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Ideal family break on a watery heaven




Norfolk Broads (2666418)
Norfolk Broads (2666418)

Four years ago Herbert Woods gave me the chance to review one of their Norfolk Broads holidays, either on a boat or in one of their lovely apartments at their Potter Heigham base in Norfolk.

I chose the apartment option, with use of a small motor boat and, although me, Josi and the three kids had a lovely time and some great days out, we only went on the small boat once.

I’d regretted turning down the chance of 'living on the water' ever since, so this time when Herbert Woods came calling, I accepted the offer of a three-day break on one of their cruisers… and I’m so pleased I did.

Norfolk Broads (2666420)
Norfolk Broads (2666420)

Arriving on a sunny Friday afternoon in early June, the four of us (son staying in Lincolnshire for GCSE revision) were soon shown our boat - a 30-foot Olympic Light - and instructed how to use it and how to look after it and then left to our own devices.

Scary as that may seem, it’s really not too hard and I think I may have discovered a new passion.

The boat starts up like a car, by turning the ignition, and then you steer in the direction you want to go. It may be a bit daunting at first but you soon ascertain how far you steer to go where you want to go and, once you get out of the busy port area, it’s an absolute pleasure.

Norfolk Broads (2666416)
Norfolk Broads (2666416)

You can control the speed too, but with a maximum of 6mph, you’re perfectly safe and the Broads are nice and wide too.

And one of the delights is the pubs and dining establishments on the river side. A quick switch into neutral, a pull on the side thrusters to get to the mooring and you’re ready to get out, tie up and explore.

Maintenance of the boat during our three-night stay was easy too. Just a check of the water, oil and weed filter before setting off every morning and a top up of the other water, for showers, washing-up etc every evening.

Norfolk Broads (2666402)
Norfolk Broads (2666402)

And living in the boat was tremendous fun too, with the interior similar to a lovely, spacious caravan. easy to cook and eat, sleep, chat and relax.

In fact, we chose not to eat out as the boat was so homely, and the four of us read or watched TV following our busy days and turned in early after all that lovely Norfolk fresh air.

The Olympic Light is a modern, high specification cruiser with steering positions inside the modern, spacious saloon and on the external sun deck.

Norfolk Broads (2666404)
Norfolk Broads (2666404)

Four of us had plenty of room but the saloon seating can convert to provide an additional double bed if needed. There was a separate family bathroom with toilet and shower.

Another plus to this break was the lack of gadgets and consoles. When you’re meandering down a beautiful Broad, no-one wants to be stuck inside the boat, and it’s all about good old fashioned chatter, waving to fellow boaters and taking in the sun and great views.

This really was a wonderful break and, for someone like me who has such a busy life, a delightful and relaxing way to spend time with my wife and daughters.

Norfolk Broads (2666407)
Norfolk Broads (2666407)

So, having spent time in an apartment and a break in a boat, what do I favour? Well, actually, we now fancy hiring out one of the beautiful riverside cabins that are dotted along The Broads, and hiring a separate, smaller pleasure boat to go out in. Whatever, we definitely want to return to this watery haven.

To book or take a look, click here or call 0800 1444472.

Norfolk Broads (2666414)
Norfolk Broads (2666414)


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