Enjoy the Norfolk Broads at your own pace from the comfort of a luxury cruiser
Moor at Whitlingham Country Park on the River Yare and discover a wonderful woodland and water park on the outskirts of Norwich. The Broads Authority’s Visitor Centre is located in a historic flint barn with a cafe and there is an activity centre offering a wealth of water sports and land based adventures. You can also enjoy a solar boat trip, walking trails, a children’s play area and plenty of places for a picnic.
Whitlingham Country Park consists of two lakes – Whitlingham Great Broad and Whitlingham Little Broad – which were dug for gravel in the 1990s and were transformed into today’s oasis for wildlife and leisure.
Start your visit by dropping into the Broads Authority’s Information Centre, which is located in a historic flint barn, and has a café overlooking the water with outside seating. You can join the Broads Authority’s guided trip around Whitlingham Great Broad aboard Britain’s first solar powered passenger boat – the Ra, which is accessible for wheelchair users. (To book call 01603 756094 / 01603 617332)
At the head of the Great Broad is Whitlingham Adventure where you can hire canoes, kayaks, paddle boards or sailing boats (sailing certificate required). Courses and taster sessions are available for a wide range of water sports plus archery, mountain biking and wall climbing. The centre is open from April until the end of October. 01603 632307.
There is an excellent network of walking and cycling trails to explore the park, which is dotted with carved sculptures. Try the three mile circuit of Whitlingham Great Broad, stopping off at the wildlife and conservation area on the northern shore, and look out for the ruins of Trowse Newton Hall. This was the country retreat of the Priors of Norwich Cathedral and in 1335 King Edward III stayed at the hall.
At the eastern end of the park there is a pretty green along the banks of the River Yare backed by woodland that’s perfect for a picnic. Don’t miss the impressive children’s play area, which includes a wooden ship with slides and an adventure trail through the woods.
The charming village of Trowse is located just outside Whitlingham Country Park and, surprisingly,has a dry ski slope as well as a pub and renowned vegetarian restaurant.
Whitlingham Country Park
Moorings for 20 boats. Double mooring permitted.
The Barn Cafe
Cafe at the Broads Authority Visitor Centre. Dine in the Flint Barn or outside seating area overlooking Whitlingham Great Broad.
River Green Cafe – Trowse
A renowned, exclusively vegetarian restaurant that even meat eaters have admitted to enjoying! Located on the Street, Trowse. Closed Mondays.01603 622448.
The Crown Point Tavern – Trowse
Located in the centre of Trowse, this family run pub and restaurant has a conservatory and secluded patio garden. 01603 625689.