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Explore England’s most wildlife-rich national park — the Broads

chrissmallwood (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Explore England’s most wildlife-rich national park — the Broads

Hiking Collection by Dan Hobson

7

Tours

25:48 h

63.3 mi

650 ft

The Broads National Park is home to the largest wetland landscape in Britain. A wildlife haven that boosts gentle streams, serene lakes, lonely marshes, golden coastline, big skies and endless horizons. It’s a unique and magical place.

Home to some of the UK's rarest birds and insects, the Broads truly is a dream for nature enthusiasts. However, the picturesque landscape is as rich in heritage as it is rare wildlife; ancient churches, mills and farmsteads, Roman remains, lighthouses and more dot the patchwork landscape.

Whilst you might be forgiven for thinking this wildlife-rich national park was created by nature, it was, in a large part, formed by ancient human activity. Crofters harvesting peat in the Middle Ages dug deep channels into the landscape. After a series of devastating floods in the 12th and 13th centuries, the crofters abandoned their peat mines, which had filled with water, leaving them to become the wildlife sanctuaries they are today.

This Collection introduces you to the many sides of this wonderful national park. In these routes you visit Horsey Mere, one of the most beautiful broads that offers a habitat of international importance for birds; Hickling Broad, the largest of its kind and a year-round haven for wildlife; and Martham Broad, a serene and beautiful place.

You also explore Horsey Beach, where seals come to breed every winter; Burgh Castle, the best-preserved Roman monument in the region; the wildlife-rich, golden sand dunes of Winterton Beach; and Horsey Windpump.

A great place to stay when visiting the Broads is Acle. Known as the ‘gateway to the Broads’, the small market town has plenty of cafes, restaurants and pubs, as well as many accommodation options. Acle has its own train station that operates regular services from Norwich, which in turn has direct connections to major UK cities.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Hickling Broad and Heigham Sound — the Broads

    Intermediate
    04:01
    9.89 mi
    2.5 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The largest of all the Broads, Hickling is an wild expanse that’s home to myriad species of rare bird and Britain's largest butterfly, the swallowtail.

    

    On this delightful route, expect to see the fantastic displays of nature that Norfolk is renowned for at any time of the year. The summer months, however

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Intermediate
    04:27
    10.9 mi
    2.5 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This route takes you from one of the most isolated parts of the Broads, along the mud flats of the River Yare, to the bustling seaside town of Great Yarmouth.

    

    Head west out of the car park and at Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church take the public footpath left. Follow the trail for a short while until

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Intermediate
    04:46
    11.7 mi
    2.5 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This challenging hike showcases the timeless landscape of the Norfolk Broads at its very best. Exploring lonely marshes, patchwork fields, serene fens, sleepy villages and gentle rivers and dykes, expect abundant wildlife and breathtaking beauty every step of the way.

    

    From the car park, walk east along

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Intermediate
    04:28
    10.9 mi
    2.5 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This lovely loop around the villages of West Somerton and Winterton-on-Sea showcases the diverse landscape of the Broads.

    

    On this hike you stroll along sand dunes that are bursting with nature, explore old buildings, bask on beaches, stroll through farmland, saunter beside rivers and immerse yourself

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Easy
    01:46
    4.34 mi
    2.5 mph
    25 ft
    25 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This leisurely loop is packed full of interest. With so much wildlife, picturesque scenery and heritage to experience, it feels like this hike should take an entire day — not a couple of hours.

    

    At barely 3 feet (0.9 m) above sea level, Horsey is at the mercy of the ocean and has paid the price for this

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Intermediate
    04:13
    10.3 mi
    2.5 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This loop explores a wonderfully-tranquil part of the Broads. A historic windmill, a wildlife-rich stretch of water and the UK’s quietest railways station all combine.

    

    From the car park, hike through Halvergate and then join the Weaver’s Way long-distance footpath. You then wind through the serene landscape

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Intermediate
    02:08
    5.21 mi
    2.4 mph
    75 ft
    75 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This leisurely hike affords a true flavour of the Broads: gentle streams, dykes and rivers criss-crossing the perfectly-flat patchwork landscape.

    

    You begin from the market town of Acle. The town’s unusual name derives from Saxon language and means ‘oaks lea’ or ‘clearing in an oak forest’. In Tudor times

    by Dan Hobson

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    63.3 mi
  • Duration
    25:48 h
  • Elevation
    650 ft

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