Coltishall was a place of note even when the Domesday Book was compiled. In 1231 the village was made a free town by King Henry III.
Coltishall is a busy riverside village. It is sometimes referred to as the “Gateway to the Broads” as it marks the start of the navigable portion of the River Bure. The staithe is someway out of the village itself and it captivates visitors with its picturesque setting, riverside pubs, a grassy field and is overlooked by fine properties. The thatched village church of St John is within walking distance of the staithe. The residential part of the village is nearly a mile further along the road, with plenty of old buildings housing shops and buisnesses. The Bure Valley Railway has a station in Coltishall, but this is a long walk from the staithe! Coltishall is also famous for its RAF base, situated about a mile north of the village. This RAF base has a long history and is where Sir Douglas Bader was once a squadron commander. Sadly, flying operations ceased at the end of March 2006.