Canoeing on the Broads

Paddle your own canoe or paddleboard, it's quiet, eco-friendly and good exercise and the slow pace allows you to really see your surroundings and experience a much more peaceful and slow way of life. The Norfolk Broads is full of rivers, dykes, broads and wetlands, most of which are accessible. Drift along at your own pace through the lillies with the birds, bees and dragonflies buzzing past and the swans, coots, ducks and moorhens paddling to get out of your way all the while keeping their eyes on the lookout for those sandwiches you might have! Open the your eyes and ears to nature and come to the Norfolk Broads, bring your family and a canoe or rent one and discover for yourself what the Norfolk Broads has waiting just around the next bend!

Canoeing is a healthy and active way to enjoy Britain's Magical Waterland, you do not need to be experienced with a Canoe to get the most from a Canoe trip on the Norfolk Broads.

There’s an almost miraculous richness of wildlife in the Broads National Park – a unique landscape of shallow, reed-fringed lakes or ‘broads’, waterways and rivers flanked by grazing marshes. It’s not at all easy to see it from the land.

One of the best ways of getting really close to it is by taking a waterborne safari – venturing by yourself (or in a group) in a canoe, into the reedy open waters and along the tree-fringed rivers – and sometimes along waters free of motorised craft. Paddling at your own pace and without the disturbance of engine noise, you’ll be in the ideal position for spotting kingfishers, voles, herons and maybe even the elusive otter.

Keep your ears alert for the song of a Cetti’s warbler, and on the river bank look out for the bright yellow collar of a grass snake. When you feel like a rest, there are plenty of places along the river where you can stop for a while (please respect any ‘private’ signs’), and it’s an idyllic way to sample local pubs and restaurants.

You don’t need any experience of canoeing to enjoy the magic of canoeing in the Broads, and all the family can take part. There’s virtually no current, and even if you’ve never canoed before you will soon get moving. You decide how strenuous or relaxing you want to be. Technically it’s not that different from rowing a boat on a park pond – only it’s much, much more exciting!

The Broads never look or feel quite the same from one day to the next, and the changes between seasons are even more dramatic.


A Stand-Up Paddle-Board & Kayak rental business is located in the charming village of Hickling, Norfolk.


Canadian Canoes are very stable and take two, three or four adults. Always check to see if the hire charge includes buoyancy aids or life jackets. You sometimes get a dry bag for keeping the splashes off your valuables.

You can get this healthy and highly environmentally friendly way of getting around at a remarkably good value. You don’t need special skills or any experience, and all the family can join in. At low bridges you may need to get out and carry the canoe over a stretch, but this is easily managed by two adults.


If you’re visiting the area using public transport or cycle, there are plenty of ways of reaching most of the canoe hire centres. You can even arrive by train in Norwich, join a boat cruise that starts near the station and get off at a canoe hire centre.