Boats moored at Horning in the Norfolk BroadsIf you have no boating or sailing experience, Norfolk Broads is the ideal place for you to take a holiday and ‘learn the ropes’. There are no locks on the Broads, and the simplest type of boat for the beginner is a cruiser, which can be hired at boatyards in the main centres such as Wroxham, Potter Heigham or Horning.

The boatyard will advise on how to drive the boat, and will provide a manual with handy tips and interesting routes from your starting point.

Riverside houses at Wroxham in the Norfolk BroadsYou can easily cover 12 miles in a half day’s cruising, and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to moor at local attractions such as waterside pubs and nature reserves. The fuel is often included in the price of your holiday and will usually last for the whole trip; it should cost no more than £100 if you have to purchase it. Hiring a craft will let you appreciate the true character of the Broads. And if a sailor’s life is not for you, joining a boat trip is nearly as good!

The Character of the Broads

Boating on the River Bure in the Norfolk BroadsThe Broads are shallow lakes which lie within the triangle of Sea Palling, Norwich and Lowestoft. There are over 30 Broads, linked by 200 miles of rivers, lakes, streams and man-made waterways. The main rivers connecting the Broads are the Yare, Bure and Waveney, and their tributaries the Ant, Thurne and Chet.

The Broads were formed not by glacial action but by human excavation of peat over hundreds of years. The land surrounding the Broads is flat, and long stretches of the waterways are below the level of the countryside, creating the strange vision of sails apparently moving swiftly through the fields with no water in sight.

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