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A-Z of walking and cycling routes on and around the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads

PUBLISHED: 11:57 18 April 2017 | UPDATED: 12:06 18 April 2017

Cycling the broads - here at Bredon Water Picture Christopher Hill - Chill Photography

Cycling the broads - here at Bredon Water Picture Christopher Hill - Chill Photography

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From Aylsham to the Wherryman, we have some of our favourite Broads walking and cycling routes.

The Bure Valley Railway 

Picture: MARK BULLIMOREThe Bure Valley Railway Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A is the Aylsham to Wroxham ride and walk route on the Bure Valley Way alongside the Bure Valley Steam Railway. Why not take the train one way and walk – or ride – back?

B is for the Beccles Marsh Trail, a four mile walk full of historical interest, or try the Barton Broad Board Walk, easily accessible by wheelchair/pushchair or walk in the footsteps of the Romans at Burgh Castle for stunning views of the Broads. The Broads By Bike network is fourteen circular rides exploring the northern and southern Broads areas.

C is for the Coltishall to Horstead six mile walk around the villages and along the River Bure. 6 miles (9km) approx.

D is for Ditchingham is on the pretty Bungay to Ellingham cycle ride around Outney Common, with a spur to the Locks Inn at Geldeston. You can also visit two other locks on the old Waveney Navigation.

Pyes Mill, Loddon (Picture: Nick Butcher)Pyes Mill, Loddon (Picture: Nick Butcher)

E is for east coast, where you finish at Great Yarmouth from the Weavers’ Way, a 56 mile long route from Cromer through the northern part of the Broads.

F is for Fleggburgh with fens, open water, woodland and farmland to offer on a two mile walk, or head along the Muck Fleet Dyke to Stokesby.

G is for Great Yarmouth and the start of the 78 mile Angles Way, a walk following the Waveney and Little Ouse valleys to Knettishall Heath Country Park.

H is for How Hill National Nature Reserve which has something of all the Broads habitats – open water, fens, grazing marshes and wet woodland. Email toadholetic@broads-authority.gov.uk for information.

A fisherman and swan enjoying the warm spring weather at Beccles.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYA fisherman and swan enjoying the warm spring weather at Beccles. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

I is for Irstead, on the edge of Barton Broad – one of Norfolk’s smallest villages with a selection of good Broads walks and rides.

J is for Junior Farm at Wroxham Barns on the Broads by Bike Route 8, passing Barton Broad, Wroxham Barns and Neatishead.

K is for keep pedalling and walking as there’s always something fun to see such as the ruins of St Benet’s Abbey on the River Bure on the Clippesby to Potter Heigham ride, an ideal family day out with car parking available with permission at Clippesby.

L is to love a stroll or a cycle around Loddon, taking in the town and marsh. Don’t forget to feed the ducks near the mill too.

Cuddle a pet at Junior Farm at Wroxham Barns (Picture: Jo Malone)Cuddle a pet at Junior Farm at Wroxham Barns (Picture: Jo Malone)

M is for wandering Martham (particularly during the Scare-crow Festival April 30-May 1) or cycle the Martham to West Somerton route, via Thurne and Rollesby, or the longer ride from Martham to Horsey, using the National Cycle Network along the coast between Somerton and Sea Palling, taking in Horsey Mill, and Waxham Barn, one of the largest barns in the country and now home to a museum of local life and crafts.

N is for Neatishead, on the Three Rivers Way ride taking in Hoveton and Horning, via Wroxham barns and Hoveton hall gardens.

O is for strolling the marshes close to Oulton Broad. Stop in the park for a picnic too, and don’t miss the power boat racing (summer Thursdays, see 
www.lobmbc.org.uk).

P is for great walks in Potter Heigham, such as a four mile route through traditional grazing marshes and along the reed fens near Heigham Sound and Hickling Broad. Four miles (6.5km) approx.

A swan at Beccles Quay basking in the warm spring weather.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYA swan at Beccles Quay basking in the warm spring weather. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Q is for walking on to the Queen of the Broads at Wroxham, the largest of the Broads Tours passenger trip boats, and discovering the Broads with an on-board commentary from the skipper. Perhaps you’ll spot places ashore you fancy exploring further by foot or bike. www.broadstours.co.uk

R is for Reedham Ferry, one of those Broads must-do activities. There’s been a crossing here since the early 17th century and there’s room on the ferry for cycles, walkers and cars. Take the Yare Valley Cycle Route, a circular ride from Norwich crossing over by ferry, or a much shorter ride to and from Loddon, incorporating the ferry. www.reedhamferry.co.uk

S is for the Stalham to Worstead cycle ride takes in some of the most peaceful parts of the Broads, including an off-road section of the Weavers’ Way long distance path and the chance to visit the only lock in the Broads at Horning, together with the traditional weaving village of Worstead. Don’t miss the Museum of the Broads from this route at Stalham Staithe.

T is for the 1.5 mile long Norwich Cathedral Treasure Trail that takes walkers around the historic Tombland and Cathedral districts of the city centre. Email norfolk@treasuretrails.co.uk for more information.

U Upton Broad and Marshes, just upstream of Acle and managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, has boardwalks offering good views of the woodlands, fens and marshes. Watch out for swallowtail butterflies, otters, dragonflies and wetland plants in particular.

V is for velo hire, with a new hire scheme on the Broads at three locations near the River Bure. It means riders can arrange online to hire a bike for two, four, eight or 12 hours and pick one up from electronically controlled docking stations at Hoveton outside the TIC, in Horning near the Swan Inn, and at Ludham Bridge. It’s an extension of the current hire scheme by Broadland Cycle Hire, which is based at Bewilderwood, and is part of the Three Rivers Way project, which includes a new path for walkers and cyclists between Hoveton and Horning alongside the A1062. Bookings can on-line at www.broadsbycycle.co.uk

W is the Wherryman’s Way through the southern Broads area – following the course of the River Yare between Norwich and Great Yarmouth and the Waveney River Centre, near Beccles, offering camping, holidays, dayboat hire and a pub with good cycle and walking routes with views across the Waveney marshes.

X is for X factor, that indescribable element that makes something even more valuable and interesting or in other words, that magical feeling of joy you have when walking or cycling in the Broads when the wind is in your hair and you have a glorious view across acres of countryside, dotted with mills, dykes, sails, birds and animals.

Y is for the Yare, one of three rivers in the popular Three Rivers Loop, a cycle ride around Loddon and Beccles with views of the rivers Waveney, Yare and Chet as you go around this circuit.

Z is for zoo to walk around. Head to Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, in the Norfolk Broads just south of Filby, eight miles outside Great Yarmouth. It has leopards, tigers, red panda, primates, cockatoos, wetland birds, crocodiles, alligators and wetland birds to see, along with a beautiful willow pattern garden. www.thrigbyhall.co.uk

Download masses of trails and walks on the trails pages at www.norfolk.gov.uk
Download cycle routes and trails at www.thebroadsbybike.org.uk.

Also see www.norfolkbroadscycling.co.uk, www.threeriversway.org.uk
Wild Challenge is your chance to help wildlife, explore nature, and work towards awards by making your way through a heap of wild family activities.

See wild-challenge at www.rspb.org.uk, www.countrysideaccess.norfolk.gov.uk.

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