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Beautiful Broads

The Norfolk Broads are good for you! Experts believe blue spaces, like rivers and lakes, are even more beneficial for mental and general wellbeing than green ones. Slow your pulse and get amongst nature out on the water. To explore the vast maze of streams and wide open expanses, take a few days and try out different boatyards, perhaps in autumn when morning mists rise to reveal a glittering landscape. Or really take it easy and book an Eastwoods Cruiser Afternoon Tea – with nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the view. And the cake, of course!

Day 1
Hippisley Hut: Birthplace of Wireless Interception

Hippisley Hut: Birthplace of Wireless Interception

How did a little wooden hut in Old Hunstanton play a crucial role in the outcome of the First World War?

The hut was named after Richard John Bayntun Hippisley, a keen amateur radio enthusiast (callsign HLX). At the outbreak of war, many wireless amateurs, including Bayntun and his friend Edward Russell Clarke (callsign THX), were assigned to the Admiralty’s Navel Intelligence Division Room 40 as ‘voluntary interceptors’, establishing a network of wireless stations. Bayntun and Russell Clarke had reported signals from the German Navy received on a lower wavelength than those detected by the higher frequency Marconi stations. In late 1914, Bayntun and Russell Clarke were sent to set up a listening post in a a former coastguard station in Hunstanton, West Norfolk, the highest point nearest the German coast, and home to an existing Marconi wireless station. The top secret work at Hippisley’s Hut played a critical role in the Battle of Jutland when an unusual level of German warship communication was detected in Wilhelmshaven in May 1916. The German fleet was stirring in the North Sea and thanks to wireless interception, the British fleet had warning. There was terrible loss of life, but the German navy was contained.

Today you can stay at what was known as Hippisley’s Hut. The original timber construction is now part of an elegant West Norfolk self-catering holiday home in the heart of the village, available with Norfolk Coast Cottages. Sleeping 10, it’s perfect for holidays with a sense of history.

Day 2
Water Wildlife Winter Walk

Water Wildlife Winter Walk

Banish the winter blues with a good stomp outside in magical scenery. Grab your winter boots, pull on a jumper and head to the Broads for a mood-boosting walk on hidden footpaths accessible only by water.

From Martham Ferry Boatyard (car parking is free) you’ll be taken on a 15-minute electric boat ride to the start of the path near Hickling Broad. This self-guided walk takes an hour, although you can extend it if you’d like longer. Afterwards, you’ll be taken back to the boatyard for a cheery hot drink.

You really get to know the secrets of a place when you see it in all seasons and the stark, tranquil beauty of winter is one of the best times to spot wildlife in this unique landscape.

Those who visit outside of the crowded high season might spot Kingfishers, Little Egret, Common . . Between autumn and early spring it’s the season of scarlet berries, restless skies and silver mist rising over the marshes, so bring your camera and wrap up for the weather to explore this breathtaking part of the Broads National Park at its most peaceful.

Day 3
Eastwood Cruiser Afternoon Tea

Eastwood Cruiser Afternoon Tea

Do you yearn for the innocent days of hand knitted jumpers, headscarves and making the best of whatever the English weather blows in? In recent years we’ve rediscovered a fondness for home and simple joys. From letter writing and baking to gardening and crafting, there’s a new appreciation of living life at a slower pace and nostalgia for the pleasures of an old school British holiday. If this sounds like heaven, head back in time aboard a beautifully restored 1950s classic wooden Norfolk Cruiser out on the water in the beautiful Broads National Park. A perfect treat in autumn, winter, and early springtime, you’ll be warm and cosy inside her immaculate heated cabin.

This is a fully skippered cruise, inviting you to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride as you release your cares and let them drift away downstream. You’ll find out about how the unique landscape of the Broads was formed, discover some local history, spot visiting birds on their eastern migratory paths and see wildlife as you glide along these magical Broadland waterways. Each season conjures new colours across the land and you often see more wild creatures than in the busier summer months. Otters are a particular delight, if you’re lucky! Add a warming drink, mulled wine and a delicious afternoon tea for a most idyllic way to make lifelong memories with friends and family.

Afternoon Classic Cruise – with Afternoon Tea & mulled wine onboard. 1-4pm. Up to 5 people from £250.00 for the group.

Day 4
Eastwood Classic Cruiser Sailing

Eastwood Classic Cruiser Sailing

Hoist the mainsail and let the wind lift your heart! You’ll be hard pressed to find a more life-enhancing experience than sailing on the River Bure, with the sound of water lapping on the hull of your classic yacht.

This is a ‘hands on’ activity, sailing a beautiful, wooden 100-year-old Norfolk Half Decker yacht through glorious Broadland scenery. Under the safe supervision of a friendly Instructor, you’ll learn the ropes before heading off through one of the UK’s most stunning waterscapes.

You’ll handle your own piece of Broadland history as you take the helm, to relish the thrill of speeding along in peace and quiet, feeling the pressures of life fall away.

A profound sense of wellbeing comes from a joyride powered only by the wind. A world away from summer crowds, you’ll experience the Norfolk Broads on luminous autumn days as the year glides into crisp November. Or come in early spring when the reeds and marshes wake into a new season, rich with wildlife.

You’ll set sail from Upton Dyke and head north onto the River Bure. Depending on wind and tide you may head north onto the River Thurne or continue west on the Bure towards St Benet’s Abbey before returning to base in Upton.

There’s capacity for 4 guests, so wrap up warm and savour hot drinks mid-sail as you share this very special experience with friends or family.

Build your own itinerary

If you fancy creating your own itinerary for a day trip to Norfolk or a longer visit, it couldn’t be simpler. Just go to Search Activities and select from our wide range of free and paid-for experiences, saving any that capture your imagination with the click of a button.

Once you’ve finished, you’ll find all the information stored in My Favourite, where you can drag and drop activities to create your own day-by-day itinerary! You can download this to a calendar and even share it with friends.

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