The Norfolk Broads are a unique mixture of man made expanses of water connected by meandering rivers and dykes throughout much of Norfolk and into Suffolk.
Originally thought to have been formed naturally, it wasn't until the early 1960's that research conclusively proved that the broads themselves were the result of medieval man digging for peat to fuel their fires.
These peat diggings later flooded to form
the beautiful Broadland landscape we have today.
The dykes were dug to drain the marshes and surrounding areas to enable them to be used for grazing of livestock and for arable farming.
The windmills that are dotted around the landscape
were used in part to mill grain, but more commonly to pump water
to assist in and manage the drainage.
The rivers that link the broads, Norwich, Yarmouth and other towns in Broadland, also were in part man made.
Over the years man raised the banks to stop flooding of the low-lying land and
altered the routes of the rivers to connect or bypass areas.
The end result is that we have around 150 miles of navigable
rivers and around 41 shallow lakes, all interconnected and
fringed with reed beds that give the keen sailor, the fisherman,
the naturalist, and the holidaymaker, unrivalled opportunities to
pursue their interests in a natural setting of some of the most beautiful
scenery in Britain.
The Broads is one of the great environmental success stories of the past 20 years. Since becoming a member of the National Park, the Broads Authority has worked to restore the clear water and quality of the UK's only national wetland, which is famous the world over for its rich and rare variety of plants, animals and birds.
Leave the car behind and discover the quiet lanes and roads that will take to you to the Rivers and Broads throughout the area. Take a picnic lunch, enjoy a cream tea in a riverside tea shop or try something a little different brewed by an award winning local brewery!
We can help you with good quality cycle hire, whose
staff will be pleased to help or advise with routes around the area.
Hire a motorised day boat or traditional sailing yacht at one of the many local boatyards, or a trip on a passenger vessel which will take in some of the popular Broadland villages.
Visit the historic city of Norwich and the beautiful Cathedral which has dominated the skyline for nearly 1000 years. Norwich is also home to one of the country's largest permanent outdoor markets which is easily recognisable by the colourful canopies of the stall holders.
Or, take a look around one of the many National
Trust properties in the area; Sandringham Estate, Blickling Hall
or Felbrigg Hall, each distinctively different.
If you fancy a walk, why not head out to the beautiful unspoilt beach at Winterton which is now home to a colony of around 80 seals.
This is the perfect place to stretch your legs and blow
away the cobwebs.