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Norfolk broads advice needed

London
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Norfolk broads advice needed

Hi,

We plan to visit Norfolk Broads over the May 3rd Bank holiday weekend. We would be taking a train from train and would have 3 days to explore the broads. Any suggestions on what town to keep as our base for exploring the broads ? We are looking for a pretty town/village with some restaurants/coffee shops etc to explore. And it shd be accessible by public transport.

Thanks in advance for the suggestions.

Norwich, United...
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1. Re: Norfolk broads advice needed

Difficult to think of anywhere that fits the bill really. The Broads are difficult to explore other than by boat. They cover a large area of Norfolk and their really is no natural focal point from which to explore by public transport. There are also few points where you can access the broads or rivers on foot and they generally need a car to reach them Wroxham is the centre for boat hire and accessible by train and is I suppose the centre of the Norfolk Broads but that is to my mind a depressing and shabby sort of place smelling of fish and chips and burgers.

I suppose Beccles is the nicest small town with reasonable facilities actually on one of the Broads rivers (the Waveney) but that is in Suffolk not Norfolk.

Edited: 2:39 pm, April 16, 2013
London
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2. Re: Norfolk broads advice needed

What abt bus connections? I can take a train to the nearest station and use the bus/taxi for the onward journey? Any suggestions on best towns/villages to stay?

Suffolk, United...
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for Cephalonia
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3. Re: Norfolk broads advice needed

Hi,

I agree with platypuspie. I have really struggled to think of a place that is served by a train.

Wroxham was a really nice small town but has, in my opinion, ruined itself. It does have SOME nice shops and there are plenty of places to hire dayboats.

Beccles is in Suffolk but the River Waveney is the county boundary. There are a couple of dayboat firms. There are also walks along the river in both directions as well as quite a few shops. No actual broads however.

Oulton Broad is the Southern most Broad. Not many interesting shops, day boat hire is available, walks around the marshes and a ferry across the river to a pub at Burgh St Peter. There is also a big boat that does broads trips. Link below

eastofenglandtouristboard.com/be-inspired/…

On the Monday there is powerboat racing on the broad which may be a plus or minus. Several pubs and nightclubs which also may be a plus or minus!

One possibility could be to stay in Beccles, shop in Beccles, walk along the river to Oulton Broad, get a train back!

Sorry to sound so negative

Bob

middle england
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for Leicestershire, Norfolk
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4. Re: Norfolk broads advice needed

Crikey - walk from Beccles to Oulton Broad!!?? A long way and of no particular interest for much of the way.

I would suggest Stalham or its adjoining village of Sutton. You can reach Stalham by bus from North Walsham. The latter has a station on the Norwich - Sheringham line. Not only can you explore places like Hickling, with the Pleasure Boat Inn and a nature trail, but much of the river Ant and it's many pubs. Horsey Mere is quite close. Sutton Staithe is even closer, with pub. You can also get day boats from Stalham and Wayford Bridge.

Norfolk
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5. Re: Norfolk broads advice needed

My suggestion - if you want explore the Broads is to hire a boat for your 3 days.

If you just want to visit Broadland towns and villages, might be an idea to be based in Norwich, as a hub for public transport. You can then use the train to access towns on the lines to Cromer, Gt. Yarmouth & Lowestoft, and buses for places in between.

Be aware this is a very rural area, and bus services are few and far between. Likewise taxis are not readily available except in major towns.

London
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6. Re: Norfolk broads advice needed

What types of boats are available for first timers? Is it easy to drive ? Any suggestions on places where I can rent boats ?

Suffolk, United...
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7. Re: Norfolk broads advice needed

Hi again,

Day boats are a piece of cake to drive!

Boats that you sleep on are bigger but no problem. The boatyard will give you a 10 - 15 min lesson.

Life jackets are provided for a purpose! If you are sleeping on board many people turn off all gas appliances overnight. Accidents are very, very rare but they do happen.

For day boats just google "day boat hire" and the name of the town. Similarlly for "boat hire", you could go via Hoseasons or another agent for the larger boats but it is easier to get a discount going direct.

I know there are dayboats for hire in Beccles and Oulton Broad and Wroxham but lots of towns on the broads have them.

I sail and have not hired a powered boat for years so do not feel confident about actually recommending any particular company.

Bob

england
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8. Re: Norfolk broads advice needed

There is a station at Brundall, and its a short walk to the river. Brundall is only 15 mins outside Norwich and is on the Yare, I.m sure you could get a day boat there.

Broadland
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9. Re: Norfolk broads advice needed

I have to agree with the general sentiments. The Broads are best seen from the water. Public transport within the Broadland area is sketchy - we have three buses a day where I live.

If you want to remain on land, I'd give a second vote for Stalham and Sutton Staithe. Stalham is the larger place, being a small market town. It has some shops, but you'll easily 'do' the town in half a day. There are two or three boatyards and you should be able to get a day boat there.

Wroxham is the easiest place to get to, with a railway station nearby. As others have said, It ain't the prettiest of places, but there are shops there. It's probably also the easiest place to get a day boat.

Day boats are easy to manage, they're relatively small, and you only travel at 3-4 mph anyway. The secret is NOT to think like you're driving a car. Take your time over maneuvering. Some boatyards have what they term 'picnic' boats. These are slightly larger day boats with an on-board toilet and a couple of gas rings, no sleeping facilities. You can also hire electric day boats, and believe me they're much quieter than the diesel boats. You need to 'phone boat yards ASAP, Bank holiday and the day boats go very quickly!

Edited: 12:43 pm, April 17, 2013
Great Yarmouth...
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10. Re: Norfolk broads advice needed

I vote you take a boat for the three days too. They are perfectly manageable (after all others can manage it) Google boat hire from Wroxham and book something the appropriate size for you.

Take a train to Norwich and change for the Sheringham train. Get off at Wroxham and walk to the boat yard. In Wroxham you can pick up food for the three days to take on board and you'll be supplied with fuel, heating, bedding, water and instruction.

Its by far the best way to enjoy the broads which are really badly served by public transport.

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