This Easter, we booked a weekend away at Hemsby. Previously we had a quick visit to Hemsby last summer when we spent a weekend at Great Yarmouth. We thought it would be a great place for a mini break. We discovered our friends would also be visiting the area over Easter so we looked into places we could visit together. Being so close to the Norfolk Broads we looked into hiring a boat for the day. I have always been told that sailing the Norfolk Broads is a great holiday. Hiring a boat for the day would allow us to sample a little bit of the experience.
Hiring A Boat On The Norfolk Broads
There are actually quite a few places available to hire boats from on the Norfolk Broads. We decided to hire a boat with Herbert Woods as they were recommended to us and were very close to where we were staying in Hemsby. Herbert Woods have quite a few day experiences available to hire including kayaks and fishing boats. We decided that hiring a picnic boat would be the best option for our time on the Norfolk Broads.
Hiring A Picnic Boat From Herbert Woods
What Will You Find On A Picnic Boat?
Picnic boats from Herbert Woods can seat a maximum of nine people. Dogs are also allowed on board with you. It has an outside seating space as well as a sliding roof so you can open up the boat in good weather.
The boat has a gas hob which you can use to make hot drinks. This compact kitchen area also has a fridge to help keep things cool as well as a sink.
There is a table that can be put up and taken down as required.
And the boat also has its own toilet. Perfect when travelling with children who may require frequent toilet stops.
How Much Did It Cost To Hire The Picnic Boat?
We hired the picnic boat for the full day, from 9 am until 5 pm. This cost us £250. As the picnic boats can hold up to nine people we were able to split the cost between two families. This meant the price wasn’t that much more than hiring a boat for just a few hours. So by booking a boat with our friends, we got a better boat and a longer time on the Norfolk Broads.
Our Day On The Norfolk Broads
The one thing you can’t control when booking things is the weather. We did joke that it would probably rain all day during our trip. Thankfully the weather reports were promising us a good weekend. With this in mind, we did layer up as it can get cold on the water. We arrived at Herbert Woods at about 8.45 am. Our friends had already checked in and we made our way over to collect our life jackets. There were life jackets for both children and adults. These had to be kept on at all times whilst we were on the boat.
The next thing we had was a safety briefing, instructions on how to drive the boat and the rules we had to follow on the water. We all had to pay attention as all of the adults would be driving the boat through the day. It’s a long time on the water and it would be a big ask for just one person to do it all. We were given a map of the Norfolk Broads and then it was time to set off. We didn’t really have a plan of where we were going to go. It was more just a see where the day takes you trip.
We sailed around all day taking in the sights and spotting windmills. Waving to people on lots of different boats of all shapes and sizes. We did stop for lunch, finding a place to dock the boat for a while. It was close to a nature reserve so we did get to go for a little walk too. We had brought a picnic lunch with us but we did pass pubs where you could also stop for something to eat. The time flew by and it was a very relaxing being on the water all day.
What Did The Children Think About Our Day On The Picnic Boat?
I think our children really enjoy time on the water. They have a few Disney Cruises under their belts now and enjoyed our seal-watching trip in May 2021. I was worried that they would get bored without having access to the internet all day. But they loved it. Ethan was happy to sit at the front of the boat watching where we sailed and the movements of the water.
Little E also enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Norfolk Broads. She loved looking at the ducks and the swans. They were a real highlight for her. I think she saw the day as an adventure.
Would We Return To The Norfolk Broads?
If I’m honest I’m not sure if I could spend seven nights sailing the Norfolk Broads. I think I was expecting there to be lots of places to stop along the way. But we didn’t see too many and we did sail quite a way into the broads. I think if you are going for seven nights you really need a plan of where you are going to travel to and where you are going to stop for a rest. I would however hire a picnic boat for the day again. They would be a great place to celebrate a special occasion. Something very different to do and a day you would remember.