1000 Hours Outdoors,  Days Out,  Sunny Days,  Travel,  Why I Travel

Bobbing About On The Broads

What a perfect sunny Sunday for an impromptu mini break in Norfolk! Child free and a sunny day I headed towards Norwich and checked into Sprowston Manor, a spa and golf hotel. It looked really nice and lived up to my expectations. Lovely sweeping driveway, crossing the golf course, and arriving at the 16th century English Manor that houses the hotel. First impressions and all that, and it was so far so good. Lovely reception area, really friendly staff and a very easy painless check in. 

Headed up to my room and was pleasantly surprised as to how spacious it is. I’ll let you see for yourself with the video below! 

Now to go explore. I had been recommended to head into Wroxham, which considering the hotel was on Wroxham Road, surely could not be too far away or too hard to find. Sure enough five minutes down the road I came to Wroxham. As I drove in I went over a bridge that crosses what I realised was the river that leads to the broads, covered in boats, with lots of pretty cafes and pubs over looking it. I headed through and found some parking, which was surprisingly easy considering what a gorgeous day it was. Pretty sure I was meant to have found some pay and display type parking, but where I found worked and was free – my luck never works like this so I was convinced I was going to come back to a ticket on my car, but all was good! I got chatting to a lady in the car park – no surprise there as I will chat to anyone, and she recommended a stroll along the river and headed me off in the right direction, along with suggestions for lunch, ice cream and a nice pub!

Off I went, passing the tourist information office, which was sadly closed as they had just popped out, presumably to grab some lunch. But I would have liked to have had a nosey and to gather up like a magpie loads of info about all the local places to visit on another occasion. Love a tourist leaflet! Look it’s the summer holidays coming up, this mama has to make plans to entertain the little darlings, in need of some new ideas.

I wandered through Wroxham, heading back to the bridge that I drove over on the way in, as I had noticed there were boat tours advertised. I didn’t really have the intention of going on one, was just curious to see what was on offer. The next thing I knew I had a ticket in my hand and was booked on the Belle of the Broads departing at 2pm! I booked with Broad Tours and bookings can be made in person, like I did, or via the website. They run guided tours and also boat hire for those who wish to take a boat out and wing it themselves. I’d definitely have chosen that option had I not been by myself, looks like a lot of fun and was fairly reasonably priced too. My ticket for the tour was £14.50 for a two hour trip, which I thought was really reasonable.

I wandered along to the meeting point for the Belle and grabbed a cup of tea whilst I waited. Despite there being a fair few in the queue ahead of my I managed to grab myself an outside seat on the upper deck of Belle which made me happy. Joys of travelling solo, you can always (well mostly) get a seat. We were off leaving the dock / mini harbour / goodness knows what I am meant to be calling it behind, and setting off along past some gorgeous houses. The captain (is that what he is called if its a river boat and not a sea boat, is there a difference?!) told us all all about the surrounding area for the first half of the trip, and it was really interesting to learn about the properties, the history and wildlife of the broads. Check out some of the houses, the little blue one is the oldest on the broads. I forget the age, I’m rubbish at this bit, but it was old!

Past the residential area we were off out into nature and it was just gorgeous. I loved it, just being out in nature makes my heart happy. Despite all the little boats passing, it was pretty busy on the river, it just felt peaceful. Watching the dragonflies buzzing around, seeing the sunlight dance like fairies on the water, and feeling the sun on my skin, I was just in my happy place. My random little boat trip was just what I needed.

Its just oh so pretty and calming and lovely. If you have not been, go, tick it off the bucket list of places to visit, and then arrange another visit. I’m definitely bringing the children here this summer. We go to Norfolk often, why oh why have we never stopped off at the Broads, I have no idea, and had no idea it was so lovely.

Check out this cute little boat too, its an ice cream boat. Literally sells ice cream along the river to others on boats. How awesome is this, I was so sad not to be in a smaller boat to be able to get ice cream from him. Thats a must do, for the summer holidays!

I have to say I really enjoyed my afternoon on the Broads, I met some lovely people too, and waved at so many children both on land and on other boats along the way. You know when you see children waving frantically trying to get someone to wave back at them – well I was totally that person. As a mum, it breaks my heart to see my children sad when nobody pays them attention or waves back, so I always do it to other children to make them smile.

All too soon we were back where we started and it was time to get off. I headed straight back across the bridge for chips! It felt sea sidey but without the pesky sea gulls to swoop down and steal, so I had to sit in the sun and enjoy some chips. Closely followed by an ice cream. Look its a mini break right, holiday calories don’t count do they.

I ambled back towards the car, grateful to not find a parking ticket, and headed back to the hotel. Sent a few quotes to clients before heading down to dinner. Am now back in my room, with my feet up and a gin and ginger ale! It was a busy day yesterday with the school fair, and today has been blissful, but this mama is sleepy.