The Norfolk Broads are a series of connected rivers and lakes which create one of the UK’s most beautiful wetlands. There are over 120 miles of lock free water ways, situated in the stunning countryside, weaving through picturesque villages and towns. They offer fresh air, open views and tranquillity. They are the perfect place for relaxation and recharging. We have a range of holiday cabins for sale in the area that will suit all your needs while you are away.
For many people, when they arrive and see the Norfolk Broads for the first time, they are surprised to learn that they are man-made. You aren’t just easily fooled when you believe the Broads are natural, as for many years most of society did too! It wasn’t until an investigation of the water ways revealed that the flat bottom and sheer vertical sides indicated that it wasn’t a natural formation, if it were, then there would be gradual slopes from the water’s edge to the bottom.
The lakes and water ways weren’t dug out for the same leisure activities we use it for today, they are the result of medieval peat digging, which is sometimes referred to as Turbary. Peat is formed from decayed plant material, once it has been extracted from the ground and dried it can be burnt and used as domestic fuel. Digging for peat would have started in the 14th century and at that time the extraction would’ve been an extremely hard task, with no modern machinery to use, the lakes and rivers would have been dug from pure physical, human effort!
By the 16th century, peat digging would have had to come to an end, as nature took over and the sea levels began to rise, the troughs in the land filled with water, making the extraction too difficult to continue. At this point, the waterways became a vital transportation route for wood, textiles and livestock. Before the industrial revolution, Norwich was a hub for trading, it was the second largest city in England and relied heavily on the Norfolk waterways. The boats used at the time were the famous Norfolk Wherries, examples of them are still used today, they are recognisable through their single, high black sail. The peat extraction created and form the stunning Norfolk Broads we admire today.
On your exploration of the Norfolk Broads you will come across charming towns and villages, woodlands, lakes and wildlife. There is a choice of ways to discover the hidden gems and historical treasures. A trip to the Norfolk Broads would not be complete without a boat trip, this gives you the opportunity to travel through the winding waterways in the most traditional way. Alternatively, you may choose to hire a kayak, pack a lunch and see where the water takes you. You will come across plenty of spots which offer amazing views and a great place for your lunch. If the idea of getting on the water isn’t for you, then explore some of the woodlands surrounding them, take yourself on one of the many walking trails and enjoy the serenity! If you are wanting to see more of the Norfolk Broads than a stroll or a kayak will cover, then get yourself a bike and the area is yours.
On your Norfolk Broad adventure, you will come across medieval churches, historical windmills, thatched manor houses, wildlife and beautiful views.