Things to do in Norfolk when you’re 1 and 3: A day out on The Broads

I can’t believe that it’s been three weeks now since our staycation to Norfolk, time flies eh?! and there I was with lots of good intentions about blogging all about it on our return.  Anyway, better late than never right?!  So… as well as hanging out in our Norfolk holiday park home and spending a day swinging from the trees at BeWILDerwood, we also had lots of fun in Norfolk messing about on The Broads one day.

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If you’re as clueless as I am, allow me to explain…  The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads is Britain’s largest protected wetland and third largest inland waterway and has the status of a national park.  Incredibly scenic and picturesque, The Broads are a unique mosaic of lakes, land and rivers that cover 303 square kilometres in the easternmost part of England.

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Slightly nervous as I was about taking the girls out on a boat for the best part of five hours (keeping them entertained and safe in a not very large vessel on a hot day when Richmond Daddy would be mostly at the steering wheel was giving me more than a little anxiety I’m not gonna lie!), we hired a day boat from Barnes Brinkcraft, donned our lifejackets, and off we sailed!

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It was a beautiful sunny day and thankfully the boat did provide a bit of shade along with sunny spots for us to enjoy the weather.  There’s something so beautifully relaxing about being out on the water isn’t there – granted, it would be more relaxing with a spritzer in one hand and no kids tugging at your sundress, but hey it wasn’t that kind of holiday, right!

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We pootled along the miles and miles of rivers, waving at the other passing boats and of course the many ducks, we even stumbled across an ice-cream boat moored up and happily selling 99s to hot and bothered sailing folk in need of refreshment (total highlight moment!).  Allegra in particular was more than a little over-excited at the prospect of an ice-cream boat and once we were all equipped with our flavours of choice, we took our chance for some happy family photos.

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I was glad I’d thought ahead about keeping the girls entertained on board and we did bring a little bag of toys with us – the Lego bricks did a fairly good job of keeping them both amused when looking at the scenery got boring for them!  But there were some slightly stressful times none-the-less when Claudia refused to believe she couldn’t justifiably hang over the side of the boat (clutching on to her in her life-jacket on a hot day was quite a challenge given all the wriggling she was doing!) and Allegra got quite stroppy when she wasn’t allowed to drive the boat for real (only pose in the driver’s seat!).

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Anyway, for the most part we all got along well despite the confined (ish) space and hot sun and of course a pre-packed picnic helped to keep things harmonious too.  We moored up by a pub to eat our picnic then hopped off our boat, treated ourselves to some ice-cold drinks at the pub and the girls enjoyed the playground there before we climbed back aboard our vessel and made our way back home.

All in all, despite some heated moments, we had a really lovely day out and captured some lovely family memories and photographs along the way.  So if you’re in that neck of the woods, even with littlest little ones, maybe give it a go – just go prepared with (a) some toys and (b) lots of drinks and food/snacks, to keep everyone happy!

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