Unforgettable Holidays to the Norfolk Broads

Cruise, fish and relax in the Norfolk Broads

The UK’s largest protected wetland and one of its most unique National Parks, the six rivers and 40 broads that make up this region are home to some of the country’s rarest and most diverse wildlife. It’s the perfect destination for an active holiday, whether you’re looking to have fun on - or off - the water. Holidays in the Norfolk Broads range from a city break in Norwich to a beach holiday in Yarmouth. You can even stay on a boat and discover the true beauty of the area.

Divided into two geographical regions, the Northern Broads incorporate the Rivers Bure, Ant and Thurne, the towns of Wroxham, Stalham, Reedham and Potter Heigham, as well as Hickling Broad and Barton Broad. The Southern Broads lie across south Norfolk and north Suffolk, incorporating the Rivers Yare, Waveney and Chat as well Oulton Broad, Breydon Water and the towns of Beccles, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Norwich.

Discover the Norfolk Broads

Stay in Wroxham for a traditional Norfolk Broads holiday

Wroxham, the unofficial ‘Capital of the Broads’, is a pleasant and accessible base for exploring the Northern Broads. Charming thatched Wroxham holiday cottages are located all along the banks of the River Bure, many of which come with a private mooring and even use of a boat. If not, you can simply hire a day boat from Richardson’s Day Hire or Wroxham Boat Hire and explore the River Bure, Salhouse Broad and Wroxham Broad at your leisure. Local attractions include Wroxham Barns and Petting Zoo, the beautiful Hoveton Hall Gardens and the steam-powered Bure Valley Railway.

Wroxham amenities: Roys Supermarket, Hoveton Visitor Centre and Roy’s Department Store. 

Where to eat: The Kings Head, Wroxham Hotel or the Wherryman’s Restaurant.

Family-friendly holidays in the Norfolk Broads

The Norfolk Broads is the perfect location for a family holiday, providing kids with plenty of space, new horizons and the opportunity to learn important skills. Whilst the water is the main attraction, the region also offers a wide choice of land-based family adventures. Young children will revel in finding out about the Boggles and Twiggles at the unique Bewilderwood Adventure Park, whilst older children will enjoy a day at Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park, or simply visiting the amusements and piers along the seafront.

Best family beaches: Sea Palling, Hemsby, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. 

Family-friendly events: Gorleston Clifftop Festival (July) and Horning Regatta (August).

Norfolk Broads Weekend Breaks in Norwich

Norwich is the only UK city that lies partially within a national park. This means it’s easy to combine a Norwich city break with a Broads holiday adventure. Whether you stay in Norwich, or travel to the city via boat along the River Yare, be sure to explore the independent shops and restaurants that line the cobbled Norwich Lanes shopping area. Norwich is also one of East Anglia's major arts and culture hubs, with a wide choice of theatres (Theatre Royal, Playhouse and Maddermarket), as well as numerous art galleries and museums.

Must-see attractions: Norwich Castle, Norwich Cathedral and the historic Norwich Market. 

Get to Norwich: from London by rail in under two hours or Peterborough in 90 minutes.

Norfolk Broads holiday accommodation: on land and water

A self catering Norfolk Broads holiday is the perfect chance to properly explore the best that this region has to offer. Norfolk Broads holiday cottages range from traditional stone houses to reed-thatched boathouses and modern lodges. The whole family can even stay on a riverboat, with berths available up to 12 and onboard amenities that include a bathroom, kitchen and TV. Many Broads pubs and restaurants offer overnight mooring services, which means you can stay somewhere different every night of your trip.

Where to stay on land: Wroxham, Beccles, Ludham, Burgh Castle or Coltishall. 

Where to moor: Reedham, Horning, Womack Staithe, Acle and Oulton Broad.

Outdoor activities on the Norfolk Broads

The Norfolk Broads comprise 125 miles of lock-free, navigable waterways, just waiting to be explored. The waters provide no end to outdoor exploration, from cruising, sailing and rowing to paddleboarding, canoeing and kayaking. Bird-watching is also popular; see if you can spot some of the Broads’ most famous residents including Bittern, Marsh Harrier and Grey Heron. On land, cycling and walking along the flat landscape are popular for good reason. Top cycle trails include the easy 2.5-mile Three Rivers Way trail from Horning to Hoveton or the more challenging 21-mile Marriots Way from Aylsham to Norwich.

Small craft hire: Whittingham Outdoor Centre, Salhouse Broad and Canoeman. 

Bike hire: Broadland Cycle Hire, Clippesby Cycle Hire and Sea Palling Cycle Hire (at Bewilderwood).

Fishing holidays in the Norfolk Broads

The Broads is one of the UK’s best fishing break destinations, with plenty of opportunities to fish in complete peace and quiet. Holidaymakers can fish from the heading of their bankside Norfolk Broads cottages or indeed from a leisure or rowing boat. In fact, many of the best fishing spots in the Broads are not accessible by foot and can only be reached by boat. Night fishing is also a popular activity on the Broads. Adults and children over 13 will need to get a fishing licence from the Post Office or Broads Authority.

Picturesque fishing spots: Coltishall, Irstead and Martham Broad. 

Top catches: Roach, bream, pike, carp and eel.

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