The Broads are made up of seven rivers and 63 broads, most of which are less than four metres deep. It was only in the 1960s it was proven that they were man-made – created as a result of flooded medieval peat excavations. Nowadays the Broads is renowned for wildlife and offers great opportunities for boating, canoeing, walking, cycling and fishing.
To find out more check out the official website for the Broads. You can hire boats for the day from Wroxham, or there’s also a good choice of boat trips including the Mississippi paddle steamer which operates from Horning village. In Horning you can have a leisurely lunch by the river at The Swan. Or if you fancy a more hands on boating experience you can hire a traditional wooden 1930’s sailing yacht from Hunter’s Yard at Ludham.
From all the cottages it’s a five minute walk to the beach, and then you can walk for miles in either direction. You can walk south to Hemsby along the beach, then back in Winterton valley – or the other way round. To the north of Winterton behind the car park there is an area called the back hills which is fantastic for walking and is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Again, you can walk as far as you like on the beach, then climb up into the dunes and walk back in the hills. Download this Winterton Walks booklet for ideas on walking in and around the village.
One of our favourite walks is this five mile circular one starting at Winterton, walking through to Somerton and past St Mary’s ruined church, then through the Burnley Hall Estate before coming out on the dunes and back on the beach. Or why not start walking north up the beach from the Dunes café in Winterton as far as Horsey, where you will probably see seals. Walk half a mile inland and have lunch at the Nelson pub before tackling the walk back. Or if you drive to Horsey there’s another lovely five mile circular walk starting from Horsey windmill.
Norfolk is the perfect place for cycling with quiet roads and of course it's very flat! You can hire bikes from Sea Palling Cycle Hire based at Waxham Barn. Please mention Winterton Cottages when booking and they will deliver to and collect from your cottage for free for bookings of 2 days or more or minimum spend of £50.00. The Norfolk Coast Cycleway is a 92 mile network of quiet roads stretching from King’s Lynn to Great Yarmouth and offers cyclists fantastic views of the coastline and Norfolk countryside throughout their ride. There's also the Broads by Bike network consisting of 14 circular trails exploring the Norfolk Broads area.
Bewilderwood is an award winning adventure park with tree houses, zip wires and jungle bridges. It’s fantastic fun for children age two years and up, and adults can also have a go at everything too! Wroxham Barns offers something for all the family with shops, plant centre, junior farm, children’s funfair, craft studios and a restaurant. For wildlife, Thrigby Hall and Gardens has tigers, snow leopards and crocodiles.
Just 5 minutes drive down the road in Hemsby you'll find Hirsty's Family Fun Park. Open during the Easter holidays for the Spring Baa-nanza, it's also open during the whole of the summer holidays with it's Mega Maze. There are climbing frames, bouncy castles and zip wires too. Take a trailer ride around the farm and meet Hirsty the farmer and some of the animals.
Great Yarmouth is only a 10 minute drive away, and has a beautiful sandy beach known as the golden mile. There’s a pleasure beach, as well as the Merrivale model village and crazy golf. For younger children there’s Joyland on the Britannia Pier. Or visit the penguins, sharks and other aquatic creatures at the Sea Life Centre. The Marina Centre has an indoor swimming pool and other sport facilities. There’s 10 pin bowling at the Wellington Pier and the Jump Warehouse offers indoor trampolines.
Norfolk has a fantastic choice of golf courses, and the nearest is Great Yarmouth & Caister Golf Club which is just seven miles from Winterton. The course is a fine example of traditional links golf, laid out on predominantly sandy ground and famous for the quality and stability of the greens. Founded in 1882, the club is the oldest in Norfolk and welcomes day visitors.
If you want to find out more about local history, then visit the Time and Tide museum in Great Yarmouth, which is set in an old herring curing works and tells the story of town’s growth as a fishing port. In Norwich there’s a choice of museums including Norwich Castle – originally a Norman Keep.
If you’re interested in gardens do not miss the chance to visit the Old Vicarage at East Ruston. There’s also the Fairhaven water garden which is set in the heart of the Norfolk Broads. Further afield you can visit Blickling Hall or Felbrigg Hall, and in North Norfolk Sandringham is open for visitors as long as the queen isn’t in residence!
Norwich is a 40 minute drive and offers shopping, theatre, history and nightlife. The cathedral dates from 1066 and has a large cloister. If you’re planning a trip to Norwich let us know and we can recommend places to see, as well as great places to eat for lunch or dinner.