Known to many as the Norfolk Broads the park actually covers parts of Suffolk too and offers an experience unlike any other, both on its rivers and lakes and by them under wide horizons cut only by windmills, ancient church towers and yacht sails.
It is a nature-lover’s paradise, with more rare wildlife than anywhere else in Britain yet is also the only English national park to embrace a city. You can fly direct to vibrant, medieval Norwich from Amsterdam Schipol in less than 45 minutes and combine your stay with a city break.
It is also the nearest UK national park to the Netherlands and only two hours by road or rail from Harwich or London.
Nothing beats boating on the Broads with 200km of lock-free waterways winding through unspoilt scenery to make time afloat an adventure. From a day boat to a week on a cruiser or sailing yacht you will find hidden places, perfect picnic spots and close encounters with wildlife at every turn.
There are plenty of spots to moor up and explore villages and market towns all with their unique history, or to stop at a welcoming pub.
At night the Broads is swathed in stars and where better to stargaze than from the tranquillity of a boat or camp site? There is even an observatory on the doorstep at Seething for the more dedicated.
The park also hugs the famous Norfolk coast so you can combine a visit with a day or two at some of the most spectacular beaches in the UK.
Walking and cycling in the Broads
It might not have the steep inclines of the UK’s upland national parks but the rolling landscape, pretty lanes and waterside trails of the Broads suit all abilities and make it great for a family walking or cycling adventure.
The Broads has more than 300km of public paths through scenic nature reserves, open country or by water.
The park even has its own cycling sportive, the Tour de Broads, which covers seven broads (the man-made lakes which gives the park its name) and 16 villages during events in April and August.
And the number National Cycling Route passes through part of the park with a range of smaller circular routes.
Wildlife watching in the Broads
The Broads is the UK’s nature capital boasting more than a quarter of its rarest species including some found nowhere else in the country like the stunning Swallowtail, Britain’s largest butterfly with a wingspan of up to 8cm and the Norfolk Hawker dragonfly, the emblem of the park.
Enigmatic bitterns, with their distinctive booming sound, and marsh harriers can be spotted while the otter is also making a comeback.
And there is a wealth of reserves dotted throughout the Broads to help make the nature-lover’s experience even more memorable.