 is nearby. Stracey Arms Drainage Mill is looking at little worse for wear after storms over recent years. The cap has been removed and the mill is currently under restoration. There is also a shop at the mill and a small animal sanctuary including donkeys. The shop sells gifts, provisions, hot snacks and breakfasts. There is a water point in front of the shop.

The Bure below Stracey Arms is very different from the upper reaches, the banks are higher and reed fringed. The reed beds along here can look golden when caught by early morning or evening light.

Yarmouth is 8 miles below Stracey Arms and if your travelling with the tide the journey should  take about 1 ½ hours.

There are no safe moorings between Stracey Arms and Yarmouth.

The Broads Authority have installed a 22 m safety pontoon on the Lower Bure near Runham and moorings at Scare Gap, both are  for demasting/emergency use only. 

On the left 4 miles before Yarmouth is Mautby Marsh Farm and Windpump now disused, keep clear of the bank as it is shallow.

As Three-Mile House is passed the river enters a horseshoe bend, posts mark the navigable channel.

Downstream of Scare Gap is Ashtree Farm Drainage Mill.

Marina Quays is 1 mile downstream, the right bank just before it has a large shoal of mud keep to centre of the river. The marina is closed, mooring is forbidden. There are plans to redevelop the site at Marina Quays to include housing and moorings. The developer withdrew the plans in November 2018 after consultations with interested parties. It is likely they will submit another application in the future. Behind Marina Quays is Bure Park, an attractive park with a children’s play area. The airport is also on the left, you may have already seen helicopters taking off and landing.

Inshore fishing boats line the banks as the industrial area of Yarmouth is entered, on the right is a height gauge for the bridges ahead. The river narrows as Yarmouth Yacht Station is reached, slow down and look out for boats casting off

Navigating through Yarmouth

Vauxhall Bridge on the River Bure at Great Yarmouth
Vauxhall Bridge on the River Bure at Great Yarmouth

Yarmouth has strong currents and two low bridges with 7ft headroom at average high water. The first being the Yarmouth/Acle road bridge, the second the old Vauxhall Rail Bridge, now a footpath. The best time to arrive is slack water or a little after, this is 1 to 1 ¼ hours after low water you will then have the incoming tide to carry you across Breydon Water. If you boat has a fixed canopy or a raised steering position with a high air draft it may be prudent to go through at low tide. If you need any advice then ring the Yacht Station on 01493 842794, they will be more than happy to help.

There is a height gauge opposite the Yacht Station so you can check headroom. If you do need to moor, as at Stokesby, come in against the tide, if this means turning the boat around, go past your mooring and turn towards the bank opposite the Yacht Station. Do not turn near the bridges on an ebb tide as you will be carried into the bridge by the tide.  The fee for mooring at the yacht station is £13 per night and £6 for daytime mooring (2018).  Water is free if you’re paying to moor otherwise its £2.  There are showers (£1 token), toilets, electricity charging points and rubbish disposal. Help, should you need it is available from the attendant.

Great Yarmouth

North West Tower at Great Yarmouth beside the River Bure
North West Tower at Great Yarmouth beside the River Bure

Yarmouth grew around the harbour, as it was once a great herring fishing port. The fleet has dwindled over the years and now the harbour is busy with coasters, North Sea gas/oil rig supply ships and frozen food packaging services. Although the old town was heavily bombed during WW2 much of interest still remains, including The Old Merchants House on the ‘rows’, the Custom House on South Quay and the North West Tower beside the RIver Bure

It was in the 18thC that Yarmouth became popular as a tourist destination, and now tourism is the main industry. On its long promenade, Yarmouth has two piers a leisure centre, arcades and illuminations – a traditional seaside resort, with attractions to suit all.

The first of the two bridges approaches, check your height once more and pass through the bridges under the red arrows. After passing through the bridges keep right . Breydon Water is to the right, do not cut the corner, but turn after the yellow painted dolphin (post). Pass under Breydon bridge (channel marked by red triangles), you are now on Breydon Water and the River Yare.

River Bure – Cockshoot Dyke to Acle Dyke

River Yare – Berney Arms to Great Yarmouth