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Norfolk Broads Essential 10

There are plenty of things to see on the Norfolk Broads, but here is our top 10 things to see while visiting the Norfolk Broads

An Introduction to our Norfolk Broads Essential 10

Barton Broad
Hunsett Mill
Nature Centre
St Benets Abbey
Thurne Windpump

The Norfolk Broads is Britain's finest wetland landscape, it is one of beauty and peace, of water, marsh, woodland and wide skies. The landscape contains many species of wildlife, as well as an abundance of flora and fauna, plus man made structures, such as medieval churches, windmills and riverside thatched cottages. With so much to see, it is hard for newcomers to decide what to see during their limited holiday time, so here is our list of the top 10 things to see on a visit to the Norfolk Broads. There are many more things to see on the Broads, but the chosen list gives a good flavour of what the Norfolk Broads is all about.

Here is our essential 10 things to SEE on the Norfolk Broads (Northern Rivers)

Barton Broad
Barton Broad is the second largest of the Norfolk Broads and was subject to substantial improvement around the millennium. A multi-million pound project was undertaken by the Broads Authority aimed at restoring the silting broad to clear water. The project on the whole has been a success and Barton Broad is once again a real boating paradise and does not suffer from shallow water like other broads. Barton Broad is home to numerous wildlife, including many species of birds, fish and even otters, who have returned to the broad following the clearwater project. An annual sailing regatta is held every August at the Norfolk Punt Club, who have their clubhouse in the middle of the broad!
Barton Broad
Click to view our Barton Broad Picture Tour
Horning Village
Horning is a picturesque waterside broadland village and if you only visit one Broadland village, then Horning has to be that one. The village lines the northern bank of the River Bure, stretching for about a mile, and has many waterside properties (best viewed from a boat). There are waterside pubs, shops, restaurant, tea-rooms, boat trips and other attractions to enjoy. Horning Ferry is on the outskirts of the village, about a mile along Lower Street. It is well worth a walk on a fine day and there is a marina, leisure club and the Ferry Inn. The church of Horning is another mile walk along country lanes, but you are rewarded by a fine church and a path leading to views of the River Bure.
Lower Street
Click to view our Horning Picture Tour
How Hill
The How Hill Estate is a study centre with a fine large, thatched Edwardian house set in acres of reed, marsh, woodland and a small broad, together with a marshman's cottage and three restored drainage mills. The main role of the Estate now is to provide residential field courses for school children and young people (they try their hand at thatching and other crafts). But the centre is also ideal for conferences and training activities as it makes a prestigious setting for presentations. The Edwardian house is not open to the public, but the rest of the estate is. This includes the marshman's cottage, nature trail, boat trips through the reed beds and walks along the banks of the River Ant.
How Hill
Click to view our How Hill Picture Tour
Hunsett Mill on the River Ant
Hunsett drainage mill is situated on the River Ant, downstream from Wayford Bridge. Built in 1860, it was restored around 1970 and along with the mill house is privately owned. It has been one of the most photographed windmills in the whole of Norfolk, but can only be viewed by boat as it is miles from a public road or footpath.
Hunsett Mill
Click to view our River Ant Picture Tour
The Fur and Feather Pub and Woodfordes Brewery in Woodbastwick
The thatched Fur & Feather pub is located adjacent to the Woodfordes Brewery in the village of Woodbastwick. The brewery was named after Parson Woodforde, a noted 18th century Norfolk clergyman whose diaries reveal he had a passion for good food and ale, which he often brewed himself. In 1981 Woodforde’s Norfolk Ales produced the first commercial brew of Wherry Bitter. Visitors can see this and other famous beers being brewed in the visitors centre, where there is also a shop (guided tours can be arranged). Adjacent to the brewery is the Fur & Feather pub, where you can sample all the beers for yourself. Originally, two cottages, they were converted into a pub in 1992 and are now one of the most popular pubs in Norfolk.
Fur and Feather
Click to view our Salhouse & Woodbastwick Picture Tour
Ranworth Broad Nature Reserve
Situated in the village of Ranworth, you will find the Ranworth Broad Nature Reserve, a large nature reserve, which winds its way through woodland to a Norfolk Wildlife Conservation Centre; a floating thatched building right on the edge of the Broad which has information about the Broads and their history. Inside, the centre has plenty of things to see and do, such as models of local scenes depicting peat digging, thatching and duck shooting. There are also views out through purpose built windows with binoculars and telescopes on the upper windows for bird watching. The centre also has a shop and a ferry boat operates between the centre and Ranworth main staithe (seasonal).
Nature Centre
Click to view our Ranworth Picture Tour
St Benet's Abbey
St. Benets Abbey is a well known land mark on the River Bure. The Abbey founded on land granted by King Canute in 1020, was at one time one of the wealthiest Benedictine houses in the country and was at the height of its prosperity in the middle ages. However it declined before the reformation. None of the ruins date from this early period as in the 18th century a brick windmill was built inside the ruins. The top of the mill is now missing due to the fact it was blown off in a gale in 1863. Legend has it that the ghost of the monk who treacherously granted access to William the Conqueror can be seen hanging from the former bell tower on each night of the 25th May.
St Benets Abbey
Click to view our River Bure Picture Tour
St Helen's Church in Ranworth
The tower of St. Helens church dominates the Ranworth skyline and has served the villagers since 1390. It is well worth tackling the ladders inside the church tower and climb to the top for the wonderful views over the landscape. The church bears the nickname the Cathedral of the Broads and it is easy to understand why when from its heights on clear days you can see five Norfolk Broads. The church also has a fine example of a medieval painted rood screen and some lovely stained glass. Next to the church is a Visitors Centre in a converted old coach house, which houses a tea room and a display of photographs of East Anglican churches.
Ranworth Church
Click to view our Ranworth Picture Tour
Thurne Windpump in Thurne
Thurne Dyke Mill is situated at the head of the Thurne dyke on the River Thurne. This has been a famous landmark for years and the windmill, once used for drainage, is now owned by the Norfolk Windmills Trust. The mill was built in 1820, but the sails and cap were blown off in 1919 and it needed repair. At some stage, the mill has been highered and this gives the "waist", as the new section was made round to allow the cap to be re-used.
Thurne Windpump
Click to view our Thurne Picture Tour
Wroxham & Hoveton
Wroxham and Hoveton are two connected villages, split by the River Bure. Most of the village facilities are actually in Hoveton, but are generally known as Wroxham - the capital of the Norfolk Broads. Boats of all kinds are for hire and there are also an abundance of restaurants, shops, a pub, a hotel and a large department store. Most of the shopping is dominated around the Roys brand, claiming to be the worlds largest village store! The village certainly is a busy spot in high season, but is open all year round and is well worth a visit at any time of the year. A little way out of the village centre is Wroxham Broad, home to the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club.
Wroxham Bridge
Click to view our Wroxham Picture Tour

See our suggested 3 day and 7 day Norfolk Broads cruising routes from Wroxham and from Stalham



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