A day on a boat in Norfolk Broads

"Miles and miles of gentle waterways glistening in the sunlight with peaceful Norfolk countryside as far as the eye can see," is how the brochures describe it. What they do not tell you is how truly uplifting for the soul it is, how ethereal the whole experience is and how you feel like you have just discovered a slice of heaven and how it fills you with an unexplained longing to make the experience linger and how you feel so totally at peace with the world while you're at it.

The Norfolk Broads are UK's largest nationally protected wetland.There are 125 miles of gentle, navigable and picturesque waterways with pleny of place to moor, jump off the boat and explore quaint little villages or  market towns or just while away an afternoon at a pub, with a bottle of wine (or a drink), some soulful music and good company.

We did just a bit of everything.My brother and his family visited me from India. We did a Norfolk Broads boat trip together. You have an option of doing it in two ways:

1. You can go on an organised  boat trip which they take you, as a part of the tourist group and show you around. You are a part of a large group and you sit back and enjoy on the boat.

2. You can hire your own boat and drive it yourself. There are three kinds of boats--Day boats, Picnic boats and Excursion boats. The day boats are ordinary boats which you can hire for a couple of hours. The picnic boats come equipped with a toilet and a stove where you can make coffee, tea or anything hot. The Excursion boats have bedrooms and everything you can think of, for a comfortable holiday. They are usually hired for 3-4 days.

While the idea of an excursion was very tempting, we finally decided to hire a day boat, as we had  a child who was just 3 in the family (my brother's daughter is just 3) and also we had a senior citizen (my mom). All of us enjoyed it so much that we have now decided to hire an excursion boat the next time!

What made it truly memorable was the fact that we were totally in charge of the boat. We all took turns driving the boat. It is the first time in my life I was handling a boat. To moor the boat, you need two able bodied adults and usually it is best for the most fittest members in the group to do it. Satish reversed the boat while my brother jumped out and moored it. If my brother was driving, Satish moored it.  It was truly  a marvellous experience to 'park' the boat and explore the land and then come back an sail away in the boat. 

There are lots of towns where you can do the boating from. For complete and detailed  information, you can go  here.

The Norfolk broads trip is a trip that everyone must do, once in a lifetime. Put it in your 'List of places to visit before I die'. Take my word, you will not regret it.

Here is a video of  pictures from the trip which you give you an idea of what I am so excited about.
Switch on your speakers or plug in your headphones, sit back and enjoy!

(and do not forget to leave me a comment before you go, if you enjoyed it as much as I did)


  1. first to comment, woo hoo!
    Amazing view! Like straight from a fairytale!
    Added it to my list already ;)

  2. A bit hard to find the comment form on these posts! I enjoyed the slides. It is amazing how much the waterway in places looks like just another street through the neighborhoods.

  3. very nice.. had a opportunity to see these stuff when i was in Ware.. yet to experience..

    will share pics soon.

  4. Wonderful post. Can't see the video thanks to my Net Nanny, but can imagine it - have been to those parts, but long long ago. That's the beauty of the UK - lovely places like these. It truly is a charming country.

  5. If you are wondering about this strange name - its because some naughty girls in my blog have insisted that I adopt this name !! - Ramesh

  6. amazing photos and ya it surely looks like a place in the heaven.. :)

  7. Indeed a great way to explore, Preeti. The slideshow with the music is wonderful.Thanks for sharing them!

  8. Ummm...absolute tranquility! I loved the video and the music was so serene, it almost transported me to a countryside. Sorry, I'd to almost close my eyes at one point :D

    I'm glad you and your family had this beautiful time together :)

  9. Like the part about people parking boats in their garage! What a blissful life. Long to see that kind of greenery and peaceful environs here :-) Glad you had a nice time!

  10. Tranquility: yes--what a lifestyle!

    Sparkling: Oh no! You missed two courting swans when u closed your eyes :)

    Gayu:Glad you liked thanks for watching :)

    Sushobhan: It was great.

    Ramesh: HORRIBLE nick name (with due respect to lady who nicknamed you)

  11. Mihir: will look forward to that.

    Will: I increased the font size of comment form after you said it :) Thanks for commenting.

    Sucheta: You will like it for sure! :)

  12. WOW !!! I almost had goosebumps.
    Having a recent boating experience myself, I can imagine how wonderful the experience must have been. Idyllic, beautiful...

