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Boating on the Norfolk Broads -- Any top tips?

(24 Posts)
SixKindsOfCrisis Sun 05-Aug-07 11:03:37

We're boating for a week on the southern #norfolk Broads - me, my dh and Dss aged 8 and 12. Plus our dog.
It's our first time and we don't really know what to expect. Anyone got any top tips about making the most of the trip, avoiding disasters, etc. Best places? Worst places? Most important thing to pack? Etc.
All info gladly received!!

policywonk Sun 05-Aug-07 11:11:56

No info whatsoever, but can I just say that I'm finding it very confusing that a fictional character from the Guardian (or his near-namesake) has started posting on MN

SixKindsOfCrisis Sun 05-Aug-07 11:22:44

...whereas it's quite normal for characters from Harry Potter to post .
Even fictional Guardian bloggers need a holiday!!

MaureenMLove Sun 05-Aug-07 12:04:45

Well, its been a long time since I did it, but you'll have a blast. There's not much that you must definately pack, thats different from any other holiday, except for waterproofs perhaps. If I remember rightly, you stay on the RIGHT of oncoming traffic, not left like on the road, if thats any help. It's just a really good, fun holiday!
I came back from Norfolk yesterday, so I've got all the brouchures, so what part of the broads are you navagating? (that's a techincal term for driving a boat on a canal, I think!)

lljkk Sun 05-Aug-07 12:07:26

Plan for all weathers.

RGPargy Sun 05-Aug-07 12:10:00

I went on the Broads quite a few times as a kid. It's great fun and very relaxing. Cant remember any place names or anything tho - sorry!!

PrettyCandles Sun 05-Aug-07 12:32:14

Take a boat that's bigger than minimum. Ie if you're a party of 4 take a 6 berth boat at the lvery least. A boat (or tent, or caravan) that has only 1 berth per person is far too cramped for comfort.

Sunscreen, sunhats, longsleeved shirts and long shorts/trousers. It can get very blinding and hot on the water. There's no real shade unless you are actually inside the boat, as UV gets reflected up from the water. Also raincoats! This is England after all . Insect repellant, especially if you're sleeping on the boat. Marinas tend to be OK, bug-wise, but not if you're just mooring by the riverside overnight.

Have fun!

SixKindsOfCrisis Sun 05-Aug-07 15:10:35

Thanks v much, all.
Maureen, we are starting from Lodden, which is in the south of the Broads. I know nothing about whether this is a good bit. Just Googled 'broads boating' at the last minute and took what was left!

SixKindsOfCrisis Sun 05-Aug-07 15:12:35

Thanks, candles, for the advice re sun and rain. I kind of hope that the weather is good enough for blinding heat to be an issue!! We've already booked the boat -- not the smallest,but probably not as large as you suggest so might be a bit cramped.

sammac Sun 05-Aug-07 15:26:56

We were boating there 3 weeks ago. Southern broads are quieter than the North, if you want to go to the north you need to plan when to go through Gt Yarmouth for the tides. Go to Norwich for the day/night. There is a yacht station right in the heart which is great. Right next to restaurants, cinema ans swimming pool- feels like you're in a major culture shock after the gentleness of the boat! I'll go and ask dh where the nicest places were!

SixKindsOfCrisis Sun 05-Aug-07 15:29:14

Ooh, thanks, sammac. Did you have a good time. Is boat driving reasonably simple?

sammac Sun 05-Aug-07 15:33:02

take advantage of having a long shower in the swimming- you'll really appreciate it.

The boat generally heats the water through it's engine so you can't have a shower in the morning as it has cooled by then.

If you're lucky the boat yard might let you get the boat earlier- we chanced our arm and got the boat just after 1 instead of 4- so gave us a bit longer to get used to it. The weekends are busy on the water- it really quietens down on Mondays.

One of the ones we liked is Rockland St Mary. You go through Rockland Broad and it gets really narrow but there is a wee village at the end! If you walk up to the right of the mooring up to the playpark it is filled with millions of cherry trees all ripe for the picking- couldn't beleive it. of course there's a pub selling food, but we didn't go there this time, but have done before.

sammac Sun 05-Aug-07 15:33:47

dh does all the driving- I panic too much- although I am the jumper off and tier up!

ThisIsDavinaPleaseDoNotSwear Sun 05-Aug-07 15:38:05

Oh you will have loads of fun.

