Just over a year ago we had a marvellous holiday on the Norfolk Broads, staying on one Herbert Woods‘ boats, Silver Light. This year we have been incredibly lucky to return, this time staying in one of their luxurious holiday homes, The Bittern.
The weather forecast before we left had been typically British, especially for a bank holiday, so we were looking forward to being able to chill out in a warm and comfy cottage in the evenings.
We started our break on Good Friday and took L off to Felbrigg Hall to join one of the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts, we were going to go to Blickling Hall, but he fell asleep in the car and so we ended up closer to Felbrigg. There are definite advantages to being local and knowing the area! We had a fabulous afternoon, walking, eating chocolate, exploring the woods and watching the chickens and fish in the walled garden. So much fun the little one didn’t want to leave.
After a quick stop at a supermarket for supplies (wine and pizza) we headed to the Herbert Woods Boatyard in Potter Heigham. We got a brilliant welcome, every member of staff we came across was friendly and professional, not to mention incredibly helpful. We were given our welcome pack and L got his own mini explorers kit, with pencils and a little booklet to keep track of everything he did and a fun tick list of all the boat names to see how many he could spot, I’ll be honest, his daddy and I got a bit carried away with this, some may say obsessive, and found loads!
Our property, The Bittern, was amazing. It’s semi detached and at the edge of the boatyard with a deck on the waters edge and lovely views from all the windows of either the river or the boatyard. I was amazed how spacious it was, with two beds and two baths, a lot of storage spaces and amazing open plan living and kitchen space, complete with dining table and much to my delight a dishwasher!
The twin bedroom downstairs was large enough for us to put up L’s travel cot, I’d been toying about just letting him sleep in a bed, but he was rather excited by the stairs (we live in a bungalow) and I rather fancied the idea of a lay in, well at least having the potential for one.
Everything had been thought of, from lockable storage outside for fishing tackle or push bikes, to a first aid kit and little things like a DVD player and salt and pepper inside.
To keep things fair I thought I would list the things that could be improved, they could have included towels, I knew they wouldn’t and most places don’t, but it’s all I can think of, literally the only thing that could have been improved on. Oh and the walls were a bit thin so we could hear next door when their kids were loud and vice versa but that was hardly an issue.
What I loved were all the small touches, that things like salt and pepper were included, the kitchen was fully stocked with utensils and crockery. The bedrooms were really comfortable and we had a DVD player and CD player to use. The decking was completely fenced in, so I didn’t have to worry about L and the water and could just sit on the bench and enjoy watching the boats and the swans and the ducks. I loved that our welcome pack had a discount card for local places to eat and things to do, some of which I didn’t even know about, there were ideas of places to walk and L’s pack had scavenger hunt ideas, puzzles and colouring.
On the Saturday, after a lazy morning just relaxing and enjoying a late breakfast we headed off to Barton Broad which is about 20 minutes away and has a lovely board walk which is perfect for little feet. Then it was off to Gt Yarmouth for Fish & Chips and a trip to the SeaLife centre as L wanted to see ‘fish in water’, it was the busiest place we went over our entire stay and I think the crowds put L off a bit but he did enjoy sitting in a turtle egg, which he naturally thought was a dinosaur egg!
Then we headed off to Ranworth Broad for a quick walk, despite being cold and a bit miserable L wanted an ice cream, so we enjoyed that at the Nature Reserve and when L didn’t want to leave they very kindly gave him an Easter Egg left over form the hunts they had been running so we could bribe him the whole way back to the car! So we could head back to watch more boats and feed the ducks at Herbert Woods.
What I loved most and I wasn’t expecting was that we got a day boat! Long weekends like us get a half day and if you stay for a full week then you get an entire day. The day boats seat up to eight people, though that would be a little cramped, so we invited the inlaws over for the day, Herbert Woods sorted out a visitor pass for their car for the day and then we went for a little cruise back down to Ranworth Broad, for Sunday lunch at one of my favourite pubs, The Maltsters, on the way we took a quick stop off at St Benets Abbey, which is way easier to get to by boat than any other way.
After lunch we headed back and even more excitingly than visiting some of my favourite places was the fact I saw an otter, an actual wild otter, for the first time in my life. We did get a bit of rain and the wind certainly picked up but we were happy in our little boat, which despite being basic, was dry and snug and all we needed. I love the Norfolk Broads!
We had a fabulous holiday and did a lot of fun things, the Norfolk Broads are an amazing place to visit, there is so much to see and do for people of all ages and with Herbert Woods you are ideally located to explore it all, Potter Heigham has everything you need, with a pub, chip shop, cafe and Latham’s which sells everything! Whether you stay on one of their boats or in one of the fab properties you will be spoilt and feel incredibly lucky.
Disclosure – we were guest of Herbert Woods but all opinions are my own.