The World Famous Norfolk Broads
Our Norfolk Broads self-catering cottages, found within Britain's magical waterland, offers guests a beautiful setting of many contrasts. Our cottages in the Norfolk Broads give you the perfect opportunity to enjoy this all-weather playground, its vitally important but fragile habitat providing wealth of wildlife that would survive nowhere else.
The Romans first exploited the rich peat beds of the area, and in the Middle Ages local monasteries continued that industry, selling fuel to nearby Norwich and Great Yarmouth. When sea levels rose the peat pits began to flood and - despite the construction of windpumps and dykes - the famous Broads landscape was created.
Today visitors and locals alike can enjoy The Broads protected wetlands and its 125 miles of safe, enchanting waterways from one of our delightful holiday homes. The Broads enjoys the same level of protection as a National Park and is recognised globally for the distinct and precious character of its environment, while its picturesque villages preserve the popular holiday traditions of afternoon tea and souvenir hunting.
For those hankering after a hint of days gone by, this is a place where time seems to have stood still - the skyline punctuated only by the sight of windmills, and the silence broken by an occasional boat engine or the cry of livestock enquiring whether it's feeding time. Naturalist Ted Ellis - whose work at Wheatfen Nature Reserve is supported by Norfolk Country Cottages and the generosity of its customers - referred to the Broads as "the breathing space for the cure of souls". It's impossible not to relax in one of our Broads' cottages; enjoy birdlife that includes geese, grebe, bittern, cormorant and heron as well as the rare Cetti's Warbler!
Norfolk Broads cottages topped with locally-grown thatch roofs, nationally-renowned gardens, magnificent country churches and bustling riverside centres such as Wroxham and Potter Heigham provide plenty to do and see away from the water, but there is always a sense of fun and the scent of seaside fresh air in this region. And of course our East Norfolk holiday cottages, located on the east coast are not to be missed, with the beaches at Eccles, Happisburgh and Sea Palling among some of Norfolk's best-kept secrets... great for games on the sand in summer, wonderful for getting wrapped up and taking a long walk in winter.
Whatever floats your boat...
Head to the Ranworth Broad Nature Reserve for a great example of the famous Norfolk wetland's diversity and beauty. Ranworth is home to an array of woodland, fenland and wildlife and has a beautifully thatched floating visitor centre. The village is dominated by a church, known as the Cathedral of the Broads, which dates back to 1370 and offers spectacular views from the top of its tower.
For a different type of Broads experience, make for bustling Wroxham. Hire a day boat and explore the waterways at your leisure, stopping off to visit riverside pubs, shops and tea rooms en route. Or drive to Wroxham Barns, just outside the town, where you'll find a junior farm, craft shops and retail outlets full of tasty local produce and tipples.
The ancient settlement of Caister-on-Sea is today a thriving seaside resort with a lovely sandy beach and home to the ruins of a Roman fort. At an inquest into the so-called Caister Lifeboat Disaster of 1901 it was claimed that 'Caister men never turn back'... a quote which was later shortened to 'Never Turn Back' and became the motto of the RNLI.
Travel along the coastal Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty passing the ancient fishing village of Winterton-on-Sea with its dune system and tern colony and on through Hickling Broad and you'll reach Sea Palling. The village boasts a Blue Flag beach along which you can walk to Waxham and Horsey look out for the local seals as you admire the views.