The Norfolk Broads are 125 miles of navigable lakes, rivers and waterways, ideal for a weekend getaway in one of our quaint Norfolk Broad’s hotels. If traversing the waters is not your thing you can simply hike or cycle the many paths or head to the city of Norwich for some shopping and fine dining.
Named a National Park as of 2015, the Broads National Park is a haven for wildlife with more rare and endangered species calling this their home than anywhere else in the UK. The park is made up of seven main rivers, and 63 broads (small lakes) most of which are man-made.
Stay in a quaint B&B, a luxury hotel or rent a cottage, and enjoy the freedom of having everything the Broads has to offer on your doorstep. Just a 2-3 hour drive from London, the Norfolk Broads National Park makes for the perfect weekend getaway destination full of country walks and pub grub.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
The Assembly House
The Assembly House is a luxury hotel built in 1754 and often described as the most beautiful building in Norfolk. The splendour of the house is echoed by the sparkling chandeliers, sweeping driveway, manicured gardens and 11 luxury bedrooms.
The room decoration is comfortable and classic, with rich wool fabrics, dark wooden furniture, four poster beds and exposed wooden beams. Depending on which room you choose there is an escalating level of luxury with marble bathrooms and free-standing baths to make your jaw drop.
The hotel is also renowned for its fine dining and gourmet cuisine, whether it be a traditional full English breakfast or a delightful Afternoon Tea. The hotel is also set to become the home of the Richard Hughes Cookery School, the inaugural winner of The British Cookery School of the Year.
The Fritton Arms
A beautiful country pub and restaurant with guestrooms, The Fritton Arms underwent a transformative restoration in 2014 and is now a warm and cosy hotel with a modern touch. It’s the perfect place to stay for food lovers, with a wood-fired oven to roast meat or make one of their excellent home-made pizzas.
The simple yet elegantly-furnished rooms are designed with comfort in mind. Soft downy pillows and luxurious eiderdown duvets allow for the perfect country-house experience. Each room is equipped with WiFi, TV, DVD player and artisanal teas and toiletries.
The Fritton Arms is just a short walk from the shores of Fritton Lake, (the many drawings of fish on the wall gives a clue as to the kind of outdoor activities offered here) and just to the right of the hotel is the Decoy Farm, a great day out for families. Visit the Fritton Lake Outdoor Centre for more information on how you can enjoy this unique corner of the Norfolk Broads.
The Old Rectory Norwich
The Old Rectory offers eight deluxe, en-suite bedrooms, in a country style, with modern amenities and large comfy beds. Each of the rooms is individually decorated, with interesting architectural features as the house is a Grade II listed building, constructed all the way back in 1754.
The vibrant city centre is just a 10-minute bus ride away and perfect if you fancy doing a bit of shopping. Just a half hour drive to the East are the clean sandy beaches of Norfolk’s coastline. You can also head across the road to the NWT Thorpe Marshes for a walk, or in the summer months hire a canoe to navigate the tight waterways of the Norfolk Broads.
The hotel restaurant has been awarded two AA Rosettes for its dinner servings, and offers candlelit dining from Tuesday to Saturday from 7pm onwards. Every dish is cooked fresh to order in the hotel kitchen with orders closing around 8:30pm, so it’s a relatively exclusive experience and best to book a table in advance. For Sunday lunch or an afternoon snack, there are two welcoming river-side pubs in the vicinity, just a few minutes’ walk away.
38 St Giles Boutique Bed & Breakfast
Passionate about creating unique and personal experiences that establish lasting relationships with their guests, 38 St Giles is a luxury boutique hotel with sumptuously decorated rooms and suites. With polished wooden floors, large sash windows, dark wooden furniture, fireplaces and even stained glass doors, each room has its own unique character and dramatic features.
Head down to breakfast and prepare yourself for a veritable feast both for the eyes and stomach. Think whiskey-smoked salmon, poached eggs with hollandaise sauce, locally sourced meat, on-the-vine tomatoes, fresh mushrooms, crème fraiche pancakes with Norfolk bacon and Maple Syrup… The heavenly list is endless and you will be there a while. You have been warned!
The hotel is well placed with access to most of Norfolk’s top attractions. During the middle ages Norwich was England’s most important city after London and home to the most populous county. Because of the this there is lots of history to explore, such as Norwich cathedral, the Castle Museum, cute villages like Elm Hill and of course the spooky misty waterways of the Norfolk Broads.
The Imperial Hotel
Located on a relaxed area of Great Yarmouth’s seafront, the Imperial hotel is the perfect place to relax by the coast and enjoy a weekend break with great food, sea views and the opportunity to explore the nearby town and the Norfolk Broads.
The rooms are all available with en-suite bathrooms and stylish décor, with some rooms also having sea views. There are four Deluxe Super King with Sea View rooms, each individually themed and depending on which you choose offer balcony space too, allowing you to make the most of having such a wonderful view.
Café Cru is the hotel’s award winning restaurant, serving up delicious seafood in a Modern-British style. With cosy booths and crisp white table cloths, the restaurant has a unique charm and intimate atmosphere, making your experience there extra special.
Burgh St Peter (near Beccles)
A waterside country pub in the Waveney Valley, the Waveney Inn also offers seven boutique hotel rooms, each decorated in a nautical theme. All guests are treated to a filling breakfast, use of the indoor pool and pedestrian ferry to nearby nature reserve Carlton Marshes.
The rooms all feature huge 6ft beds, Smart TVs and incredible views over the marshes and water. Choose from the spacious ground floor rooms, first floor doubles overlooking the river or a family room with an additional sofa bed to accommodate everyone.
Downstairs the pub and restaurant offers traditional home-made food such as fish and chips or even succulent calamari. On warm days you can enjoy eating al fresco on the terrace overlooking the marina, or if it’s a little chilly outside, relax in the bar and restaurant where you can enjoy the unique work of local artist Mark Ward.
Sprowston Manor Marriott Hotel and Country Club
A totally luxury retreat, Sprowston Manor Hotel is located in a 16th century manor house, blending rustic charm with modern amenities. The 4-star experience includes a deluxe spa with indoor pool, golf course and the hotel’s restaurant and lounge bar, 1559.
If you’re a large party looking for a weekend away then look no further than Sprowston Manor’s 94 stylish rooms, or splurge on a Four Poster Suite offering a separate living area, dining area and oversized bath tub.
Close to the Norfolk Broads, the hotel is the perfect place to stay and look forward to a weekend of boating with your family, and if messing about in boats isn’t your thing, then check out the Bewilderwood adventure park, for treehouse adventures, rope bridges, mazes and more.
For more information on the Norfolk Broads head over to Visit North Norfolk.
Looking for more country retreat inspiration? Check out our Top ten countryside hotels.