Norfolk Skies on the Broads

Norfolk is renowned for its endless big skies reaching out over the landscape. Climb to the top of Ranworth Church, the Cathedral of the Broads, and from here you can see five Norfolk Broads and beyond, out to the Norfolk coast.

At sunrise and sunset the Broads take on a special charm, and you will often see the most amazing landscapes and scenes in shades of orange, red, pink and purple. No wonder so many photographers and artists come to Norfolk to capture its magic.

Once the sun sets, things take on a completely new perspective. Norfolk is one of the darkest counties in England, benefitting from very little light pollution in places, and the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is great for night time observation, though there are also plenty of spots on the Broads for viewing the abundant starry skies.

Many photographers and artists love capturing all that our Norfolk skies have to offer, from windmills to lighthouses silhouetted against the Milky Way, or watching out for meteors and shooting stars.

Where to find the stars

There are some fantastic sites for stargazing on the Norfolk Broads, and further afield along the coast. You might be able to spot the Milky Way, shooting stars or meteors.

On the North Norfolk Coast, both Kelling Heath and Wiveton Downs have been designated as Dark Sky sites, and are one of the few places where you can view the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis. They are also a haven for wildlife.

Thurne Mill is a great spot on the Broads for an astronomical adventure. You can park near the pub and walk down to the boat dyke to capture the famous landmark against the starry backdrop.

Horsey Mill is another favourite to capture some fabulous silhouettes of the skies against the Mill. You can park in the National Trust car park.

Dungeon’s Corner, near Martham Broad in Somerton, is a short walk along the footpath to get some great views.

Events

For those wishing to learn a bit more, you can often find workshops and events happening at different times of the year. The Norwich Astronomical Society often hold talks and events.

In September the Norfolk Coast Partnership hosts the Dark Skies Festival which celebrates opportunities for enjoying the dark skies.

What to take

If you’re venturing out at night, do be careful where you walk, and don’t forget to take your torch with you, and some warm clothing.

 

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