Fun on the Water

Family Fun on the Water

Family fun on the water of the Norfolk Broads, involves lots of fun, laughter, frolics and togetherness, after all boats are a great pleasure to be in and around.  Take the family and try out all sorts of boating adventures.

Click on the live links through out the article to find out more information on family fun days out on the water in the Norfolk Broads

Water - Family - Fun, what else can be added into the mix, perhaps a dog or two? However your family is made up, large or small, there is a great deal that can be enjoyed in one day on the rivers and broads of the Norfolk Broads.  This is just a little taster of what to look for and the rest is up to you to dibble your toes at the edge of the river or plunge in full throttle and get through as much as possible in a day or two or three!

Day Boat Hire

Dayboat hire boatyards are scattered throughout the Norfolk Broads. The boats can be hired by the hour, half day or full day and come complete with lifejackets. They are easy to handle, even for complete novices and you are given full safety instructions as well as how to steer and what to look out for, so for those less enthused about full on activity, it makes perfect sense to drift slowly through the water watching for the plentiful wildlife, perhaps stopping for a picnic or pub lunch, drifting back again and taking it easy for the rest of the day. 

River Tour by Passenger Boat

This is a great way to see and experience the Norfolk Broads, sitting in comfort well above the river, watching the world go by with a Captain and Crew providing commentary and guidance of where to look and what to see, refreshments flowing non stop and sometimes a jazz band thrown in for good measure.  The passenger boats have a top deck too, ideal for taking the sun and fresh air during the two to three hours of the tour. There are passenger boats conducting tours on the Northern Rivers and the southern rivers so if you can't decide wheher to go north or south, try both!

Wherry Charter

Of course if you rather fancy an Edwardian experience of the Broads, then charter a wherry.  These lovely old ladies cruised the waters in days gone by built either as trading vessels or luxury yachts.  

Canoeing and Paddleboarding

Ideal for highly active people, young and old. Canoes come complete with lifejackets, safety instruction and ideas of where to go and what to see.  Again perfect for ghosting along and exploring nooks and crannies that the bigger dayboats cannot get too. The taking of a picnic is almost mandatory but of course the pubs along the route would love to see you too. The wildlife is unperturbed by the canoes and goes about their busy lives so for photographers keen to capture images of the flora and fauna of the Norfolk Broads, choosing this way of powering yourself quietly along undetected is a no-brainer.

On the other hand paddleboarding is not a quiet pastime!  It usually involves lots of giggling, shrieking and splashing before mastery over the board gains the upper hand!  

Great fun especially for children and again, best to take instruction and a wetsuit.  Once balance is achieved and the board goes in the direction you want it too, this also can be a great pleasure, allowing entry to places the other boats cannot go.  Picnics are not particularly suitable unless in an unsinkable waterproof cool box! The same goes for a camera.....


Sailing is my favourite, nothing quite like the feeling of the wind pushing you along and at speed (no speed limits here) so you feel one with nature, well with three of the four elements - wind, water and when you make landfall, earth! Fire, remains hopefully, out of sight.  There are a couple of sailing activities centres where you receive an introduction to sailing, gentle coaching for confidence and then you are off, where ever (within the Broad) the wind might blow you, then all the skills you spent time learning help you sail back to the start.

Of course if you and family already have sailing skills and want to try them out on a bigger sailboat, these 'half-deckers' can be hired too, by the half day or day.  Although the design is traditional and some of the boats are approaching at least 70 years old, they can really respond to the wind and give you all kinds of thrills as you charge through the water in your quest for more speed. Again lifejackets are a must and are supplied with the boat as well as instructions on how to rig/unrig it, safety and where to go.  

Dogs love this family fun day out.  For them it is a bit like having their head stuck out of the car window as you drive along.  Lots of new smells on the wind!

Just a word of advice, please ask for a lifejacket for your dogs (best to take one that fits with you).  This is not really for the safety of the dog, but allows you to easily lift them out of the water should they fall in or dive after a passing duck!