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For Scottish law, see Letters of horning. For city in Denmark, see Hørning.
Horning is located in Norfolk
 Horning shown within Norfolk
Area  11.04 km2 (4.26 sq mi)
Population 1,098 (2011)[1]
   – density  99/km2 (260/sq mi)
OS grid reference TG343170
Civil parish Horning
District North Norfolk
Shire county Norfolk
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town NORWICH
Postcode district NR12
Dialling code 01692
Police Norfolk
Fire Norfolk
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
List of places

Coordinates: 52°42′00″N 1°28′01″E / 52.7°N 1.467°E / 52.7; 1.467

Horning is an ancient village and parish in the English county of Norfolk. It covers an area of 11 km2 and had a population of 1,033 in the 2001 census.[2] Horning parish lies on the northern bank of the River Bure south of the River Thurne and is located in The Broads National Park. For the purposes of local government, it falls within the district of North Norfolk, although areas alongside the rivers and broads fall into the executive area of the Broads Authority.


St. Benedicts Church, Horning

The name Horning means the "folk who live on the high ground between the rivers". Its history dates back to 1020 when the manor was given by King Canute to the newly founded Abbey of St. Benet at Hulme. The Bishop of Norwich, as Abbot of St. Benets, is still Lord of the Manor.[3]

Horning Parish extends along the south bank of the River Bure to Thurne Mouth and includes the ruins of St Benet's Abbey & St. James Hospital. St. Benet's Abbey is a Grade I listed building, and dates back to the 9th Century.[4] The importance of the Abbey as a medieval place of pilgrimage is reflected in the medieval finds of two papal seals, that would have secured documents from the Pope.[5]

The Church of St. Benedict lies half a mile east of the village and dates back to the 13th Century.[6]

Horning is situated on the River Bure (pronounced locally "Burr") between Wroxham and Ludham. A ferry plied across the river for more than 1,000 years.

Horning has an entry in the Domesday Book, noted under the name 'Horningam'.[7] In 1086, Horning had 18 villagers, 11 'smallholders', 4 cattle, 10 pigs, 360 sheep and the taxable value was £4.[8]

Archaeologists have found ancient earthworks in Horning, which run alongside the River Bure, possibly dating to the early Saxon period. The earliest ancient monument is a Bronze Age ring ditch and possible burial pit. Neolithic and Bronze Age artefacts have also been found.[9]

Leisure & Attractions[edit]

A mill in Horning

The village of Horning is a very popular tourist destination within the Norfolk Broads, having attractions both around the village and surrounding areas. The village lies on the north bank of the River Bure, and has many waterside properties, pubs, shops, restaurants, tea-rooms, boat-trips as well as other features to enjoy.

Horning is picturesque, and described as the prettiest village on the broads.[10] The sights to see are: the River Bure from the landing stages, Lower Street, St. Benedicts Church and many properties with thatched roofs.

Following Lower Street to the east, leads to the school, marina, leisure centre, church and the old riverbank. North of Horning are the broads of Barton, Alderfen and Burntfen, and village of Neatishead. West is the popular area of Hoveton & Wroxham. East lies the quaint village of Ludham. To the south, across the river via the ferry, are Bure Marshes and village of Woodbastwick. Adjacent to the ferry, The Ferry Inn reopened in 2010 after a period of closure. The Ferry Inn was largely destroyed in a Second World War bombing raid by the German Luftwaffe on 26 April 1941, during which 15 bombs are believed to have been dropped on Horning and the surrounding area by a single aircraft. Most landed in the local marshes but one hit the ferry and one hit the Inn, where 21 of the 24 people in the pub at the time were killed. The Ferry Inn was open for business with a makeshift bar only three weeks later. Rebuilt in the 1950s, the pub was damaged again by fire in 1965.[11]

Horning is home to "Southern Comfort" the Mississippi Cruise boat, which leaves from the staithe adjacent to The Swan Inn.[12]

The village is popular for sail & motor boating, and Horning Sailing Club hosts regular annual events. Several boatyards specialise in boat sales, boat hire, boat building and repairs.[13] There are two marinas which offer private mooring facilities. The River Bure is navigable from the North Sea at Great Yarmouth all the way to Horning.

The village centre is quite small, consisting of just a single street, a village green, The Swan Inn pub (built early 19th century but dates back to 1696), a few shops and restaurants and a riverbank adjacent to the River Bure. The main Village Hall, playing fields and children's play area are located behind Lower Street on the upper side of the village.

