Exploring The Norfolk Broads National Park – Great Day Out
20th January 2017
You have to be careful about using the word ‘unique’, but when it comes to the Norfolk Broads National Park you can be quite confident about its ‘uniqueness’. Let’s look at some of the facts. For a start it’s Britain’s largest protected wetland. It’s the country’s third largest inland waterway. It’s home to more than a quarter of the rarest plants and animals in the UK.
And, it’s only half an hour away from Woodland Holiday Park!
Covering some 303 sq km the Norfolk Broads National Park actually stretches into Suffolk as well. It’s a huge area of countryside, riverside and nearby seaside. It includes picturesque villages, charming towns, woodland, marshes and, of course, The Broads themselves.
It seems that even the name is unique, as there are no other ‘Broads’ anywhere. And how The Broads got here is quite a story in itself. They were long thought to be a natural phenomenon and that belief persisted into the 1950s when it was finally acknowledged that The Broads are in fact man made. They are the result of medieval peat diggings.
Their origins aside The Broads have been a favourite place for holidays and recreation for a long time. Nowadays they’re one of the uk’s most popular places, and if you’re staying in Norfolk you really must visit them.
Top of the list of things to do on The Broads has to be boating. Try a day boat hire and meander around the area, possibly stopping off at one of the many waterside pubs. The Broads National Park contains 200km of navigable waterways, and some of them lead you to where you can only get by boat. So it can be a real adventure.
Why not have a go at sailing? Maybe get some tuition. You’ll be following a great example – that famous son of Norfolk, Lord Nelson, learned to sail on the Broads! He acquired his early skills on Barton Broad, which is the second largest of the Broads.
Nowadays it’s a wonderful place to visit, with its Boardwalk (which is wheelchair friendly) letting you wander through the woodlands, rich with wildlife.
In fact, The Broads are famous for their wildlife. Bitterns, Marsh Harriers, otters, swallowtail butterflies all inhabit Broadland. You’ll find Nature Reserves in several places including Ranworth and Hickling.
The Broads offer a real myriad of activities. Fishing, canoeing, bird watching, cycling and simply walking around are all great family activities. And if you’re into photography The Broads are a world renowned location for stunning pictures.
The area encompasses lots of towns and villages to visit. From Aylsham to Acle, from Reedham to Reepham, you’ll find shops, museums, and lovely places to eat and drink.
They call Wroxham the ‘Capital of The Broads’, and this charming town is well worth checking out. Don’t miss the opportunity to call in to ‘Roys of Wroxham’ – the ‘world’s largest village store’!
From Wroxham you’re well within visiting distance of some great attractions including the Bure Valley Railway, Wroxham Barns, with its shops and cafes, and BeWILDerwood Adventure Park.
You can wander over to Stalham, where you’ll learn a lot at the Museum of the Broads, potter over to Potter Heigham with its medieval bridge, or maybe run over to Ranworth where you could, if you’re up for it, climb the church tower. You’ll find the view from the top was well worth the effort.
There’s Horning, a lovely Broads village, and Woodbastwick is beautiful. It’s won the Best Kept Village Award twice, and it’s home to the legendary Woodforde’s Brewery.
And of course you won’t be far away from Norwich, the capital of Norfolk. No visit to the county is complete without seeing this stunning city, with its castle, cathedrals, cafes, restaurants and world class shopping.
From North Norfolk you’ll find getting to, and around, The Broads is easy. Parking is plentiful and public transport is frequent and reliable. Information and advice is readily available. There are lots of websites covering the geography, history and attractions of the area, and all of the towns and villages have guide books in their shops and information centres.
Accessible and hugely attractive The Broads National Park really is a joy for all the family. With its windmills and winding waterways, boats and big skies, the whole area is classic Norfolk. You can find the most tranquil of spots, or be as active as you like. You can get out on the water, or simply wander beside it. Either way we think you’ll find that it all lives up to its reputation of being ‘Britain’s Magical Waterland’.
What’s more, with all that The Broads National Park offers, and it being so close to us and the joys of North Norfolk, your stay at Woodland Holiday Park will be like having two holidays in one!