Boating Holiday in the Norfolk Broads

The Norfolk Broads are considered as one of the UK’s largest wetland national parks, with over 125 miles of navigable waterways of both rivers and lakes, located in the English counties of both Norfolk and Suffolk but more generally known as – The Norfolk Broads. The waterways were a man made accident, forming in the 14th century as part of the flooding of peat works. Nowadays the region is popular for Norfolk broads boating holidays, an ideal vacation for the whole family.

Norfolk Broads Boating Holiday: River Thurne Windmill ©MDHarding
River Thurne Windmill ©MDHarding

Norfolk Broads Boating Holiday

Hiring a Boat in the Norfolk Broads

Hiring a boat in the Norfolk Broads couldn’t be easier than with leading boat operator Herbert Woods who are currently celebrating their 90th year! The moment you decide which boat you would like and confirm your travel dates, nothing could be simpler. A warm welcome awaits your arrival at Potter Heigham, Herbert Woods reception and marina. The great thing about a Norfolk Broads boating holiday is that you can set your own itinerary to visit the historic sites (St Benet’s Abbey, the only monastery in England not to have been closed by King Henry VIII), windmills or dine at one of the number of great pubs and eateries along the tranquil waterways, relaxing and watching the world go by.

No matter if you are a beginner to boating, cruising in the Norfolk broads is available to you. Upon stepping on-board you will receive an introductory tutorial on safety, the boat and it’s maneuvers. There is also a very informative manual to fall back on (It can be a lot to remember).

The Silver Light 2 was very comfortable and easy to handle, with on-board television and radio/CD player.

Norfolk Broads Boating Holiday: Herbert Woods Silver Light 2
Herbert Woods Silver Light 2 ©MDHarding

Wildlife and Nature

The Norfolk Broads are a magnet for birds including swans, ducks, geese and the patient heron. You might also be lucky to see your first water snake! Also home to the Fen Raft Spider, considered extinct in the UK until a sighting at the Norfolk Broads in 1986, and the rare Swallowtail Butterfly, which can only be found in the Norfolk Broads. If visiting Horning, keep an eye out for Harry the Heron, a popular visitor, there is even a children’s story book – Harry’s Tales.

Harry the Heron ©MDHarding
Harry the Heron ©MDHarding

Dining along the Broads

A holiday is not a holiday when you have to cook well, so I believe. There are some award-winning dining facilities lined alongside the Norfolk Broads. If on a budget, there are also some great cafes and carvery pubs! Here are a few we enjoyed: Stracey Windmill Café, Ferry Inn (Horning), Harry’s Café (Ferry Marina), Wayfarers Café (Ludham Bridge) and the Dog Inn (Ludham Bridge). Although do be prepared with a few essentials just incase mooring spots are filled. As well as food you might like to try some of the locally brewed ales from Woodfordes (do drink responsibly).

Incredible sunset at Ludham Bridge ©MDHarding
Incredible sunset at Ludham Bridge ©MDHarding

Relaxing on the Norfolk Broads

The Norfolk Broads is the ideal location to relax and watch the world go by. Watch the video below to find out what happened one afternoon, having just moored. (Don’t worry too much about the weather in the video. It lasted only briefly, there after to turn into an enchanted afternoon with another dramatic sunset.)


Leading Boat Operator – Herbert Woods

Herbert Woods celebrated their 90th year with the launch of a new picnic boat – Starlight 24. The first new design of a picnic boat for 25 years and can trace its roots to the original ‘Starlight’ designed by Herbert Woods about 85 years ago. If you would like to experience the Norfolk Broads for the day why not try the new Starlight 24 day boat hire from Potter Heigham? Hire includes fuel, damage waiver, crockery, cutlery, kettle, teapot, tin opener, corkscrew, chopping board and kitchen knife. Full day hire costs from £180 to £200 from 9am to 4pm or 5pm depending on the season and half day cost from £100 to £110 depending on the season.

For more information, call 0800 144 4472 or visit Herbert Woods.

90th Celebration Party!

 If in the area, why not join the party – *Regatta – Sunday 10th July 2016 at Potter Heigham, Norfolk?

Something for the whole family with water frolics, canoe races, ‘Spark of Light’ trips, village fete, games, face-painting, build your own boat and race it and owners of Herbert Woods boats taking part.

The only surviving original ‘Starlight’ cruiser will be attending the Regatta and will also be giving river trips!

Have you thought about a contrasting cruise vacation? Step off a large cruise ship in Southampton or Harwich and join your own mini cruise in the Norfolk Broads.


I hope I have inspired you go on a Norfolk Broads boating holiday and cruise down its magnificent serene waterways. Happy Travels:) x

Thank you to Herbert Woods.

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own.

About MichelleDeansHarding


 Michelle has a love of travel and photography, which has currently taken her to six continents. Experiencing other cultures/history and food both independently and while working on-board luxury cruise ships. Discover more about Michelle, her enthusiasm for travel and photography via:

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