A company called Pub and Paddle in Norwich have come up with an enjoyable way of discovering the fine city and nearby villages.

Based at the Red Lion pub, next to Bishops Bridge. Hire a canoe and make your way along the river Wensum, stopping off for a drink along the way. It’s a great way to see the quieter locations while discovering a lovely range of pubs.

Each Canadian canoe can hold up to 3 people and all the canoes are handmade by a local company Weston Canoes.

There are 3 routes which you can take and all offer great days out for all the family. You can even have your dog join you! Another service they offer is a picnic boat which I’ll list below.

Pub and paddle in Norwich

Route 1: Norwich – Thorpe St Andrew (Return Trip)

Taking you along the River Wensum towards the beautiful village of Thorpe St Andrew, route 1 is the shortest of the three routes. With a 4-hour return trip, you pass some well-known locations in Norwich, including Norwich Cathedral and the old Colmans Mustard factory. As you head into Thorpe St Andrew, you’ll pass some welcoming pubs, tie your canoe up at the river green or pubs and enjoy a spot of lunch or drink.

My personal favourite is the last pub on the route, the freshly updated Rushcutter Arms. Offering a great food and a large open outdoor seating area.

Pub on route*:

*These pubs get busy in summer so I’d recommend prebooking a table at either of the pubs to avoid disappointment.

Time: Return trip to Norwich, 4 hours. Allowing for 2.5 hours of canoeing and 1.5hours of relaxing time.

Cost: £20 per person

Book Here

Route 2: Norwich – Bramerton (One-Way Trip)

Like Route 1, you head towards the beautiful village of Thorpe St Andrew and onto nearby village Bramerton. The first half of the journey is the same as route 1, offering the 3 fine pubs and lovely river green. The second half of the trip offers a wider section of river and has some picturesque scenery. The route ends at the fine pub known as the Water’s Edge, tie up your canoe and enjoy the rest of your day sitting by the river enjoy food and drink. You’ll need to get a taxi back into the city of Norwich which will cost around £10.

Pub on route*:

*These pubs get busy in summer so I’d recommend prebooking a table at either of the pubs to avoid disappointment.

Time: One Way Trip of 4-5 hours. Giving you 2.5 hours of canoeing and 2 hours to enjoy pubs on route.

Cost: £25 per person

Book Here

Route 3: Norwich – Surlingham (One-Way Trip)

The longest trip of the three and a must for nature lovers. Paddle towards Thorpe St Andrew, enjoying the pubs for something to eat and drink. Then onto The Water’s Edge, Bramerton, for another refreshing break. What lies after, offers a lovely long stretch of water, winding in between the natural surroundings and some stunning houses, ending up at the Ferry House Pub.

The real treat of this route is the Surlingham Broad along with a smaller network of waterways. Have your camera at the ready, as there’s a wide range of wildlife with a very picturesque background. The route ends at the Coldham Hall, where you can tie up your canoe and enjoy the views and something to eat/drink. As this is a one trip, you’ll need to get a taxi back into the city of Norwich which will cost around £15.

I’d recommend enjoying a couple of drinks along your way and have lunch/dinner on the decking overlooking the river at Coldham Hall.

Pub on route*:

*These pubs get busy in summer so I’d recommend prebooking a table at either of the pubs to avoid disappointment.

Time: One way trip of 6-7 hours. Allowing for 3.5-4 hours of canoeing and 2-3 hours at the pubs

Cost: £30 per person

Book Here

Picnic Rowing Boat

Enjoy a few hours on the river enjoying the sights and having a bite to eat along the way. The rowing boats can hold 4 adults or 2 adults and 3 children.

Time: 2 hour boat rental, extra hour’s available.

Cost: £25 per boat, extra hour is £10.

Start Point & Times

The start point for all routes are from the Ribs of Beef in the centre of Norwich.

You can park at the open Colgate Car Park, which is a 5 minute walk. £1.50 per hour or over 5 hours is £8.00.

I also so suggest prebooking your time to avoid disapointment, all prices are based as of April 2020.

Click here to book

There are 3 morning start times and 3 afternoon start times;


10am, 10.30am, 11am


3pm, 3.30pm and 4pm

Due to their length, you are only able to start Routes 2 and 3 in the morning. This ensures you will definitely finish your canoe trip before it gets dark! At certain times of the year you may be able to start your Route 2 or 3 canoe trips in the afternoon – mainly peak summer time.

More information can be found here: http://www.pubandpaddle.com/

Please see below map for the Start Point and Colgate Car Park.

Pub and Paddle in Norwich is a great opportunity to enjoy the very much picturesque city, along with it’s surrounding villages. I’m lucky to live in Thorpe St Andrew and can safely say the area is a real treat and offers a very welcoming feel.

I hope you found this post very helpful and if you have any questions, please do drop me a comment below.

I hope to you see paddling down the river in the near future.


  1. I have never being to Norwich but since I am a big nature lover, that picture with the unset made me fall in love with Norwich. These packages seems very fair. Few hours enjoying the lake, paddling and relaxing for 20-30 pounds, sounds wonderful.

    Thank you for putting all the information off all the packages. One question though, as a local, which time of the year you will recommend to pay a visit?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Rajith,

      Thank you for your comment. Being the UK our weather is very up and down. However I’d recommend visiting between May & September as they tend to be the warmer months.
      If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

  2. Tom

    Hi Damon,

    I love this site because I think I’ve told you before, I visit Norwich quite a lot with my job. Sometimes we get to stay over in Norwich but we don’t really do anything.

    I still haven’t shown the team your site and ideas, but I’m definitely going to do that in the next few weeks when hopefully I see them.

    Thanks for keep up and sharing your ideas, really appreciate it.

    All the best,


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