#10 of 10 national parks in England

Best trails in The Broads National Park

220 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in The Broads National Park, Norfolk? AllTrails has 31 great hiking trails, trail running trails, walking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 18 easy trails in The Broads National Park ranging from 4.3 to 16.1 km and from 6 to 39 meters above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

Broads National Park also known as 'The Broads' is a network of mostly navigable rivers and lakes in the English counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. The lakes are known as broads and were formed by the flooding of peat workings. The waterways are lock-free, although there are five bridges under which only small cruisers and smaller boats can pass. The Broads largely follow the line of the rivers and natural navigations of the area. There are seven navigable rivers, the River Yare and its (direct and indirect) tributaries the Rivers Bure, Thurne, Ant, Waveney, Chet and Wensum. .

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Map of trails in The Broads National Park
Park information
Area:
30,000 hectares
Contact
+44 1603 610734
Helpful links
Top trails (31)
#1 - The Broads and Boardwalks Circular
The Broads National Park
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Length: 11.9 km • Est. 3 h 16 m
This is a circular walk that invests a little time upfront to get to the end of Upton Dyke, after which you follow a number of different waterways. The Broads tend not to be too walker-friendly as much of the land around them still tends to be in private hands, with few footpaths. This is therefore a rare chance to do a decent circular walk involving those that do exist. If you are used to canal walking the Broads are different, somewhere between a canal and a river, with the waters actually tidal. They lack towpaths as craft traditionally used sail not horsepower, which means you can sometimes find yourself trudging through quite high grass, albeit usually on top of banked flood defences. The walking also tends to be quieter, due to less powered craft, and it is also much more open. Rapid reed growth also means the water's edge can often disappear from view, although it usually pops back eventually! Allow around three hours for the walk. There are facilities in the nearby village, or head for the Fairhaven Gardens where there are toilets and a cafe, as well as the gardens themselves.Show more
#2 - Potter Heigham Extended Bridge Circular
The Broads National Park
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Length: 9.3 km • Est. 2 h 32 m
Potter Heigham is probably second only to Wroxham as a centre for the boat hire trade in these parts. As such, it tends to be busy with boaters and people who come just to dream about being boaters one day. The village is also significant for its medieval bridge, believed to date back to 1385, which is notable for its narrow span and effectively acts as a barrier for larger craft, and as such is a significant demarcation point in the Broads. Navigation is possible for smaller craft, but is best at low water and only with the help of resident pilots - who expect to be paid! This circular walk follows a section of river and dyke, and towards the end offers the chance to do some bird watching from a hide out over one of the Broad's larger expanses of water. As such, it is highly recommended that you bring a pair of binoculars with you. The walk also follows a section of the Weavers Way long distance path linking Great Yarmouth with Cromer. You will need to negotiate several bridges, gates and steps but there are no stiles. One stretch of path is grazed by Konik Deer for conservation and one stretch is prone to becoming overgrown in the height of the summer so shorts are not recommended! At one point you will need to cross an A-road which needs care. Allow a couple of hours for the walk, plus twitching time.Show more
#3 - Horsey Windmills and Dunes Circular
The Broads National Park
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Length: 7.9 km • Est. 2 h 12 m
This is a circular walk that offers both Broads walking and a stretch of the coast, where there is the special treat of an opportunity to spot some seals - if you are lucky! The walk ends with a run along an old drain, but don't worry, it's not the unpleasant kind, just another word for a man-made ditch. Allow around two hours to complete. As if this wasn't enough, the walk starts at Horsey Mill, a drainage mill once driven by windpower. The mill has been through the mill as it were, having continued to work until 1943 when it was struck by lightning and has recently had to undergo further restoration when it lost its fantail in the storms of 1987. Another, unrestored, mill is also seen on the walk. Wind power of a more modern kind can be seen on the coast in the form of a set of turbines out to sea. Finally, if you have time, take advantage of the Wildlife Boat Trips on the Lady Ann, a classic wooden boat, which goes out onto Horsey Mere, which is a SSSI (call 07791 526440 to book). These last an hour and are well worth it. There is also a tea room and public toilets by the windmill.Show more
#4 - Waveney River Centre, Carlton Marshes and Oulton Broad Walk
The Broads National Park
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Length: 9.5 km • Est. 2 h 38 m
