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Walking on the Broads

The combination of flat landscapes and stunning views makes the Broads an under-rated walkers’ paradise.

Broads Authority communications officer Hilary Franzen loves boating but also appreciates exploring the special landscapes on foot.

She says: “Walking is a wonderful way to get out in the fresh air and unwind with friends, plus it keeps you fit—and it’s free!

“There are more than 300km of footpaths to help you explore Britain’s magical waterland – riverside footpaths, nature trails, circular walks and long distance footpaths suitable for anything from a gentle stroll to a strenuous hike so we are spoiled for choice.

“Many of these walks will help you trace the contours of the waterways where you will see amazing Broads wildlife, while on others you can stride across remote fens with huge skies, weave your way through woodland or explore nature reserves, many of which have the steadying support of boardwalks.

“Wherever you go a bankside view will give you a different perspective of the Broads to seeing it from a boat, and you can linger for as long as you like. Take your binoculars and you will be surprised at what you can see.

“There are three long distance footpaths: the Angles Way, Weavers Way and the Wherryman’s Way which traverse the Broads. The 34-mile Wherryman’s Way, which runs from Norwich and Great Yarmouth railway stations, follows the route of the historic Broads trading wherries along the River Yare.

“The great thing about this route is you don’t have to do it all at once. You can dip in and out, mixing and matching your route and mode of transport to incorporate walking, cycling, boat and – with railway stations en route – train.

“Walking is a wonderful way to get out in the fresh air and unwind with friends, plus it keeps you fit—and it’s free!”

“There are 10 circular walks around villages and three waterside paths providing easy access for pushchairs and wheelchairs, while a cycle trail linked to the National Cycle Route runs along both sides of the River Yare,” says Hilary.

“On the way there is not only stunning scenery to explore, wildlife to spot and riverside pubs for refuelling, but walkers can discover the history of a century ago through life-like imagery and information along the way.”

The Broads Authority’s ambition is to link land and water by providing improved footpaths and signage from public moorings to villages, visitor facilities and public transport and making the water more accessible to people with mobility problems.

BA plans to open up the Broads to all by creating more slipways and canoe portages, reinstate historic ferries and staithes and identify more locations for pedestrian access for riverside walking, angling and bird-watching.

Nearly 30 walks in the northern and southern Broads, as well as some in Beccles, Bungay and Norwich can be found here.

Photo of couple walking courtesy of Broads Authority.