Norfolk Broads FAQs

We thought it would be useful to put together some of our most frequently asked questions for those of you considering a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads!

Cruising on the Norfolk Broads

1. Do I need previous experience?  

No previous experience is necessary as full training will be given on arrival.

2. How many people do the boats sleep? 

 Our cruisers sleep between 2 and 12 people.

3. Can I take my pet?

Yes- pets are welcome on the majority of our cruisers. There is usually a maximum of 2 pets allowed on board, but if you have more than 2 please check with us. Some of our boats are kept pet-free for people will allergies etc.

4. Is a Norfolk Broads boating holiday suitable for young families?

Yes! There is plenty to keep young children occupied on a boating holiday. Children of all ages love the Norfolk Broads. Being outside in the fresh air, watching all of the other boats go by, keeping an eye out for birds and animals along the banks is usually entertainment enough! However there are many family friendly attractions to visit on the Norfolk Broads including Bewilderwood, Wroxham Barns, Wroxham Miniature Worlds, Bure Valley Railway and Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens. 

5. How far can I travel?

This does depend on how many cruising hours a day you would like to do. If you are on a short break, starting on the Northern Broads then generally we recommend sticking to the Northern side and exploring all of the Broads and villages there. Same on the Southern Broads, if you start there it is best to stay south on a short break, you could still reach the City of Norwich easily. On a weekly holiday both sides of the Broads can be explored if willing to cruise for longer hours and spend less time off the boat. It is always best to check cruising times between each place and if travelling from North – South or vice versa, check the crossing times for Breydon Water.

6. Can I fish on the Norfolk Broads?

Yes you can – as long as it is not closed season. Closed season is between March 15th and June 16th each year. During open season you will need to purchase a licence from the local Post Office. No live maggots are allowed onboard and you must only fish whilst the boat is stationary.

7. Can I go on my own?

Yes, solo boaters are accepted at a couple of our boatyards. At our other boatyards they will only accept a minimum of 2 adults due to their insurance.

8. What is the speed limit?

The speed limits vary between 3-6mph on the Norfolk Broads. There are very clear round signs that will tell you the speed limit for each area.

9. Where do I moor?

The Broads Authority provides free 24 hour moorings at a number of locations on the Norfolk Broads, see the list here: http://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/boating/facilities/moorings. You are also able to moor at any British Hire Boat Federation Boat Yard. Other moorings are privately owned so there will be a charge to moor there, typically between £5-£12 per night. Some pubs have their own moorings, sometimes there is a small charge to moor there but this is usually redeemable in the pub.

10. Will I need to do locks?

No! The Norfolk Broads offers 125 miles of lock-free cruising.

11. What are the bridge restrictions?

There are several low bridges on the Norfolk Broads, meaning that passage under them is not always possible in a hire boat. Potter Heigham Bridge, Wroxham Bridge and Beccles Bridge are very low and cruisers may not be able to pass under these bridges depending on the height of the boat and the tide. Bridges are clearly marked and it is recommended to use the bridge pilot to take your boat through. Luckily, each of these bridges are on the edge of the Broads so you will not miss out on too much cruising if you can’t get under!

12. Are the Norfolk Broads tidal?

Yes, the Norfolk Broads are tidal. The tide strengthens the closer you get to Great Yarmouth so extra care must be taken.

13. What is the difference between the northern and southern Broads?

The north side of the Norfolk Broads has more villages, shops and boatyards. The northern side tends to be busier than the south, especially in peak times.  The southern Broads are more tidal than the north & it is a lot quieter and more rural, with less competition for moorings.

14. What will I see on my boating holiday?

The Broads is a well known haven for wildlife, so the chances of spotting a rare bird or catching a glimpse of an otter are fairly high! There are several attractions on the Norfolk Broads, including St Benet’s Abbey, Thurne Mill, How Hill, St Helen’s Church and several nature reserves that are worth mooring up and visiting.

15. Where do I park my car?

You are welcome to park your car at the boatyard. Each of our boatyards have their own car park. Most of our boatyards include parking in the cost of the holiday; however some do charge a small fee.  