Note: Sections of this trail may be closed due to construction and redevelopment work. A circular pub walk from Waveney River Centre, taking in a peaceful stretch of the River Waveney, the reed beds of Carlton Marshes nature reserve and the bustling boat life of Oulton Broad. The adventure begins with a short ride across the River Waveney on the Ternpike Ferry taking you from Norfolk into Suffolk, before exploring the nature reserve paths with chance to spot a huge variety of wildlife, making it the perfect outing for all the family. If you are staying in Suffolk, the walk can easily be adjusted to start and finish in Oulton Broad allowing you to use the Waveney Inn at the River Centre as the perfect halfway lunch stop. The walk is almost entirely flat. Whilst some of the paths are surfaced, several long stretches are unmade so these can get muddy after periods of rain and in winter so good boots are a must. You will need to negotiate a few gates and kissing gates plus two stiles. One of the stiles has a tight fence surround but a nearby alternative gate is usually open if you have a dog with you. The paths are generally fenced from the surrounding pastures, but you will cross one paddock which may be holding horses. The Ternpike Ferry runs all year (subject to tide and weather conditions) and it can be summoned on demand from Waveney River Centre reception (from the Norfolk side) or by calling 07500 571232 (from the Suffolk side). The ferry costs £3 per person return or £10 return for a group of four. Dogs travel for free. There are public toilets in Nicholas Everitt Park in Oulton Broad. Allow 3 hours. Show more
#5 - Winterton and its Dunes
The Broads National Park
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Length: 8.0 km • Est. 2 h 13 m
This is a circular walk of two halves, with the first half taking you along solid tracks through houses and along rural landscapes, whilst the second half, by way of contrast, takes you through the Winterton Dunes Nature Reserve, where you have the option of either staying on the path, keeping away from the dunes, or following one of the various tracks amongst the dunes to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. This is a Nature Reserve though, and a word of warning, you may spot adders, which are a protected species. If you start at the car park take a quick glance out to sea to spot the Blood Hill wind turbines. These were amongst the first to be installed in this country and have been operating for over twenty years. Allow at least a couple of hours for the walk. There are toilets and a cafe at the car park. Show more
#6 - Coltishall and Belaugh
The Broads National Park
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Length: 6.8 km • Est. 1 h 51 m
A circular level walk through countryside, alongside the miniature Bure Valley Railway where if you are lucky a steam train will pass, plus field tracks and riverside paths. The walk starts from the river moorings if you are travelling by boat, but there is also parking in the road alongside for those arriving by car. Show more
#7 - Dilham Canal Circular
The Broads National Park
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Length: 7.7 km • Est. 2 h 6 m
The North Walsham and Dilham Canal has been called Norfolk's only canal, although it is in fact a "canalised" section of the River Ant, or a Navigation. It did, however, have locks; slightly wider than canal locks in order to accommodate Norfolk Wherries, and the ruins of one of these locks can be seen on this circular walk. Although technically a disused canal, you can still see boats on the water, notably at the start in Dilham, which is in fact the limit of navigation. This is a flat and relatively easy walk focusing on the canal, but it can get muddy, so good strong walking footwear is recommended. Although the majority of the walk follows the canal this does not preclude a variety of habitats, ranging from open grazing land to woodland. There is also a short stretch along the Weavers Way, one of many long distance paths criss-crossing East Anglia, although the section along this path does end in a steep climb up a bank. It's not as bad as it may look, but anyone whose knees aren't what they used to be may wish to bear this in mind. You will be sharing some of the paths with grazing livestock. There are gates, narrow footbridges and stiles along the way. All in all, allow around two hours to complete the walk. Show more
#8 - South Walsham
The Broads National Park
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Length: 5.0 km • Est. 1 h 23 m
A level circular walk from Fleet Dyke Moorings, South Walsham. If you are traveling by boat this walk can be started from the Moorings, or if you are coming by car a car park can be found on the route. Half the route follows a new flood defence bank on the river, the remainder follows a farm track back to the village. The St. Benet's Abbey monastery ruins can be seen across the river on this walk as well as an abundance of wildlife. Marsh harriers are frequently seen on this walk so allow plenty of time if you enjoy bird watching. Barn Owls are common in the evening.Show more
#9 - Irstead Staithe and Barton Boardwalk
The Broads National Park
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Length: 4.3 km • Est. 1 h 10 m
This walk will help you discover some of the countryside easily reached from the car park or moorings. Irstead Staithe was traditionally used for loading and unloading goods including reed and sedge cut from the marshes. Now it is managed for nature conservation. The boardwalk will take you on a mysterious journey of discovery into a lost world which has remained isolated for half a century.Show more
#10 - Horstead to Buxton Circular
The Broads National Park
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Length: 11.3 km • Est. 2 h 57 m
As you walk along the River Bure, you can see the river's crystal clear water and its surrounding wildlife. This route takes you through an interesting mix of habitats including a floodplain, meadows, and even woodlands.Show more
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