The Twelve Days of Christmas in the Broads National Park

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The Broads National Park is the perfect location to be this Christmas, with its festive markets, chilly evenings and toasty pub fireplaces. If you’re looking for some unusual ways to inject some festive fun into the month than why not bring the lyrics to life from the famous ‘twelve days of Christmas’ song with these yuletide days out, based on those festive milestones…

A Partridge in a Pear Tree:

The Broads National Park is full of partridges at this time of year so to get your first-day-of-Christmas fill make sure you head off for a frosty country walk by the river. The most common partridge to see are the red-legged French variety, but the English breed is known as the grey partridge and can still be found in the Broads by the beady-eyed birdwatcher!

Two Turtle Doves:

Turtle dove copyright Tony Sutton
A beautiful Turtle Dove © Tony Sutton (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Turtle doves can’t be found in England at this time of year as they make the impressive migration journey all the way to Mali in the winter months. They’ve become incredibly rare, for every 100 turtle doves there were 40 years ago there are now only nine. A wonderful Christmas present for a loved one would be a donation to RSPB charity Operation Turtle Dove to support their mission to save these magical birds. Or go on a trip to Pensthrope Natural Park to see their turtle doves and learn much more about them.

Three French Hens:

Feel festive on the farm yard by visiting Wroxham Barns and admiring their gorgeous hens. They boast all manner of varieties so a few of them are sure to be French! You can collect any eggs that you find and purchase them to take home, freshly laid.

Four Calling Birds:

There are few places better to hear bird song than the Broads and with so many amazing bird hides dotted about from the Wildlife Trust to the RSPB there are so many locations to admire them from. Some of our favourites include Hickling, Ranworth and Berney Marshes.

Five Gold Rings:

gold rings copyright mauro cateb
Two gold rings © Mauro Cateb (CC BY 2.0)

There are many inspiring jewellers working in the Broads so whether you’re after a bangle, a brooch or five gold rings you can definitely find them here. Local jewellers to fall in love with include Ann Lamb, Alison Varley, and Hazel Davison.

Six Geese a Laying:

The Broads are a great area of Britain to see wild fowl and many breeds of geese over winter in the National Park as well as those who live here all year round. Breeds you could see on your strolls include, brent geese, pink-footed geese, greylag geese, Canadian geese, and Egyptian geese.

Seven Swans a Swimming:

The Broads are home to more than one variety of swan at this time of year. Breeds you might see include Bewick’s swans and Whooper swans, what could be more Christmassy than snow white birds gliding across a frosty river?

Eight Maids a Milking:

There are several local dairies in the Broads offering the best possible welfare standards for their animals and zero air miles. Check out Fen Farm Dairy, Norton’s Dairy, Lakenham Creamery, Mrs Temple’s cheese, Ferndale Farm and Fielding Cottage. Perfect for that local Christmas cheese board.

Nine Ladies Dancing:

There are loads of amazing opportunities to see some festive dancing in the Broads. Whether you watch a theatre performance from the comfort of your local cinema such as Norwich’s Cinema City or Bungay’s Fisher Theatre, or go to watch a live performance like the Nutcracker shown at Norwich Theatre.

Ten Lords a Leaping:

Geese in snow
It's not looking like a white Christmas this year...

In the Broads National Park there are loads of beautiful stately homes which lords have undoubtedly leapt in! Estates not to be missed include, Hoveton Hall, Somerleyton Hall, Felbrigg Hall, and Blickling Hall. There’s no better time to visit them than when they’re all lit up at Christmas time.

Eleven Pipers Piping:

The Broads have loads of great places to go and listen to music this Christmas. Carol concerts are popping up all over Norfolk and Suffolk from The Minster Church of St. Nicholas, in Great Yarmouth to Norwich Cathedral and every great and small parish church in-between.  

Twelve Drummers Drumming:

The drumming of feet on the footpaths of the Broads are an absolute must this Christmas! With enormous walks such as the Wherryman’s Way (an impressive 37.5 mile walking trail) to more modest jaunts perfect for a plod and a pub lunch such as the railway walk from the Bittern Line at Salhouse (5.6 miles). Check out our walking page for some route ideas and read our blog on the best walks in the Broads - perfect for walking off that figgy-pudding!