16. What are the extra costs?

Usually, on top of the hire charge for the boat, there is a fuel deposit and a non-refundable damage waiver to pay. The fuel deposit varies between £50 – £200. You always set off with a full tank of fuel, on return the boatyard refuels and works out the exact amount that you have used. If you haven’t used all of your deposit you will get a refund for the difference, if you have gone over you will pay the extra. The damage waiver is usually between £30 – £55 and is a non-refundable payment that protects you against any accidental damage made to the boat. Some of our boatyards have all-inclusive pricing, meaning the fuel & damage waiver is built into the cost of your holiday already.

17. Do you supply lifejackets?

Yes! Each person is fitted with a lifejacket on arrival. We recommend purchasing a doggy lifejacket if you are bring your pet along with you.

18. Do you supply bedding and towels?

Bedding is always provided for our motor cruisers, however towels usually are not provided, unless you are travelling on one of the elite cruisers from Wroxham. If you are travelling from overseas towels can be provided for you.

19. Can I charge my phone?

Yes you can! On each of our cruisers there will either be a 12v charging point or a 240v plug sockets on board.

20. Can I cook on board?

Absolutely, all of our cruisers have a kitchen on board. This usually includes a fridge, oven, hob, kettle and sometimes a microwave. All of the cutlery and crockery is provided for you.

To search for your perfect boating holiday, visit our website: www.waterwaysholidays.com/norfolkbroads.htm or call our friendly boating team on 01252 796400.

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Hire a boat for Valentine’s Day!

Cruise away from it all this Valentine’s Day with a romantic boating break for two. What could be more idyllic than escaping the hustle and bustle and cruising along one of our scenic canals in your very own cosy hire boat? We’ve picked some of our best narrowboats, designed just for the two of you:

The cabin on Casanova

Casanova: Located at Poynton on the Macclesfield Canal, Casanova is just perfect for a couple. Cruise through beautiful, open countryside, stopping at picturesque villages and characterful pubs along the way! Casanova features a spacious cabin with a king-size double bed and a television- great for cosy evenings in!

Cruising the Kennet & Avon on Bella

Bella: A luxury narrowboat designed specifically for couples. Bella is located at the picturesque town of Bradford-on-Avon. Only a short cruise from the historic City of Bath- the perfect cruise for a Valentine’s getaway. Some of the special features on-board Bella include mood lighting and a four-poster bed.

Cosy saloon on Bridie Bear

Bridie Bear: Located at our Riley Green base on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Bridie Bear is ideal for a quiet couples retreat. Cruise through picture-perfect Lancashire countryside, exploring beautiful Pennine towns and villages and dining in traditional country pubs. After days spent outside, Bridie Bear’s log-burning stove in the saloon makes it the perfect place to cosy up for the evening.

Lower Heyford Marina

Oxford: The perfect location for a couples getaway, with the choice of a rural retreat or a city break! Lower Heyford is a 7 hour cruise from the City of Oxford, ideal for a weekend away. If a city break doesn’t appeal, head north from the base through picturesque countryside, stopping at quaint villages and pubs. Our narrowboat Oxford is a lovely boat for two, modern and well-equipped with one double cabin at the front.

To search for your perfect Valentine’s break, search: www.waterwaysholidays.com/canal_boat_holidays.htm or call us on 01252 796400.

Top Norfolk Broads Landmarks

The Norfolk Broads is an extremely popular holiday destination. Regular visitors to the Broads will already know of the iconic landmarks to look out for. Here’s a list for those of you who are visiting, or plan to visit the Norfolk Broads this year:

