The Broads is Britain's magical waterland, a uniquely beautiful environment shaped by people working hand in hand with nature over thousands of years. The Broads offers visitors an experience unlike any other, both on its rivers and lakes - "The Broads" - and alongside them, on peaceful paths and cycleways and in the unspoiled villages and market towns that make up the tapestry of this fantastic area.
About The Broads
The Broads offers a rich mix of attractions and activities year-round for visitors of any age and any interest. The Broads is proud to be a member of Britain's family of National Parks, and is recognised globally for its wildlife and the distinct and precious character of its environment.
The Broads is now the UK's largest nationally protected wetland and an important area for wildlife. Yet the history of the Norfolk Broads is fascinating, as they are actually a man-made creation. The Broads were formed when people dug for peat in Medieval times and then they were later flooded. The Victorians used them for transporting heavy loads but nowadays they are here purely for pleasure and passengers are the boats' main cargo.
Best of all, The Broads is so easy to get to for a holiday, short break or day visit, and it's all within easy reach of the historic city of Norwich and the exhilarating coastline of Norfolk and Suffolk. A magical place where land and water, people and nature meet - there's nowhere quite as special as The Broads.
Chugging along in your own little motor cruiser in that perfect Norfolk Broads boat holiday. Miles and miles of gentle waterways glistening in the sunlight with peaceful Norfolk countryside as far as the eye can see. Relax as you listen to the water lapping against the stern and look out for moorhens stirring in the rushes. Cycle along riverside paths. Visit the nature reserves and explore pretty villages. While away the hours watching the wildlife and settle down with a glass of wine as the sun slowly starts to set..
A holiday in The Broads is like a whole new world and it's easy. No complicated locks to manoeuvre, just 125 miles of navigable waterways with plenty of places for you to moor up and hop out to explore pretty villages and market towns, or to stop at a welcoming pub to set you up for the rest of the day.
Hire a little motor launch just for an afternoon or book a 12-berth yacht for a whole week. Or how about a Canadian style canoe? The choice is yours. Today's boats are very easy to handle and you can start your boating holiday in Norfolk or day trip from a variety of places including Wroxham, Ludham, Potter Heigham and Loddon.
But it's not just for boating. You can have fun on land too. Hire a tandem or bike and try a bit of pedal-power. Or enjoy walking the 330km of paths and boardwalks through lush swampy woodland. Try your hand at fishing or birdwatching and look out for the Bittern or rare Swallowtail butterfly.
There's man-made attractions in the Broads as well as the wildlife. Climb the steps to the top of the tower at St Helen's Church at Ranworth for a wonderful panoramic view and then pop inside to see one of the finest examples of a Medieval rood screen in the country and an exquisite 15th century illuminated songbook. We've got countless churches, castles, priories, windpumps, mills and museums to explore! And then come back to the present by taking a ride on the Ra, a solar powered boat named after the Egyptian sun god, that skims the waters on Barton Broad, or take a dawn trip on the Electric Eel, our silent electric boat, for an early morning exploration of the How Hill nature reserve.
Norfolk Broads podcasts
Norfolk Tourism and the Broads Authority have produced a new online audio experience introducing what The Broads has to offer visitors on holiday or local residents planning a day out. The podcasts are introduced by Richard Daniel (BBC East / Radio 4) and were produced by local company Aperçu.
Eight podcasts, each on a different theme: birds, boating, walking, cycling, canoeing, sailing, Barton Broad and How Hill, can be downloaded (right click on title, and Save As) or listened to (click on title to listen via your music software) below:
Birds of The Broads
Enjoy the Broads campaign
Set between the spectacular beaches of the Norfolk and Suffolk coasts and the cathedral city of Norwich, the Broads is a fragile wetland of international importance, full of rare wildlife. Winding waterways, tangled woodlands, golden reeds, marshland fields stretching to the far horizon, white sails in the sunset .... definitely a place to dream and enjoy.
If you want to get active as well as relax, read the 'Enjoy the Broads ... your way 2012' guide. In this guide you'll find loads of ideas to get you thinking and planning what to do and where to go - ashore and afloat - for holidays, short breaks and great days out! Order a brochure or download a copy of 'Enjoy the Broads ... your way 2012'.
Visit The Broads videos
View the Norfolk Broads film (5 minutes) to give you a taste of visiting the Broads. It is hosted by Nicholas Crane, TV presenter and regular visitor to the Broads.
Watch the Enjoy the Broads video featuring Simon Calder.
Find out more about The Broads
You can also find more information on the official tourism website for The Broads: