Stunning views over the Broads from Ranworth church are the setting for Broads Outdoors Festival launch
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
It's one of the most awe-inspiring views in the Broads National Park.
But at the top of an ascent of 89 stone steps and two ladders, the 30m summit of St Helen's Church, Ranworth, is not for the faint-hearted.
Yesterday it was the backdrop for a gathering of organisers of the Broads Outdoors Festival.
The event, now in its sixth year, gets under way on Saturday and will feature guided tours, food and drink events, a rare look around places usually closed to the public and a wealth of hands-on activities.
The two-week festival is organised by the Broads Authority and aims to encourage tourists and locals to enjoy the wetlands and try something new.
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The festival was launched yesterday at Ranworth church, known as the cathedral of the Broads, with authority staff and representatives from partnership groups including festival sponsor Richardson's Boating Holidays, EDP publisher Archant and the Broads Society.
Broads Authority chairman Jacquie Burgess said: 'The Broads landscape and all its activities are also very important to the wellbeing of families and communities. Being outside in the Broads provides a sense of wholeness that reduces the stresses of modern life.'
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The vicar of St Helen's, Canon Nick Garrard, said tourists had been coming to the church for more than 100 years, and from all walks of life, including royalty, politicians, academics and leaders in technology. 'It says something about the draw of tourism in this part of the world,' he said.
Greg Munford, chief executive of the festival sponsor, Stalham-based Richardson's Boating Holidays, said the Broads Outdoors Festival offered visitors the opportunity to sample a wide range of activities on land and water.
Organisers also paid tribute to the efforts of primary school children from Coltishall, Ludham and Earthsea School, Honingham who provided winning artwork for colourful bunting which will be displayed at Broads-based events throughout the year.
Visit www.OutdoorsFestival.co.ukDo you have a Broads story? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
See the Event supplement in today's paper for 25 things to do at the festival.