The Norfolk Broads
  • St Benet’s Abbey- Located on the banks of the River Bure are the remains of a 1000 year old monastery & the easiest way to get to it is by boat! The monastery was the only one not officially closed during the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII in the Tudor times. Guided tours are available on selected days during the summer months & free moorings can be found alongside the Abbey.
St Benet’s Abbey
  • Toad Hole Cottage – Located at How Hill on the River Ant is the tiny marshman’s cottage. Toad Hole Cottage would have housed a whole family in the Victorian times. Today, the preserved cottage shows visitors how the families would have lived and how they would have worked on the marshes of the Broads. Free moorings are available right outside How Hill & entry to the cottage is free of charge.
Toad Hole Cottage
  • Thurne Mill – The only white mill on the whole of the Norfolk Broads sits on the east bank of the River Thurne. At over 200 years old, Thurne Mill is one of the small handful of working mills still left on the Norfolk Broads. The mill runs open days several times throughout the year for those who wish to look around inside and learn about the history. A small donation is very welcome and moorings can be found within easy reach of the mill.
Thurne Mill
  • St Helen’s Church – Also known as the ‘Cathedral of the Broads’, St Helen’s Church is located at the village of Ranworth. The grade I listed church dates back to 1450 and features an extremely popular church tower. The tower offers fantastic views across the River Bure and the 5 broads; visitors will just have to tackle the 89 steps, 2 ladders and the trap door first! The Church is open daily and is close to the moorings at Ranworth Broad.
The view from the church tower
  • Norwich Cathedral – Set in the heart of Norwich City Centre, the cathedral is the second tallest in England with a 315ft spire. The Norman cathedral was built over 900 years ago and is Romanesque in style. A pair of breeding peregrine falcons made the cathedral their home in 2009 and still return each summer. Volunteer guides offer tours for visitors to the cathedral frequently throughout the week. The best moorings to visit Norwich & the cathedral are located at Norwich Yacht Station.
Norwich Cathedral

To search for your Norfolk Broads boating holiday, search: www.waterwaysholidays.com/norfolkbroads.htm or call us on 01252 796400 for friendly boating advice.

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Waterways attractions to visit in 2019

Here at Waterways Holidays we have combined a list of the top waterways attractions to visit on your 2019 boating holiday.

  1. The Falkirk Wheel – This impressive boat lift is the only of its kind in the entire world. Built to connect the Forth & Clyde Canal towards Glasgow and the Union Canal towards Edinburgh, meaning both cities can be visited in one boating holiday. The wheel stands at 35 metres tall and replaced the 11 locks that previously connected the two canals. Our base is located at the Falkirk Wheel, the perfect place to start your holiday on the Scottish Canals.
The Falkirk Wheel
  • The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct – The highest and longest aqueduct in Britain, standing at 126ft tall and 1007ft in length. Also known as ‘The stream in the sky’, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop and is now a named World Heritage Site. There are spectacular, unspoilt views of the Dee Valley as boaters cross over the aqueduct, which only has a railing on one side! We have several bases along the Llangollen Canal within easy reach of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
  • The Caen Hill Flight – The perfect destination for boaters up for a challenge! The Caen Hill Flight at Devizes on the Kennet & Avon Canal is one of the longest flights of locks in the country with a total of 29 locks; rising 237ft. 16 of the locks form the steepest part of the flight with a continuous stretch of locks one after the other. We have several bases close to Devizes, with one located at the bottom of the flight itself!
Caen Hill Locks
Caen Hill Locks
  • The Anderton Boat Lift – Also known as the ‘Cathedral of the Canals’. The Anderton Boat Lift was built in 1875 to lift boats 50ft from the River Weaver to the Trent & Mersey Canal. The impressive Victorian masterpiece of engineering closed in 1983 due to corrosion, but was restored and reopened in 2002. The boat lift is easily accessible from our bases at Anderton & Acton Bridge.  
Anderton Boat Lift
Anderton Boat Lift
  • The Standedge Tunnel – The longest navigable tunnel on the UK canal network. The Standedge Tunnel travels for 3.5miles under the Pennine countryside in West Yorkshire. The tunnel is only wide enough for one narrowboat to pass through at a time, so passage must be booked in advance! Our bases at Sowerby Bridge & Poynton are the closest available to the Standedge Tunnel.
The Huddersfield Canal
  • The Bingley 5 Rise – A fantastic feature on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, the Bingley 5 Rise is the steepest flight of locks in the country! The locks raise the canal a total of 60ft, with each lock opening directly into the next. Our bases on the Leeds & Liverpool at Barnoldswick & Riley Green are both within reach of the Bingley 5 Rise.
Bingley 5 Rise
  • The Kelpies – Another reason to start at our Falkirk base! At 30m high, The Kelpies are the biggest equine structures in the world. The Forth & Clyde Canal was extended to allow boaters to travel to the Kelpies in 2014. The figures are based on the heavy horses that pulled boats and cargo along the Forth & Clyde Canal during the industrial revolution. The Kelpies can be reached from our Falkirk Marina in a short 4 hour cruise.
Falkirk Kelpies
The Kelpies
To search for your 2019 boating break, visit our website: http://www.waterwaysholidays.com/canal_boat_holidays.htm

New boats for 2019

We have been busy adding some fantastic brand new boats to our website ready for your 2019 boating holiday! Here’s a round-up of our newest additions:

  • Ashby: A 55ft semi-traditional narrowboat located on the peaceful Ashby Canal. ‘Ashby’ sleeps up to 4 people, with one fixed double cabin and one additional make-up double in the saloon.

