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Time on the water

Published: 12/09/2019

With such a long and varied coastline, and plenty of inland waterways, spending time on the water is a huge part of the Norfolk identity. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or long-term landlubber, there’s something in Norfolk for everyone to enjoy.

Whitlingham Lake

If frolicking in the ocean isn’t your cup of tea, head to Whitlingham Lake where there’s no waves to wash you out. Part of The Broads, Whitlingham Country Park offers a wide range of water-based activities for people of all ages and abilities, from canoeing and kayaking, to sailing, windsurfing and stand up paddleboarding. If you prefer a slower pace, you can walk the perimeter of the lake, or take a guided trip on solar boat, Ra, to experience the watery wildlife, green banks and woodlands.

The Broads

Norfolk’s only National Park has over 125 miles of navigable waterways set in wide-skied countryside and peppered with picturesque villages. Did you know the Norfolk Broads has more miles of waterways than both Venice and Amsterdam? But it attracts just a fraction of the visitors. Adventure through vast marshlands and feathery reeds, moor up at waterside pubs and keep your eyes peeled for magical wildlife. Captain your own boat or have a unique experience onboard a rare wherry boat, an historic transport boat which can be hired for daily or weekly charters.


Hunstanton is the home of water sports. Get out on the sea and learn to kitesurf, polish up on your windsurfing skills or set out and explore on a paddleboard. The cross onshore winds make it a safe environment for beginners and Hunstanton Watersports offers lessons from fully qualified instructors. If you’re experienced and have your own equipment, powerboat owners can launch their craft from here and water skiers ply the coastline. You may even catch an international competition!

Sailing in north Norfolk

Blakeney is the north Norfolk hot spot for sailing, but you will need your own boat. If you’re delving into this more sedate, watery world, the for the first time, head to Brancaster Staithe where you can learn to sail. If you want to explore the coast with an experienced captain at the helm, take a day trip with the Coastal Exploration Company. The traditional Norfolk fishing boats transport you to discreet locations from the quietest creek to the open sea. Get involved or sit back and simply connect with nature.