Remember to pull your mud-weight in each time you set off (you won't get very far otherwise ).

Also think about talking to the boat yard for some practice steering and reversing as many places will only let you moor up if you reverse in backwards (there is a more technical term for it which alludes me)anyway we always struggled and got jeered at most days by crowds of onlookers

Pay a bit extra if you haven't already to take a rowing boat with you as you will find lots of small private broads to explore once you have moored up and get really close to Kingfishers (we saw loads when we went last year in October)

Have a strict rule with the kids that when you are mooring up/setting off - the kids sit still and stay put and avoid helpful comments like 'mum you are about to crash into another boat'

Hee hee, you will have a great time and good weather too hopefully. I am

Oh and one last thing - see if you can find the sign on one of the banks that says 'Please Do Not Throw Stones at this Sign', we loved that!

sammac Sun 05-Aug-07 15:40:42

It's very relaxed and casual- don't take anything dressy- make sure you have waterproofs- although we only used them once. Have enough food even if you don't use it- and stock up when you can- there are many local shops/butchers etc which are interesting.

My kids are ds 5 and dd 13. Dd was a bit bored at times, tbh, when we were moving.

Lots of pubs along the way to explore- we ate in a few, Ferry Inn at Horning does nice home-made food. Others are a bit out of the freezer onto the plate type. Couple nice pubs at Reedham. hard to get into popular pubs at busy times unless you're early- partic Sunday lunchtimes- so plan if you're going to do this.

sammac Sun 05-Aug-07 15:41:13

Backwards is stern on

ThisIsDavinaPleaseDoNotSwear Sun 05-Aug-07 15:42:37

thanks we just referred to it as either the blunt end or the sharp end. Worked for us!

sammac Sun 05-Aug-07 15:45:02

Try and fill up with water every day and encourage everyone to toilet as much as possible not on the boat- ie when out and about so that you don't have to go for a pump-out during the week. We akso made ds do lots of practice lifejacket on and off. We kept them in the same place and would make a game out of it. Agree with keeping the kids indside and seated when mooring so you know exactly where they are. people are very helpful and friendly and will generally come and help at these times- everyone waves as they sail by- like some 50's movie!

SixKindsOfCrisis Sun 05-Aug-07 15:53:05

Thanks. This is all v helpful and encouraging. Don't like the sound of a 'pump out duing the week' tho!!

AttilaTheMum Sun 05-Aug-07 15:55:42

Don't moor too close to a pub if you have young children with early bedtimes- some of them can get quite noisy at night.
Don't forget to check which bridges you can get under with the boat you've got - if you get under one at low tide, you may have to wait for the next low tide to get back.
And be careful mooring at high tide - leave enough rope for the water level to drop.

sammac Sun 05-Aug-07 15:59:13

We just went into a boatyard and they did it- not really a big deal, but dh likes to do everything properly- like checking the oil and water. He's not like that at home either!

Our favourite place to moor was 'the middle of nowhere' just at a mooring place with no pubs. Have been looking on the map and can't find it, will keep trying.

Loddon is a busy wee village- we stayed 1 night. There are restaurants, a great looking butcher(never bought anything) shops, bank. V, take it slowly.ery narrow to get in and out

Ouma Tue 07-Aug-07 13:06:02

We had a great holiday two summers ago, but after visiting a Roman castle (good - can't remember name) my son aged 5 ran back to the boat ahead of us, attempted to jump on, and fell into the water. My 79 year old father with heart condition saw this happeneing from about 100 m away, sprinted up and managed to haul him out. We had life-jackets on them all the time when they were on the boat but this proved to be a dangerous exception.

Kathyis6incheshigh Tue 07-Aug-07 13:09:26

Take Coot Club and The Big Six by Arthur Ransome to read.

SixKindsOfCrisis Wed 08-Aug-07 11:45:40

Thanks very much Kathy6 for the book recommendations --will def try them as ds1 is voracious reader and is vile when bored. Thanks Ouma for the lifejacket warning. I'm worried that the kids will kick up a fuss about lifejackets. They are 8 and 11 and competant swimmers but I still want them to wear the LJs.
Thanks Sammac for all your helpful pointers, and Attilathemum for the pub warning.
(I hadn't realised that there had been new posts on this thread, and then I read another thread about OPs with questions not responding politely to helpful answers <hope-I-haven't-offended-anyone emoticon>

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