  13. Loved the post. Watched the slides. Heart the music.
    Its absolutely dreamy...looking forward to seeing ur painting sooon:-).

    @Ramesh - Dont listen to Preeti, its an absolutely cracking title. Sort of like royalty; an image of a fat Chinese King with a thin long beard and thinner hanging moustache comes to mind. *Nancy bows low in reverance*

  14. Prashant: You're invited (again) :) Do come. Yes--i loved your chilka lake pics too.

    Reflections: Thank you thank you :)

    Reflections and ramesh: Please!! Thiru Kung Tzu sounds like Thiru Korangu!! Ramesh writes such beautiful and meaningful posts. They ar worthy of publication. Your name is your 'brand', your 'identity' (Ramesh can elaborate it better) The depth of business musings is somewhat lost with a slightly silly name like Thiru Korangu :P :) (Sorry ramesh for blatant honesty here)

  15. Me back after a break!!
    Added to my bucket list :) N the do-it-yourself boat ride looks real fun with a proper group :)

  16. Dhanya: We hired a boat--just our family. You can do it with that special person too--just you and him :) It would be just as enjoyable :)

  17. What a picturesque place to live! I love the idea of parking a boat in the garage too. The favourite shot had to be the one with the dock and the yellow flowers. And the swans. And that pub! Tell me you stopped for a pint! :)

  18. Hey Preeti,

    beautiful - must have been amazing. more so, felt as if i met you all together as a family after a long time.

    thanks for sharing this.

    By the way - on the name - you can get more details on the comments thread of the link below
    do check it out!!

  19. Refreshing scenes, preeti.Certainly a slice of paradise. The pics were great and very far far away from the concrete jungle.

    It also reminded me of my trip to alapuzha where we too hired boats for 4 long hours and enjoyed the country side and feasted our mind,body and soul.

  20. Beautiful pictures, Preeti. :)

  21. Beautiful pics and a nice writeup! I'm inspired to go there for my next holiday :)

  22. Beautiful pictures....and will keep this in my list of places to visit in UK :)

    Did u get a chance to see the sunset? We took a gondola ride in Southern CA in a similar neighborhood at sunset time...made it even more special :)

  23. sounds like a very exciting excursion..

  24. Hmmm....never thought of it tht way. But u never know, the name in Chinese may mean something really fancy....I've meaning to ask Ramesh abt it for a few days now;-D.

  25. I enjoyed that day a lot too. Great to spend time with family as well as driving the boat. It is difficult to steer though.

  26. Looks like a wonderful place for a holiday..and a very well written blog too..Can see Satish concentrating hard on the steering..unlike his pretty casual driving that we have seen in his Hyundai Accent..

  27. Awww u r rt .. must visit and must-do :) I cn c u all hd a lot of fun :)
    Waiting for the painting ;)

  28. Just looking at a video of all the pictures, I know I would definitely love to have a boat trip like this where it could involve both family or friends. It will surely be a very relaxing and refreshing trip.

  29. Symphony: yes--totally worth it :)

    Syed: Yes--it was indeed very different from driving Hyundai accent :)

    Swaram: :)Yes we did have fun :) Will paint :)

    Satish: :) <3

    Reflections: Knowing Ramesh he is likely to come up with something charming :)

    Shubhika: It was! :)

    Shachi: I am sure Gondola in the sunset must have been fabulous! Nopes we did not saty until sunset because of cold and because of the 3 year old in the group :)

  30. MS: It is so accessible for you! U must! :)

    Surreal:Thank you! The trees reflecting in water was clicked by satish :)

    Asha: Oh yes--Kerala backwaters are divine too. So is the food. :)

    Sandhya: yes--had seen the link :) and read the naming contest too :)

    Gillian: UK is full of daffodils now. We did stop for a drink and fish and chips :)

  31. Ha ha Syed. Driving a 500k GBP boat without banging it up and driving a Hyundai Accent is a totally different experience. Hence the concentration.

  32. The trees reflected in the water pic was taken by Atul???? If yes, please tell him its amazing and shows a steady play of hands :)

  33. ha ha I believe in the more the merrier. So it has to be a BIG group :)

  34. :O
    .. :)
    aaaah! what a lovely slide show.. such a beautiful place.. the one that took away my breath is that pic of a house with a boat in the garage! ooh my! Aisa bhi hota hai! :D

  35. The Broads is certainly a beautiful part of the country...and I think you saw it in the best way. I'd like to do a boat holiday one day.


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