Spring Inspirations for Norfolk Broads Boating Holidays

Known as ‘Britain’s Magical Waterland’, spring on the Broads brings the promise of brighter evenings, atmospheric misty mornings and tranquil waters. There’s 125 miles of lock free cruising, which can be enjoyed from the comfort of a modern, well equipped motor cruiser, or a traditional Broads sailing yacht. Become the skipper of your own boat and cruise at your own pace. Explore the unspoilt villages along the river front or moor your boat for the afternoon to travel on foot along the many designated nature trails.

Swans and Geese at Wroxham Bridge

Swans and Geese at Wroxham Bridge

What sort of things can you experience by boat on the Broads?

There is so much for everyone on the Broads. As Britain’s largest nationally protected wetland, there is an abundance of wildlife around every corner. From cute ducklings to graceful Whooper Swans, a boating holiday is perfect for children and adults alike – so remember to take your camera!

For a great family day out, the Bure Valley Railway comes highly recommended. Moor your boat at Wroxham, the birthplace of boat hire on the Broads, and it’s just a 10 minute walk to board your train.

Horsey Wind Pump near Hickling is a must see if you’re in the area. Climbing to the top offers breathtaking views over Horsey Mere. After mooring in Horsey Mere Staithe, take the 15 minute walk across the fields and sand dunes to discover miles of picturesque sandy beach, perfect for stretching the dog’s legs. In the evening you may even be lucky enough to spot seals relaxing on the shore front.

What sorts of people enjoy boating holidays?

Windmill at the River Thurne

Windpump at the River Thurne


Boating holidays are open to everyone with all levels of experience, including complete novices. No previous experience is required as full training is given on arrival when collecting your boat. The team at Waterways Holidays are all keen boaters and are more than happy to help with any queries to ensure your choice of boat is the right one to get the most from your holiday.

Boating is perfect for a safe and fun filled family holiday, with plenty to keep the children entertained. There are also plenty of opportunities for couples to share romantic moments under the vast blue Norfolk skies. Many boats are pet friendly so you can ensure that the whole family can holiday together!

For further details, 0845 127 1020 or www.waterwaysholidays.com/norfolkbroads.htm

Traditional boats & sailing yachts for hire on the UK Canals & Norfolk Broads


Unique skippered hire aboard ‘Hawkesbury’

Don’t forget our traditional narrowboats, sailing yachts and motor cruisers for boating getaways!

UK Canals

Converted narrowboat: ‘Hawkesbury,’ cruising the Trent & Mersey Canal from 1937, is the last ‘Big Woolwich’ and former cargo carrying vessel. Available for skippered hire; you even get a “boat dog”!

This leaves you free to soak in the rural sites along the bank, taking the controls if and when you like.

Tug styled narrowboats: ‘Larch,’ from Middlewich and ‘Anjou’ from Whilton, traditional styled cargo carrying boats. These boats have a large flat decking section at the front- with a stowage area underneath.  The long flat front provides a perfect spot for all parties to enjoy, taking in the summer sun and picnicking off the boat.

Norfolk Broads

Motor Cruisers: ‘Merlin’ from Chedgrave and ‘Juliette’ from Martham: Traditional all wooded boats, particularly handy for those wanting to catch the rays whenever possible as they include  sunshine hatches over saloon and galley, collapsible side sections and a centre cockpit with all-weather protection.

Sailing Broads yachts: Available for Norfolk Broads boat hire is ‘Zoë’ from Horning, built in 1897. The only Victorian counter stern yacht on the Broads and exhilarating to sail. She sleeps two people, so ideal for a couple with a little yachting experience.

For further details, 0845 127 1020 or www.waterwaysholidays.com

Brand new boats for hire on the UK Canals & Norfolk Broads

Looking for something new for this year’s holiday?

Silver Darlings Collage

‘Silver Darlings’

Why not book one of our brand new luxury boats, available for canal boating holidays & boating on the Norfolk Broads?

UK Canals

‘Silver Darlings’ was new to the base at Clifton-on-Dunsmore in the summer 2010. She’s a semi-traditional narrowboat located on the North Oxford Canal. Her interior is kitted out with light wood furnishings & quality upholstery. Facilities include a flat screen TV & DVD player, CD & radio player, wine cooler & spacious shower cubicle with body-jet shower.

