The flooding of the Norfolk Broads in the 14th century played an important role in securing Norfolk as one of England’s most important trading centres. The Broads and the connecting river network allowed the export of wool and woven goods produced in the areas surrounding Wroxham and Horning from Great Yarmouth where the broadland rivers meet the sea. Many of the holiday cottages in Wroxham on this website offer views of the waterways which helped Norfolk farmers and textile producers export their wares.
Now, a different kind of cargo can be seen ferried along the river banks and broads that connect Ranworth and other local villages. Tourism is booming in this part of East Anglia, with many of the the traditional cottages in the area converted into beautiful Norfolk Broads bed and breakfasts. For exploring the broads by ferry, hired broads cruisers or even by sailing, many holiday makers use this website to find a B&B in Wroxham and Horning where most of the local accommodation is found.
Norfolk water reed is a traditional thatching material that is harvested from the Broads area and it makes a tough and durable roofing which can last for 80 years or more. You can see many of these distinctive bed and breakfast homes in the towns and villages of the Norfolk Broads and out in the marshes and along the rivers and dykes.
There are plenty of B&B’s near the Norfolk Broads and with so much choice on this website it’s worth thinking about your priorities before booking somewhere to stay. Some bed and breakfasts on the broads have their own moorings making them great for the sailing and fishing holidays that the broads has to offer. Alternately, accommodation in Wroxham provides access to some great local shops and transport links to Norwich from Wroxham train station. Wroxham is also one of the best places on the Norfolk Broads to rent a boat for the day.
While villages like Horning and Coltishall are connected by water (and road), it was the advent of the railways that really opened up the Norfolk Broads as a tourist destination. A fast connection to Norwich station means makes Wroxham an easy (and scenic) 2 and a half hours from London Liverpool Street and the easiest way to get to your B&B in Wroxham. Sheringham and the rest of the North Norfolk coast (via the ‘Coasthopper’ bus service) can be reached by regular, direct trains from Norwich.
Acle is a small market town on the lower reaches of the River Bure and is located midway between Great yarmouth and Norwich. Acle is Surrounded by marshes and the Old Road crosses the Bure at Acle Bridge where you can find boatyards which hire cruisers and ‘The Bridge’ pub with a restaurant serving excellent food. The river runs South to Great Yarmouth and to the North where it links up with the Norfolk Broads.
Horsey is the broadland village nearest to the coast and is only about 1 mile from the sea. At Horsey you will find Horsey windpump owned by the National Trust and this is linked by a Dyke to Horsey Mere one of the Norfolk Broads. You can find ‘The Nelsons Head’ pub on a track that leads from Horsey to the beach and this is well worth a visit.
South Walsham is a village about 1 mile from South Walsham Broad, and has a pub a chinese restaurant and 2 Churches. Between the village and the Broad you will find Fairhaven Woodland and Water Gardens which is a popular visitor attraction and from there you can take a boat trip around South Walsham Broad which is in two parts, the inner and the outer Broad. South Walsham Broad is connected to the River Bure by Fleet Dyke which has a boatyard and moorings. You can enjoy a lovely walk along fleet dyke and round the marshes returning to the village via Upton.
Ranworth is a pretty village on the Norfolk Broads. Ranworth broad itself is now a nature reserve and is closed to boating, but you can sail up to the village which fronts onto Malthouse broad. There is a very interesting visitor centre on Ranworth broad, and there are walkways which let you have a stroll around the margin of parts of the Broad. You can climb the tower of the ancient Ranworth church and enjoy stunning views out over the marshes and broads. You can also take a short walk across to South Walsham broad and the Maltsters pub is near if you need a bit of refreshment!
The village of Hickling is adjacent to the largest of the Norfolk Broads, Hickling Broad. There is a sailing club on Hickling Broad and there is a staithe and private moorings. There is a pub The Pleasure Boat Inn near the Staithe and in the village of Hickling there is The Greyhound pub. There is also a large nature reserve nearby with an observation tower and viewing platforms.
Potter Heigham is one of the best places to start looking if you are planning a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads. There are places to hire boats and cruisers for days out or for a weeks holiday. Potter Heigham is well known for its famous mediaeval bridge which gives access to the Upper Thurne river and to Hickling Broad and Horsey Mere. The bridge can be a challenge for sailors as there is very little headroom and the tide can run fast through the archway so careful attention to tide times is important when thinking of navigating the bridge - sailing boats need to drop the mast to get under the bridge.
Stalham is a market town located at the Northern end of the Norfolk Broads, it has shops, supermarkets and most facilities. There are several boatyards and Stalham is a good place to hire boats for exploring the broads via the River Ant. Stalham has a Museum of the Broads which is an interesting place to visit. Stalham is located not far from the town of North Walsham and is also close to Potter Heigham