Affordable days out in the Broads

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We all know that these days we want our hard-earned money to stretch as far as possible. We want to enjoy our time out, be it locals taking day trips, or holiday makers needing to keep to a budget while they visit our region.

A visit to the Broads needn’t break the bank this year, with a bit of planning you can enjoy much of what our fantastic region has to offer. Here are 5 things you can do which can help keep costs down.

1: A walk in the countryside with a picnic

Group of people enjoying a picnic on a summer day, boats are visible in the backgroun
Stopping off for a picnic on the Broads

The Broads are blessed with so many beautiful places to go for a walk. From a short stroll, to a 10-mile hike, you will find enjoyable locations.

For the budget conscious, fill a flask at home, pack some of your favourite snacks, and head out for an adventure. Take a look at the “Go walking in the Broads” page on our website for some ideas including routes you can follow for free using AllTrails. There are also some fantastic, free guided walks coming up soon, check out the event listings page. For a wheelchair accessible short trail, why not try the Barton Board Walk? (The boardwalk is not open to dogs except assistance dogs.)

2: Spend some time on the water

If a week on a Broads cruiser isn’t within your budget, how about a few hours on the water, viewing the wildlife from a different perspective? There many starting points to hire a dayboat along the 7 Rivers that make up the Broads, check out full boat hire listings here.

Or let someone else take the strain of “driving” and book a boat trip, there are many options available, some of which are wheelchair accessible  - see “Ra Boat Trip” run by the Broads Authority, or browse the full boat trip listings.

If you're interested in getting some exercise in whilst seeing the wonders of the waterways, a spot of canoeing, kayaking or paddleboarding could be up your alley. Prices for morning/afternoon paddle hire can be less than £20 depending on where you hire from.

3: Explore some of our quaint towns and villages

Two people stood on a wooden boardwalk birdwatching, holding binoculars
Birdwatching in the Broads is a free activity that can be great for your mental wellbeing

There is an abundance of towns and villages to explore within the Broads area.

Experience the hustle and bustle of Wroxham and Horning, with their many independent shops (have you spotted all 5 of Roys Stores there?). There’s also smaller villages like Stalham (with the budget-friendly attraction of the Museum of the Broads) and Ranworth. If you are feeling brave you can get an amazing aerial view from the top of the St Helen’s Church tower – which is free to climb, but do be aware there are 89 steps and 2 ladders to get to the summit. There is a visitor centre on site and a tea shop, and the Norfolk Wildlife Trust's floating visitor centre is just a short walk away too.

In the south of the region the traditional market town of Bungay is known for its many independent shops, pubs, restaurants, and cafes. Away from the centre you can explore the delights of Falcon Meadow or Outney Common which are free to walk around.

4: Take a trip to the seaside

We have some amazing beaches within our area. In winter you can view hundreds of seal pups on the sands at Horsey, please follow the guidelines for visiting, and stick to the roped off viewing areas though.

Winterton On Sea, Waxham and Sea Palling all offer miles and miles of unspoiled sandy beaches, and are around 10 minutes drive from the Broads town of Stalham (Sea Palling is on the Sanders Coaches route number 34 (Monday to Friday), stopping at North Walsham, Hickling and Stalham amongst other towns/villages. Waxham is a short walk from Sea Palling.)

For a livelier beach visit, the towns of Hembsy and Great Yarmouth offer more of the traditional kiss-me-quick seaside resort amenities, such as amusement arcades, fairgrounds and great value cafes and restaurants.

5: Accommodation for all budgets

A group of people walking a dog infront of the ruins of red-bricked St Benet's Abbey on a sunny day with blue skies
Exploring the ruins of St Benet's Abbey

Why not try camping or glamping, ideal for all the family to enjoy? There are a multitude of sites all over the Broads region, with pitches for most budgets.

There are also Bed and breakfast and self catering options available of course, as well as parks and lodges. The traditional boating holiday companies also have vessels for all price points, so don’t rule them out when you start planning your break. Some of the holiday providers may offer payment plans or early booking discounts too, keep your eyes open on their social media pages.

We want visitors and locals alike to enjoy their time in Broads, so we would recommend you download our new app, where you’ll have the Broads at your fingertips. There are suggestions for things to do, places to visit, maps and upcoming events listed. Just search “Visit the Broads” in either Google Play or the App store to install it today, or click this link: