Staying in the Norfolk Broads

Staying in the Norfolk Broads


Posted 27th July


Natalie Crofts talks us through a stay in the Norfolk Broads

Where to stay in the Broads...

After a day spent exploring the beautiful National Park, you'll want somewhere cosy and comfortable to come home to, and there's no better place to stay than at one of the Broads Escapes' pretty wooden cottages - I stayed at the beautiful Coot Cottage when I visited. Located in the picturesque riverside village of Potter Heigham, the cottages, each named after a British bird, provide a comfortable home away from home nestled on the water's edge. Each of the cottages come fully furnished and equipped with everything you'll need for a family break or relaxing couples retreat. Fish from your doorstep or why not hire a boat and moor it right outside? There are also over 190 miles of footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways to experience in the idyllic surroundings and some of the finest beaches in the UK just a stone's throw away. At the end of an exciting day, come back and sink into a cosy leather chair, retreat to your own private deck overlooking the marina, or relax in the spacious tub with a glass of wine. If you feel like cooking then you'll find an oven, hob, microwave and toaster in the kitchen, complete with a dishwasher to save the effort of cleaning up, or, if you'd like someone else to do the cooking, then head over the road to BridgeStones of Potter and pick up a mouth-watering portion of hand-battered fish and chips. You'll find plenty to inspire you during your getaway to the Broads.

Take to the waters...

No visit to the Norfolk Broads is complete without a trip on its famous waters. Boasting 125 miles of waterways, breathtaking scenery and a rich variety of wildlife, hiring a boat is the very best way to take it all in. Herbert Woods operates a large boat yard on the Broads, with over 130 cruisers to hire. With the option to hire a boat for an hour or two, a whole day or even opt for a boating holiday, there is plenty of choice for making the most of your time in the Broads. No experience is necessary when hiring a day boat, with knowledgeable staff on hand to show you the ropes before you depart, map in hand, ready to discover the beauty of Norfolk from the water. For a truly luxurious and comfortable day's sailing, then opt for a picnic boat seating up to 10 people, complete with a gas hob, kettle, fridge, sink and toilet. Picnic boats come fully equipped with kitchenware, life jackets and a full tank of fuel, as well as comfortable seating, full cover for rainy days and a table to eat at. Smaller, more basic day boats seating up to eight people can also be hired, as can much larger boats equipped for sleeping.

What else to do...

Though the Broads is rich in wildlife and scenery to admire, there are plenty of other things to do around Norfolk. One place not to be missed is the quintessentially British seaside town of Cromer. This thriving coastal town is packed with sandy beaches, museums, a lively pier and a wealth of independent shops to peruse. Just outside the town you'll come across Amazona Zoo, a small wildlife park tucked away in thick forest where over 200 animals from South America reside. Come rain or shine, the zoo promises a fun day out for the whole family, with the opportunity to get up close to beautiful jaguars, snakes, monkeys, tapirs and much more. If farm animals are more your cup of tea, then head to Wroxham Barns set in stunning countryside close to the Broads, where visitors can indulge in retail therapy, good local food, a junior farm and exciting fair. Meet talented craftspeople and local producers as you browse the independent outlets before visiting the farm where little ones will love cuddling the animals, bottle feeding calves and collecting freshly laid eggs. Over at the on-site fair, enjoy a game of mini golf, play fun arcade games or climb aboard traditional rides. For a more peaceful day out, visit the tranquil Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden in South Walsham. Discover 130 acres of cultivated, wild and natural plantings in this haven for wildlife enthusiasts offering both an ancient woodland and magical waterland. Created by Major Henry Broughton, after he purchased it in 1946, visitors are welcome to bring four-legged friends along on a lead for a walk around the waymarked trails, or why not hop aboard an Edwardian style river cruiser before enjoying a slice of home-made cake in the Kingfisher Tea Room?

By Natalie Crofts





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