Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

BritMums - Leading the Conversation

I love Quidco
TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs

I'm A Scruffs Brand Ambassador

I'm a Trunki Blogger I'm a Trunki Blogger

Boating Holidays with Herbert Woods 


Mummy I touched a cow - Wroxham BarnsMummy I touched a cow - Wroxham Barns

Last week our little family went on a two night Broads Holiday thanks to Herbert Woods, we stayed on the amazing Silver Light 2 from the Connoisseur Range which is the mid range of boats available from Herbert Woods, to put it simply we had an amazing time. 

Our basic itinerary before setting off was;

Day 1 - to have a relaxing morning at home heading off whenever L was ready, there's the real  beauty in holidaying close to home, go to Wroxham Barns for a bit, have lunch and head over to Potter Heigham to pick up our boat at 2.30pm, start our Broads Treasure Trail that we had purchased and moor up somewhere for the night.

Day 2 - complete Treasure Trail whilst enjoying a pub lunch on the way and maybe getting something yummy in for our dinner, moor up somewhere relatively close to the Herbert Woods yard in readiness for returning the boat the following day.

Day 3 - drop boat back at 9.00am and find something fun to do for the rest of the day.

Things didn't quite stay on plan but they weren't far off and we had such an adventure, it really was one of the best holidays we have had in ages, L loved it, I loved it and the husband loved it. 

On the first day we did indeed enjoy a lovely time at Wroxham Barns, we popped into Hoveton for a Fish and Chip lunch, did some shopping in Roys of Wroxham in readiness for the rest of the trip and then head to the Herbert Woods Boatyard in Potter Heigham. It's really easy to find and you get given a code for the car park with all your booking documents so you can access their car park.

Silver Light Silver Light

Check in was smooth, easy and thorough, with pleasant staff and lots of information. The pack you are given is great, it has a comprehensive map that we shall actually be keeping for our own personal use out and about round Norfolk (as we are locals you know it's got to be good for us to want to keep it), a list of takeaways that will deliver to the boat and a loyalty card and brochure of local eateries and attractions that give Herbert Woods customer discounts. We found this handy more for ideas of places to eat than anything else, the discount was just a bonus. We also got a little keyring torch and pen which was a lovely touch and really useful as I had forgotten to bring a pen for the Treasure Trail!

Unless you've boated before the tour of the boat takes quite some time, so if you are thinking of doing a lot that afternoon, like we were, think again. It's actually quite daunting, there is so much to remember from how to tie the right knots to secure your boat, starting the engine and manoeuvring, to simple things like how to use the toilet! The skippers manual that is on the boat is great for things you forget but we found it was still missing a few of the simple things that typically were the ones we forgot. The manual was brilliant though and we referred back to it several times, it had a handy chart to show you approximate times from one spot to the next, everything you could need to know about the boat, tide tables, phone numbers, emergency information and so much more.

Silver LightSilver Light

It costs £3 to moor overnight at Womack Staithe and off season operates on an honesty box system, it is really pretty, there is a lovely pub and we gained our very own troupe of boat ducks. We spent a lovely evening just chilling out on the boat, overnight however, we took the chilling a bit too far. Do not under estimate how cold it can get. The boat has warm air heating but you can't run it all night, this was fine for the husb and I but we did worry about L, unnecessarily as it turns out as he had an awesome night sleep and a lay in the following morning, in fact he was super chirpy but he is only little and despite wrapping him up I would have felt happier later in the season when it's naturally warmer.By the time we ready to set off on our own, after having a little test run with Pete from Herbert Woods, the weather had turned a little and we didn't go far at all, in fact we went to the first place on our Treasure Trail, Womack Staithe, about 40 minutes from Potter Heigham, and just moored up for the evening, we didn't have time for much else.

Our duck - Womack StaitheOur duck - Womack Staithe

The second day on the boat we did follow our Treasure Trail, we walked around Womack Staithe and Ludham, we took the boat up to Malthouse and Ranworth Broads, where mooring is free, the pub is awesome and the short board walk around Ranworth made a lovely stop off. We took things at a leisurely pace, you have to on the Broads, to just because of the speeds limits but because you just want to take in all the amazing scenery and watch the wildlife. Due to this pace we found we didn't have time to head to the last stop on our Treasure Trail in Salhouse (we'll just go back for a day trip one day to finish this off) but we did go to Horning to stop and have a little walk, we saw the Steam Paddle Boat that runs day trips and found a great park for L to run about and stretch his legs. We then started heading back the way we came and moored at St Benets Abbey for the evening, this was perfect as it was only an hour away from Potter Heigham, meaning we wouldn't have a crazy early start to get the boat back on time and St Benets Abbey is impressive, I forgotten how amazing it was having not visited since I was a child and my husband had never seen it. St Benets Abbey offers free mooring but there is nothing else there, so if you are looking for somewhere to eat or with any facilities it'snot the stop for you, but I loved the remoteness and just how quiet it was. 

