Set between the popular holiday destination of Great Yarmouth and the historic city of Norwich, the serenely beautiful Norfolk Broads are Britain’s largest protected wetland – and the only UK National Park hosting a city.

This striking and unique network of scenic lakes, rivers and wetlands was originally carved out by peat-diggers during the 12th century, and the area is now rich with wildlife, protected by nature reserves and RSPB centres.

Studded with pretty, historic villages as well as pockets of picturesque countryside, the Broads make the perfect spot for a weekend getaway.

Where to stay in the Norfolk Broads

Open between March and November in 2024, the Norfolk Broads CAMC Campsite is a peaceful site that, as the name suggests, is set within the picturesque Norfolk Broads and is ideally located for exploring the many delightful areas nearby.

Alternatively, Reedham Ferry & The Archers Touring Park is open between March and October and is perfectly placed for not only exploring the Broads but also taking in the delights of Norfolk and Great Yarmouth.

Take a look at our guide to the best caravan sites for more ideas about where to explore in the UK.

What to do in the Norfolk Broads on Day 1

10am – A capital start

A great place to begin exploring this lovely part of the world is in the so-called ‘capital of the Broads’, the neighbouring villages of Wroxham and Hoveton. These charming places offer waterside beauty spots with plenty to do.

Image: Getty – Wroxham is known as the capital of the Broads

Seasonal boat trips along the local waterways are a great way to see the stunning scenery. You could board one of Broads Tours’ scenic passenger trips, or if you prefer, join an evening disco, a pirate voyage – or even a Christmas cruise!

Pleasure boat
Image: Getty – taking to the water in a pleasure boat offers a different perspective

1pm – Tudor history

Taking a very short drive from Hoveton will bring you to the ancient village of Horning, a pretty place full of distinctive Tudor buildings and offering a choice of pleasant walks.

After a gentle wander along the riverside, stop for a spot of lunch at Staithe ‘n’ Willow. ‘Staithe’ is an old local name for a landing stage for loading and unloading cargo boats. This delightful thatched-cottage café provides a delicious menu of homemade lunches and cakes.

2.30pm – Flora and fauna

Home to more than 30 Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserves and eight RSPB sites, the Broads are brimming with flora and fauna.

A 15-minute drive away from Wroxham is How Hill National Nature Reserve, home to the How Hill Trust Environmental Study Centre.

After a stroll through the beautiful Edwardian house’s landscaped gardens, you can ramble on walking and cycling paths to reach the Toad Hole Cottage Museum, on the banks of the River Ant. The charming cottage has been maintained as it looked in its Victorian heyday, when it housed a local marsh worker and his family.

Tickets can be purchased there for wildlife walks and boat trips (April to October).

6pm – Time to dine

On your way home, stop for dinner at the King’s Arms, in Ludham. This cosy pub serves a great selection of traditional favourites, along with modern classics, Sunday carveries – and there’s even a doggy menu!

What to do on Day 2

10am – Take the train

Running through the Broads is the iconic Bure Valley Railway, a heritage steam line connecting Wroxham and Aylsham. Hop on board in Hoveton, then sit back and enjoy the scenic stretches of Norfolk countryside from the comfort of a historic train, before exploring the market town of Aylsham and catching an afternoon service back.

Heritage railway
Image: Getty – heritage steam trains are another great way to enjoy the landscape

1pm – Lunch by the river

Time for lunch at The Old Mill, a family-run café that overlooks the River Bure. This welcoming waterside eatery offers a menu of classic lunches, homemade cakes and local coffee.

After lunch, take a short stroll upriver and you’ll find Hoveton Riverside Park and the Visitor Centre, which is an excellent source of information about the area from the locals.

3pm – Serene waters

The Broads are scattered with plenty of charming villages, and Ranworth has to be one of the prettiest. With fine views across Malthouse Broad, these serene waters host Ranworth Moorings, a popular stop for boats.

They are also home to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Broadland Conservation Centre. A haven for walkers, nature lovers and birdwatchers, the Centre itself is built out over the water, while the boardwalks that surround it make the ideal base for wildlife spotting.

6pm – Local ales

Just a few minutes down the road from Ranworth, you’ll find the award-winning Woodforde’s Brewery and its fine restaurant, Fur & Feather. This welcoming gastropub serves pints of the iconic brewery’s beer, along with an extensive menu that includes grills and pizzas.

Thinking of heading to other beauty spots in the UK? Then take a look at our guide to the best Lake District caravan parks or why not find out about stargazing at Kielder Forest?

Lead image: Getty

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