Brand new boat ‘Ashby’
  • Purbeck: A 48ft semi-traditional narrowboat, located in Braunston, perfectly suited to a couple. Very sociable with a reverse layout so that the galley is close to the stern. There is a cabin at the front that can be configured as a double or two single beds.
‘Purbeck’- currently under construction.
  • Poppy: A 66ft semi-traditional narrowboat offering some heritage features alongside modern home comforts like WiFi and LED lighting. ‘Poppy’ is located at our Wootton Wawen base and sleeps up to 4 comfortably with two cabins.
New heritage class boat ‘Poppy’
  • York: Currently under construction, York will be located at our Sowerby Bridge base & is a 53ft cruiser stern narrowboat, perfect for families or couples. Sleeping up to 6, with two cabins, both with a flexible bed layout & a further convertible double bed in the saloon area.
Sister boat ‘Rutland’
  • Bays Wren: A high quality, 47ft semi-trad narrowboat located at our Falkirk base, perfect for visiting the cities of Edinburgh or Glasgow. Best suited to couples or a small family, Bays Wren has one flexible cabin and one convertible double in the saloon.
Our Wren class boat
  • Rural Fox: A 47ft cruiser stern narrowboat, ideal for a couple or a small family. ‘Rural Fox’ is located at our March base in Cambridgeshire in the heart of the Fenlands. On board there is one cabin with a flexible bed layout and a convertible double in the saloon area.
An artist impression of ‘Rural Fox’
  • Glyndwr: A 4 berth, 58ft cruiser stern narrowboat. ‘Glyndwr’ has one permanent double cabin, in addition to a flexible rear cabin, great for couples or a family. Located at our Chirk marina, this narrowboat is perfect for cruising the famous Llangollen Canal and travelling across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
Glyndwr on the Llangollen Canal
  • Aurora: A great boat for large families or a group of friends, sleeping up to 10 people. Aurora is based at our Napton marina close to the South Oxford & Grand Union junction. On board there are four cabions, two of which contain fold-down king size double beds!
Sister boat- Aurora is currently under construction
  • Serenade: Not forgetting our new Norfolk Broads additions- ‘Serenade 7’ joins the fleet this year at our Wroxham boatyard. A luxurious 39ft cruiser sleeping up to 6 people in two cabins, along with two convertible single beds in the saloon area.
‘Serenade’ on the Norfolk Broads
  • Gleaming Light: A 35ft cruiser located at our Potter Heigham base on the Norfolk Broads. ‘Gleaming Light’ has a large master cabin with a walk-around double bed & in addition to a flexible mid cabin. This cruiser also features a spacious rear deck and electric sunroof.
Gleaming Light
Gleaming Light
  • Prince of Light: Another new addition to the fleet at Potter Heigham on the Norfolk Broads. At 29ft this cruiser is ideal for a couple or small family with one cabin and a convertible bed in the saloon. There is also a very spacious foreward deck perfect for fishing or sunbathing.
Similar boat- ‘Adventuring Light’
  • Graceful Emblem: Currently still under construction but should be available to book from May 2019. ‘Graceful Emblem’ will be joining the fleet at our Horning boatyard on the Norfolk Broads. Sleeping up to 6 people, with two bathrooms and a very spacious sundeck!
Similar boat – ‘Silent Emblem’

To look for your perfect break, search: www.waterwaysholidays.com or you can also give us a call on 01252 796400.

Waterways Holidays 2019

2018 has been a busy and successful year for us here at Waterways Holidays. Many exciting things have been going on behind the scenes in preparation for the 2019 season. 

One of our biggest changes is the launch of our brand new fully responsive website! (Check it out here: www.waterwaysholidays.com) This will make it much easier for customers to search for and to book their holiday from a mobile phone or tablet as well as on a desktop. 

