Martham Broad next to West Somerton near Great Yarmouth is a fabulous National Nature Reserve on the River Thurne located within the Broads National Park about 2km north of the village of Martham, next to the small village of West Somerton.
It is one of the best sites to see the swallowtail butterfly in summer, as well as an array of birds all year round, including rare breeding birds such as bittern, bearded tit, marsh harrier and significant numbers of wintering wildfowl.
Martham Broad lies within the internationally important Upper Thurne Broads and Marshes wetland and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is made up of two shallow Broads, fen, reedbed and reedswamp and is owned and managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.
Boats can only use a narrow marked channel through the northern Martham Broad from October to March (angling available 3 days a week - day or half day permits must be obtained by writing to Richard Starling at Norfolk Wildlife Trust in advance) and are discouraged from using the Broad during the winter months because of the breeding season. The southern Martham Broad is closed to all craft at all times.
There is no access for canoeists to the northern or southern Martham Broad, but you can canoe along the River Thurne main channel to West Somerton boat dyke for close proximity to reed and sedge beds. Please note that there is no access upstream to West Somerton Staithe. Sorry, no dogs. Please note that the footpath alongside the reserve is not circular and can be very muddy.
Open all the time
Open dawn until dusk
The Staithe, West Somerton, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR29 4EB
By Road: NWT Martham Broad lies to the extreme east of Broadland near Winterton-on-Sea. Approach Martham village on the B1152 from the A149 Stalham to Caister-on-Sea road. Follow the road through to West Somerton. Turn left onto the B1159 and head for the West Somerton staithe, which is behind the last houses in the village on the left. Parking is available in a small car park.
Access: The entrance to the nature reserve is via the parking area. Public footpaths skirt the broad to north and south and may be muddy. A circular walk is not possible. Please note that Somerton Mill is currently closed and will open again once further structural work is completed.