Find my Holiday

Here’s a question for you. ‘What's one thing you wish you knew, brought with you, or researched before starting your boating holiday?’  

Every year we’re thrilled and delighted to welcome first timers to boating holidays on the Norfolk Broads. And we’re always equally glad to welcome back those of you who have been before, but perhaps not for a while.   

Newcomers and old hands alike all agree that there is so much to love about a boating holiday on The Norfolk Broads. And one of the best things is the way people are happy to share their experiences and help each other with tips and advice.   

It was in that spirit that we thought it would be interesting, and fun, to ask you ‘What’s one thing you wish you knew, brought with you, or researched before starting your boating holiday?’ We thought it would be a great way to get your thoughts and ideas and pass them on – especially to first timers.  

So we asked. We ‘put it out there’ as they say. And you did not disappoint! It started a whole conversation on social media. If you’re about to make your maiden voyage, or if boating has beckoned you back, check out this selection of tips, hints, and hacks from the most informed experts ever. You!   

Here’s what your new boating besties had to say.

Let’s start with packing and preparing….

Sharon Branch launched things with this. She said, We have been boating since 1980. Don’t take suitcases the best thing to do is pack your clothes in bags. We use black bin liners then use them for the rubbish and put your dirty washing in fresh bin liners to take home’.   

How clever is that? Multi-purpose bin liner working! Very sustainable behaviour.  

Diane Quartey got straight down to the all important business of food. Here’s her tip. ‘I always cook and freeze three meals, shepherd’s pie, spaghetti Bolognese, and a curry, place in a freezer bag, so handy for first night if you end up mooring in the middle of nowhere’ 

Now that is planning!   

Marc Combes weighed in with some excellent nautical tips. He said, ‘Research the height of the boat you hire and typical river heights for that time of year. Also take into mind high/low tide times too, more so in the winter, spring and autumn months. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a high boat and not being able to get under a bridge due to tide times, more so in the colder months. Big boats may look more comfortable and impressive but there are drawbacks!…   

All good advice we think you’ll agree. 

Let’s start with packing and preparing….
Let’s talk staying safe

To get serious for a moment. We can’t stress enough the need to be aware of safety on a boat. It’s not about spoiling the fun. It’s about making sure you don’t spoil your holiday. Here’s a good starting point from Chris Tk.  

‘Listen to the lads on your induction. If you don’t understand something then keep asking until you are happy. Thats what they are there for. Check out the videos Richardsons send you. Take it steady, wear your lifejacket, DO NOT JUMP OFF THE BOAT when mooring up. Ask for help if you need it.  

And who would disagree with any of that? Well said Chris. And those videos really are worth looking at. Check them out here  

Before You Come Boating – Helpful Videos – Richardsons Boating Holidays 

Kate Fruin-Smith was quick to mention life jackets too. Her point was this. ‘Life jackets are a must when moving round the outside of the boat (our kids were always taught to wear them whenever the boat was moving, regardless of if they were in or out!)’ 

Plus she added another great safety tip. ‘Make sure you have shoes with a good grip’.   

So simple but so important.   

Russell Newcombe had some great advice about boating in general.  ‘Take everything slowly’ he said, ‘and enjoy the scenery, wildlife and the friendly experienced boaters advice and help’.   

Ruth Digby said ‘Pack a head torch, it’s useful for getting on and off in the dark’.   

Ruth also had a great suggestions on safety.  She said,  ‘Take a decent pair of binoculars to see the bridge heights before you reach the bridges’. 

Brilliant advice!   

Seriously good tips.   

Let’s talk staying safe
Mooring matters

Ropes and weights take us to mooring matters and Richard Brignall made a great point.  ‘Along with essentials people have already mentioned my wife and I take a pair of walkie talkies. She does the mooring up while I jump off to tie up. If the boat has poor visibility the talkies are handy as I can guide her in’.   


Diane Quartey had a more strategic approach to mooring. Her point was this. ‘If you go with a plan A make sure you have plans B, C, and D. Some moorings are very popular and it’s not certain you’ll get where you want when you want’.   

You see how that works? It’s valid!   

And on planning and mooring and perhaps boating holidays in general perhaps the last word goes to Kath Butler. Kath said, ‘Don’t make a plan. Just go where you fancy. They are all good tips from previous comments but do look at your maps. And relax. Enjoy!’  

Mooring matters

So. Lots of tips and ideas for you. Books got mentioned as good simple entertainment. We’d have to recommend our Captains Manual. It’s provided for all guests on arrival and we do urge you to read it. It’s full of useful information. You can log on (no Captain’s Log jokes please!) and download the App here   

Mobile App – Richardsons Boating Holidays 

As to another book? One springs to mind. ‘The Wind in the Willows’ by Kenneth Grahame. It’s a timeless classic for all ages of course but we love it for one special reason. You probably remember it yourself. It’s what Ratty says to his friend the Mole.   

‘Believe me my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.’