This boat perfectly balances the traditional feel of a narrowboat with all the comforts needed for a modern traveller.

Norfolk Broads

‘Alpha Tornado’ is a new luxury Alpha 35 centre cockpit class cruiser, available on Norfolk Broads. She has power assisted steering and a reverse camera (for rear view.) This modern cruiser is fitted with both bow & stern thrusters to allow for much easier manoeuvring.

Also equipped with bow & stern thrusters is 35ft ‘Supreme Light.’ She is a spacious cruiser with a large en-suite rear cabin, & a satellite tracking dome to receive Freeview channels anywhere on the broads on a large LCD TV. She gives the illusion of being onboard a portable hotel suite!

With so much to enjoy in 2011, it is easy to spend a whole week or more on the UK canals & rivers on our brand new luxury boats. For further details, 0845 127 1020 or www.waterwaysholidays.com

Norfolk Broads & canal boat early booking offers!

There’s still time to grab a saving of up to 20% off your 2011 boating holiday when you book before 31st December 2010. Click here for details on current special offers.

Norfolk Broads Cruisers

Norfolk Broads boating holiday cruiser

Norfolk Broads boating holiday cruiser

Book a 2011 boating holiday before the 31st December 2010 & save up to 10% off hire price on a variety of modern cruisers sleeping up to 12 people. Save up to 10% when starting your holiday from Potter Heigham & Ludham, 5% when stating from Wroxham. Perfect to explore the whole of the Broads – the newest member of the UK National Parks family.

Over 125 miles of lock free waterway, this rural getaway offers the chance to fish, enjoy the wildlife and relax, wine and dine in riverside pubs and restaurants. Be sure to try the ‘Woodfordes’ local ales brewed at the ‘Fur & Feathers’, just a short walk from the overnight moorings at Salhouse Broad.

Narrowboat hire on UK Canals & Rivers

Save up to 20% on weekly & short break hire from a variety of bases across the UK. Cruising options include fantastic town & city breaks to Bath & Birmingham, as well as relaxing rural getaways & a variety of cruising rings. No experience necessary.

Unique Norfolk Broads sailing wherry charter


Traditional sailing wherry charter

Norfolk Broads Sailing Wherry, ‘White Moth’

If you are looking for something entirely different for a few days away on a corporate team building exercise, special birthday, anniversary with friends and family or simply to enjoy the unique experience of sailing a traditional Norfolk Broads Wherry, why not charter ‘White Moth’ from Horning? She comes complete a fully qualified and experienced skipper and offers comfortable accommodation for up to 10 guests.

Commissioned in 1915 and entirely re-fitted by local craftsmen, she is one of the last examples of her kind, providing an idyllic means of experiencing the beautiful Norfolk Broads. Sailing this elegant craft is a unique way of enjoying the variety of wildlife and scenery, as well as providing an insight into how the Edwardians spent their time on the Broads. A skipper and local guide is in charge of the day-to-day running of the craft (self-contained crew quarters are situated in the forepeak) and you may sail the boat just as much or as little as you wish. The Wherry sleeps up to ten guests in three double cabins and two double settee berths.

Opulently furnished saloon with full-size dining table. Galley with four burner hob, grill, oven and large fridge for self catering. Each cabin has a wash hand basin with hot and cold water. Two separate toilet/shower compartments and central heating.

For further details, 0845 127 1020 or www.waterwaysholidays.com

New for 2011: the perfect honeymoon boating holiday

Boating honeymoon through the Yorkshire Dales

Boating honeymoon through the Yorkshire Dales

Brand new for 2011 and ideal for a honeymoon, Cambridge is a luxurious 44ft narrowboat sleeping two, based at Sowerby Bridge in Yorkshire.

Guests receive a complimentary bottle of champagne on arrival and the boat features a double bed, bath with shower, fitted galley with cooker and microwave, a comfortable saloon with colour TV and DVD player, plus radiator central heating.

Sowerby Bridge is situated at the junction of the Rochdale Canal and the Calder and Hebble Navigation and is ideally located for exploring the Pennine Canals with highlights en route including romantic crags and hills, moorland walks, stone-built towns and welcoming pubs.

