The Broads National Park is a place for all seasons. Winter wildlife walks, followed by log fires, mulled drinks… It’s never too late to plan a visit to the Broads.
Winter’s also a great season to combine the best of the country and the city, and the Broads National Park and the city of Norwich are fantastic places to do just that, with Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft close by too if you visit the southern Broads.
Autumn and winter are wonderful times for walking and birdwatching in the Broads. White-fronted geese fly in from Russia and bean geese from Scandinavia, while thousands of pink-footed geese travel down from Iceland and Greenland. Nature reserves including those at Ranworth, Upton, Hickling, Horsey, Berney, Strumpshaw, Surlingham and Carlton are open for walks, and winter is also the season of the reed harvest.
Other places to visit through the winter months include Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden at South Walsham, Wroxham Barns, and the Bure Valley Railway which runs between Aylsham and Wroxham.
Discover wildlife, including Otters, in the Broads National Park – Image: Jackie Dent
If you want to venture somewhere really wild, try the RSPB’s nature reserve at Berney Marshes and Breydon Water. There’s no access by road but you can reach it by train from Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft (get off at Berney Arms Station), from the moorings on the River Yare, by walking along the Wherryman’s Way from Great Yarmouth or Reedham, or by public footpath from Halvergate village.
If you like remote places then try Haddiscoe Island too you – can walk right round the island’s perimeter, bordered by the River Yare, the River Waveney and the New Cut. Look out for marsh harriers, cormorants and perhaps a hare bounding through the grass. Go under Haddiscoe Flyover near St Olaves to reach the footpath. For somewhere lovely and a little less remote, walk along the River Ant between Ludham Bridge and How Hill, or head down to St Benet’s Abbey.
Breydon Water in winter – Image: TBNPA
There are special seasonal events at Whitlingham Country Park on the edge of Norwich and if you visit the city you can enjoy one of the top shopping destinations in the country. Look out for the many small specialist shops in the historic lanes and alleys off the Market Place, where the outdoor market, open Monday to Saturday, has been supplying local produce since Norman times.
Cosy cottages, secluded lodges, country house hotels, and friendly bed and breakfasts will all be happy to welcome you in, as will the many pubs, cafes and restaurants offering winter menus. And you can even enjoy the adventure of a winter boating holiday!
Thurne Mill in winter – Image: TBNPA
Enjoy the Broads whatever the season. Find out more at here.
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