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Thread: Norfolk Broads boating holiday?

  1. #1

    Norfolk Broads boating holiday?

    SWMBO has announced that she's keen on a Norfolk Broads boating holiday for later on this year.

    Whilst I love playing about in boats on the open sea I've never considered one of these so would appreciate some feedback from the forum collective: advice, experiences, recommendations, tips, what to avoid, etc.

    There'll be 4 adults plus two dogs and it could be either one or two weeks in September.

    TIA.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  2. #2
    Craftsman
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    Did one back in 95 I think. Boating was good fun and Wroxham etc were pretty cool places. Pubs on the broads not so good but just off really nice. Reedham Ferry cool. Salhouse broad nice and a wall to the Fur & Feathers at Woodbastwick. No locks and wider boats a godsend. If I remember they had mud anchors you lobbed over the side but make sure they are tied on!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Haven't done it but would like to try it in Ireland on the Shannon.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  4. #4
    Master
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    Title reminded me of a very old gag about having a crap holiday travelling the Norfolk B-Roads

    Can't help that far down but we did a long weekend canal boating up here in the North West and it was great fun, saw places I didn't even know existed from travelling by road, it was like seeing the world from another (slower) angle.
    Accommodation was a bit cramped but for 4 days it was no problem really. A bit like caravanning, but for posh folk. (That's not a dig at 'van life either!)

  5. #5
    I'm in dire need of inspiration here! Trawling through the boat operators and trying to choose a boat is frustratingly time-consuming as there's literally hundreds of them. I think we need at least a 6-berth as anything smaller seems to be very cramped and SWMBO is adamant that we have two bathrooms onboard. Prices also vary widely for what seems similar boats on any given week doesn't help either.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  6. #6
    Master
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    Whichever one you choose, don't ignore the safety warnings and do wear the lifejackets when crossing the busier river sections in open water and mooring. We have seen too many fatalities due to simply slipping and falling between boats, moorings and onto propellors in motion. Have a great holiday (which they are) but take care. Watch the Youtube vids for tackling the bridges!

  7. #7
    Master
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    Done both and would highly recommend Caledonian Canal to Broads.

  8. #8
    Master
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    I went for a weekend on the Broads last September with mates from university, and we are going to do the same next September.
    got a 6 birth from Richardsons who were very good. Boat was a bit old, and next time we will go with a nicer one.

    PM me if you want more details

  9. #9
    We do it once or twice a year, there are a few good boat yards, for the last few years we have used Richardsons without any problems.

    It is a quiet slow paced holiday, mooring can be a problem at times especially at the popular places, there are a few decent pubs were you can also get a decent meal but we tend to self cater and i'm not really a drinker so it doesent bother us.

    Some nice walks and I always have a day fishing.

    If your after a super exciting all action holiday then you could be disappointed but if you want an enjoyable relaxing time then its good especially if the weather is kind.

    I would suggest you get a boat with bow and stern thrusters as they help hell of a lot :)

  10. #10
    Master
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    Did the Fens as a kid, and the Caledonian as an adult. Enjoyed both times.. Fens is quieter than the Broads…

  11. #11
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    We went last year. I’ll dig out the details - slow paced relaxed - max speed 6knots - take a few beers and kick back and relax. If two couples get a 2x2 berth? Two bathrooms overkill - it’s a boat not a hotel - or bring an extra bucket. Bigger boats are harder to handle as well. We self catered as couldn’t be arsed with queuing. Barnes have some suggested routes - I can recommend them, friendly. Check the boat reviews so you know what you are getting.

    book early.

    Barnes Brinkcraft

    Riverside Holiday Specialists, Cruisers & Day Launches
    Riverside Road, Wroxham, Norwich, Norfolk NR12 8UD
    Tel: 01603 782625
    Fax: 01603 784072
    E-mail: bookings@barnesbrinkcraft.co.uk
    Web: www.barnesbrinkcraft.co.uk
    Last edited by MartynJC (UK); 17th January 2022 at 19:53.
    "Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so”. HHGTTG

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by tixntox View Post
    Whichever one you choose, don't ignore the safety warnings and do wear the lifejackets when crossing the busier river sections in open water and mooring. We have seen too many fatalities due to simply slipping and falling between boats, moorings and onto propellors in motion. Have a great holiday (which they are) but take care. Watch the Youtube vids for tackling the bridges!
    Roger that, no-one on any boat I'm in charge of gets away with without a lifejacket - andd that includes getting on and off.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeePee View Post
    Done both and would highly recommend Caledonian Canal to Broads.
    Blimey, that must take some time to travel the full length!

