The Southern Norfolk Broads is usually quieter than the north, where Wroxham is the starting point for many boating holiday makers. If escaping the crowds and invigorating fresh air is what you need, the Southern Norfolk Broads has much to offer.
The Norfolk Broads is rich in wildlife so bring a bird and mammal identification guide with you. Early mornings and evenings are the best times to see the wildlife of the Broads. Birds and small mammals tend to be a bit shy during the day when there’s more boat activity on the river.
There’re also many nature reserves with a variety of fen and marsh walks in the Southern Norfolk Broads. Sturdy walking boots or wellies are advisable as many areas can become quite muddy. Don’t forget to also bring a waterproof coat, you know how unreliable the weather can be even during the summer.
NATURE RESERVES OF THE SOUTHERN NORFOLK BROADS
SURLINGHAM CHURCH MARSH
This small nature reserve has reedbeds, fens and pools, and is a great place for marshland bird watching. In spring and summer, marsh harriers, kingfishers and warblers can be seen, while wildflowers provide a riot of colour. The site floods in winter, attracting bitterns and gadwalls. You can moor at Bramerton Woods End or the Ferry House, Surlingham then walk along the river.MORE INFO ABOUT SURLINGHAM CHURCH MARSH
WHEATFEN BROAD RESERVE
Wheatfen is near Surlingham and described as a magical nature reserve backing onto the River Yare. It’s also home to the Ted Ellis Trust, who look after the reserve and run regular events throughout the year. The nearest mooring is Rockland St. Mary Staithe.WHAT TO EXPLORE AT WHEATFEN BROAD
STRUMPSHAW FEN NATURE RESERVE
If you’re lucky you could spot a Marsh Harrier or Kingfisher while walking through the reedbeds, woodlands and meadows of Strumpshaw Fen. Keep your ears open and you may hear the distinctive boom of a Bittern. Access via moorings at Brundall Church Fen or Cantley.VISITOR INFORMATION FOR STRUMPSHAW FEN
Next door to Strumpshaw Fen, Buckenham consists of marshland, reedbed, wetland and valley habitats. In winter it also welcomes the only regular flock of bean geese in England.MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BUCKENHAM MARSHES
HOW HILL NATURE RESERVE
A grand thatched Edwardian House sits atop How hill surrounded by marsh and fenland. Explore the nature trails or visit the Broads Authority’s Toad Hole Cottage Museum and tourist information centre. You can also book a ride on the electric boat to the hide over-looking Reedham Water. Moorings available at How Hill.BROADS AUTHORITY AT HOW HILL
From How Hill moorings go south to Buttles Marsh. Here you’ll find a herd of ponies which are used to help manage the marshes and fens.MORE ABOUT THE BROADS AUTHORITY AND CONSERVATION GRAZING
RSPB BERNEY MARSHES AND BREYDON WATER
At the far reaches of the Southern Broads is Breydon Water, the crossing point into the Northern Broads. The mud flats here and surrounding grazing marshes are visited by thousands of wintering wildfowl each year.MOOR AT THE BERNEY ARMS FOR BOTH BREYDON AND BERNEY MARSHES.
There are a number of walks around the southern end of Oulton Dyke. These can be accessed from the Dutch Tea Gardens moorings.MORE ABOUT OULTON MARSHES