This half term we were lucky enough to take out a boat on our wonderful Norfolk Broads. It’s such a joy to just kick back and see parts of our beautiful county that you just don’t see on foot or by car. We picked up our Herbert Woods picnic boat at Potter Heigham, where the lovely Mark, the happiest chap on the Broads, gave us the safety talk and a few good pointers on where to go.
Despite it the being half term, it felt relaxed and never busy. We were zigzagged by wonderful yaghts; followed by a very determined duck and her tiny brood, and the children loved spotting the waterside houses, including the imaginatively named (by them!) mushroom house.
The picnic boat was perfect for us, three adults and four children. It had a toilet, gas ring, hot water, a fridge and a sink too. Herbert Woods also supply sponges and washing up liquid as well as plates cups and cutlery. The roof pulled back both sides so could enjoy the sunshine and quickly hauled back if a black cloud appeared angrily overhead. You also get a handy map with timings so you can make the most of your day and know you’ll get back in time.
We trundled up to the Benet Abby ruins where we stopped off for a run through the fields and a chat with a local chap cutting pathways into the ancient meadows for tourists. He told the children there were hidden pathways and without further encouragement they were off to find them.
We also had a slightly hairy moment when we went to walk through a field, only to realise not only were there cows in there but a great big bull! Luckily we were assured he wasn’t bothered at all, still we decided to take a detour!
A boat on the Broads is an adventure our children just loved. Whether it’s sitting outside and watching the world from the boat, spotting birds and houses and hidden gems where crocodiles may lurk! Or inside where they played captain and simply enjoyed this little house on the water and all the ways it fed their imaginations.
We went up to Salhouse, through Horning and stopped in one of the many free mooring areas. Salhouse is beautiful and the children explored what they called the ‘enchanted woods’, while we sat on the grassy hill and chatted.
That’s what I found on the boat, it takes you away and lets you breathe. No traffic, no crazy tv, no mad rides, just a great day out.
No one wanted to get back, we just wanted to turn around and do it all again. Thank you Herbert Woods and I can’t recommend it enough for a family day out. Just the best fun.