Friday, 3 May 2013

Push the Boat Out: Don't Be Afraid of the Norfolk Broads

We used to live by the Thames when we lived in Berkshire.  Less than a 2 minute walk away was a beautiful lock and when my Dad was alive we used to go and sit by the lock, grab an ice cream from the lock keep and just watch the boats float past.

My Dad used to reminisce about many a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads.  Now I have to admit that they never appealed to me then, but now with two boys who I am trying to wean off electronics, they sound fab.

I grew up on caravan holidays and for me the thought of a boating holiday is something similar.  I love the idea of no electronics and making our own fun.

So for me the real positives of a boating holiday are the following:

  • No driving - Do not get me wrong, but the thought of a week without the car just really appeals to me.  I would love to take our bikes with us and just explore and make it a real adventure.
  • Cooking simple nutritious meals on the boat, but also docking up at one of the many canalside pubs and grabbing a pub lunch or dinner with the boys and being able to have a real break from the "mumotony" of cooking and cleaning.
  • Sightseeing.  I have to say the thought of the slower pace of life really appeals to me.  Windmills, pebble beaches and picnics in parks reading a book whilst watching the boys having fun.
  • Teaching the boys to steer the boat and watching them help their Dad with the locks.  I know that my Dad would have loved to take the boys on a holiday to the Norfolk Broads.  He had so many happy memories of the place and the holidays there with his Dad as a child.  It is one of my regrets that he is not around to do this with the boys.
  • Some boats are pet friendly, so you can take your dog with you.  Not only does this save on boarding costs, but it is a great excuse to have a walk.
  • For me it would be great to learn a new skill, such as parking and maneuvering the boat.  
  • It would be a great place to teach the boys to fish.
  • Both my boys love spotting wildlife and the Norfolk broads are a great place to do this, so make sure you pack binoculars and a bird book, ph and some pencils so they can draw their own wildlife too.

We love the Miles Kelly Handbooks, as they have a space for pictures and notes (which are only £4.99) and the British Wildlife handbook  and British Birds handbook would be perfect for spotting whilst on the broads.

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