The Norfolk Broads

By Zaithyn Galter Published 04/9/2007 | Travel

The Norfolk Broads is one of the UKs most popular natural tourism destinations, with over two million holidaymakers visiting The Broads every year. The area has a great deal to offer visitors with unique wildlife, outdoor pursuits and attractions, villages and towns and water-based activities.

Its success as a tourism destination over the last 100 years can be attributed to its spectacular natural landscape, which was formed over many centuries by human and natural geographical processes. This unique environment has been internationally recognised and has recently become the only wetland area in the UK to be granted National Park status.

The unique landscape of The Norfolk Broads, a series of interconnecting rivers and lakes and fenland areas, was once thought to be a natural feature of the landscape. But in the 1950s Dr J M Lambert discovered that the Broads, which are the small shallow lakes that are connected by the rivers, were man-made.

The most popular holiday pastime on the Broads is sailing with great opportunities for both experienced sailors and complete novices; The Broads has over 40 inland water-filled lakes and is connected by 200km of rivers that provide the perfect conditions for wind or motor powered boats. The other major addition to a Broads-based boating experience is that there arent any locks, so all your time on board can be spent sailing, rather than queuing.

Alongside the boating, the Broads has a range of great attractions. Highlights include the Horsey Windpump, which is owned by the National Trust, and has been fully restored. The pump has fantastic views across Horsey Mere. The area also has The Museum of The Broads where visitors can discover the unique history of the landscape and its people.

If you are looking to tour the countryside around The Norfolk Broads then the area is home to many charming towns and villages with traditionally thatched cottages, village greens and churches.

These local towns and villages include Wroxham, the self-styled capital of the Broads, with a good range of shops and amenities, the small village of Woodbastwick with its flint built church and award-winning brewery and Ranworth where the local church has a spire than enables visitors to get a unique view of The Norfolk Broads from the areas highest point.

To make the most of the natural environment off the water, the best way to see the Broads is by using one of the many walks or cycle routes that cross the park.

The area has a great range of short nature trails or circular walks focused around the towns and villages, while serious walkers can take advantage of The Wherrymans Way along the River Yare, or Angles Way which follows the Norfolk and Suffolk border round the southern half of the Broads.

Bikes can be hired from centres all over the Broads with some good local routes that include the Bure Valley Cycle Path and Weavers Way. You can pick up more information about these routes at the local tourist information centres

Whatever the kind of holiday you enjoy the Broads National Park has something for everyone.

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