Nestled on the banks of the River Chet in the southern Broads, Loddon is a quaint market town which is certainly worth adding to the itinerary of your next Broads’ visit.
Although it may be compact in size, it’s an attractive place with a lot of history and plenty of things to see and do, as well as some great options for eating and drinking. Read on to discover more in our guide to this lovely Broads market town.
One of the first things you will notice about Loddon is the attractive riverside area in the centre of the town. The white, boarded 18th century Loddon Watermill is located here (right next to the bridge linking the town to Chedgrave) and is one of the most iconic and historic buildings in the area. This is a great place to go for a walk or grab a picnic and take in the River Chet, which was diverted (by hand!) to enable the mill work properly when it was in use to process grain.
Opposite the mill is Loddon Staithe, a lovely green area with seating and and a 24-hour mooring with facilities for boaters including toilets and showers. There is a car park here as well with two hours of free parking and paid options for longer stays.
If you fancy a walk you can cross over the bridge into Chedgrave and follow the Wherryman’s Way on either a linear route or take in some circular walks to see Hardley Mill or Hardley Cross. Please be aware of some potential footpath diversions that might affect your planned route.
In addition to the staithe, Loddon has an attractive high street with a mixture of shops, pubs (more on that below) and other historic cottages and buildings to admire. The main focal point of the high street is Church Plain, which is aptly right next to the impressive 15th century Holy Trinity Church which towers over the surrounding landscape. You are free to take a relaxing walk around the vast grounds of the churchyard and go inside the church (depending on service timings) to soak up the local history of the area.
From Church Plain you can also complete a short circular walk around Loddon Marshes, visiting the quaint riverside picnic area of Pye’s Mill before returning to the centre of the market town.
If you want to get active, there are also bookable tennis and squash courts looked after by Loddon Tennis Club, recently crowned Norfolk’s Tennis Club of the Year for 2023.
Local boatyard Pacific Cruisers located in Chedgrave are a small family-owned boatyard with a choice of nine different cruisers to take to the water on. These are for longer breaks and need to be booked in advance.
Although there is nowhere in the town to hire paddlecraft from, there are good parking/facilities nearby for you to launch your canoe, kayak or paddleboard from at Loddon Staithe. The relatively quiet waterways of the River Chet offer a great way to get up close to nature and see wildlife including kingfishers, dragonflies, marsh harriers and more.
An out-and-back paddle to see Hardley Flood, Hardley Cross and Hardley Mill is a great way to spend an afternoon (and easy to navigate as you follow the Chet all the way to where it joins the Yare, and back), or you can head all the way to Rockland if you’re feeling adventurous, although you will need to arrange transport back to Loddon. Hardley Flood is a particular landmark of interest, an area of shallow lagoons and reedbeds formed in the 1940s which is now a haven for waterfowl and other wildlife.
It might not offer quite the amount of choice as London (which google maps will undoubtedly autocorrect your destination to) but Loddon still has a great selection of different establishments to eat and drink at.
There are three pubs in the centre of the town, including the fantastic Angel Inn, which offers local craft ales, pub food and also doubles up as a continental style café, as well as The Loddon Swan and King’s Head which are located close by. The White Horse is another pub option which is situated just over the bridge in the neighbouring village of Chedgrave.
There’s a fish and chip shop on the high street, as well as an Indian restaurant, a number of takeaways and convenience stores if you want to grab something whilst on the go.
In terms of coffee, tea, pastries and cakes, the Angel Inn has a coffee bar inside the pub, serving hot drinks, delicious Harris & James gelato as well as cakes and baked goods. The cake shop and tea room Spooncake is also located on the high street too.
If arriving by boat, there are free 24-hour moorings at Loddon Staithe which have electric charging points, toilets and showers. Loddon does not have a train station, however there is a frequent bus service linking Loddon to Norwich, Beccles and Lowestoft. If coming by car it is a short drive from Norwich, located just off the A146, with on-street parking plus paid long stay parking at Loddon Staithe and Church Plain.