Places to visit in the Broads
Considered by many to be the capital of The Broads, Wroxham is a lively town and very popular with visitors to the area. During the summer months it is bustling with activity with many heading for Roys – 'the largest village store in the world'. Wroxham is the perfect place for boat hire, whether just for an hour or the whole day. From the river, you can see so much more and a leisurely cruise downstream will reveal picture postcard thatched cottages and lodges lining the banks.
Wroxham is also a terminus for the Bure Valley Railway, an 18 mile round trip on a steam locomotive to Aylsham, passing through beautiful Norfolk countryside, with stop-offs at Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall.
The delightful village of Woodbastwick is well worth a visit, even if just for a short period to soak up the peace and tranquillity away from the busier towns. Having twice won the Best Kept Village Award, it is a beautiful place with a stunning medieval flint church finished with Norfolk thatching.
The town of Potter Heigham is another favourite with visitors and is an excellent place for boat hire. A treat is to watch sailors attempt to travel under a tiny medieval bridge, renowned for being the most difficult to navigate in the area.
The village of Ranworth is an excellent place to visit, where those feeling energetic can climb the winding, spiral stone staircase of the magnificent St Helen's Church, known as the 'Cathedral of the Broads'. Once at the top your efforts will be rewarded with spectacular views over this special landscape. The church has one of the finest examples of a medieval rood screen in the country and an exquisite 15th century illuminated songbook.
There are many beautiful towns and villages to be discovered throughout the Norfolk Broads including Stalham, a small market town, where you can visit the Museum of The Broads and marvel at Hunsett Mill. The picturesque village of Horning, situated on the bank of the River Bure. Stop off at Coltishall to sample some local ales and food at a riverside pub, and explore the village with its old buildings and church. Acle has some very charming 17th and 18th century buildings and a church which is more than 900 years old while Reedham has a beautiful riverside and many pubs where you can enjoy some scrumptious home cooked food. The only remaining car and passenger ferry in the Broads operates in Reedham, taking people across the River Yare.
Aylsham is a traditional market town in the north of the Broads area. A twice-weekly market is still held here and there is a weekly auction of fine art, books and antique furniture where you can seek out treasures and bargains. Just outside Aylsham is the Blickling Estate, one of the country's finest Jacobean houses, with an evocative 'Downton Abbey' period interior. If you're lucky (depending on your view) you might also see the headless ghost of Anne Boleyn…
Walking around Reepham is like stepping back in time. With its pretty market place, bordered by 18th century houses, this charming town has been the setting for a number of period TV productions including Poirot. A market is still held every Wednesday.