Broads Guides

The Northern part of the Broads Comprises the River Bure, its tributaries and broads

The Central and Southern parts of the Broads Comprises the River Yare, linking Norwich to Great Yarmouth, and the River Waveney, running inland from Lowestoft, then running North to Breydon Water and South West along the Waveney Valley. A man-made New Cut provides a short cut to the River Yare, avoiding the need to sail on to Breydon water and then turn inland on the River Yare

The Broads are often referred to as the ‘Norfolk Broads’ but do extend down into Suffolk. The area comprises a network of rivers that connect some naturally formed lakes but the broads are man-made, resulting from Medieval peat digging, leaving expanses of water that is relatively shallow.

The original BroadlyBoats guides to the Broads divided the area up into main rivers with their broads and tributaries

The River Bure runs across from the Northernmost part of the Broads network to Great Yarmouth, and into Breydon Water which connects the Bure to the River Yare and the River Waveney

The original River Ant Guide can be downloaded by clicking the hyperlink below:


We expect the new revised versions of the guides, on which we have started work, will divide in the same way, including all of the changes since the publication of the original guides. What has also changed since the original publication of the Guides is that the Broads have changed their status from “a Member of the National Parks Family” to a fully fledged National Park. That change was not without controversy and requires the Broads Authority to walk a careful path between its responsibilities for conservation and navigation.

Great Yarmouth;s Outer Harbour

The River Yare and Inner Harbour lay alongside to teh South of the new harbour

In addition to the many small craft, from canoes and dinghies to Broads Cruisers, the river network is base to sailors who use the network to reach the North Sea. Many will use Great Yarmouth as their port of entry to the North Sea and that route was once used by cargo ships of up to 1,000 tons that sailed inland as far as Norwich.Today, Great Yarmouth has a new outer port which is greatly underused but may become very busy after BREXIT. It has been built out from the Northern bank of the River Yare and craft leaving the Broads for the North Sea do not pass through the new outer harbour.

The alternative port of entry to the North Sea is Lowestoft, once a busy fishing port and fish market that also hosted shipyards and dry dock facilities. Lowestoft is reached via the River Waveney, Mutford Lock and Lake Lothing

An unusual feature of the Broads National Park is that it is not a remote area but nestles between the Medieval City of Norwich, market towns, suburbs and the ports of Gt Yarmouth and Lowestoft. A consequence of this is a large number of bridges, some fixed and some opening. It is also an agricultural area and the Broads themselves produce reed for thatching.

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