Are you looking into booking a holiday or weekend getaway? Boating on the Norfolk Broads allows you to take the feeling of home with you on holiday, including your pets! There are plenty of pet friendly boats available for hire throughout the year, all over the Norfolk Broads and UK canals. It’s ideal for people trying to avoid expensive kennel fees. For first timers looking into taking a pet on board a motor cruiser, I would suggest the forward steering cruisers for canine comfort. This style of boat is generally one level in the interior and you can also let you pet sit on the front well.
It goes without saying that buoyancy aids will be supplied for all the crew, the yards at Potter Heigham and Wroxham also supply large/medium and small dog life jackets for a minimal refundable deposit. Life jackets are kitted out with a handle on the back so you can easily pluck your pet from the waters.
Things to See and Do on the Norfolk Broads
There are lots of picturesque walks and trails, accessible via the waterways. Packed full of wildlife, the Broads are Britain’s largest nationally protected wetland. The trails provide a perfect opportunity for stretching your pet’s legs (and yours too!) Why not try the ‘Coltishall to Horstead walk’, which crosses the River Bure and takes you past historical sites such as Saint John’s Baptist Church, dating back to 1284.
The open fishing season starts on the 16th June and runs until 14 March 2012. All you need to fish in the Broads is a current Environment Agency rod licence, available from post offices. Once moored, fishing off the boats is very popular; the rivers are packed full perch, bream, pike, rudd and tench, guaranteeing even the most inexperienced fisher a bite! I’d suggest visiting the retail store: ‘Latham’s’ at Potter Heigham, if you’re considering fishing. It’s one of the largest fishing tackle retailers in the UK and supplies everything you may need, from bait to rods, all at discounted prices.
To top it off, for your evening meal you can moor up at one of the pet friendly pubs along the riverside or walk into the towns for even more choice. A few examples of pet friendly pubs are: The Red Lion in Coltishall, Bridge Inn in Acle and Bernley Marshes in Great Yarmouth.
Tips for First Timers bringing their Pets on the Boats
- Bring your own bedding and dog bowls
- Don’t forget your pet food and some treats
- Taking your dog’s lead is essential for dining out and walking on the trails
- Don’t forget the marinas at Wroxham and Potter Heigham will supply pet buoyancy aids for a small refundable deposit
- Always bring a torch for the evening walks
- A couple of spare towels, in case your dog decides to take a dip!
- Responsible dog owners always take poo bags and don’t allow pets on to the boat upholstery
- The dog will generally prefer to be near you when the engine is running for a bit of reassurance so be aware of your pet at your feet.
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