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Not only does Norfolk get the least rain in Britain, it also boats stunning wetlands than can be explored by bike or boat and idyllic accommodation to chill out in.

If that hasn’t sold you, here are our top five reasons to visit the Norfolk Broads National Park.

1) Relax in Norfolk (that’s an order!)


Norfolk has some seriously good accommodation.

The Broadhouse Hotel at the edge of Wroxham Broad is not so much a place to stay as an experience to behold. The 18th-century house is nestled among acres of enchanting, sun-drenched English gardens, meadow and woodland.

Sip Pimm’s on the outdoor settees and revel in the stillness. The hotel’s tag is: ‘Doing nothing is never a waste of time’. Never a truer word said. broadhousehotel.co.uk

2) Explore the lakes by boat


In the eastern corner of England, the Norfolk Broads are a network of navigable rivers and lakes best explored by boat.

You can take the luxury option, gliding on the hotel’s 35ft cruiser Lola, but for about £30 a day, a canoe will allow you to get more intimate with the wealth of wildlife.

The waterside is so appealing, with its uncluttered, quaint thatched-roofed cottages and weather-beaten shacks.

3) Bike the Broads


You can also the broads by bicycle.

Criss-cross the Bure River, passing through the bustling boat villages of Wroxham and Horning, to find the national park’s quiet lanes and undulating countryside - perfect cycling terrain.

After a meander through the Ranworth Broads, known as the thatch factory of the UK, pull up at rustic Woodbastwick to fuel up on pub grub and a pint of Norfolk ale.

Rent a bike with Broadland Cycle Hire norfolkbroadscycling.co.uk

4) Take in some history


Finally, a climb up the 100ft tower of St Helen’s Church, also known as the ‘Cathedral of the Broads’, rewards you with panoramic views of winding rivers dotted with white sails, waving reed beds, and swathes of verdant grass.

5) The Broads’ unique wetlands


The broads are the largest protected wetland in Britain, with 200km of waterways across Norfolk and Suffolk, and are the result of flooding in areas of extensive peat excavation.

The Romans first exploited the rich peat beds for fuel in the Middle Ages, monasteries operated a turbary business, selling the fuel in Norwich and Great Yarmouth.

Despite the use of dykes, the flooding couldn’t be halted, resulting in the landscape.

* Bonus reason to visit


Like we said, Norfolk gets the least rain in Britain. We’re sold!

Essential information on Norfolk


WHEN TO GO: August is the best time of year as the weather is usually still and warm.
GETTING THERE: Car hire from Avis is about £90 for two days and driving takes about 2.5 hours from London; National Express (nationalexpress.com) coaches run from London to Norwich, the closest big town. There are also half-hourly train services from Liverpool Street station.
GETTING AROUND: The Broads are easy to explore by foot, bicycle or boat. You can also travel between Wroxham and the ancient market town of Aylsham by steam train on the Bure Valley Railway.
GOING OUT: A pint at a village pub will cost £2-£3.
ACCOMMODATION: A hostel dorm is about £12 a night, while a three-star hotel is about £80 per night. Cottages, caravans, campsites and boat accommodation are also available.
FOR MORE INFO: visitnorfolk.co.uk

Related stories:

Broad minded - explore The Broads
Go surfing in Norfolk
Exploring the English countryside

 


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