Norwich and the Norfolk Broads

(Norwich, Norfolk, England, UK)

Image of Norfolk Broads riverside pubNow with a National Park status, the Norfolk Broads lie directly to the east of Norwich and rank amongst Europe's most notable inland waterways. With more than 125-miles / 200-km of boating and an endless amount of green open space, the Norfolk Broads provide an idyllic destination for a quiet holiday.

The rivers of the Norfolk Broads are easy to navigate by boat or yacht, since they have no locks whatsoever and are well suited to narrow boats and canoes. Other attractions here include woodland pathways, cycle trails, fens, lakes, fishing and lots of native wildlife.

Photo of a Norfolk Broads riverfront windmill

General Information

Many visitors to the Norfolk Broads choose to hire a motor boat for the afternoon and explore the waterways. Consider heading to Barton Broad and taking a relaxing cruise onboard the UK's very first solar-powered boat capable of carrying passengers.

Others prefer to explore the historical towns and villages, where churches and windmills await. Just 20 minutes to the north-east of Norwich, the busy village of Wroxham is a good starting point for a holiday and lies alongside the Ant, Bure and Thurne rivers.

Norfolk Broads River view, showing sailing boatsHickling Broad is close to Wroxham and is known in the Norfolk Broads for its vast expanse of open water, which covers an area of around 200 hectares / 500 acres. The Norfolk Wildlife Trust has a large nature reserve at Hickling Broad, which is often of interest to day trippers and nature lovers alike.

Also close to Norwich is the charming village of Ranworth, where many tourists come for birdwatching and to visit the floating conservation centre situated off Ranworth Road. If you do come here, you may also like to climb the 30-metre / 100-foot tower of Ranworth Church and soak up the glorious views of the Norfolk Broads, which stretch for literally miles.

Norfolk Broads picture of moored yachtsThe southern area of the Norfolk Broads tends to be a little quieter than the northern region, and is based around the rivers of the Chet, Waveney and Yare. Highlights here include the marina at Brundall, and the plentiful riverside pubs, which are to be found at places such as Bramerton, Loddon and Surlingham.

At the village of Reedham, a historic chain ferry provides a useful way to cross the River Yare. Nearby at Beccles, trips along the River Waveney, onboard the Edwardian-style boat named the 'Liana', are always popular.