Ranworth BroadRanworth BroadThe third day we woke and head breakfast, took another quick walk around the Abbey, washed up and headed back to the yard. This was the only downside to our whole trip, having to get the boat back so early meant we only really had it for one whole day and not wanting to navigate it back into a full boatyard we went to find someone to help us, but we kept being passed from person to the next with no one really taking ownership of helping us, but when someone was found they were so friendly and helpful and they got us moored up and the last few bits of 'check out' paperwork sorted promptly and easily. After we were al packed and ready to go we did the few Treasure Trail clues we had around Potter Heigham, popped into Latham's ( I may have bought L a tricycle) and then headed off to Thrigby Hall, a zoo that was really close by and included in the Herbert Woods discount scheme.You'll be pleased to know the second night was no where near as cold, only 5 degrees warmer but it made all the difference, there was no frost! I could have staid for so much longer, especially with nights like that.

Inside the Silver LightInside the Silver LightThere is just so much to do around the Broads you could spend weeks, I know I am biased, I truly love living in Norfolk and the Broads are just one of the amazing areas we have to explore, but despite being local we found new things to do this break as well as re-visiting some favourites. The husband had never had a boat on the Broads before and I had only ever done the odd day trip here and there, it's fair to say he has now caught the bug and we would love to do it again. The boat had two double bedrooms, both on-suite, as well as being able to convert the chairs in the seating area into a further two beds. If we were to do it again we'd definitely take another couple with us to split the costs and just because it would be so much fun. We might even rent one of Herbert Woods waterside properties, with a day boat hire. the options are endless, for us being able to nip home in about an hour was super handy for a short break, if you are coming from further afield you will definitely want to book for longer, to really explore, at least a week, but honestly you could spend a month and not see everything.

Silver Light Bathroom Silver Light Bathroom Things we learnt

Boats equal toddler climbing heaven! Perfectly safe but you need eyes everywhere because of the climbing, L found there was the perfect little step to allow him to climb onto his Daddy's lap and steer the boat for himself, so funny! The two days on the boat he has gone from a little boy who had only just discovered climbing to a pro, so glad we live in a bungalow! It is a lovely story for us to be able to tell though, we can actually tell people that L really learned to climb on a boat on the broads, so thank you Herbert Woods, not only did you provide a fab holiday but you helped us mark a milestone of L's development too.

I loved the amount of storage on the boat, we had some where to out away everything and I would have happily bought more and done a week long holiday. With a TV in the main living area and the master bedroom we were set for entertainment should we need it but I think we used the radio more. We had a microwave and all the pots, pans, cutlery and glasses you could need, there  was even a little dining table you could pull out.

Everyone you meet whilst out on the broads are so helpful, they other more seasoned boating holiday makers could see we were newbies and were straight away helping us with moorings, teaching us the knots we had forgotten and giving us handy hints about places that were open to eat and nearby facilities. 

Second Bedroom Second Bedroom

Things you must bring:

Thick socks or slippers

Dressing gown or jumper



Wine, he he

Plenty to keep small children occupied

A DVD (you get Freeview, some boats even have Freesat, but the signal can be iffy, especially when on the move)

Herbert Woods Potter HeighamHerbert Woods Potter HeighamThings to check: 

Our boat had filtered drinking water on tap, so we didn't need to bring the bottled water as advised on the check list, you can check this on booking

Does you boat have a microwave, ours did, but not all do

Will there be space for a travel cot, again ours did, just, but others will have different lay outs

The BroadsThe BroadsOur Verdict

We had an amazing time, it is not a cheap holiday but it is worth every penny, it was a real adventure and one we certainly hope to have again. the service was amazing, the little touches on the boat were brilliant, there was a little first aid kit as well as salt and pepper, washing liquid, sponges and tea towels, thick blankets and bedding. We were comfortable and even as complete novices soon got the hang of things. It really was brilliant, the staff we met were a credit to Herbert Woods and I can't recommended it highly enough. Excitingly they are offering a School Holiday Discount for families with school aged children and those working in the teaching profession. They will receive 20% off the hire charge on holidays taken between 27th March and 16th April 2015. To book just call 0800 144 4472 quoting School Holiday Discount.

Cookie Policy

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer.

Do you accept?