Why we love the Suffolk Broads

Things to do on the Suffolk Broads

It might not be as popular as the Norfolk Broads, but there’s still plenty to see and do on Suffolk’s waterways…

Waveney River Centre

The Broads is well known as a popular holiday destination and many people will know of the area to the north of Norwich around the Ant and Bure rivers where the majority of boating holiday and other tourism providers are based.

By comparison, the quieter southern half, with the Waveney and Thurne rivers running through its heart, stretching into Suffolk, is an undiscovered gem.


With its rural beauty, miles of meadows, big skies and abundant wildlife, the area is truly inspirational and loved by artists, walkers, nature lovers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Holiday on the Suffolk Broads 

Suffolk Broads

Situated between Oulton Broad and Beccles, the award-winning Waveney River Centre allows visitors the chance to really get away from it all, relax and unwind in a beautiful, peaceful environment.

The destination features a wide variety of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets including; luxury lodges with hot tubs, boutique hotel rooms, a penthouse, a luxury 5 bedroomed riverside property, glamping pods made by local boat builders, camping and touring.

Wi-Fi, a pedestrian ferry pass (to get you across the river into Suffolk) and unlimited use of the destination’s indoor heated swimming pool are included in the price of your stay.

The impressive on-site facilities also include the Waveney Inn pub, restaurant and function room, serving locally sourced food and ales with a deck overlooking a nature reserve; a well-stocked shop; children’s play area; wildlife garden, cycle, canoe and fishing hire; plus boat moorings for locals and visitors.

Things to do on the Broads

cycling routes Suffolk

A recent survey by the Broads Authority revealed that walking was the most popular activity in the Broads. There’s some great places to explore, such as the beautiful Carlton Marshes nature reserve, looked after by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and home to rare birds, including the marsh harrier and hobby, animals such as otters and Chinese water deer and a host of rare insect and plant life.

The Angles Way long distance footpath, which passes through Oulton Broad and Beccles on its 92 mile journey, has local circular walks along its route, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/norfolk-trails for more details

And the Beccles Marsh Trail is a pleasant four mile walk on the outskirts of the town, visit www.enjoythebroads.com for more details.

For those keen to explore on two wheels, cycle hire is also available from Waveney River Centre, Oulton Broad and Beccles.

Boat hire on the Broads

Boat Hire Broads

Hiring a boat for the day is a great adventure. Local boat hire operators, which mainly offer cruisers between April and October, can be found at:

Waveney River Centre (01502 677343) – a wide selection of self-drive boats is available, including the Admiral, the only 12- person day cruiser, on the southern Broads.

Oulton Broad Day Boats (01502 58956) – 6 person, self-drive day boat.

In Beccles: HE Hipperson (01502 712166) – mostly electric cruisers for 4 – 7 people and CC Marine (01502 713703) – self-drive open 8 seater vessels.

Places to visit on the Suffolk Broads 

walking on the Broads

Here are some local attractions not to be missed on your visit:

Oulton Broad
Famous for its Powerboat races, Oulton Broad is an excellent place to enjoy a day out with a good choice of independent shops, activities and places to eat.

Somerleyton Hall & Gardens

A fabulous example of an archetypal Tudor-Jacobean mansion and amongst the most beautiful stately homes in Britain. Don’t forget to lose yourself in their yew hedge maze!

Waveney Valley market towns 

Take in the quaint architecture, historic quayside and market of Beccles, pay a visit to Bigod’s Castle in the centre of Bungay or immerse yourself in the culture of Halesworth. Check out our guide to spending 48 hours in the Waveney Valley. 

Read our review of a Norfolk Broads weekend break 

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