The Brecks Fens and Thetford

By: Lindsay Chapman

The Brecks, Fens and Thetford area is undoubtedly one of the best-kept secrets of East Anglia. A unique landscape where nature thrives, culture and heritage are celebrated and fascinating places wait to be discovered.

For those looking for a relaxing break in natural surroundings, The Brecks is an ideal destination. Relish the peace and quiet of forest and heathland walks, or for a more active option, jump on a bicycle, or even a horse, and explore off-road trails. To really get away from it all, bring a picnic and find a tranquil spot in one of the area's several country parks.

The more adventurous can discover the many activities on offer in The Fens. In addition to walking and cycling trails a-plenty, you can set sail on a yacht along the miles of inland waterways, try your hand at fishing and spot some of the thousands of birds that flock to the mud flats and marshes of this special landscape.

Equally, families looking for a memorable break away together will be spoilt for choice. Youngsters can roam, run and cycle through the woodland paths of Thetford Forest Park, discovering the surprises of the Giant Play Sculpture Trail, testing their skills at orienteering and keeping a look out for deer and other wildlife. The more daring can take to the trees on the Go Ape assault course of ropes and swings.

Visitors keen to protect this unique environment can leave their car behind and explore the area using the innovative Flexibus service or follow one of three Car eFree itineraries. For a truly 'green' experience, choose accommodation boasting the Green Tourism Business Scheme Award.

The area is dotted with bustling market towns rich in character, heritage and local activity. The communities of Thetford, Swaffham, Watton, Brandon and Mildenhall in the Brecks, and Ely, Boston and Spalding in the Fens all have their own distinctive features and attractions. Lively market days make for a fun shopping experience and a chance to pick up fresh local produce, while there are plenty of varied shops, cafes and restaurants to suit all tastes.

Museums and stately homes, steeped in history, depict the area's fascinating past, including stories of the legendary Queen Boudicca and her Iceni tribe. Alternatively a trip to the nearby Iceni and Brandon breweries offers a great chance to sample a local tipple.

Lastly, with Thetford playing host to various high profile events throughout the year, ranging from Halloween and Christmas events to outdoor music concerts and theatre, visitors have a wealth of opportunities to gain some memories to last a lifetime.

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