Fancy a Boat trip on your break, well don’t look any further than exploring the Norfolk Broads. Hire a boat on the Norfolk broads and explore the miles of waterways including rivers and broads, the broads national park is the third largest inland waterway. Offering Stunning views and with many destinations it’s a great way to explore Norfolk and creates perfect opportunities to visit some quieter locations.

About the Norfolk Broads

Recently discovered the Norfolk Broads are in fact man-made. They are a result of medieval peat diggings from over 800 years ago. The now largest protected wetlands, covering fens, marshes and woodlands, the broads are a vital area for all types of nature.

The Broads has 126 miles of navigable waterways which twists and turns through villages and into the fine city of Norwich. In fact as you enter the county you’ll see the phrase ‘Nelsons’s County’, it’s said that Lord Horatio Nelson (Country great naval commander) began his sailing career on the broads.

Hire A Boat On The Norfolk Broads - Boat

The whole broads national park system is made up of 63 broads and 7 rivers, 13 of those are open to navigation with the others being too shallow to explore on the boats. The 7 rivers connect from the northern parts of the broads from Stalham, right down to the very southern parts in Bungay. The rivers are mainly lock-free with just the one last remaining lock left in the Broads National Park System Mutford lock, and only serves to separate the sea from the broads. Meaning you can enjoy the large stretches of water without dealing with heavy, time-consuming locks!

Be sure to keep an eye out or if you have binoculars be sure to take them. As there is a wide range of birds and other animals living on the broads. Herons can be often seen sweeping over the nearby lakes or sitting beside the rivers keeping an eye out for their dinner. In fact the Broads National Park is home to 25% of the UK’s rarest Wildlife. One being the rarest butterfly, the Swallowtail. With its beautiful yellow, black and blue wings, it’s named for it’s swallow-like tails.

With so many routes to take you can easily spend a few days exploring what the broads have to offer, which makes them so diverse and interesting to visit. Each trip can be different with the Norfolk broads, southern broads and more to Explore!

Day Boat Hire

Now much of the Broads can’t be explored in one day and requires a good few days if not weeks to cover a large section of it. Meaning it’s great to keep revisiting time after time. Stop of at local villages like Horning and enjoy dinner and a something to drink while to watch fellow sailors glide past.

Horning is a great stop with The Swan pub a lovely place to visit. As you go down the river stunning homes are perched on the side with their own mooring banks, with many of owners sitting outside waving you by.

Don’t Miss!! One thing you must see if you’re around the broads is the stunning sunsets! Typically, with day boats you’ll miss this but if you can find somewhere nearby and enjoy a drink, the sunset’s are a real treat and very romantic.

Below I’ve listed two well respected boat hiring companies in Norfolk.

Hire A Boat On The Norfolk Broads - Sunset

Day Boat Hire Companies

1. Richardsons Day Boat Hire – Wroxham

Richardsons have been trading for over 75 years and a popular company in Norfolk offering a wide range of electric or diesel day boats. Holiday boats are also available if you wish to enjoy the broads for longer.

Depending on the size of your party, Richardson’s have a range of different boats to hire, including a fishing boat.

  • 12 Seaters
  • 10 Seaters
  • 6 (+2 children) Seaters
  • 6 Seaters
  • 8 (+3 children) Seaters
  • Fishing Boats

Below are 2020 Costings (please visit companies website for up to date costs)

Hours Electric

6 Seater


6 (+2*) Seater


8 (+3*) Seat

1 £23 £23 £25
2 £45 £45 £50
3 £70 £70 £75
4 £90 £90 £95
5 £105 £105 £110
6 £115 £115 £120
7 £120 £120 £125
8 £125 £125 £130

Day cruiser, 12 seater and fishing boat pricing

Hours Diesel

12 Seater

10 Seater

Day Cruiser



Half Day £110 £110* N/a
Full Day £185 £185* From £50**

**Prices are all inclusive of car parking, fuel and insurance.

Fishing boat hire from £50 per day. Subject to availability.

Single hour hire is subject to availability


To book and for all other enquiries please call 01603 782309 or visit

Where to find them

2. Herbert Woods Boat Hire – Potter Heigham

Operating for over 90 years, Herbert Woods is the second largest hire boat yard on the Broads, with over 120 well looked after cruisers available. Holiday boats are also available if you wish to enjoy the broads for longer.

