A change of scene awaits lovers of Bri­tain’s wa­ter­ways in the Broads Na­tional Park

Canal Boat - - The Cruise Guide -

BROADS cruiser met nar­row­boat at this year’s Lon­don Boat Show in the in­au­gu­ral Boat­ing and Wa­ter­sports Hol­i­day area, which high­lighted the UK’s spec­tac­u­lar in­land wa­ter­ways.

Vis­i­tors were able to climb aboard a nar­row­boat to ex­plore the sleek de­signs and talk to ex­perts about the best lo­ca­tions and boats at the same time as ad­mir­ing the new breed of Broads cruis­ers.

With the largest fleet in the Broads Na­tional Park, a team from Nor­folk-based Richard­son’s Boat­ing Hol­i­days was on hand at Ex­CeL to tempt canal boat fans with a new ex­pe­ri­ence.

Chief executive Greg Mun­ford ex­plains: “What we en­joyed about the new area at the show was meet­ing peo­ple with a real love for our in­land wa­ter­ways - whether that’s on the Mid­lands canals or the Nor­folk and Suf­folk Broads.

“I be­lieve we of­fer a new ex­pe­ri­ence for peo­ple un­fa­mil­iar with the Broads. It’s the same slow-paced hol­i­day – 4mph is the speed limit just like the canals – but we have 120 miles of nav­i­ga­ble, non-locked wa­ter­ways which al­low hol­i­day­mak­ers to make the most of the change of scene and the unique wildlife habi­tat.” There’s also plenty to do on land on a boat­ing hol­i­day. While wa­ter is at the heart of the Broads, there are many more land-based ac­tiv­i­ties that at­tract vis­i­tors: walk­ing, cy­cling, fam­ily at­trac­tions, photography, an­gling and na­ture watch­ing are es­sen­tial el­e­ments of many Broads hol­i­days.

Food and drink, com­bined with qual­ity ac­com­mo­da­tion to suit all bud­gets, are part of the friendly of­fer­ing that can be found in pretty vil­lages, mar­ket towns and – uniquely in the na­tional park fam­ily – a thriv­ing city.

“More and more peo­ple are dis­cov­er­ing the Broads – fam­i­lies, cou­ples, niche en­thu­si­asts. We’d love you to join in the ad­ven­ture,” says Greg.

“Here in the Broads, we’re open year round. What­ever the time of year, there’s plenty to do and see: boat­ing and sail­ing (amaz­ing in spring, sum­mer and au­tumn) as well as soak­ing up the at­mos­phere on foot or two wheels and en­joy­ing the scenery or na­ture watch­ing (es­pe­cially ex­hil­a­rat­ing on a sunny win­ter’s day).

“And we’re closer than you might think as well. Nor­wich, the city on the Broads, is now only 2½ hours from Lon­don or the Mid­lands via the now fully du­alled A11 and even quicker by rail. Plus, don’t for­get your money still goes fur­ther in the UK than on the Con­ti­nent.”

The Broads ex­pe­ri­ence - a sum­mer’s day on the wa­ter in a Richard­son’s Com­modore cruiser; (below) the Richard­son’s stand at the Lon­don Boat Show (left) next to a canal boat.

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