Norfolk Broads



The Norfolk Broads are the northern part of The Broads National Park, Location: – East of England.
A southern part of the national park lies within Suffolk, and so the Broads are sometimes collectively referred to as the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, but many people simply call the entire system the Norfolk Broads. They are a man made creation, resulting from peat being excavated for use as fuel. These workings were then flooded by the rising water table.

The Norfolk Broads are best known as a boating centre, and rightly so. They are made up of a multitude of broad, shallow lakes lying along five major rivers. The lakes are the result of peat “harvest” during the Middle Ages. The water level rose, and flooded the peat diggings, creating lakes that are home to many rare plant and animal species, as well as a multitude of birds.

Not surprisingly, then, the Broads are blessed with several popular wildlife reserves.

Many footpaths run alongside the Broads’ 40 shallow lakes and five rivers, so fishing, bird watching, cycling and exploring couldn’t be easier.

Norfolk has a fantastic choice of attractions for visitors of all ages, from wonderful stately homes and gardens to family fun parks.



Take a guided boat trip from one of the many boatyards. Or better still hire a cruiser – they and other hirecraft are available by the week, day or even hour. These easy to handle boats accommodate from two to twelve people, and offer the ultimate in self-catering freedom. If sailing is your passion or something you have always meant to try, the Broads are the perfect setting to hone your skills or learn to sail.

You can try your hand at a whole range of non-powered watersports including windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, dinghy sailing and fishing at Whitlingham Country Park on the outskirts of Norwich between Easter and September. Consisting of the Great and Little Broads, the park was designed to attract wildlife as well as people and a variety of birds flock to the Great Broad.

There are plenty of waterside pubs and restaurants along the Broads, villages with picturesque cottages and shops, and there are Norfolk’s famous medieval churches to visit.

The vibrancy of the arts in the Norwich area has established it as the arts and entertainment capital of the East of England.

See below a few more attractions in the area of the Norfolk;

Bure Valley Railway. – Norfolk’s longest narrow gauge heritage railway, through 9 miles of beautiful Norfolk countryside between Aylsham and Wroxham.
City Boats – Variety of scheduled cruises daily from 15 mins to 3¼ hrs. Visit Norwich and the Broads in one day via ‘Norwich Discovery’.

Fairhaven Woodland & Water Garden.-180 acre natural garden and wildlife sanctuary in the Norfolk Broads.

Inspire Discovery Centre -Explore science at East Anglia’s only hands-on discovery centre. Housed in a medieval church in central Norwich.

Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery – One of the city’s most famous landmarks, Norwich Castle is packed with treasures to inspire and intrigue visitors of all ages

Pensthorpe  Get closer to nature at Pensthorpe. 500 acres of unspoilt Wensum Valley. Miles of nature trails. Beautiful lakes, home to Europe’s finest collection of water birds.

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens Find rare tigers, huge crocodiles, noisy gibbons and many more exciting animals in the old grounds of Thrigby Hall.

How to get there


Norwich is home to a major regional airport, Norwich International, with over 300 worldwide connections via Manchester and Amsterdam. London Stansted is within easy reach by road (85 miles).



Major trunk roads to the Norwich Area are the M11, A11, A12, A140 and A14 from London, the South East of England, ferry ports and the Channel Tunnel. The A14, A11, A47, A17 and A1 serve the Midlands and the North.



Intercity ½ hourly services, between Norwich and London Liverpool Street, with local connecting services within East Anglia. Average journey time from London is 1hr 50 mins.



Car and passenger ferries operate daily between Harwich and the Hook of Holland. Cuxhaven to Harwich, and Esberg to Harwich.



Daily services from all major cities are operated by National Express and Jetlink provides regular connections from Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

Norwich’s award-winning Park & Ride service is the most convenient way of getting into the city centre



Wymondham Music Festival – A festival of many different types of musical events throughout the summer. Many are free. Wymondham, Norfolk.

Worstead Festival –  is the largest village festival in Norfolk- Worstead, the origin of “worsted” wool in the 14th century, is located in North Norfolk, about 13 miles (21km) north of Norwich (England).(village square live music, over 150 craft, charity and trade stalls, working heavy horses in action, weaving and spinning demonstrations, vintage cars, tractors, and agricultural implements plus more entertainment.


Eating  Dining  Shopping

There are many restaurants/pubs and shopping areas in every town.



The Broads originated in the Middles Ages, during the 9th to 13th centuries, as shallow pits from which generations of Norfolk people dug peat for heating and cooking purposes.
Roman mercenaries, Saxon settlers and Norman conquerors all took what they needed, but it was not until the Middles Ages that peat-cutting became organized. The monks of St. Benet’s acquired all the rights as well as the services of the peasants, to the peat-cutting, consequently the Abbey became very wealthy. The amount of fuel needed was massive.  During the 14th century the sea level rose, the area flooded, and this natural accident formed the broads as we know them today.


Useful telephone numbers

Emergency Number; 999

Airport Information: (Norwich) Tel; 01603 420653

Train station: National Rail Tel 08457 48 49 50

Tourist Office: (Norwich) Tel 01603 727927

Holiday rents online:

National Transport Line


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