Things to do: The Norfolk Broads

Things to do: The Norfolk Broads

One of the things that Norfolk is most well known for is the Norfolk Broads. Split into different sections, each offers a diverse range of attractions and activities, perfect for filling your itinerary. For those travelling to the area, our luxury North Norfolk holiday cottages are perfectly located to provide you with the opportunity to visit all of the best attractions that the broads have to offer. As there are so many things to do, it can be difficult to know where to start, below are a few of our top recommendations of things to do when visiting the Norfolk broads.

History of the Norfolk Broads

Widely known as the UK’s largest nationally protected wetland and an important area for wildlife, the broads are actually a man made creation. During mediaeval times the area was used to dig for peat for fuel and then later flooded and heavy loads transported across them. Now the areas are protected due to the amount of wildlife and habitats that they sustain and contain over 125 miles of lock free waterways.

Hire a boat

There is arguably no better way to discover the broads and relax than by boat. In fact, there are many places on the broads that can only be accessed by boat. With plenty of hire available from Wroxham there are plenty of opportunities to take your own private vessel to the water and explore. Along the banks of the waterways you will find plenty of places to moor up and explore the different villages which are connected by the broads, many of which have river-side pubs, perfect for stopping for a lunch break.

Get stuck in with watersports

For people of all experience levels you will be able to find canoe, kayak and paddleboard hire from a number of the villages that line the broads. Quietly travelling through the waterways, you’ll be able to get up close to the local wildlife that call this unique ecosystem home. We also recommend taking a guided trail with the Canoe Man, local experts who offer a range of different guided tours, taking you to areas of the broads that cannot be accessed by motorised boats, giving you the best chance of spotting Kingfishers, Bitterns and Otters.

Things to do: The Norfolk Broads
Things to do: The Norfolk Broads

Discover the local wildlife

The broads have a range of visitor centres and marked trails that lead you through the different habitats with resting places and informational boards where you can read about the wildlife who you might catch a glimpse of.

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust floating centre on Ranworth broad is particularly beautiful and secluded, reached by broadwalk it has panoramic views across the water. Here you will find Great Crested Grebes, Kingfishers, Cormorants, Marsh Harriers, Common Terns and Cetti’s Warbler. The other centres are at Hoveton, Ranworth, Toad Hole Cottage and How Hill Nature Reserve all of which offer boat trips to explore the nearby waterways.

Cycling and Walking Trails

Miles upon miles of quiet cycle routes and walking paths line the waterways so if getting on a boat isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the scenery and the views by walking alongside the rivers. Bike hire is available from the centres in the broads and they can offer advice on the best routes for all ages and abilities.


Many of Norfolk’s best family attractions are located on the broads. From animal parks to BeWILDerwood, there are plenty of things for families of all ages to enjoy. This can help you to keep everyone happy, enjoy a morning out on the boats for the adults and then stop at one of the local villages for an afternoon at one of the local attractions before heading back to your holiday cottage for a well earned rest.

There is so much to do on the broads and so many things that we would recommend doing it’s hard to condense it down to one list! If you are visiting the area then we highly recommend a visit to the broads, no matter your age or whether you are visiting as a couple or a family, there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

If you would like any more information about our luxury North Norfolk holiday cottages, then please don’t hesitate to contact us, our friendly team are happy to help you with finding the right availability and property for your stay and advice for your itinerary.


Share this

Other Things to Do

  • The Kelling Estate Countryside

    The Kelling Estate Countryside

    Find out more about the beautiful North Norfolk countryside that surrounds The Kelling Estate.

  • The Perfect Date Itinerary for Valentine's Day

    The Perfect Date Itinerary for Valentine’s Day

    Plan the perfect day out for you and a loved one.

  • Coastal Towns To Visit Across North Norfolk

    Coastal Towns To Visit Across North Norfolk

    These towns offer a diverse range of experiences, from traditional seaside activities to exploring nature.