5 of the best short & circular walking routes in the Norfolk Broads
If you’re stretching your legs or heading out for walkies with a view with Fido, the Norfolk Broads National Park is one of Britain’s most picturesque backdrops.
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with over 117 square miles of winding waterways, riverside villages and undulating countryside, there’s no shortage of short and circular walks routes to choose from.
But with so much choice, we thought you might appreciate a few recommendations!
The best short and circular walks in the Norfolk Broads
Ranging from one mile up to seven, take things at your own pace on any of these excellent shorter walks — and be sure to call in at one of many cafés or pubs along the way (we’ve provided a few top tips here, too!).
1. Horsey Village and Beach (three miles) — for coast and country, it has our seal of approval.
This circular walk leads you to the famous seal-inhabited beaches of Horsey and then through the village itself.
Following this route, you will enjoy a wonderful combination of sand dunes and broadlands, perfectly showcasing the coast and countryside beauty that Norfolk has to offer — with the possible addition of a few pinniped pals!
Approximately three and a half miles, it’s an easy, dog-friendly route — though beware it can be messy in wetter weather, so plan your footwear choices accordingly!
You might want to call in for a slice of cake at Poppylands Tearoom, a pup-friendly café along the way. There’s also the Nelson Head, nearby a traditional dog-friendly country pub with a great beer garden.
Start this walk at the Horsey Windpump or Horsey Gap car park (NR29 4EE). Alternatively, if you’re camping or touring at our Waxham Sands Holiday Park, you can join the walk by taking a short stroll off park! The National Trust has provided a map and more information about this circular walk.
2. Mautby Marshes (seven miles) — for unspoiled, quintessential Broadland landscape.
This circular walk follows the path of the River Bure. Start at Bure Park, Great Yarmouth (NR30 4AS — there’s a car park) and then follow the river out of town onto Mautby Marsh.
You’ll pass along marshes and spot mills on this pleasant loop, which comes in at approximately seven miles. These drainage mills originally were used to keep the marsh dry for grazing, but their role has since been superseded by electric pumping stations, but they still stand.
You’ll get a real sense of solitude in a landscape that’s scarcely changed for hundreds of years — the Broads at its true best. Grab a picnic, enjoy the views and soak up the incredible broadland landscape.
Once you’re back at Bure Park, you might want to make a day of it in Great Yarmouth; the centre and Golden Mile are only a 20-minute walk. Alternatively, Bure Park itself has a pitch-and-putt golf course, children’s play area and lake with wildfowl — a lovely day out itself.
3. Bramerton Riverside Walk (one to three miles) — for a relaxing stroll in a picturesque, historic Broads village
For a real taste of countryside Norfolk, start at Bramerton Common. There’s parking available. Stroll along the banks of the River Yare, towards Surlingham, then turn right and head back. Walk along Hill House Road, then Mill Hill, then turn right onto Easthill Road by Bramerton Village Hall.
(If you’re wanting to keep the route shorter, turn right at the wooded footpath you see when walking along Hill House Road to head back to the common.)
After a while, you’ll see a walking trail on your right. Head up this until you meet the River Yare again, where you’ll find the Water’s Edge pub, a lovely 17th-century, dog-friendly inn.
This route will take you through grazing marshes and stunning woodlands. It’s a nice short one at between one and three miles — perfect for an after picnic amble through picturesque Norfolk.
The Broads National Park website has a helpful map of the two Bramerton Riverside routes available.
4. Three Rivers Way (two and a half miles) — for experiencing ‘the Jewel of the Broads’
It’s a short one, but a good one.
At just two and a half miles, this lovely walk will take you from the idyllic village of Horning, the Broads’ jewel, awash with thatched cottages and unforgettable scenery, to Hoveton, itself very close by to Wroxham — known by many as the ‘capital of the Broads’.
You can start at either Hoveton or Horning and enjoy a beautiful country walk along ancient hedgerows, with excellent access to paths along the River Bure. Norfolk County Council’s interactive resource provides a useful map of this simple route.
5. Felbrigg Circular (six and a half miles) — for a woodland walk with a historic pit-stop
You’ll get to see all manner of beauty on this six and a half mile route. Starting at Cromer (NR27 9DX — check out Meadow Road car park), you’ll take in a section of Weavers’ Way, before meandering through beech woodlands and then back to Cromer.
Halfway through this walk, you’ll discover the stunning Jacobean Felbrigg Hall estate, a National Trust attraction.
If you’re not exploring the country house itself or the walled gardens, feel free to just stop off for freshly-baked scones or a quick cup of tea at the Squire’s Pantry, their courtyard café.
Looking to escape to the spellbinding beauty of the Norfolk Broads?
We can’t blame you. For dog owners, woodland walkers, beach strollers, seal spotters and would-be boating enthusiasts, Norfolk’s pristine coast and its Broads are a destination like no other.
Our Waxham Sands Holiday Park offers luxury touring and camping holidays beside the gorgeous sands of Waxham, only a moment from Horsey Gap and Sea Palling, renowned for their resident grey seal colonies. Four miles up the road you’re immersed in the beauty of the Broads.
For those wanting to make the ultimate commitment to Norfolk, we also offer holiday home ownership at Golden Beach, our other location in Norfolk. Those at Azure Seas, our owners-only park in Suffolk, will also be able to slip up to the Broads in no time at all!