Last weekend we were invited to stay at Reedsmere, the latest property to join the Broads Escapes family. Sleeping 6 people and right on the bank of the river, this comfortable property was the perfect place for a family weekend.
I am going to apologise right now for all the pictures, I tried to narrow it down I genuinely did, but it is so picturesque I couldn’t help it!
You get a parking permit for one car during your stay and there is a little car park just as you enter Potter Heigham just for people in the properties alongside the river. Your permit will be checked so you must remember to print it off and display it.
Reedsmere is around an 800 metre walk from the car park, you have to cross the bridge then follow the path along the river, so think about what you pack and how many trips you want to do. I found using my wheeled suitcase, even though we only stayed for a few nights was perfect. There is a good path to follow, so it worked well. One of those little pull along carts would have been perfect!
The detached cottage is very spacious with a large open plan kitchen and sitting room, with a large dining table and plenty of comfy seating, not that you’ll want to spend much time indoors when you see the beautiful riverside view and the fully enclosed decked area with direct access via the French doors.
The enclosed decked area was one of my favourite features, I knew that L was nowhere near the water so we were able to enjoy the outdoor space with zero worries. To access the lawn that fronts the riverbank you have to go back out of the cottage and through another little gate, so you have plenty of time to notice if a child is making a break for it, plus you can always lock the front door if you need to!
The cottage is pet friendly pet-friendly if you have some canine friends you like to travel with and as people who travel without dogs and usually wouldn’t pick somewhere pet friendly I can honestly say you wouldn’t notice. The cottage is just so clean and fresh, finished to a very high standard and with everything you need as well as added extras I wasn’t expecting. You will only need to bring towels.
Reedsmere has an open plan kitchen/dining/living room with a leather corner sofa and one arm chair, TV/DVD player and fan. Plenty of crockery, cutlery and cooking implements. Even salt and pepper which is so useful and I always forget it! The kitchen has a fridge, oven and microwave as well as a kettle and a toaster. I loved that they had even left a little welcome tray with biscuits, tea and coffee. Perfect to be able to enjoy a cuppa whilst unpacking and keep the kid quiet with a cookie so I could get on quickly. Also completely unexpected as it’s not something you usually get on a self-catering break.
Nearly all the windows also had fly screens which were so useful and I’m genuinely looking into getting them for my own house, they made such a difference. When we first arrived the cottage, like the rest of England was super hot, but we were able to open all the windows and it cooled down quickly, with a lovely breeze off the river and no flies!
Honestly there were only two things I felt Reedsmere was missing, a recycling bin, we used a cardboard box to separate our recycling from the rest of the rubbish and more outdoor seats. Two chairs outside for a property that sleeps six just wasn’t enough, I think you could get away with four though. But these two things are literally all I can think of that I would have added.
There was a hand towel and soap in the bathroom, a good selection of DVDs and some books, a TV in the Master Bedroom, iron and ironing board, hair dryers, loads of storage, the welcome tray I mentioned, a very comprehensive welcome guide and you even get 25% off boat hire with Herbert Woods which we would have loved to have done as we always have such fun when we have a boat with them but I just didn’t have enough time as there’s so much else to do.
Even the distance from the car park to the property, which I thought I would find off-putting and a bit awkward, was actually perfect and no problem at all. It meant peace and quiet, near silence, blissfully relaxing. It also meant several excuses to bu ice creams and duck food as we passed by the shops. Just bring something with wheels, like a suitcase, to transport things. Plus it is a gorgeous walk, really pretty.
Outside the cottage, you will find mooring for one boat and a secure shed ideal for storing bikes and fishing equipment. Check out the Fishing Guide from Herbert Woods if you want to know more about that, I won’t even pretend to know!
There’s so much to see and do in and around the Broads National Park, we had a lovely walk on the Saturday. A four mile circular walk from Reedsmere. We followed the path into Potter Heigham the headed past Lathams (a Norfolk institution that you must visit) and picked up a public footpath that takes you through some fields and crosses the main road, we then followed this to the edge of Hickling Broad before heading back towards the river, picking up the same path we started from back to Reedsmere past a lovely old wind pump.
We could have walked a lot further, seeing more of Hickling Broad, but it was hot and we had my parents with us, they had come to visit for the day. The beauty of holidaying close to home. So this little loop was just perfect. We then just relaxed in the cottage, enjoying a gin or two and watching the boats pass by. We then headed into Potter Heigham for lunch, we opted for BridgeStones of Potter and had some yummy sandwiches and L had the most amazing Picky Plate, honestly all restaurants and cafes should take note, it was perfect for him. A plate with cubes of cheese, some cut up ham, a slice of bread and butter, fresh fruit, raisins, a bread stick and some cookies.
On Sunday we let the Go Go Hares trail lead our plans. We took the short drive to Ranworth, one so fmy favourite spots on the Broads to find the Hare at the end of the nature trail, a lovely little walk doesn’t take too long. The we headed to the Fur & Feather at Woodbastwick, we were only going to stop for a picture but accidentally visited the Woodfordes Brewery shop and may have also stopped for a pub lunch and a pint. No idea how that happened.
After lunch it was quick drive to the Salhouse Broad Car Park and another delightful walk to a broad I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t visited since I was a child. I’m not even sure how that’s happened as we’re always out exploring the Broads. It’s an absolutely delightful walk and well worth a visit.
Our final Hare of the day was at Wroxham Barns, a fave family day out of ours. Again we were only planning on a quick stop, but ended up riding all the rides at the fun fair. L had a blast and £10 gets you twelve tokens which was enough for L and his Daddy to have a train ride, go on the Pirate Ships, the Bouncy Bugs, the Roller Coaster and for L to have one drive of the race cars and two on the tractors.
It was another perfect day, it really was. There is just so much to see and do you are spoilt for choice and it doesn’t matter that we are local, we still find something new. It is a great place for families.
L had such a fabulous time, Tuesday morning when we were back at home, he came into our room crying when he woke up. I asked him what was wrong and he said he just missed his holiday so much and wanted to go back to his holiday house. He is an emotional little bean, but he loves the Broads and is his happiest by or on the water.
Prices start from £625 for a seven night break.
Disclosure – we were gusts of Broads Escapes for the weekend, all thoughts, opinions and images are my own.