Maps & Guides
Britain's Newest National Park
The Broads National Park is one of Britain's major tourist destinations and also Britain's largest protected wetland with 125 miles of water and no locks to stand in your way. The Broads are a favourite with first time boaters as they offer the perfect combination of easy navigation thriving wildlife, fishing, birdwatching, landmark sites, shopping and picture perfect pubs along the riverbank.
The Broads we see today are the result of medieval peat diggings between the 9th and 13th centuries. The peat was used as fuel for heating and cooking. Over the centuries, as water levels rose, the diggings flooded and the Broads were formed. The waterways of the Broads were important routes for transporting cargo between local villages and towns. The landscape is made up of drained grazing marshland, sedge and reed-beds and wet woodlands. Eventually as water levels in the area rose, the peat pits flooded and the Broads began to form. This is a wonderful part of Britain to find many species of birds, over 250 species of plants and a huge variety of insects and wildlife.
Visitors have been coming to the Broads for boating holidays since the 1890's. The Victorians discovered the appeal of sailing through the enchanted waterways of the Norfolk Broads when, for an extra pound you could hire an on-board piano for a week! Today over a million people visit or enjoy a break on The Norfolk Broads.
An interactive map of The Broads
If you require more information or general boating tips for 1st timers including the navigation of Breydon Water, please visit 'My Norfolk Broads Boating'. Everything you need in one place with printable PDF charts containing river distances, maps, bridge heights, tidal rise & fall, moorings and much more.
Three rivers, the Bure, the Waveney and the Yare, together with many tributaries and over forty wider expanses of water known as the Broads, flow through the Broads National Park. The Broads range in size from tiny lakes to the largest expanse of water, Hickling Broad.
The beauty of the Broads is best appreciated from the water and many different types of craft can be hired for day or longer trips. The Broads attract thousands of visitors each year, to sail, canoe or simply to enjoy time on the waterways in a peaceful atmosphere. There are however many other activities to enjoy, from walking the 185 miles / 300 km of footpaths in the Broads National Park, cycling through the gentle countryside, or fishing for Bream, Perch, Pike or Eels, to name but a few.
Many of the picturesque villages have a staithe where boats can be moored, to allow exploration inland. Visitors can see historic buildings, ancient churches, old mills, water-pumps and museums all with a story to tell about The Broads.
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Simon Calder - Enjoy the Broads
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Better Boating Guide