10 Things Only Those Who’ve Been to the Broads National Park Will Know

The Broads are a well loved part of the country amongst locals and holidaymakers alike. One of the driest places in the UK, the Broads is home to lots of unique features, wildlife and experiences. Read on to find out 10 things only those who’s been to the Broads National Park will know!


1.    Horning is one of the prettiest Broadside villages around.

Which is saying a lot, as the Broads are beautiful from Coltishall all the way down to Beccles. Horning, just a 3-hour cruise from Stalham, is often praised as the prettiest and most picturesque Broadside village. With various riverside pubs, tearooms, cafes and restaurants with more just a stone’s throw away from moorings, those who’ve been to the Broads know that this is a must when on holiday on these waterways.

Eating Out in Horning


2.    The sunsets are beautiful, and you can see the stars at night.

No matter where you are in the Broads, and no matter the time of year, you’re pretty much guaranteed a beautiful sunset. Beautiful hues of orange, purple, pink and red light up the waterways, giving visitors, locals and wildlife a serene ending to the day. Plus, once the sun does set, you’ve got the stunning starry skies to look forward to. The fact that most of the Broads is so secluded means that the sky is very clear – fantastic for some star gazing!

3.    There are a whopping 126 miles of lock-free navigation!

One of the most appealing aspects of these unique wetlands for those who’ve been to the Broads is the fact that there’s 126 miles of lock-free navigation. That means no heavy locks, and your journey is never interrupted by having to jump on and off the boat to carry on with your journey!


4.    The Broads are home to a quarter of the United Kingdom’s rarest species, and is the largest protected wetland.

The Broads is home to some rare species, from the Swallowtail butterfly and Norfolk hawker dragonfly to the lesser-known Broads dolly fly, slender amber snail and the scarce marsh neb. The diversity of the wildlife in the area is a massive draw for many, alongside being a favourite factor of the wetlands for those who’ve been to the Broads National Park. Other creatures you might have spotted include the elusive otter, the tusked Chinese water deer, amongst many, many more. Find out more about Wildlife in the Broads on our website here.

Norfolk’s Rare and Unusual Wildlife – swallowtails.


5.    The Broads spans across 2 counties.

The Broads National Park stretches all the way from Stalham in North Norfolk to Oulton Broad near Lowestoft in Suffolk – that’s 22 miles as the crow flies! In between these two areas are plenty of interesting places to visit. We’ve already mentioned the pretty village of Horning, but Wroxham, Ludham, Potter Heigham and plenty more also boast beautiful vistas. It’s not just the villages, towns and city that are worth seeing – your journeys in between destinations are just as beautifully serene, as those who’ve been to the Broads will surely know.

6.    The Broads isn’t just rural landscape – you can navigate to the cultural city of Norwich via the Broads.

The peaceful way of life and serenity in the Broads is one of the area’s biggest draws – but it’s certainly not the only one. As well as the lively coastal town of Great Yarmouth, those who’ve been to the Broads will know that the cultural and historical city of Norwich is within easy reach of the Broads and well worth a visit. Find out more about visiting Norwich now.

7.    The Broads are man-made.

Those who’ve been to the Broads will know that the beautiful waterways aren’t a natural phenomenon. Whilst the Broads is home to 25% of the UK’s rarest wildlife, and the landscape looks like it could never have been any different, the large expanses of water that we call broads are in fact manmade. You wouldn’t be the only one who would think these broads are natural – it was only as recent as the 1960s that Dr Joyce Lambert proved that they were in fact a result of medieval peat diggings. You can read more about the History of the Broads on our website here.


8.    The Broads National Park has the country’s third largest inland navigation authority.

The Broads Authority, who look after our unique environment, are one of the “Big Three” navigation authorities, third only to the Canal and River Trust and the Environment Agency. The Broads Authority manage the waterways as a part of the National Park Family – but the Broads are the only national park to have navigation running through it, putting the wetlands in a unique position within the National Parks family.


9.    We have the highest concentration of medieval churches in the world.

Norfolk, where most of the Broads National Park is situated, is home to the densest concentration of medieval churches anywhere. Once, the county had over 1,000 medieval churches but now has just 659 – however, we still have more medieval churches than there are in the rest of England, Wales and Scotland combined, and the highest concentration in the world. St Helen’s Church in Ranworth, often referred to as the “Cathedral of the Broads” is a definite must to visit if you’re interested in our medieval churches, as those who’ve been to the Broads will know!


10.  Richardson’s Boating Holidays has a fleet of over 290 cruisers, making us the largest hire operator in the Broads National Park!

Those who’ve been to the Broads will certainly know that here at Richardson’s Boating Holidays we have a fleet of almost 300 cruisers, meaning we can offer a cruiser to suit most needs, budgets and tastes. From our comfortable classic fleet to our platinum fleet with their mod-cons, from 2 to 12 berths, and 5 main configurations to choose from, our friendly bookings team know our fleet well and are on hand to help you choose the boat to suit you and your crew! You can see our fleet on our website here, or request a brochure here, filled with handy tips and suggestions on where to visit, a first timers section and information even those who’ve been to the Broads many times will find useful!

Photo of Turf Fen Mill at Sunset, Swallowtail Butterfly, Berney Arms, courtesy of Broads Authority.

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