    Quote Originally Posted by mtagrant View Post
    I went for a weekend on the Broads last September with mates from university, and we are going to do the same next September.
    got a 6 birth from Richardsons who were very good. Boat was a bit old, and next time we will go with a nicer one.

    PM me if you want more details
    I'll take you up on that offer, I'm beginnig to work out that boats vary quite a bit in age.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerUK View Post
    We do it once or twice a year, there are a few good boat yards, for the last few years we have used Richardsons without any problems.

    It is a quiet slow paced holiday, mooring can be a problem at times especially at the popular places, there are a few decent pubs were you can also get a decent meal but we tend to self cater and i'm not really a drinker so it doesent bother us.

    Some nice walks and I always have a day fishing.

    If your after a super exciting all action holiday then you could be disappointed but if you want an enjoyable relaxing time then its good especially if the weather is kind.

    I would suggest you get a boat with bow and stern thrusters as they help hell of a lot :)
    Thanks for all that, I'm resigned to a slower pace and it'll certainly be a first for me to be running at 6 knots max. Thrusters will be a big bonus, esp. on the longer boats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch View Post
    Did the Fens as a kid, and the Caledonian as an adult. Enjoyed both times.. Fens is quieter than the Broads…
    Thanks, she's focussed on the Broads for this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    We went last year. I’ll dig out the details - slow paced relaxed - max speed 6knots - take a few beers and kick back and relax. If two couples get a 2x2 berth? Two bathrooms overkill - it’s a boat not a hotel - or bring an extra bucket. Bigger boats are harder to handle as well. We self catered as couldn’t be arsed with queuing. Barnes have some suggested routes - I can recommend them, friendly. Check the boat reviews so you know what you are getting.

    book early.

    Barnes Brinkcraft

    Riverside Holiday Specialists, Cruisers & Day Launches
    Riverside Road, Wroxham, Norwich, Norfolk NR12 8UD
    Tel: 01603 782625
    Fax: 01603 784072
    E-mail: bookings@barnesbrinkcraft.co.uk
    Web: www.barnesbrinkcraft.co.uk
    Excellent, thank you.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  13. #13
    Master Pitch3110's Avatar
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    Many tend to motor the northern rivers (ala Wroxham etc) but for me (I am biased as it’s my patch) the southern waterways are far nicer and less commercial. Oulton Broad, Beccles, Somerleyton, Reedham to name a few stops and lovely pubs in between + Norwich as well, which is a fine city.

    PM if you would like to chat the area.

    Pitch

  14. #14
    UPDATE.

    I decided that the best way to discover if it's going to be 'our sort of thing' is to go ahead and have a trial, so I've booked a boat in May (with Barnes Brinkcraft) to do exactly that.

    It'll be just the two of us but we'll end up knowing if it'll be OK to do it again with friends in September, or whether we're 'gonna need a bigger boat' for then.

    Thanks to all for your input.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ralphy View Post
    UPDATE.

    I decided that the best way to discover if it's going to be 'our sort of thing' is to go ahead and have a trial, so I've booked a boat in May (with Barnes Brinkcraft) to do exactly that.

    It'll be just the two of us but we'll end up knowing if it'll be OK to do it again with friends in September, or whether we're 'gonna need a bigger boat' for then.

    Thanks to all for your input.

    R
    My wife and I take our two small dogs with us and we have a 4 or 5 berth, the extra room is needed (IMO).

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerUK View Post
    My wife and I take our two small dogs with us and we have a 4 or 5 berth, the extra room is needed (IMO).
    I've chosen a 4+2 berth as our test piece.

    The concern on space is more SWMBO than me, primarily due to her experiences on accompanying me on sea-going boats, but I won't be too suprised if she still decides we need more space with another couple on board.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  17. #17
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Cambridge
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    Flipping expensive little holidays now.
    We did one as a nipper. Wasnt sure but it was great fun in the end.

    I think they are very fashionable and with all this covid stuff almost hassle free.

    Hope you enjoy your trial session in May.

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