The Norfolk Broads is known far and wide for its beautiful wetland and network of rivers, but this area has much more on offer aside from canoeing, sailing or motoring along the scenic backwaters. Here are a selection of activities suited to those land lovers who prefer sturdy ground…
Tranquil Nature Reserves
Supported and managed by the RSPB, Buckenham Marshes are populated by wading birds, with Widgeons, Rooks and Lapwings regularly spotted. In Autumn, bird watchers keenly await the annual arrival of wild ducks and geese from Scandinavia; beginning in October, these birds flock to the marshes to see out the winter. There are tours available that give visitors the chance to see Barn Owls and Marsh Harriers swooping stealthily over the marshes, on the hunt for their dinner. Nearby Strumpshaw Fen and Wheatfen Reserves are home to diverse flora and fauna, including otters, Chinese water deer and butterflies.
For a shopping experience provided entirely by nature, head to The Grange in Rollesby. Here you can hand-pick a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Visitors are best advised to go sooner rather than later – it won’t be long before winter arrives and the weather turns chilly!
Hook, Line and Sinker
Fishing on The Norfolk Broads is a popular pursuit, and the wetlands are home to a huge variety of fish, including Roach, Pike and Bream. There are many angling platforms situated on the riverbanks, so as long as you have a Environment Agency Rod Licence to hand, and are not in a conservation area, the fish are yours for the taking. The Open Fishing Seasons runs between June and March, but be sure to double check dates.
Jump on the Bure Valley Steam Railway at Aylsham, and enjoy the journey to Wroxham. A round-trip is approximately eighteen miles, and affords passengers the chance to see another, less explored, side to the Norfolk Broads. For those who are partial to the water, a cruise or canoe for the return journey is indeed a temptation. Detailed timetables and ticket prices are available on The Bure Valley Railway website.
With all of the fresh air and physical activity that the Broads entails, means that a hearty meal is always welcome. The prize-winning pub Recruiting Sergeant has a fantastic menu featuring traditional dishes such as Fish Pie or Steak & Kidney Pudding; with delicious desserts such as Bakewell Tart to round off, diners are guaranteed to be satisfied! Situated near Coltishall in the village of Horstead, this is a dining experience well worth the journey.
Jennifer Sharratt originally hails from Suffolk but now works in Germany for GoEuro, a new multi-mode travel search engine. She enjoyed sailing on the Norfolk Broads throughout her childhood, and wants to encourage more people to visit.