Norfolk and The Norfolk Broads are synonymous with each other. These inland waterways are unique to the county and instantly recognisable. The renamed Broads National Park is a wildlife and bird watching delight, much of it designated with areas of scientific interest. A joy for those who love to sail, fish the waterways or just meander slowly in a boat, you can discover tranquillity around water that is so enjoyable, allowing you to truly relax and unwind - The Norfolk Broads will entertain and revive!
Hire a day cruiser from Broads Tours and explore the area at a serene pace, navigate the waterways and lakes and witness the unique wildlife both on the banks and in the water. Along the way, why not moor up at one of the many waterside pubs where you can sample the great local food, or stay on dry-land for a bit longer and walk many of the waterside paths and routes? Be sure to keep an eye out for the impressive Norfolk Wherry barges with their distinctive high-peaked sails. Alternatively, get closer to the waters in a canoe or kayak, where the flat open waterways provide easy navigation so you can experience the wildlife at a much closer level. The Canoe Man in Wroxham will hire out craft or take you on a bespoke nature trip where you can reach some stretches of water not accessible to larger craft.
Wroxham and Hoveton are the main centres for The Broads. Popular with tourists in the summer, they play host to a number of notable attractions, from boat-hire companies to the infamous Southern Comfort - a lively paddle steamer that takes you out on a round-trip cruise. If shopping is on the agenda then pop into Roys of Wroxham, a unique and well-loved local department store in the heart of The Broads, where you can find just about everything!
However, The Broads are not just about Wroxham and Hoveton. There are many quiet villages to enjoy and explore. South Walsham home to Fairhaven Woodland and Water Gardens has one of the prettiest stretches of water; from here you can take the small river boat for a short trip around their private Broad where you may be lucky enough to spot an elusive Kingfisher, watch the elegant Grebe or see a playful river Otter.
Ranworth and Ludham are two pretty villages. At Ludham Staithe join the river Thurne for an enjoyable walk along the banks and see the windmills at Staithe and Thurne. In Ranworth head up to the tower of St. Helen’s church for some great views across the Broad and countryside, or explore on foot via the numerous walks and pathways maintained by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Alternative destinations include the towns and villages of Salhouse and Stalham and further south look out for Rockland St. Mary, Loddon and more! The How Hill National Nature Reserve owned by the National Trust, is internationally acclaimed and has something to offer visitors whatever the season.
There are some great award winning family attractions too. Wroxham Barns, is a must for families with smaller children whilst adults will enjoy the craft stores and local produce. Active families should head towards Horning, where they will find the superb adventure park, BeWILDerwood, full of family-orientated adventures and activities, or pick up the Bure Valley Steam narrow gauge railway, which runs from Wroxham to Aylsham.
There is much to see and do in The Broads, it is truly a magical experience and one not to be missed.
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