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The Broads National Park – Walking In The Norfolk Broads And Suffolk Broads

The Broads National Park

Broads National Park - Windmill

The Broads National Park encompasses both the Norfolk Broads and Suffolk Broads which are specific areas within the two counties respectively. However, the whole Broads area is often by mistake called the “Norfolk Broads”.

The Broads is governed by “The Broads Authority” and has a total area is 303 square kilometres or 117 square miles, with the majority in Norfolk.

The Broads National Park is one of the most popular waterways in Europe with a distinctive network of rivers, shallow lakes, marshland, fens and woodland.

It used to be an important network for transport which has developed over time in to a recreational resources. The Broads is a habitat for a number of the rarest UK creatures and plant life, having a unique flat landscape with distinctive buildings including some fine windmills.

The Broads has seven rivers and 63 broads, mostly less than 4 metres or 13 feet deep. Thirteen broads are usually open to navigation. There are also another three broads that have navigable channels. Some broads have restrictions on navigation imposed on them in autumn and winter.

Although the Broads National Park is famous for boating activities, with more than 125 miles or 200 kilometres of lock-free tidal rivers, you do not have to be on a boat to get pleasure from the Broads. There are over 190 miles or 300 kilometres of Broads walks footpaths through some of the most attractive landscapes in the area.

Watch the following two videos about the Broads National Park. The first video is more from the perspective of tourism for the Broads National Park. There isn’t much on YouTube about walking in the Broads National Park but the second video is a short slideshow related to Norfolk Broads walks as it shows photographs from The Weavers’ Way.

The Norfolk Broads…An Introduction

This video presents an insight in to the Norfolk Broads and was produced by the Broads Authority for the Tourism industry.

Dan’s Weavers Way Walk

In this video Dan shows us photographs from hos five Dday tour around Norfolk, following the Weavers Way Trail…

Broads National Park - Beccles

Walking In The Broads

The Broads has nature trails, circular walks and long distance footpaths suitable for anything from a gentle stroll to a strenuous hike.

If you want walks that avoid steep inclines and descents then Broads walks are ideal as there is a noticeable lack of hills in the area.

There are three long distance footpaths that pass through the Broads National Park:

  • The Weavers’ Way – The Weavers’ Way is 56 miles or 90 kilometres long meandering path that runs from Cromer on the north Norfolk coast, to Great Yarmouth on the east coast, passing through the northern part of the Broads. The path gets its name from the cloth industry that used to be a significant industry in the area prior to the era of the industrial revolution.
  • The Angles Way – The Angels Way is a 78 mile or 125 kilometres long distance path linking up with The Weavers’ Way at Great Yarmouth. It follows the Norfolk and Suffolk boundary meandering through the Waveney and Little Ouse valleys to Knettishall Heath Country Park in Breckland and on to Thetford.
  • The Wherryman’s Way – The Wherryman’s Way long distance path is 35 miles or 56 kilometres long and follows the course of the River Yare between Norwich and Great Yarmouth. It gets its name from the wherry, which was a large cargo-carrying barge with elegant black sails that used to be a frequent sight on local waters.

Broads National Park - Canalside

If you fancy walking Norfolk Broads but not a long distance trail then take a look at some shorter walks in Norfolk Broads: the Go4AWalk website has a list of Norfolk Broads walks route maps; WalkingInNorfolk website has a list of downloadable Norwich and Broads walks; and GriffMonster has a list of walks around Norfolk.

Read this post to find out more about the National Parks in the United Kingdom.

If you want to read more here are some useful resources:

  1. The official Norfolk Broads Tourist Information website
  2. The Broads Authority website
  3. Wikipedia on The Broads

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