Fingers crossed that we still have a few weeks of lovely weather left before everything starts to change, and the days start to shorten. Late summer and Autumn are a fabulous time to get outdoors and active in the Broads National Park.
The waterways and busy tourist destinations are much quieter once the schools go back, making September and October one of the best times to visit.
Of course, being easily accessible in around two hours or so from Peterborough, Cambridge and London, means there’s nothing stopping you nipping up for a cheeky weekend, or a day out with the kids during term time too!
We’ve got loads of great suggestions for things you can do to keep everyone active and keep those summer vibes going for a little while yet.
The Broads has loads of fabulous places to get out on your bike. There are two long-distance National Cycle Routes that pass right through the Broads National Park.
National Route 30 runs from the north Norfolk coast through the picturesque Broads villages of Horsey, Hickling, Martham, Potter Heigham and Sea Palling, before finally following the coast down into Great Yarmouth. Sea Palling Cycle Hire has a wide range of bikes for hire so you can explore the area on two wheels. They can even deliver them to you too!
National Cycle Route 1 is a whopping 1264-mile, long-distance route on the National Cycle Network, with large sections hugging the East Coast. Part of the route passes through the city of Norwich, on to Surlingham and Loddon, and then down to Beccles in the Southern Broads.
If you don’t fancy tackling one of the long-distance trails, there’s lots of shorter circular routes, winding through quiet country lanes and designated cycle paths.
The Bure Valley way is a 9-mile cycle way joining Aylsham and Hoveton and Wroxham, adjacent to the Bure Valley Railway line. At Hoveton, it’s possible to pick up hire bikes from Broadland Cycle Hire, based at Bewilderwood, and enjoy a day out exploring the pretty villages of Coltishall, Buxton and Brampton.
The Broads By Bike network consists of sixteen circular rides from 5 to 25 miles, with easy to read pdf maps for you to download.
For more information and lots of other routes to choose from and something to suit all abilities, read more about walking and cycling in the Broads National Park
You’ve still got plenty of time to get out on the water too…
Get active in a canoe, kayak or try stand-up paddleboarding. Any form of paddling is a fantastic opportunity to get close to the wildlife, immerse yourself in the environment of the Broads and explore hidden places that others just can’t reach. You’ll really enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this magical wetland when you get up close and personal.
There are tons of places to hire canoes, kayaks and SUP’s dotted all over the Suffolk and Norfolk Broads. Choose a traditional 3 person Canadian canoe, single seater kayak or stand-up paddleboards.
Registered hire companies are fully licenced and have safety procedures in place. Most can provide you with lessons and guided tours, where you’ll learn all about the area and the wildlife. *Please make sure you use a registered hire centre.
If you want to bring your own kit, there are several slipways and launching points where you can get your craft in and out of the water safely.
For more information and a range of suggested routes with maps to download, read canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding in the Broads
If you don’t fancy doing all the hard work yourself and would rather sit back and watch the world go by, book onto one of the many boat trips that operate in the Broads daily. Broads Tours run award winning guided river trips from Wroxham, 7 days a week well into October.
If you’ve got a celebration coming up and you’re looking for something extra special, Broadland Charters can provide skippered, luxury cruises on the Broads onboard their stunning sports cruiser, with afternoon tea, canapes, champagne or cocktails included.
To experience the freedom of the water at your own pace, with plenty of time to stop off along the way and have a picnic, you can hire your own day boat. Hiring your own boat for the day is a fun and affordable way for the whole family to explore the Broads and waterways together.
Day Boats are available to hire from several boatyards throughout the Broads National Park. There’s a wide range on offer, seating from 4 to 12 people and some have onboard heating and cookers too, so you can go out at any time of the year.
However you plan to enjoy the water, make sure you download a copy of the Waterways Code leaflet to help you stay safe.
For more information and things to do in the Broads visit www.visitthebroads.co.uk