The River Wensum

river Wensum
Welcome to our guide to the River Wensum.
The River Wensum is a prolific barbel river, producing double-figure fish on a regular basis. It is also popular with anglers for its head of big chub, as well as fighting-fit brown trout.

Wensum is derived from 'Wandsum', an Old English word which means winding, which describes this beautiful river perfectly.

The Path of the River Wensum

The River Wensum flows through the county of Norfolk, with its source being close to the idylic villages of Colkirk, Oxwick and Whissonsett, around 20 miles (32KM) northwest of the historic city of Norwich.

The river heads west for about 2 miles before taking a northerly path past the villages of Raynham, West Raynham and East Raynham. It continues north flowing past Helhoughton, Tatterford and Shereford, where it takes an easterly direction towards Fakenham.

As the Wensum approaches the town of Fakenham it starts to widen and take its trademark shape, there are some beautiful spots to wet a line along this stretch, including some free fishing near the Fakenham Mill. This stretch of the River Wensum holds some good roach, skimmers and bream, along with other typical Wensum species.

After meeting its tributary the River Tat and passing in an easterly direction south of Fakenham, the Wensum starts to wind its way southeast through the stunning surroundings of the Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, then continues on passing near the villages of Great Ryburgh and Guist.

The river then meanders its way in a more southerly direction between the villages of North Elmham and Billingford. It continues south for about 2 miles and then starts to wind its way east passing close to the villages of Bylaugh and Mill Street.

The Wensum then heads northeast taking it around the north of the village of Lyng. The river then heads south to pass close to the east of Ling before heading off in an easterly direction towards the hamlet of Lenwade.

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After passing through Lenwade, the Wensum starts to wind its way southeast toward Norwich and its confluence with the River Yare.

On its way to Norwich the river passes just west of Attlesbridge and carries on south passing between the rural village of Ringland and the village of Taverham. It then winds back on itself and passes just south of Taverham.

The River Wensum then flows past the parish of Costessey, which is a great barbel and chub stretch. Drayton is the next village to be graced by the banks of the Wensum, before it heads south again passing between the parish of New Costessey and the Norwich suburb of Hellesdon.

The Wensum winds its way through the city of Norwich before meeting its confluence with the River Tud, just downstream of the village of Lakenham, near the village of Trowse.

Free fishing on the River Wensum

There are numerous stretches on the River Wensum where fishing is free, although you will need to hold an "Enviroment Agency Rod Licence".

The free fishing stretches include:

  • Fakenham Common (near Fakenham Mill)
    • This is a nice stretch with great Roach and Skimmer fishing. There are also Barbel, Chub, Dace and Pike present.
  • Ringland Bridge
    • Barbel, Chub, Dace, Pike and Roach are present.
  • Hellesdon Mill Pool
    • Barbel, Chub, Dace, Pike and Roach are present.
  • Norwich City
    • There are numerous free fishing stretches in Norwich city, including Bishop's Bridge, Carrow Bridge, The Yacht Station and Foundry Bridge.

If you know of any free stretches on this river please let us know.

Species of fish found in the River Wensum include:

Fishing Clubs & Societies with fishing rights on the River Wensum

River Wensum Counties & Tributaries

  • Flows through counties:
    • Norwich
  • Tributaries include:
    • River Tat
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