The Broads National Park

The Broads are a network of mostly navigable rivers and lakes in Norfolk and Suffolk. The lakes were formed by the flooding of peat workings. The Broads, and some surrounding land, were constituted as a special area with a level of protection equivalent to a national park by the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act 1988.

In January 2015 a change of name was approved to recognise the Broads as being of equal status to other National Parks. Although officially it is known as The Broads National Park a lot of residents and visitors still refer to as The Broads or The Norfolk Broads.

Nature and Wildlife

The Broads is a member of the international family of National Parks. Its unique landscape of shallow lakes and rivers is renowned for wildlife.

  • NWT Ranworth Broad: Accessed via a boardwalk through atmospheric woodland and reedbed, NWT's floating Broads Wildlife Centre offers impressive views over the water.
  • How Hill: How Hill National Nature Reserve forms a large area of established fen within the River Ant valley, north of Ludham Bridge. It is remarkable for its variety of Broads habitats.
  • Hickling Broad: Nature reserve beside the largest area of open water in the Broads. Dykes, marshes, fens and woodland, with a visitors centre and water trail. Wintering and resident birds.
  • The Broads National Park: The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads is Britain's largest protected wetland and third largest inland waterway, with the status of a national park. It's also home to some of the rarest plants and animals in the UK. The Broads Authority was set up in 1989, with responsibility for conservation, planning, recreation and waterways.
  • Cockshoot Broad: Cockshoot Broad is a secluded, tranquil broad, renowned for its water lily beds - a testament to the good water quality here.
  • Hoveton Great Broad: Hoveton Great Broad nature trail, a path of railway sleepers, is a rare and beautiful glimpse into the carr woodland.
  • Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden: Fairhaven is a unique garden rich in wildlife. The Garden is an eclectic mix of native and cultivated plantings with a network of dyke systems and a private broad.


The Broads has a rich mix of attractions that are on offer on land and water all year round.

  • Bird watching: The Broads is the UK's largest nationally protected area of wetland. The RSPB is protecting huge areas of this habitat in the five nature reserves that you can visit.
  • Fishing: The Norfolk Broads is one of the best known angling locations in Britain; with over 300sq km of rivers and shallow lakes to enjoy the delights of fishing in this unique countryside.
  • Cycling & Walking: The Norfolk Broads is home to a vast array of cycling routes and trails for you to explore at your own pace.
  • Canoeing on the Norfolk Broads: Canoeing is a healthy and active way to enjoy Britain's Magical Waterland, you do not need to be experienced with a Canoe to get the most from a Canoe trip on the Norfolk Broads.
  • Broads Tours: Choose a Broads Tours river trip, sit back and do it in style with entertaining live commentary, light refreshments and licensed bar.
  • Boat Hire: Wroxham Boat hire have a fleet of clean and reliable Norfolk Broads day boats available for hire by the hour or day.
Cockshoot Broad Broads National Park The Norfolk Broads

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