Again offering a wide range of boats depending on your party size from Day Boats, Picnic Boats & Canoe and Kayak Hire.

  • Day Boats can hold up to 8 People
  • Picnic Boats can hold up to 10 People

Below are 2020 Costings (please visit companies website for up to date costs)

Day Boats

March to 26th October 9am to 5pm 7 days a week

27th October to the end of February 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday, Saturday 10am-3pm

December and January 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Duration Low Season Mid Season High Season
(Hours) 6th Jan – 22nd May

26th Sept – 23rd Dec

5th June – 4th July

5th Sept – 25th Sept

23rd May – 4th June

5th July – 4th Sept

1 £20 £21 £23
2 £38 £40 £45
3 £52 £56 £62
4 £66 £70 £77
5 £80 £84 £92
6 £90 £95 £106
7 £102 £108 £119
8 £110 £116 £129

Picnic Boats

Main Season

Duration Low Season Mid Season High Season
Mon – Sun 6th Jan – 22nd May

26th Sept – 23rd Dec

5th June – 4th July

5th Sept – 25th Sept

23rd May – 4th June

5th July – 4th Sept

9am-5pm £180 £200 £240
1pm – 5pm £100 £110 £130

Advanced bookings can only be made for a full day.

Out of Season

Duration Out of Season
Mon – Fri 26th Sept – 23rd Dec

3rd Jan – 28th Feb

9am-4pm £180
12pm – 4pm £100

Canoe & Kayak

Duration Price
Full Day (9am – 4pm) (7 hours) £50
Half Day (Anytime between 9am & 4pm) (4 hours) £35

Dogs are welcome on the Day and picnic Boats.

On their page they have very clear photos and even a virtual tour of the picnic boat.

To book and for all other enquiries please call 0800 144 4472 or visit

Where to find them

Before you set Sail

Please visit the companies websites for up to date costings and for any further information on the boats. The above are prices based as of April 2020.

I’d highly recommend pre-booking a day boat to avoid disappointment.

Both companies occasionally have offers on their website so please visit before purchasing.

I hope you found my page helpful and get the opportunity to enjoy the stunning broads on your break here in Norfolk. Hire a boat on the Norfolk broads and experience the calming sounds of Norfolk. I visit the broads at least twice a year with my family and it’s a treat each year.

If you have any questions regarding the broads please leave me a comment below and I’ll try my best to answer them.

Hire A Boat On The Norfolk Broads - Sail


  1. Hi there,

    Firstly, there’s some excellent information disclosed here. I think the picnic boat idea sounds terrific. I haven’t been to that part of the UK, but the photos posted above are stunning, so I’ll have to add it to the list. Have you any recommendations in terms of time of year to go?

  2. Hello!

    The way you are describing Norfolk, is stunning. I would definitely want to visit one day, and boat-ride across the many rivers and beautiful scenery out there!

    I would love to have a drink and watch the sunset there..

  3. Reading this was a trip down memory lane for me. The Norfolk Broads are etched indelibly in my grey matter. This was a long long time ago. It was the summer after O levels! what on earth possessed the boat owners to rent out a precious delightful old wooden cruiser to three obviously untrustworthy 16 year old’s is a mystery to me now looking back. To our eternal shame we did manage to crash the boat. No need to go into the details of how it happened. I do remember sitting down that evening writing up the incident report for the insurance company. That evening is itself an integral part of the shame of the memory. I wonder whether that poor boat is still on the Broads – Golden Girl was the name. Good to here that the Broads haven’t yet disappeared under rising sea levels. I will have to go back there one day. That would be a trip across the Atlantic but definitely a nice way to spend a week and I’ll make sure not to crash the boat this time! Thanks for a lovely piece. Best Andy

  4. Satz


    This is great information, I am always on a lookout to explore new places. Thanks for providing the details, I will visit their websites before visiting. With the outbreak of virus I am guessing the activities maybe suspended? I love fishing and would love to fish there, just had a quick question – Will i need Environment Agency Rod Licence to fish on privately own Broads or river banks?

    1. Thank you for your comment. regarding fishing you’d require an Environment Agency Rod Licence to fish the broads. I’d also like to make you aware that fishing is prohibited between the 14th March to 16th June.
      If you have any further questions please feel free to comment or email.

  5. Ali

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