Another exciting change is the addition of some new filters in our availability search. Meaning customers can choose options they would like for their boating holiday. These include options such as ‘reverse layout’, ‘widebeam’, ‘wi-fi’ and ‘bowthruster’. The filters allow customers to choose their preferences so that only suitable boats show up in the results page. 

We are also very pleased to announce an incredible new location that we are able to offer to our customers. The Kerkdriel base in Holland will allow customers to travel through the beautiful Dutch countryside, visiting cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Gouda. We also have bases in France, Germany & Portugal.

Finally, we would like to say a very big thank you to all of our customers, partners and friends for a fantastic season together. We are all very much lookiong forward to working with you all again in 2019 & wish yourselves and your families a very Happy Christmas! 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from us here at Waterways Holidays! 
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Christmas & New Year on the Cut

Beautiful snowy scene at the boatyard

Picture frosty towpaths, crisp mornings and evenings spent curled up in front of a solid-fuel stove or a roaring fire in the canalside pub. Winter cruising suddenly becomes quite an attractive prospect. Throw in wonderfully quiet canals, friendly locals and a chance to get away from it all at a busy time of year and the appeal truly sets in. 

Christmas cruising is becoming increasingly popular but we do have some availability left!

Moor up in picture-perfect surroundings
Here’s a round-up of some of our best options:

  • Our base at Whittington Wharf on the Llangollen Canal in North Wales is offering 4 night breaks from Christmas Eve. Cruise from the wharf and enjoy a Christmas dinner in one of the local pubs. Fly across the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and into the town of Llangollen to explore theshops before heading back to the base.

  • Enjoy Christmas in the Cotswolds from our base at Bradford-on-Avon. Enjoy a quiet cruise through pretty countryside and farmland along the Kennet & Avon Canal. From our boatyard at Bradford-on-Avon it isonly a 6 hour cruise into the historic City of Bath, the ideal place for a spot of Christmas dinner, with a huge selection of pubs, bars and restaurants onoffer.

  • Celebrate Christmas in Stratford-upon-Avon from our base at Wootton Wawen in the Heart of England! It is an active 5.5 hour cruise with plenty of locks to keep you warm on the way into Bancroft Basin in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon from our base at Wootton Wawen. Enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights, join in with a carol service and visit one of the many traditional pubs on offer before returning to the boatyard.

  • Visit the castle in wonderful Warwick! From our Stockton base it is a short cruise to the medieval town of Warwick. During this pleasant stretch of the Grand Union there are plenty of locks and pubs. Enough to keep the crew entertained until reaching Warwick itself. The castle is very much worth avisit at this time of year. With a 20ft Christmas tree waiting to greet you in the Great Hall- it’s not to be missed!
Enjoy the peace and quiet on the watreways

If you fancy doing New Year’s Eve a little differently this year, how about hiring a boat and visiting one of these destinations:

  • Bring in the New Year in Birmingham- moor up in Gas Street Basin in the centre of the city and choose between countless clubs, bars andpubs all within a short walking distance. From our base at Tardebigge, Birmingham is only a short 5.5 hour cruise away. If you prefer something a little quieter, head away from the city and join the Stratford Canal for a real retreat.

  • Celebrate the New Year in Chester! Easily accessible from our bases at Bunbury, Nantwich & Beeston on the Shropshire Union Canal, Chester has plenty to offer for a fun New Years Eve. With many bars, restaurants and pubs,this historic city has something for everyone to enjoy.

  • Get away from it all from our Great Haywood base! With so many routes available from Great Haywood it is the ideal location for a New Year’s escape. Head off on the Trent & Mersey Canal or join the beautiful Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.  Find a nice remote spot to moor up and bring in 2019 in peace!

To search for your perfect Christmas & New Year break, search: www.waterwaysholidays.com/canal_boat_holidays.htm

You can also give us a call on 01252 796400 to speak to our friendly boating team! 

Hire one of our wonderful widebeams!

The extra space a widebeam provides in comparison to a traditional narrowboat is a feature that many people are attracted to. Traditionally, a narrowboat is 6ft in width, whereas a widebeam offers at least an extra few feet of space, ranging between 9ft-12ft in width. We have several widebeams to hire, located across the United Kingdom, all the way from the Kennet & Avon Canal in Southern England to the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland.

