As Britain's largest nationally protected wetlands, the Norfolk Broads are home to an abundance of many rare species of flora and fauna, and are at the heart of a conservation programme.
Renowned for its rural life style and boat-building traditions, this is a great place to enjoy the beautiful Norfolk countryside and an altogether slower pace of life. Visit the beautiful city Norwich, with it's ancient cobbled streets and magnificent cathedral, dating from 1096.
The Broads which spread across the eastern coasts of Norfolk and Suffolk are a network of rivers, dykes and lakes, most of which originate from flooded man made peat digs.
The peat was dug and then dried to be used as combustible heating fuel, sold to the nearby towns and cities. Over the centuries the sea levels rose and flooded the surroundings, the construction of wind mills and dykes to control the water levels, nature took command and the broads are what you can now see.
The region is now under the protection of the Broads National Park, caring for the safety of the public on the waters and of course the wildlife and landscape. There are more than 200 kms / 120 miles of waterways to cruise on self-drive boats, although there is a tidal influence, the navigation is easy and fun for all.
The villages and towns along the banks and shores have a traditional charm with brightly coloured cottages and thatched roofs, the traditional windmills with the grand sails are a treat for our eyes.
The pubs, inns and tea shops offer delicious dishes, fine local beers such as the Adnams and cakes with a real cup of tea. The abundance of wildlife and flora are fascinating with herons, marsh harriers and otters, to name but a few inhabitants of these wetlands.
The rivers and Broads you can cruise and discover:
River Bure, River Thurne, River Waveney, River Ant, Oulton Broad, Barton Broad, Hickling Broad, Salhouse Broad, Ranworth Broad, Wroxham Broad and the Breydon Water
How to get here
The Norfolk Broads are within easy reach of many English cities, with good road and rail connections to Norwich, especially from London
London Stansted (Horning 156 kms, Somerleyton 162 kms)
London Gatwick (Horning 155 kms, Somerleyton 150 kms)
Places to visit
The capital city of Norwich
Norwich is well worth visiting and exploring, if possible even for a few days, there is much to see.
There are great shopping streets, malls, arcade and a daily market. Pubs, cafés and resturants for all tastes and budgets.
The castle must be on your list, plus a walk down to the river bank and some time to discover the 12th century Cathedral built by the Normans with stone from France.
Villages on the Broads
The very quaint village of Reepham is worthy of a good walk around.
Acle is a market town on the River Bure
The village of Heydon is very picturesque with houses,cottages and the lovely pub, the Earle Arms.
In Ranworth don't forget to climb the spiral stair case of Saint Helen's Church, you'll be rewarded with a magnificent view of Broads.
Woodbastwick is a delight and has been awarded Best Kept Village.