Available between March and October, a week’s hire ranges between £570 and £1035 inclusive of fuel, bed linen, car parking, boat licence and tuition on arrival (including locks), plus one well behaved pet is welcome free of charge.

Accessible & wheelchair friendly boating holidays

Widebeam canal boat

Bruce Trust accessible widebeam canal boat with wheelchair access.

There are a number of charitable trusts and organisations that specialise in the provision of self-drive canal boats with special adaptation to facilitate wheelchair access or to allow crew with mobility difficulties the possibility to enjoy a shared holiday with friend and families.

UK Canals & Rivers

The list below provides the websites for groups and organisations that offer narrowboats and widebeam boats for hire which have been specifically adapted to accomodate those with limited access or mobility:

Accessible Boating Association – two boats on Basingstoke Canal
Bruce Charitable Trust has a fleet of four specially constructed broad-beamed boats on the Kennet and Avon Canal, available for hire by groups including the disabled. Two bases.
CanalAbility – (on R. Stort in Harlow)
Coventry Rainbow Canal Trust – operates nb Lady Godiva, which is specially adapted for day trips or holidays for people of all ages with mental or physical disabilities.
Disabled Afloat Riverboats Trust – Thames, K&A, Yorkshire Ouse
Ethel Trust Community Barge (Thorne, n. of Doncaster, on Stainforth and Keadby Canal)
Lyneal Trust – nr. Ellesmere on Llangollen Canal; cottages also
National Community Boats Association – “… encourage and support community boating organisations within the UK …”
Peter Le Marchant Trust – (Loughborough, Leics.)
River Thames Boat Project – (River Thames, Kingston/Richmond/St Katharine Docks)
Rivertime Boat Trust – (River Thames between Windsor and Oxford)
Seagull Trust – free canal cruising (Scotland)
South Staffordshire Narrowboat Company – (Wolverhampton, West Mids.)
Stockport Canalboat Trust offers day trips and short holidays for people with disabilities around the canals of North West England.
Swansea Community Boat – (on the Tawe River Navigation in Swansea, Wales)
Waterways Experiences – charter for crewed or self steer one of 3 widebeam boats on the Grand Union Canal at Hemel Hempstead. Day or residential trips.
Willow Trust – (Saul Junction, on G&S)

Norfolk Broads

The list below provides the details for groups and organisations that offer cruisers for hire on the Norfolk Broads which have been specifically adapted to accomodate those with limited access or mobility:

Neatishead – River Ant – Nancy Oldfield Trust:

Motor cruising with wheelchair access, sailing, canoeing, and kayaking for all, whatever disabilities you may have.  Day activities, holidays and courses.

Tel: 01692 630572

Norwich – River Wensum – City Boats:

Two electric day boats, each takes eight people and has a hydraulic lift for wheelchairs.

Tel: 01603 701701

Ormesby Little Broad – Broads Authority:

Wheelyboat, with ramp for access, based at Eel’s Foot Inn at Ormesby St Michael.  Takes 4 people including one wheelchair user.

Tel: 01493 730342

Oulton Broad – River Waveney – Waveney Sailability:

Sailing club offering members with disabilities the opportunity to sail in specially adapted dinghies.

Tel: 01502 475228

If we have missed anyone out, please dont hesiate to add a comment and we will update all of our lists as soon as possible.


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Grab a Twixmas canal boat holiday bargain!

For a Twixmas holiday with a difference, Waterways Holidays suggests exploring the canals and rivers of the UK with a stay on board a narrowboat.


A great way to get away between Christmas & the New Year

‘Avocet’ and ‘Dabchick’, for example, are both well equipped 55ft narrowboats sleeping six based at Hillmorton near Rugby in Warwickshire.

A choice of cruising routes is available from Hillmorton – including lock free cruising along the North Oxford and Ashby Canals or with locks along the South Oxford or Grand Union Canals.

Four nights’ hire – starting 27 December 10 – costs £750 inclusive of diesel, two bottles of gas, car parking, bed linen, cancellation protection and tuition on arrival.  Up to two well behaved pets are welcome – the first is free of charge, the second for a cost of £15.  0845 127 1020, www.waterwaysholidays.com

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