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Celebrating 80 years of unforgettable holidays on the Norfolk Broads

At Richardson’s Boating Holidays, we’ve been helping people to explore the beauty of the Norfolk Broads for decades.
We’re a proud family-run business that has built up a reputation for quality since our creation, and this year we’re set to celebrate our 80th anniversary.

A family with a history on the Broads

The Richardson family has links to boating in Norfolk and Suffolk dating back centuries. Various members of the family are recorded as having built boats, worked in shipyards and run businesses on the Norfolk Broads across our long history. 

Our founder, Robert Richardson Jnr, bought four row boats for £36 in the early years of the Second World War. And when he was called away to serve, his father Robert Richardson Snr – who had himself served an apprenticeship as a marine engineer and worked for many years at Chambers shipyard on Lake Lothing, Oulton Broad – let the boats for him.  

Upon Robert Jnr’s return, the Richardson’s business was born, and the father and son purchased their first motor cruiser, McNab, in 1944 from C Pager-Clarke via agent Wally Hoseason for just £175! 

A family with a history on the Broads
A growing legacy

By the late 1980s, Richardson’s had 700 hire boats with yards in Stalham, Horning, Acle, Thorpe and the River Thames. The business expanded in 1996 with the acquisition of Hemsby Beach Holiday Village, now Hemsby Beach Holiday Park, and Lowestoft Family Bowl, now Richardson’s Family Entertainment Centre, in 2006.  In 2015, we purchased 20 motor launches and premises at Wroxham, as well as property owned by George Smith in March 2016, to create our dedicated day boat hire offering for people looking for a fun day out on the Norfolk Broads. 

Since 2021, the business has been under the ownership of Paul and Laura Richardson, who are continuing to build on their father’s legacy with a shared passion for creating outstanding guest experiences that highlight the very best of the Norfolk Broads.

A growing legacy

We were recognised for our unfaltering commitment in 2023, when we were named Best in Britain for the quality of our holidays at the annual Hoseasons awards. Greg Munford, chief executive of Richardson’s, said: “We were blown away to be recognised as Best in Britain. “It all comes down to the hard work and dedication the team puts into looking after our guests. They do a fantastic job and that’s why we have so many happy customers.” 

We’ve also amassed high review scores from our customers, with an average rating of 4.6 on Google, 4 on TripAdvisor and 4.7 on Facebook. 

The beauty of the Broads

The Norfolk Broads are some of the most beautiful parts of East Anglia and we believe that the best way to experience them is by boat.  

“There really is nothing more satisfying than gentling cruising along the peaceful waterways taking in Norfolk’s big skies and picture-postcard Broadside villages,” said Greg. 

The Norfolk Broads are the perfect place to unwind and escape from your everyday surroundings, and there are plenty of family attractions, heritage sites, towns and villages to explore for a day out. Choose a size and style of boat from our selection to suit your family’s needs and cruise along the waterways experiencing the unique sights, rare wildlife and calming atmosphere of the Broads. 

For more ideas for things to do, click here. 

The beauty of the Broads
New updates for 2024 

We understand that a stress-free and positive experience goes a long way towards helping you leave your holiday feeling refreshed, and this is why we continue to invest in the quality of our boats and its facilities. “Continually investing in the guest experience is our top priority,” said Greg. “We have a considerable track record of improving our facilities in order that our guests enjoy the very best Norfolk Broads hospitality.” 

Last year, 20 new boats were added to our fleet, and this year we will add three new boats, Broadway 7, 8 and 9, which include cosy seating areas inside and out, a sliding canopy and a low wash hull to reduce impact on the riverbanks. 

The new Marina Café also opened last year at our Stalham Marina, serving up coffee, cookies, cakes and milkshakes – perfect before a day out exploring the Norfolk Broads. Other recent additions include a covered check-in area and refurbished reception area for arriving holidaymakers, a refurbished shower and toilet block and EV charging points.

New updates for 2024 

Book your 2024 boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads with Richardson’s now and you’ll get our guaranteed best price as well as a low £50 deposit to pay. You’ll also earn a 10% loyalty bonus every time you book direct with us.