are some suggestions for things you can do during
your visit to Star Cottage. For more detailed information
on any of the activities mentioned please visit the
page for sources of advice and guidance
Watching and Nature Reserves
East Anglia provides areas of wilderness where the
bird life and wildlife can be observed almost undisturbed
by all Twitchers. In particular Broadland is truly
unique - there is simply nowhere quite like it in
the British Isles or Europe. Broadland offers chances
to see rare plants and animals some of which are only
found in this region. Local wildlife includes the
Bittern, with its unique "booming" sound.
Many butterflies are seen, such as the Swallowtail,
while the huge "Norfolk Hawker" dragonfly
may look quite frightening but it is quite harmless.
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 of up to four) in a canoe, into the
reedy open waters and along the tree-fringed rivers
- and sometimes along waters free of motorized 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.
The Norfolk Broads is particularly well endowed with
delightfully attractive, riverside eating places;
usually centuries-old pubs. With perhaps one exception,
the Berney Arms, you can reach these riverside pubs
by car, albeit along somewhat narrow country lanes;
usually loved, but sometimes feared, by overseas visitors.
Boating - Cruising
The part of Norfolk & Suffolk, known universally
as the 'Broads', is far more extensive than just a
collection of inland, water-filled broads. They are
connected by over 200 miles of gently flowing, navigable
rivers, dykes and cuts that offer ideal cruising conditions
at between 5 & 7 mph. You can cruise right into
the heart of the city of Norwich, or travel east as
far as Great Yarmouth, where the Broads eventually
affords access, (for those with suitable craft), to
the North Sea. Providing you're not in a hurry you
can travel many leisurely miles throughout the Broads
region, for days on end.
Races & Regattas; Most sailing clubs welcome
visiting sailing boats in their open events, including
for instance the famous Three Rivers Race which
lasts for two days and is held at Horning in early
June. It is a spectacular race to watch as all kinds
of sailing boats take part. The boats sail up and
down the rivers Bure, Ant and Thurne, in any order,
depending on the tides. A real test of sailing skill!
Fishing The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads and rivers
offer a diverse range of fishing types, from lush,
sleepy river banks to the ancient man made Broads.
There is also the Norfolk and Suffolk coastlines to
be explored. You can fish most places in the Broads
with an Environmental Agency licence - making it the
largest area of free fishing in the UK, with around
200km of waterways.
Season and Licences:
Coarse Fishing: 16th. June - 14th. March.
Trout Fishing: 1st. April - 29th. October.
Peninsula guests are permitted to fish directly from
the site; If venturing further afield you should ensure
that they have the necessary permission to fish on
privately owned water, those controlled by angling
clubs or on banks of tidal waters. Fishing licences
are required for every angler aged 12 years and over,
for use of a maximum of two rods on each occasion.
Post Offices will supply the NRA National Fishing
Licence Mon - Sat, or they can be purchased direct
from the Environmental Agency 7 days a week.
Norfolk and Suffolk offers many pristine and spacious
beaches, and the District Councils takes great care
in making sure they are safe and clean for everyone.
This year, four of the district's most popular beaches
boast Seaside Awards (the Tidy Britain Group's award
for cleanliness and facilities). These are Cromer,
Sheringham, Mundesley and Sea Palling, and all achieved
this standard with the highest possible grade.
addition, Cromer, Sheringham and Mundesley also fly
Blue Flags - taking pride in having achieved and maintained
the strict European Union standard for water quality.
That is not to say that North Norfolk's other beaches
are not equally clean, but only "resort"
beaches can qualify for Blue Flags, and few of North
Norfolk's quiet beaches fall into that category.
the lively foreshores of Cromer and Sheringham, to
the uncluttered expanse of Holkham Beach (the real-life
location for Gwyneth Paltrow's memorable coming ashore
after the shipwreck at the close of the hit movie
Shakespeare in Love), the beauty of Norfolk and Suffolk's
beaches are unquestionable.
On the north Norfolk coast there are wonderfully wide
beaches where the sea goes out for miles and where
it is possible to get away from everything. The East
Coast beaches tend to be narrower and steeper. Beware
under currents, particularly where beaches shelve
steeply. Remember too, that the current flows south
on the flood and north on the ebb and can run quite
strongly, especially when the wind is in the same
Norfolk has more sunshine than most parts of the country
there can be onshore easterly winds so a windbreak
can be useful. Groynes constructed to stop erosion
also make useful shade and shelter for picnics. Beware
of strong offshore winds, these take effect 50 to
100 metres from the beach, thus are beds and small
inflatables are very vulnerable.
opportunities are endless - from purpose designed
cycle tracks along former railway lines, around reservoirs
and through forests, to all the specially tailored
tours along the numerous quiet country lanes, taking
in the beautiful countryside and picturesque villages
with plenty of places to stop for refreshments.
East Anglia is ideal for cycling, whether for family
days out on traffic-free cycle paths, gentle circular
routes taking in attractions, pubs, towns and villages,
or challenging long-distance routes for more ambitious
There is a relatively unknown rural hinterland in
East Anglia, with its varied rolling countryside,
distinctive villages, historic market towns and quiet
country lanes that can be explored (with a little
forward planning) without a car. You can start your
journey to many of these areas by train.
You don't even need to bring your own bike. There
are numerous cycle hire centres where you can hire
a range of bikes for anything from just a few hours
to a few days.
Norfolk's flat and picturesque countryside provide
an ideal environment for Ramblers. Some of the popular
Rambling routes include:
The Broads to Brecks path a 77 mile route passing
along the Waveney & Little Ouse Valleys. The path
stretches from Great Yarmouth on the coast to Knettisham
Heath Country Park near Thetford.
Bacton Wood Forest Trail
1.5 mile trail through gentle hilly woodland east
of North Walsham. Some 30 species of tree grow here.
8 walks in varied terrain through villages, by rivers
and the Broads. A booklet with maps is available from
Norfolk County Council.
A linear walk which starts at Paston Street on the
Norfolk coast just north of Bacton and turns inland
to pass through North Walsham, Stalham, Potter Heigham
and Acle before finishing at Great Yarmouth. It is
continuous with another such path, the Angles Way,
which runs through the Waveney Valley.
Peddars Way National Trail
The Peddars Way is an ancient Roman road which was
built shortly after the tribal revolt of AD61 led
by Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni. The route begins
in Suffolk, runs northwards through Breckland and
then joins with the Norfolk Coast Path. All in all,
the route covers 93 miles and most of it is also suitable
for horse riders and cyclists. This area offers many
different types of landscape and enjoys a wonderful
quality of light with spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
This path runs southwards from the north Norfolk coast
at Cromer. It follows a circuitous route through the
countryside and finally ends at North Walsham.