Escape to the Broads this Autumn

Skip to section navigation

Well, what a year we’ve had so far. With the end of August fast approaching, it seems like 2020 has whizzed by in the blink of an eye. But it’s not over yet.

If you didn’t manage to get away during the spring and summer months, September and October are still a fabulous time to visit the Broads. The East of England region is one of the driest and mildest in the UK. The long, hazy days and dark, starry nights make for a magical combination.

As the throng of summer holidaymakers dissipates, our quaint villages and 125 miles of navigable waterways gently return to a quiet oasis of calm, giving you the freedom and space to unwind under our big skies.

Here, we’ve put together a few suggestions for you for the best ways to enjoy all that the Broads has to offer this autumn.

Find your perfect autumn hideaway

The Boathouse, Ormesby
The Boathouse, Ormesby
If you’re looking to escape for a few days and get away from it all, the Broads National Park has something just for you. The Boathouse, set in 11 acres of beautiful parkland on the banks of the enchanting Ormesby Broad, combines one of the most idyllic and romantic venues you will find with fine country dining. Situated just a stone’s throw from Somerleyton Hall and just 5 miles from the coast and market town of Beccles, Somerleyton Meadows provides the peace and tranquillity of a gorgeous Georgian house set in grounds overlooking the Waveney Valley.  Or, why not soak up the beauty and atmosphere of Hoveton Hall Luxury B&B, part of a stately home. Wherry Cottage is a charming brickbuilt cottage with a beautiful garden, lying on a stream by Gay’s Staithe near Neatishead. The 300year old cottage was formerly two Wherryman’s cottages. Gay’s Staithe is one of the prettiest and quietest parts of the Broads.

Autumn on the Water

Thurne Mill and boats on the Broads
Thurne Mill and boats on the Broads

As the summer season winds down, the waterways and broads become much quieter.  There are no locks for you to navigate, so all you have to do is just sit back and enjoy the views of reed marshes, meadows and woodlands at a leisurely pace. Find yourself a secret fishing spot, encounter some of Britain’s rarest wildlife or moor up at one the idyllic riverside pubs along the way. Luxury motor cruisers and sailing yachts are available to hire, allowing you to fully explore the Northern or Southern Broads on a boating holiday. If you’re visiting for the day or staying on dry land, you can hire a day boat. They’re simple to drive and many are equipped with heaters should you notice a bit of a nip in the air.

Soak up the autumn colours

Fairhaven autumn colours

Enjoy the changing of the seasons and autumn in all its glory with a wander around one of our beautiful nature reserves, parks or gardens. The Broads includes some of Europe’s most special nature reserves, with no fewer than 28 sites of Special Scientific Interest. Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is a secret hideaway in the heart of the Broads National Park at South Walsham. Discover beautiful woodland and waterways with autumn foliage, a private broad with boat trips and to end the perfect day, they have an award-winning tearoom too!

If you really want to stretch your legs, there’s no better time to explore the Broads on foot than during late summer and autumn. A relatively mild climate and easy-going conditions are part of the joy of walking in the Broads. Without high peaks to climb or tough, rocky trails to follow, it’s perfect for families and those looking for a gentle ramble. There are over 300km of footpaths and lots of designated walking routes to download, taking in dramatic landscapes and pretty villages. For something a little more challenging, the long-distance trails are perfect for day-long hiking.

Pedal power

Family cycling
Family cycling

For a healthy and environmentally friendly way to enjoy the Broads this autumn, wind your way through miles of peaceful country lanes and gently undulating landscape by bike. With cycling routes to download, from 2.5 miles to 38 miles, there’s something for all abilities. If you don’t want the hassle of bringing your own, there are many places throughout the Broads to hire a bike. There’s also the Bure Valley Cycleway - a 9 mile off-road trail running alongside the Bure Valley Steam Railway, which operates between Wroxham and Aylsham, giving you the option to hop on the train for the return journey!

Some of the best fishing in the UK

Fishing in the Broads
Fishing in the Broads

With 7 rivers and any number of inland waterways and shallow lakes to choose from, the Broads offers some of the best fishing in the UK.  You can fish from a boat or one of the many riverside platforms where you’ll find a diverse range of species. Don’t forget to stop off at Lathams Discount Fishing Store to stock up for a few successful hours angling.  They have been providing visitors and locals with top quality fishing items for more than 30 years!  All of their staff members fish locally for different species, and all do different types of fishing, so someone with good knowledge and heaps of experience will always be on hand and happy to help you. Local catch reports are always available too, to point you in the right direction.

For lots more ideas of things to do and places to stay in the Broads national Park this autumn visit