A boat in the Norfolk Broads (by Robert)

posted in: Blog, UK | 40
Trying on life jackets at Herbert Woods in Norfolk
Ready for the boat after donning our life jackets!

Robert, aged 10, writes:

After spending a few days in Norwich this half term we got into the car again and set off for Potter Heigham in Norfolk, about 20 miles away. It’s in The Broads, a network of rivers and lakes in Norfolk and Suffolk. They aren’t very deep and are known by some as a “magical waterland.”

We arrived at a site run by Herbert Woods and were given the keys to our cottage at reception. When we opened the door to our new living space I was amazed by how great the rooms were. They were all big and extremely comfortable – you can see the cottage and more in the video I have made. Please take a look!

We had two bedrooms; one had a large double bed while Jess and I had separate single beds. Both rooms had a wardrobe, table and chair plus a bedside table.  We had a lovely kitchen with lots of surface space and it was equipped with cooking utensils and crockery as well as a fridge, freezer, microwave, washing machine and other useful appliances. The living room had a TV and DVD player, and like the kitchen had a wonderful view of the river. Finally the cottage had a nice bathroom with a good shower plus a wooden veranda on the water’s edge. We were very excited when we saw some boats and swans go by.

Jess on the veranda of Broadlands, our cottage at Herbert Woods in Norfolk,
Jess on the veranda of Broadlands, our cottage at Herbert Woods

After we had briefly unpacked we got back into the car and drove for around 10 minutes all the way to the sea. We got out in the car park at Horsey beach and walked for about 20 minutes until we got onto the sand to be greeted by loads of seals.(click here for mum’s post) We had a lovely time on the seaside and the seals were really amazing. I don’t think I had ever seen anything like it. Then, all of a sudden we were back at our cottage watching Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and eating pasta before getting into our beds and falling asleep.

A grey seal at Horsey beach in Norfolk,
It was amazing to see the grey seals on Horsey beach

After a great sleep (the beds were very comfortable), we got up and once we had got dressed and had breakfast we went back to reception where we were given life jackets and shown onto a spacious boat which we would soon be driving! I was so excited about this, as it’s not something I had ever done.

Robert driving the picnic boat at Herbert Woods in Norfolk
Robert loved driving the picnic boat!

We given a detailed explanation on how to drive the boat and soon after we were travelling along the river, just the four of us. It was hard at first but we got the hang of all the controls and we each had a turn at driving. It was an absolutely amazing experience (except for the bit when we nearly crashed) and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

View of the Norfolk Broads from the Herbert Woods picnic boat
The views from the boat were great!

At one point we climbed off our boat, tied it up and had a lovely walk. It was amazing as there was barely anything there except for the river and the grass.

The boat was called a picnic boat and it had a loo on board, more than enough space and even a hob and sink in case we wanted to cook anything.

On our picnic boat in the Norfolk BroadsAfter a few hours we made our way back to the site, handed in the keys to the boat and our cottage then waved goodbye. We crossed the road a nearby tearoom where we ate some delicious food before setting off for the terrible traffic that awaited us on our journey home…

I loved every bit.

Disclosure: We stayed in the Broadlands Cottage at Herbert Woods on a complimentary basis, although the company had no input into this post. A three night break in Broadlands cottage (off peak) is £328. We were also given complimentary hire of the picnic boat, which usually costs £140 for a day’s trip.

Read about our trip to Norwich and how we saw seals on Horsey beach!

And read more great posts about days out via Country Kids at Coombe Mill!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


40 Responses

  1. Mary Louise

    I love your video review of the cottage and had come across your mums post about Horsey beach last week. It really is somewhere I would love to take my family.

  2. Christine

    I hope you had a picnic on the picnic boat as well as a visit to the tea room.

    My dad has a narrow boat which he says we can borrow for a holiday but I’m not sure I’m cut out for the boating life!

  3. Kimberley Giles

    I love the Norfolk Broads! It’s such a wonderful place to visit any time of the year, and hiring a boat is always great fun. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit to Norwich as that’s where I’m from. It’s a great city and Norfolk is a beautiful county!

  4. Jen

    My Dad always said that the broads were his favorite holidays, but I was a liability as I am even sea sick on a narrow boat!

  5. Erica Price

    I love the sound of a cottage and a boat trip. I’ve never stayed that close to water (apart from the sea) and it looks lovely.

  6. Tami

    Loved your video, and yes, the cottage looks large and spacious, with all the amenities you might want or need. How fun to see the seals and swans, too. Looks like a wonderful getaway!

  7. Anda

    What a nice family trip you guys took! Too bad it wasn’t sunny, but I’m sure you had a lot of fun anyway. I liked your video too. I feel like I’ve been in that cottage already. Great article, Robert. Keep up the good work.

  8. Curious Claire

    Firstly, I love that this is Robert’s opinion and experience of the boat trip. So cool. Seems like he, and you all, had a really great time. Love the fact that you got greeted by seals. Looks like a good family trip.

  9. Rob Taylor

    I can’t wait for our kids to contribute to our blog! And what a great experience on the coast. You make growing kids not seem scary, but fun 🙂

  10. Vicky and Buddy

    I think it’s so cool that you were able to have the boat all to yourselves and that each of you had a chance to drive it. Not many places would let you do that. It makes for a more personal experience.

  11. Drew

    The Norfolk Broads is such a pretty area. We visited a few years ago, and had a great time going on walks and exploring the area. Looks like the fam had a pretty good time too!

  12. Heather

    What a perfect place for a holiday. The Broadlands Cottage looks so cozy, I think I’d have a hard time leaving! I love the fact that the cottage is so close to visit some seals. Spending the day out on the boat looks like an incredible adventure. I’ve never driven a boat before and have always wanted to give it a go!

  13. Mags

    This looks like a blast! I love spending time on the water. The seals are super cute too. I just saw some of these guys up close in San Diego. Too fun!

  14. Ting at My Travel Monkey

    The Norfolk Broads look wonderful. What a great family stay – we would love this, Having the cottage so close to the water and then being able to sail on the boat and see seals! Wow, what a sight.

  15. Joe Ankenbauer

    This sounds and looks like a wonderful trip! The cottage looks nice too!

  16. Cathy (MummyTravels)

    This sounds wonderful – there’s such freedom to be able to hop in a boat and go wherever you want. I’ve done a couple of small boating holidays and it’s incredibly relaxing (especially the narrow boat which involved a lot of scones and cold drinks in the sun), and the Norfolk Broads do sound fascinating to explore.

  17. Trisha Velarmino - P.S. I'm On My Way

    Oh my! Seeing the grey seals and getting to maneuver a cute picnic boat must have been a treat!
    I’m a new fan of your blog and your concept is so inspiring and it opens a platform for discourse for younger readers! Kids as young as 7 years old already know their way around the internet and it’s comforting to know that there are travel blogs such as this one that would satisfy the curiosities of the younger generation.
    More power to you and your family!

  18. Coombe Mill

    It looks like you had a fantastic holiday and Herbert Woods sounds like a fantastic location to go to! I bet it was great to be able to pop out onto the veranda and watch the swans whatever moment take you. You managed to get so close to those seals, it’s great that they weren’t too afraid of you. Learning to drive a boat sounds exciting too, I’m sure you’re all keen to have another go! Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

  19. Cheryl | TimeToCraft

    The chance of seeing a grey seal would be a good enough reason for me to go. It sounds a lovely break .I do like the idea of boating and staying near by. #CountryKids

  20. Maggie

    Woww this looks like a fun trip! seals are amazing too I like adventurous on the water.great description about your trip to Norfolk

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