Outside the village centre is the popular Bewilderwood theme park, which was voted best large attraction in the East of England (2009), as well as having many other UK and International awards. Broadland Cycle Hire is located within Bewilderwood, from which there are many good cycle routes through rural areas to villages and broads.[14]

Other local attractions nearby include Barton Broad boardwalk, Neatishead village, Ludham village, shopping in Hoveton & Wroxham. A short distance away are many beautiful beaches such as Waxham, Sea Palling and Winterton-on-Sea, as well as the more popular holiday destinations of Great Yarmouth and Cromer. The North Norfolk Coast is approximately 1hr away, which is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


View from church staithe

Horning lies just off the A1062 road, which is a designated "Rural Route". This Rural Route starts at Hoveton, passes through Horning, Ludham and ends in Potter Heigham.


The city of Norwich is a 25min drive away. Norwich Park & Ride (Sprowston) being 12 mins away.


The nearest railway station is 'Hoveton & Wroxham'. Journey time to London is 2hrs 30mins, with trains every hour. The 12A bus connects Horning with 'Hoveton & Wroxham' station.


Norwich International Airport has scheduled flights to places such as Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Manchester and Exeter.[15] The airport is a 26min drive away.


Horning is served by the 12A bus operated by First, which runs approx. every 30mins on-peak, and every 1hr off-peak. There are 4 bus stops in Horning on the A1062 at Bewilderwood, Ropes Hill, Mill Hill, Horning Upper Street and Ludham Bridge.[16]

Passenger Ferry[edit]

There has been a ferry service connecting Horning and Woodbastwick for generations. The ferry connected Horning Lower Street with Woodbastwick Staithe, for access to Bure Marshes, Cockshoot Broad, Woodbastwick brewery and The Fur & Feather Inn. The Ferry had seen many operators in its history including the Ferry Inn public house and local boat yards including Woods Dyke and Freedom Boating Holidays. Sadly the Horning Ferry Service ceased operating in 2012 due to changes in licence conditions imposed by the Broads Authority. However, the vessel has been acquired by the Ferry Inn public house with a view to operating the service again in 2014.[17]


Start of the 2015 Three Rivers Race
  • Horning Boat Show (Sat 2 May 2015)[18]
  • Three Rivers Race (usually first weekend in June) - sailing event, over 24hrs[19]
  • Village Fete (July)
  • Boat Regatta (July)
  • School Summer Fair (July)


  • Post Office
  • Newsagents & General Store
  • The Galley - delicatessent, giftware and art gallery
  • Butcher[20]
  • Gift Shops
  • Fishing Tackle[21]
  • Art Gallery



Staithe & Willow restaurant
  • Bure River Cottage (fresh local fish restaurant)[24]
  • Staithe & Willow[25]


  • Fish & Chips shop[26]
  • Golden City Chinese
  • Country Treats Cafe
  • The Galley (homemade food and local products)[27]
  • Harry's Poolside Cafe[28]

Places to Stay[edit]

  • The Moorhen Bed and Breakfast (4 star)


  • Horning Sailing Club[29]
  • Mississippi River Boat[30]
  • Canoe Hire[31]
  • Helska Leisure Centre (swimming pool)
  • Crown Green Bowling
  • Fitness classes at the Village Hall (every Wednesday evening)
  • Children's Playground
  • Playing field
  • St. Benets Hall (for regular art exhibitions)
  • Boat Hire (day boats, Picnic Boats, dinghies & Cruisers)[32]

Services & Facilities[edit]

  • Public Toilets
  • Car and Coach Park
  • Public Moorings
  • Pub Moorings
  • Electric Hook-up
  • Refuse disposal
  • Bottle & Paper recycling banks
  • Water (standpipe at Swan green)
  • Laundrette (Ferry Marina)



Arthur Ransome's books Coot Club and The Big Six were written based on his time spent in Horning. Several scenes in the books take place in the village.[36] The books were made into a 1984 BBC television series Swallows and Amazons Forever!.


Horning Community Primary School[37]

- Primary Education for 5-11 year olds
- Pre-school for 2-4 year olds

The 2008 & 2012 Ofsted reports rated Horning Community Primary School overall as 'Good'[38]

The nearest secondary school to Horning is Broadland High School in Hoveton.[39]



In addition to the usual terrestrial TV and telephone landline services, the following communication services are available in Horning:

  • Broadband (ADSL)
  • Digital TV
  • Digital Radio
  • Mobile Phone networks
  • Mobile 3G (for video)
  • Mobile HSDPA (for internet)

Fast broadband is planned to arrive in Horning, via Fibre to the Cabinet, circa Spring 2015.


External links[edit]