(Photograph by Keith Sowter, Otters on the River Yare)
Why Norfolk… The Broads
This place is magical, a wildlife fanatics dream. Providing the natural habitat of creatures that you thought had disappeared.
The Broads is a widespread area of linked up rivers and lakes(broads), just over 220 square kilometres of these waterways are navigable. So boat hire is an essential part of enjoying this area. Boating itself is a huge attraction, let alone the amazing waterside pubs and restaurants. This whole area about to become renamed the broads national park. So what is there to do when visiting the Broads?
Making a base is essential – check out http://www.norfolkshiddengems.co.uk We currently have two wonderful cottages straight on the river in Wroxham. The heart of the Broads. It is a great place to start. Please take a look at http://www.wroxhambridgecottages.co.uk Lillies and Josies cottage are next door to each other and sleep up to four and up to six. They both back on to the river, so you get some great views. We have another property called The Moorings, http://www.themooringsnorfolkbroads.co.uk It sleeps eight, plus cot. This property has access to a boat on the river Yare, and also a hot tub.
Activities that you can do,
Boating, every village or town on the Broads has somewhere to hire a boat. Worth researching pricing and places close to your base. www.norfolkbroads.com helpfully can help you compare boat hire in different areas of the broads, well worth looking at.
Fishing or angling is an obvious sport with all this water around, I’m required to tell you to find out about the fishing seasons, and licences required before you go ahead and fish, so please do your research. You can get a rod license straight away from here www.environment-agency.gov.uk. However look at the list of fresh water species found across the broads, Roach, Bream, Rudd, Tench, Perch, Carp and Pike.
Canoeing – How about a wildlife safari in the Broads? Canadian Canoes can be hired at various locations and many provide these wonderful canoeing tours. They look fab this is something I’d love to do this summer, its on my bucket list. Check out http://www.thecanoeman.co.uk They do reasonable priced tours, such as Otter spotting tours or Bittern Spotting trails and much more.
Walking – How about a meander on the Weavers’ Way taking in the traditional expanse of the Halvergate Marshes, to sight see the iconic Berney Arms windmill and maybe even flag down a train home at the remotest existing train station (its a request stop, I didn’t know these existed). There are many other walks around, why not buy an ordnance survey map and make a list of some before you get here (www.dash4it.co.uk, cheapest I can find on the web) OL40 – The Broads area Explorer Map.
Cycling – there are lots of fabulous paths to follow, with restaurants and pubs on the way. As with the walking, grab a map, seek a route and go for it. You won’t be disappointed.
Wildlife Watching – the main attraction of The broads for me is the natural English wildlife that is found in and around the rivers. From Otters to King fishers it can all be found in Norfolk. Some places you might want to consider visiting are Brundel Church Fen, Carlton Marshes, Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden (www.fairhavengarden.co.uk). How Hill National Nature Reserve, NWT Broads Wildlife Centre (www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk) a nature trail leading to a thatched conservation centre. NWT Hickling Broad, this is an area that the famous Swallow tail butterfly can be found.
When you come to visit, make sure you download the Norfolk broads app, this has an interactive map of mooring spots and GPS tracking. Find it on ITunes.
Places to find more information about the broads: