Altogether there are 30 Broads, linked by the rivers Bure, Thurne, Yare and Waveney in Greater Yarmouth, with the exception of Fritton Decoy, Martham Broad and the Trinity Broads between Rollesby, Ormesby and Filby which are not fed by a river. The history of the Broads and how they came to be is fascinating if you're planning on visiting and the surrounding villages are well worth a look.
Fritton Decoy, the Trinity Broads and the slower paced Thurne river at Martham are especially good for messing about on the river under your own steam, with options for rowing, canoeing and stand-up paddleboard hire, all great family fun activities and perfect for getting on the water.
Thousands of people come to the Broads for sailing holidays every year, and the Yacht Station in Great Yarmouth is a very popular place to moor up and explore the town for a few days. If you're planning a sailing holiday, there are plenty of staithes and moorings on your way through the borough, with great riverside pubs and tea rooms and options for walking and cycle-hire to stretch your legs once you're alongside.
Day boat hire is really popular if you want just a few hours or a day of cruising along the winding waterways, with boats available to hire at Martham, Burgh Castle and St. Olaves locally. Alternatively, stress-free tours are also on offer, where you can sit back, relax and let someone else do the sailing.
The Broads are now the largest nationally protected wetland in the United Kingdom and are a haven for wildlife and birds with lots of opportunities for fishing and bird-watching as well as walking, cycling and water sports. Rare insect species such as the Norfolk Hawker dragonfly thrive, while birds such as the Kingfisher and Greylag attract birdwatchers from far and wide.
The RSPB reserve at Breydon Water is a great location for bird-watching, as is Martham Broad, run by Norfolk Wildlife Trust, but neither location is for the faint-hearted as both are accessible by foot only.
Many visitors spend a day or two exploring the Broads in the area and it's easy to see why. With activities for the energetic and for those just wanting to admire the view from a great riverside location, they're an easy-to-reach alternative to the beach in a stunning countryside setting, for the best of both worlds on holiday.
If this sounds like the perfect place to relax, then why not enter this amazing competition to win a 7 night holiday for up to 8 people in 2016, with no date restrictions.
Images provided with permission from Greater Yarmouth Tourism.