Water Adventure Activities in Norwich

6 June 2022

Water Adventure Activities in Norwich  

Looking for unusual things to do in Norwich? Want to try something new and adventurous? Or would you like to discover the City of Stories from a new perspective?  

Then how about you make the most of the good weather this summer by getting out on the water! As a riverside city, and the only city in the country that’s part of a national park, Norwich is the ideal place to enjoy a splash about or two. Read on to find out what fun awaits…  


Pub & Paddle  

Norwich is well known for its gorgeous river. And the many pubs that can be found here. So, what’s better than combining the two for a bit of fun? With Pub & Paddle, you can hire out a canoe or picnic rowing boat and take off along the river, making a stop at a pub or two for a refreshing pint or even a spot of lunch! Moor up at The Ribs of Beef to enjoy outdoor seating with a picturesque view of the river, fantastic real ales, and delicious home-cooked burgers available 7 days a week. It’s the perfect day out – whether you’re looking for a fun adventure with friends or a romantic cruise along the water with a loved one. From only £20pp (not including food & drink). 

Ribs of Beef pub

The Ribs of Beef pub

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) 

This is a great option for people who want to try something a little more challenging. Hop onto a paddleboard and glide along the river as you take in the scenery. You can stand up or kneel if you’re a little unsteady – but either way, you’re sure to have fun. There are plenty of companies that offer paddleboard hire in Norwich and Norfolk, and we recommend Norwich Paddleboard Hire for a truly unique experience.  

Based at the Gibraltar Gardens pub, half-day hire starts from just £19.99. But that’s not all they offer. Book onto a sunset paddleboard session for only £14.99 on a Friday or Saturday evening for a truly stunning view. Or why not enjoy a SUP Yoga retreat for £29.99? Yes, that does mean doing yoga while on the water – but it’s always fun to try something new (even if you do fall in once or twice).  

Stand Up Paddle Boarding on the river Wensum, Norwich

Whitlingham Country Park  

A real gem in Norwich, Whitlingham Country Park is perfect for a day of adventure. You can hire paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, katakanus and more! From only £15 per hour. It’s the perfect place to have some fun on the water, followed by a picnic, wildlife spotting or even a bike ride. It’s easy to spend a whole day here having fun.  


Just a short bus, train or car journey away, you’ll find even more fun to be had on the Norfolk Broads. 

The Norfolk Mead  

The Norfolk Mead is a gorgeous boutique hotel located in Coltishall – an idyllic village affectionately known as the gateway to the broads. Not only is the hotel a brilliant place to stay, dine and enjoy some spa treatments, but it also has its own English Harbour Yacht for hire. Set sail in this open-topped six-seater yacht and discover some breathtaking scenery, perhaps stopping off at a pub or two. For the ultimate experience, book one of the hotel’s freshly prepared picnic hampers to enjoy on board as you go. Half-day hire £120, full day hire £200. Bookings from April to September. 

The Norfolk Mead's boat

Enjoy an afternoon tea picnic style on board The Norfolk Mead’s boat

Wild Swimming  

Wild water swimming is the new trend that’s taken over, with many people hailing its health benefits. However, it’s important to take into consideration the risks and follow all the safety advice. There’s lots of great spots in Norwich and Norfolk where you can take to the water, such as Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden and some of the county’s beautiful beaches. Check out our wild water swimming blog to find out more.  

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden 

Speaking of Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, there’s even more activities you can enjoy here. A glorious garden with its own broad, it’s an ideal day out for the whole family. Take an introductory session to stand up paddleboarding or wild swimming. Or why not sign up for a katakanu adventure tour, wildlife canoe trail or family canoe trail? Find out more on their website.  

Broads Tours 

For the real adventurers, you can’t miss off Broads Tours from your bucket list. Hire a day boat and man the ship as you head into the beautiful broads, from only £19 per hour! There’s also a host of guided river trips that can be booked, such as the evening music cruise. Sit back and relax listening to foot-tapping jazz, or perhaps opt for a more upbeat evening of disco tunes. Tickets £20.  

The Norfolk Broads

The Norfolk Broads

Holkham Hall

Holkham Hall is the perfect place for young adventurers. With plenty of grounds to explore, a ropes course and bike hire – there’s so much to enjoy. And for those who love to get out on the water, there’s boat hire too. Hire out a rowing boat (that seats up to five) and start exploring the mile-long lake. Running from July – September (check website for dates). £16 for 45 minutes.