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A Premier British Inland Sailing Destination

Sailing holidays on the Broads have been a traditional part of British life since the turn of the century - and are still unique and unrivalled. For decades people, young and old, have learned to sail on these sheltered waters, Olympic yachtsman have earned their stripes in the many competitive sailing events and sailing enthusiasts come back year after year to enjoy this wonderful cruising ground. Even Admiral Horatio Nelson was taught to sail here as a boy, on Barton Broad, before joining the Royal Navy and going to sea at the age of 12.

The area that we know today as the "Norfolk Broads" consists of a collection of open areas of water and interconnecting rivers in the flat and low lying, mostly rural area east of Norwich and into North Suffolk. The three principle rivers are the Yare, Bure and Waveney, which flow into the sea at Great Yarmouth. There are numerous tributaries to these rivers, including the smaller rivers Ant, Chet, Thurne and Wensum. The Broads themselves offer exceptionally beautiful sailing waters, with the open expanses of Horsey Mere, Barton Broad and Hickling Broad offering safe cruising grounds and with areas like Black Horse Broad and South Walsham Broad providing ideal nursery slopes for beginners and peaceful anchorages.

The Broads is Britain's largest, nationally protected wetland. Its rivers, broads, marshes and fens make it a unique area, rich in rare habitats, which support myriad plants and animals. The Broads has special status - it is one of the national and international family of National Parks - for its blend of wildlife, distinctive landscapes and buildings, and the opportunities for people to relax and enjoy themselves both on land and on many kilometres of lock-free navigable waterways.

There are nearly fifty yachts available for hire from the two principle sailing yards on the Broads Eastwood Whelpton at Upton and The Norfolk Broads Yachting Company at Horning. The yachts vary in length from 25 to 36ft and can accommodate up to 8 people and they all have auxiliary engines. There are several other smaller yacht hire yards, including the fleet of traditional yachts at Hunters Yard in Ludham. All yachts are available for weekly or short break hire from mid-March to the end of October.

More details about this special area can be obtained from the Broads Authority, who manage the area and The Broads Society, a voluntary body helping to secure the Broads as a unique and protected landscape in which leisure, tourism and the local economy can thrive in harmony with the natural environment.

About the Author

This article was written by Peter Howe of Norfolk Broads School of Sailing.