Official Visitor Website

Unexplored waterside – where to cool off

Yes, we have the Broads National Park, 125 miles of navigable, lock-free waterways, but we have plenty of other stretches of water where you can relax, take a walk, or just let the world pass you by…

Alde Estuary

Lots of exciting things to do here around the Alde Estuary, whether it’s at the picturesque village of Orford with its medieval castle, in seaside Aldeburgh itself, or from Snape Maltings, the furthest navigable point of the river.
There are various shops at Snape, including a deli and gallery, a pub and eateries, but it’s the opportunity to get waterside is why you’re here. We recommend walking towards the coast, along the estuary, to St Botolph’s Church at Iken and back.

River Orwell and Shotley Peninsula

Orwell Bridge and Shotley Peninsula

Take a boat trip from Ipswich waterfront along the Orwell to Shotley Peninsula where you can see the cranes of sea port Felixstowe in the distance.

There are three to choose from: Orwell Lady, Barge Victor and Allen Gardiner restaurant cruise.

Sailing barge Victor, Orwell River

If you want to do the work yourself, try Nomad Sea Kayaking.

On land, a trip to National Trust Pin Mill (and the Butt & Oyster Inn) will give you a different perspective, as will a visit to Suffolk Food Hall.

Dedham Vale & Stour Valley

Celebrating 20 years in 2020, this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has breath-taking views. No wonder if inspired Constable and Gainsborough.

The River Stour is great for canoeing and kayaking, you can walk the Stour Valley Path, explore National Trust Flatford, and go to Manningtree where the river widens towards the North Sea. Shotley Peninsula on the left is very picturesque.

Dedham Vale

Gooderstone Water Gardens and Nature Trail

Gooderstone Water Garden

Located in West Norfolk close to Swaffham, the Water Gardens consist of six acres of waterways, ponds, a natural trout stream, thirteen bridges, a nature trail, Kingfisher hide and nature trail.

Gooderstone Water Gardens

Pingo Trail, Brecks

Pingo Trail, Brecks

8 miles of tracks on the eastern edge of the Brecks, the Pingo Trail will reveal landscapes that there were made during the last Ice Age – perfectly circular lakes. While you’re here, check out High Lodge in Thetford Forest.

On the Great Pingo Trail 


River Wensum Norwich

With the River Wensum being under the auspices of the Broads Authority, it means Norwich is in the Broads National Park – the only National Park with a city in it in England.

There are some lovely, relaxing riverside walks to enjoy, with views taking in Norwich Cathedral, Cow Tower and Pull’s Ferry, where Caen stone was unloaded to help construct the cathedral. For us, the Wensum is one of the natural wonders of the region. On your way, you could pop into the Adam and Eve, the city’s oldest pub.

Visit Norwich

Broad at the University of East Anglia

Just outside the city is a Broad on the campus of the University of East Anglia that has lovely walks. Check out the art installations that are part of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art’s Sculpture Park.

Alton Water Park

Alton Water, Shotley Peninsula

Stretching across 400 acres, Alton Water Park has walking trails and nature walks as well as an 8-mile cross country cycling track and a range of watersports, including sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddle boarding.

Alton Water Park

Lackford Lakes

Starling murmuration over Lackford Lakes

A wildlife oasis to explore with a fabulous landscape of lakes, reeds, meadow and woodland. Kingfishers, dashing dragonflies and ducks are just some of the wildlife to look out for.

Lackford Lakes

Sailing on The Excelsior

Excelsior Trust on the Suffolk coast

The Excelsior Trust is a charitable organisation that provides life changing sailing experiences for young and disadvantaged people, schools, and corporate groups as well as unique sailing opportunities for Individuals, all whilst preserving and maintaining one of the UK’s most historic ships.

The Excelsior Trust

Please, before you travel to the East of England, Know Before You Go – ensure places you want to visit are open, see if you have to pre-book. We’ve supplied click-throughs to attractions for you to check.

Guidance on planning a holiday in England