Most of us are justifiably proud to be living in Norfolk, a wonderful county with so much to offer. Mention Norfolk, though, and probably the first association for many will be the Broads.
This magical waterland is Britain’s largest protected wetland. Six rivers link the shallow lakes (Broads) that make up the 200km (120 miles) of lock-free waterways.
And yet, as residents of Norfolk how much do we really get out there and explore and enjoy them?
The Broads Outdoors Festival aims to change this. It wants to show people how much there is to do around the broads, from walking, cycling, fishing, painting and photography to just taking time for peaceful reflection. And of course there’s lots to do on the water as well.
The Festival will run from 7 – 15 May at various locations throughout the Broads. Over 60 widely varied events are taking place throughout that time and there is something to suit all ages and interests.
There are numerous walks on offer, some long, some short and they vary from getting up at the crack of dawn (literally) to discover the delights of nature’s dawn chorus, to walks around nature reserves rarely open to the public, to family walks and even an evening ghost walk through the woods of Fairhaven Gardens.
Cycling is a perfect way to discover the Broads and numerous guided cycle trails are taking place throughout the festival.
Canoeing offers you the chance to really get into some of those secret, undiscovered areas. This silent, gliding mode of transport means you will see far more of the Broads’ very special wildlife: otters, bitterns, grebes, cormorants than you ever can from a larger boat. The festival has lots of great canoe trails.
And there’s even more, the festival also has photography workshops, painting workshops, a bushcraft survival day camp, combined pedal and paddle trips, a rare chance to take a trip on the oldest surviving trading wherry the Albion or cruise down the Broads listening to jazz aboard the Southern Comfort paddle steamer.
The Festival is officially launching at Whitlingham Country Park on 7 May from 12pm – 4pm. More information here.
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