Canoe Days Out

Norfolk - River Bure - Horstead Mill to Buxton Mill (& return)

This page was submitted by Andy
How to get there - Follow the North Walsham Rd from Norwich to Coltishall. Turn off right at the roundabout opposite the "Recuiting Sergant" pub (for those with SatNav the postcode is NR12 7EF) down Mill Rd. There is a small carpark there at the mill.

Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - Launch upstream of the mill about 20yrds where a small clearing in the bank lets you slide the boat into the water

General Description - Journey is only 3 and a half miles to Buxton Mill and the the return trip. It is a relaxed leisurely meander first through a tranquil woodland section and then a more open farmland landscape which runs parallel with Bure Valley Railway (the smell of the occasional engine and peep peep of the whistle adds to the effect) travelling against the gentle current on the outward journey and an opportunity to steer and flow gently with the current on the way back giving quietness only broken by the call of bird life and the croaking frogs.

Nb; Take the left hand fork after the rail bridge and keep eyes peeled for the nice size pike laying in wait for darting chub.

Comments on this trip

Clive K
28 Aug 2019
I'd therefore agree with the author that Horstead Mill is the better place to start from. Around Buxton Mill there's very little parking close by, however we joined 3 other cars on the grass verge at the bend in the road before the bridge. The other side of the bridge there's parking on the road with a slightly longer walk. We were advised by TheCanoeMan to ask "Hayden" for permission to launch our Gumotex inflatable from the bank as apparently it's his land, but we couldn't figure out which was his house. Had no issue launching nor landing upon our return. The water at Buxton is very shallow for the first 50 yards, especially if you have a small keel. Otherwise it's a really beautiful route, with no boat traffic to contend with, unlike the other side of Horstead Mill. The water is clear and there's plenty of wildlife. Portage as you approach Horstead Mill is best done via a wooden ramp on the left, and it's perhaps a 100 yard carry to put in the other side.

08 May 2018
We canoed Buxton Mill to Coltishall early May Bank holiday 2018.Difficult to put in and out at the mill. Land owner tried tapping us up for a donation even though the gate is unlocked and and well trampled by walkers. I guess everyone wants s in this country. It looks like its public access.The gate said private. Call this number I had figured theyd want cash so didnt bother ringing. I didnt pay her either. Not considering its public access.Paddle was great but the swans are laying at the moment and very aggressive.

01 Apr 2018
Hi Again, Sorry link didn't work. Try this one;https// search Youtube for "Oxnead to Buxton in a Sevylor Tahiti"

01 Apr 2018
Hi, We paddled from Oxnead to Buxton (and back) in July 2017. The fishery seems to have vanished but we didn't launch at Buxton where people seem to have had aggro. We launched from the little beach opposite Oxnead Mill, having carried our lighter canoe over 2 stiles and one field, about 500m. A fabulous trip, see our Youtube video https//

Alex G
04 Mar 2018
Hello,So what is the current status with Oxnead fisheryI plan to complete this route this year (2018). Do I need to look out for this fishery and get the kayak of out the waterThanks.

N King
23 Sep 2016
We paddled this on a lovely late summer afternoon. Lovely contrast between the wooded section and the open fields. Like the previous comment, we couldn't find any way of getting out at Buxton Mill. From the car park at Horstead Mill you can walk across the weir structure and follow the path left to a wooded ramp to put in. It is a bit of a walk so trolleys recommended. You can also put in and paddle downstream for just under a mile for a nice pub for lunch.

30 Aug 2016
This is a lovely paddle. The first half is largely tree lined, and the second half is open fields. Occasional swans but not threatening. Saw kingfisher and buzzards. Unclear at Buxton where you can get out, but lots of people,there picnicking and swimming in the water, along the footpath. There is a sign referring to the fishing club, but this is only apparent once you have left the footpath and open land where sheep,and chickens were near the area by the road with the bench etc.And easy paddle and easier on the way back with a slight current.A few crayfish to be seen if you look carefully too!

23 Jan 2016

Steve williams
23 Jan 2016
For membership of the Oxnead/Buxton River Bure fishing syndicate please send your full name, full address, contact numbers and email address to it is private fishing from the river bank and is bailiffed and managed very well the last few years. Re last comments, its a quality group of anglers and we know arse from elbo we respect canoes likewise our anglers need respect back its working well and all seem happy.

dave lee
17 Jun 2013
Oxnead fishery no longer exists, the fish never did spawn in the so called gravel beds, ash didn't know his arse from his elbow, which is why he left through lack of support, you can canoe there, just use common sense and respect for property, thanks

Ashe Hurst
04 Jan 2012
Hi There.

Just thought i would up date your info for Canoing the River Bure from Horstead Mill and up river to Aylsham. From Little Hautbois the river is private property under the Management of Oxnead Fishery for some 30 years now. Whilst we dont mind Canoe through passage (even we canoe!) now days we are over run with Canoes. The problem arrises at Buxton Mill. Here we have vital fish spawning gravles and had put up polite signage for Canoes to Portage via the right hand side Canal/lock Cut. I have infact communicated this and had a site meeting with the local BCU access Officer. Our signs were removed several times. Also Buxton does not have the Parking Facilities, especialy in the summer months when residents, Business, the Church the school tend to get blocked in. Fishery Members have private permit parking, however a lot of visiting canoists fill this up too.

From Buxton Mill, the owners of the Mill its private Car Parks have refused all canoe access portage. The Mill Reach public foot path is infact on private property and the owners residents have also refused access and portage. The next sections up on both banks are private property. The Canoe Man ltd has access/portage conset via a pad locked gate for his clients some 100 mtrs up from buxton mill on the road. The land owner opposite on the far bank has also refused access portage due to damaged banks, foot path and unautorised canoe campers. The river from here is private property on both banks, with residential gardens, Lammas Church, Paddocks and also Oxnead Fishery as far up river as the 1st bend above Oxnead Bridge.

Oxnead Fishery has several times now tried to encourage purpouse built portage purley to get the canoes through eficiantly and around protected habitat. Unfortunatley the land owners BCU will not enter into negotiations. I even offered to design and construct and submit the planning applications to the EA. But no one would pay up or get involved. At a recent Parish meeting, I was informed that the commons trust who manage Horstead Mill on behalf of its private owner has also revoked Canoe Access/Portage. Again this due to the over popularity, several unauthorised comercial canoe operaters and lack of parking facilities that impede residents parking. Aylsham Mill has recentley been recently redeveloped and now is closed off to public access. Access at Oxnead Bridge (Brampton) is private property, althoug we and the land owner dont restrict canoe access, too many vehicles nowdays have parked unauthorised on his horses/studd field or across his gates, disapearing off for days at a time.The unofficial laybys here at the Pill Box are infact private verges for Fishery Members Permit parking.

Can I ask you to convey to your clients that there are access issues, that however much a nusence are legal. On my part can you ask canoists traveling upriver to take the right hand canal /lock cutting below Buxton Mill to avoid damaging the shallow gravel beds.

Yours Sincerely
Ashe Hurst
Fishery Manager


Bure Valley Railway
Horstead Mill
Buxton Mill
The Norfolk Broads

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