The River Thames

‘Geanna’ & ‘Georgia’ are both luxury widebeams located at our Reading base on the River Thames, available for both short breaks and weekly hire. ‘Geanna’ is 62ft long and 12ft wide, sleeping up to 8 people maximum, with 3 en-suite bathrooms! ‘Georgia’ is the same size as ‘Geanna’ and offers two cabins, one double and one with bunk beds, ideal for a family getaway.

Georgia Saloon

Georgia Saloon

Marlow- The River Thames

‘Sancerre’, sleeping up to 6 people, is a 60ft by 11ft widebeam located at Marlow on the River Thames. ‘Sancerre’ has been fitted out with lots of mod-cons including, Bluetooth, Wi-FI and an audio system. There is also an electric bowthruster for easier manoeuvring and mooring. The master cabin has a king-size double bed with an en-suite, with double doors opening out onto the bow for alfresco dining. ‘Sancerre’ is available for both short breaks and weeks.

Cruising on 'Sancerre'

Cruising on ‘Sancerre’

The Grand Union Canal

‘Serenity’, is one of our smaller widebeams, located on the Grand Union Canal at Milton Keynes, available for weekly Saturday hire. ‘Serenity’ is 55ft long and 10ft wide, sleeping 4, ideal for a couple’s getaway or for a small family. She is fitted out to a very high standard with a touch of added luxury, including a very handy wine cooler, flat-screen TVs in both the saloon and the cabin and an iPod dock!

Serenity

Serenity

The Kennet & Avon Canal

‘Larkspur’ is 65ft long x 10ft wide, located at Bathampton on the Kennet & Avon Canal, available to hire for 6 night breaks from a Saturday morning until Friday evening. ‘Larkspur’ sleeps 6 , with one double cabin and one twin cabin and a comfy sofa bed in the saloon.  Also in the saloon area is a solid fuel stove- ideal for cosy evenings on board!

Larkspur Saloon

Larkspur Saloon

London – Grand Union Canal

Located on the Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal at Iver, ‘Pendragon’ is 57ft x 10ft, perfect for family groups, sleeping up to 6. There is one master cabin, with a double bed and excellent storage space and a second cabin with bunk beds. There are a few added extras on board: a heated towel rail in the bathroom; a widescreen projector in the saloon and a Bluetooth Boombar speaker for music. ‘Pendragon’ is available for weekly hire from Saturdays.

Pendragon

Pendragon

The Falkirk Wheel

‘Sanderling’ is located at the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland, giving access to both the Forth & Clyde and the Union Canals. ‘Sanderling’ is 60ft long and 10ft wide, sleeping up to 8 people. There is one master cabin with a king-size double bed. The second cabin has 4 bunks- perfect for families with children. ‘Sanderling’ is available to hire for short breaks, weeks or longer from Fridays or Mondays.

Sanderling

Sanderling

To find your perfect widebeam to hire, visit our website www.waterwaysholidays.com. Search using our widebeam filter or alternatively, call us on 01252 796400.

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Norfolk Broads Autumn Boat Hire

Many people tend to associate boating holidays on the Norfolk Broads with the summer holidays, a bustling place of excitement filled with families enjoying their time together. Autumn however, tends to be overlooked as the time to go for a boating holiday, when in actual fact, it’s an ideal time to go.

Autumn Morning on the Norfolk Broads

Autumn Morning on the Norfolk Broads

With the leaves (and prices) falling, the Broads turns from bustling to serene. With less cruisers around, quieter mooring spots and a more relaxing environment. The weather is still generally mild and wildlife is still in abundance, with different species of birds arriving for winter. The chances of spotting an otter become more frequent during the autumn months, especially at dawn or dusk. Not forgetting of course the seals at Horsey Gap! The birthing season usually starts at the end of October and carries on through the winter, leaving plenty of time to go and visit the seal pups!

The Seals at Horsey

The Seals at Horsey

During October there are a lot of events taking place on the Norfolk Broads, especially Halloween-related ones. It’s a great time to take the kids away for a weekend or during October half term. Events include the Glowing Lantern Parade at Bewilderwood; a Halloween Horror Hunt at Salhouse Broad and a Spooktacular Halloween Trail and a Creatures of the Night event at the RSPB Strumpshaw Fen, not to mention numerous ghost walks around Norwich and haunted pubs.

