The Norfolk Broads and East Coast Villages - Things To Do
An all-weather playground for locals and visitors alike, the Norfolk Broads are a vitally important but often fragile habitat for a wealth of wildlife that would survive nowhere else.
The Victorians used the Broads primarily for transporting heavy goods out to sea and towards the large shipping port of London, but since the late 1800s the Broads have been a thriving tourist destination and with over 125 miles of navigable water, it is still easy to find peace and tranquillity here. As Britains largest protected wetland, the Broads are home to a wealth of wildlife and for birdwatchers in particular, this is a must-see destination with hundreds of species of rare birds.
Away from the water, this is a place where time often seems to have stood still the picturesque villages that are scattered around the Broads and towards the East Coast preserve the popular traditions of afternoon tea and souvenir hunting, while in some places the skyline is punctuated only by the sight of windmills. And along the coastline itself, miles and miles of spotless sands provide the perfect setting for old-fashioned bucket and spade style fun. Firm favourites with locals but we dont mind sharing, honest! include the beaches at Eccles, Sea Palling, Walcott and Waxham, all of them fantastic for taking in the sea air whatever time of year you visit.
If youre in need of retail therapy then riverside centres such as Wroxham, Potter Heigham and Coltishall provide plenty to do and see away from the water. Beccles, once a flourishing Saxon river port, is today a popular town and boating centre in the Waveney Valley. Full of character, its the perfect complement to the bustling city of Norwich which is just a short drive away.
Other towns worth a visit include Acle, North Walsham and Stalham, all of which are within easy reach of our Broads and East Coast village properties. Here youll find individual shops, friendly pubs and a warm welcome from the locals who like nothing more than to share their passion for the place in which they live and work!
With wildlife aplenty the Broads are a naturalists haven. Its said that being on or close to the water is the quickest way to slow down, so set the pace for your holiday by hiring a self-drive day launch from one of the many boatyards on the Broads, or head to busy Wroxham and book a trip on a luxury passenger boat complete with bar and night-time entertainment. If youre into water sports, Hickling Broad is home to sailing and windsurfing clubs; alternatively, arrange a day with The Canoe Man and you can combine a paddle through some of the areas quieter backwaters with a bush craft course a real learning experience!
Wheatfen Nature Reserve at Surlingham Broad is home to the Ted Ellis Trust and thanks to the generous donations of Norfolk Country Cottages customers has a fabulous new visitor centre. Wheatfen is one of the few remaining areas of the once-extensive Yare Valley swamp, and one of the most important sites of its kind in Britain. Tranquil at all times, it is a true haven for wildlife and a wonderful place in which to contemplate the wonders of nature. Ted was the uncle of our founder, Richard Ellis, so of course we have a special affinity for Wheatfen. But we guarantee youll be mesmerised by it too!