Blessed with extraordinary natural beauty – not just spectacular panoramas but also irresistible wildlife – the Norfolk Broads are one of the most pristine and must-visit areas of the British countryside.
Featuring a network of interconnected shallow lakes and rivers that are known as ‘broads’, the national park stretches from the city of Norwich to the Norfolk coast. The region attracts millions of visitors every year, among them (as you’d expect) a plethora of wildlife lovers, but also more general tourists looking to enjoy some of the most elegant and stunning natural sights imaginable.
That said, should you choose to visit the Norfolk Broads (no doubt staying at the best accommodation in the area, such as The Harper North Norfolk hotel), what is there specifically to see and do…?
Norfolk Wildlife Trust Floating Visitor Centre
(Ranworth NR13 6HY)
Arguably the very best way to embrace and experience the natural beauty of the glorious Norfolk Broads, this unique venue offers a spectacular, panoramic view across Ranworth Broad, a location that’s packed full of wildlife – everything from ospreys to otters and kingfishers to great crested grebes. While taking a 45-minute-long electric boat trip, you’ll also be able to spot one of the UK’s most renowned butterflies, the Swallowtail.
(Horning Road, Hoveton NR12 8JW)
If you’re planning on visiting the Broads with young ones in tow – or even if you’re not – then this place is simply a must. Why? Because it’s an adventure park boasting rope bridges, zip wires, treehouses and, of course, a marvellous maze. To be found within an expansive 50 woodland acres, it’s absolutely perfect for a family-friendly day out.
Roys of Wroxham
(Wroxham, Norwich NR12 8DB, UK)
Claiming to be the biggest village shop on the planet, this megastore may certainly be a lot larger than many a village shop, but nonetheless it retains the spirit, atmosphere and excellent service of one, while also offering a vast amount of shelf space and an abundance of diverse products. A retail experience that’s hard to resist if you’re staying in the Norwich area at one of the 5 star hotels Norfolk, you’ll find it stocks everything from clothes to toys to DIY equipment – and, indeed, anything you might require for an afternoon picnic spent on the Broads.
(Tunstead Road, Hoveton NR12 8QU)
There’s something for everyone at this leisure and entertainment complex set right in the heart of the Norfolk countryside. During the day, its art gallery and studio and its boutiques offer a vast array of artworks to discover and create and handmade crafts to peruse and purchase, while the junior farm with its opportunity to get up close to and meet furry creatures and the old-fashioned rides of its funfair are perfect for young visitors. Then, come the evening, its restaurant makes for the perfect venue to enjoy a long, relaxed meal with all the family, your loved ones or friends.
The Bittern Line
(Thorpe Lodge, 1 Yarmouth Road, Norwich NR7 0DU)
Connecting Norwich to the elegant, peaceful coastal towns of Cromer and Sheringham, this hourly-running, 45-minute-long service offers such a charming way to take in the awfully picturesque Norfolk countryside that it’s been named one of the 50 most scenic rail lines anywhere in the world. If that’s not recommendation enough to buy a ticket, what is!