Bewilderwood Pumpkins

Bewilderwood Pumpkins

Other attractions to keep the children busy include the Hillside Animal Sanctuary and Thrigby Hall and Wildlife Gardens. There are countless paths to enjoy long walks out in the countryside, nature reserves to explore and routes to cycle. Pubs and restaurants tend to be a little quieter at this time of year; meaning less waiting around and more time to sit and fully relax and enjoy a meal out together.

To search for your Norfolk Broads Holiday:

Visit www.waterwaysholidays.com/norfolkbroads.htm or give our friendly boating team a call on 01252 796400.

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Trudi’s relaxing midweek break on the River Avon

 

The River Avon

The River Avon

Starting on a Tuesday afternoon from our base at Pershore on the River Avon, we planned a very relaxing, laid-back boating break. We wanted to escape the ‘rat race’ for a few days and this break couldn’t have been more perfect.

On our first afternoon we headed west towards the historic town of Evesham. Between Pershore and Evesham lies the small village of Wyre Piddle, where there is a lovely waterside pub. Bypassing this and quite a few amazing riverside homes (some traditional and others uber-modern) we made our way to our evening destination.

Approaching Evesham

Approaching Evesham

Just outside Evesham there is a tiny ferry which takes people from one side of the river to the other; it’s rather quaint and you need to warn the ferryman you’re approaching by beeping your horn 3 times, allowing him to move his chains so you don’t run into them. After this it’s not long before you see the bell tower of Evesham Abbey and parkland to your left. We moored up before Workman Bridge and walked into the town centre. Having looked around the town we found a pet-friendly pub (The Red Horse) and settled down to dinner.

On Wednesday morning we turned around and retraced our steps back towards Pershore. Mooring at Pershore Recreation Grounds, we walked into town past the public swimming pool and leisure centre. Stepping into the Star Inn, we investigated the lunch menu and decided to try some local tapas… a very good decision. After this we wandered around Pershore Abbey and its grounds; taking photos and sitting back in the sunshine. We then nipped into the local supermarket for supplies on our way back to the boat. In the evening we sampled another local pub (the Angel Inn) and enjoyed an excellent dinner there. From Pershore we cruised west towards the historic town of Tewkesbury.

The Anchor Inn

The Anchor Inn- Wyre Piddle

The western part of the River Avon is mostly made up of farmland with cows, sheep and horses drinking from the river bank; whereas the eastern part of the river, towards Evesham, is mainly bordered by lush green woodland. At Twyning we stopped at the Fleet Inn for a G&T and snacks before continuing on, past Tewkesbury Marina and under King John’s Bridge, to our overnight moorings (which cost £3.00 per night).

Wandering over Flour Mill Bridge, we headed to the centre of Tewkesbury.There are lots of local shops and pubs in the town; museums, coffee houses, traditional bakers, butchers, hotels and restaurants. Walking down the High Street towards Tewkesbury Abbey, we stopped at the pretty Bell Hotel which is typically Tudor in appearance. We then strolled across the road to the Abbey itself, taking in numerous interesting features, including shops adorned with colourful medieval banners and some very aged timbered architecture. Feeling lazy that evening, we got a takeaway pizza to enjoy on the boat, whilst watching a film on DVD.

Tewkesbury

Tewkesbury

On our last full day we cruised back to the town of Pershore once again, mooring at the Recreation Grounds and enjoying a laid back lunch of cheese, paté and biscuits on the boat; feeding scraps to a vast convoy of ducks. That evening we walked back along the High Street to enjoy another fantastic dinner.  On Saturday morning we ‘pootled in’ under Pershore Bridges and back to the boatyard once again.

The River Avon does have locks but there are no ‘flights’ to contend with. The locks are quite wide and the rush of water can be powerful, so we recommend that you open the paddles half-way at first to avoid swamping the front of your boat with water. Each lock takes about 15 minutes to complete and between Evesham and Tewkesbury there are just 6 locks.

Working the locks

Working the locks

For more information on the River Avon:

Visit our website: https://www.waterwaysholidays.com/central_england.htm or call us on 01252 796400 for friendly boating advice.

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Posted in Holiday Inspirations by Waterways Holidays. Comments Off on Trudi’s relaxing midweek break on the River Avon