Water, water everywhere - Seven places to enjoy watersports in Norfolk and north Suffolk this summer
PUBLISHED: 10:17 20 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:17 20 July 2019
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You don't have to go far in East Anglia to find yourself in a water wonderland, from coastal resorts to lakes and rivers. Here are seven suggestions for where to try watersports this summer.
Boat hire on the Broads - There's no better way to see the Broads than to hire your own day boat. For many people, taking a motor launch out for a few hours is their first experience of getting on the water, so you don't need to be an expert. Pack a picnic!
Another option is to hire a canoe - the Broads Canoe Hire Association has a list of hire centres across the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, with different canoes and kayaks available each centre. Various boating courses are available if you want to learn more. If you don't fancy taking a boat out yourself, there are many tours available, including passenger boats from Wroxham.
Whitlingham Adventure - Set within Whitlingham Country Park, near Norwich, this activity centre offers a range of activities for both children and adults, including both water and land-based taster sessions and skills courses. Courses aimed at families include stand-up paddleboarding, windsurfing, "funboats" and "Go Paddling" canoe starter courses.
The country park also offers trips on Ra, which was the first-ever solar-powered passenger boat in the UK when it was brought to Norfolk in 2000.
Kitesurfing at Hunstanton - The resort's beaches are a popular place to try the sport because the conditions are good there, with a large area of unobstructed water and a prevailing south-westerly wind, However, as with any watersport, it's important to check the weather forecasts before heading out - see Hunstanton Sailing Club's website for more information.
Hunstanton's beaches are also a popular venue for windsurfing and kayaking. Heacham, Snettisham and Brancaster are other popular venues for kitesurfing.
Beccles Lido - While there are many swimming pools around the region, Beccles Lido is extra special because it offers heated open-air swimming, There are regular giant inflatable aquarun sessions, and the site includes toddler and paddling pools and all-weather exercise equipment.
The pool is open until September 8, and you don't need to book, but during term time it is sometimes closed for school swimming - check their website or Facebook page for full timetable details.
Oulton Broad - Many different water activities are available here, including day boat hire, and a dragon boat festival is held in Nicholas Everitt Park on August 31.
The Oulton Broad Water Sports Centre offers a wide range of water sport activities, including sailing, canoeing, kayaking and powerboating courses. Over the school summer holidays, you can book your children in for five-day watersports school courses, which will give them a taste of sailing, canoeing, kayaking and raft-building.
Southwold Boating Lake - If you are looking for a smaller boating attraction for children, this boating lake at Southwold's North Parade could be the answer. Children can paddle in mini-paddleboats which are the right size for them. It is combined with a small tearoom, which has a veranda overlooking the lake and islands.
Splash Pad, Gorleston - This £300,000 attraction opened last year, replacing the 1960s concrete paddling pool, and has proved very popular, offering free and fun water play. It is open daily until September 8, and then at weekends until September 22. It includes buckets of tipping water as well as fountain sprays and jet streams for children to play in.