If you’re here, you’re probably wanting some information about hiring a boat in Potter Heigham Right? Luckily I’ve spent many years travelling the Norfolk Broads and one of my passions is day boat hire norfolk. I live very local in Great Yarmouth and find myself making the short trip numerous times a year to spend a day out, opting for Potter Heigham day boat hire. In this blog, I’m going to go through the general things to look out for and my personal recommendations best suited for a different type of day boat trip.
It’s a Great Location on The Norfolk Broads
Potter Heigham is a beautiful area of the broads. If you plan on going in peak summer, the atmosphere is buzzing with families and exciting children. There are two main places to hire boats on the broads which are Potter Heigham and Wroxham. Wroxham is the busiest of villages for day boat hire and can be a little overwhelming. Although there are plenty of restaurants and shops, getting yourself a boat and having the space to enjoy your day can be difficult. With Potter Heigham, there are no busy shopping centres, so you can focus on what we all come to the Norfolk Broads For, boat day hire!
The thing I love about Potter Heigham is that there’s a large car park which can be used for visitors. Everything is so close, the food, the only shop and the boat hiring companies. If you’re anything like me, you’re 100% going to leave something in the car, it’s a quick two minutes walk anywhere in Potter Heigham to find the shop.
What’s in and around Potter Heigham?
As previously touched upon, the beauty of this village is everything is minimalistic but nonetheless, resourceful! Being such a short distance from Great Yarmouth and surrounding towns and villages, and also short boat trips to neighbouring broads, it just flows so perfectly. I’ll give you some information on EVERYTHING you need within the village of Potter Heigham.
Lathams of Potter Heigham
This is the only shop in the village. It’s split in two. The one side of the street is what I would call a department store/Garden centre. (I’ve bought many garden furniture sets from here) You’ll be able to buy any snacks and drinks from here, it has excellent prices considering it’s the only store around. There’s also a café inside, just in case you’ve forgotten that morning’s Coffee. You can buy anything you can think of here so spend some time enjoying it. It can get a little busy in peak times but that’s never bothered me. As stated before I’m always forgetting something.
Across the road, there’s the second part of the store. Lathams Fishing Tackle! I’m a very keen fisherman. It’s one of the many times I hire a day boat in Potter Heigham every year to go fishing. In this shop, you’ll find everything needed to enjoy a day’s fishing. All the tackle is high quality from the most reputable brands within the industry. The guys are incredibly knowledgeable and will happily give you some advice if that’s something you’re looking at participating in. They even stock fresh maggots and worms (my fav Norfolk broads bait). Just to add before we move on, they do sell fishing rods and reels, including ones designed for a complete novice. Everything here is some of the lowest-cost tackle you’ll find in the whole of Norfolk let alone the broads. The shop has everything needed to make the most of your Potter Heigham Boat hire day out!
Image Reference Broadsnet
I’d say Nippy Chippy is the only fish and chip shop you should be going to. Once a month I’ll travel down from Yarmouth to get these. I will say now, it can get busy in obvious times like peak summer weekend days. In my opinion, it’s totally worth the wait. The sausage batter is something else!
The only thing I don’t like is the fact it’s on the other side of the bridge. By that I mean, there’s no other way to get to it unless you walk over the tiny bridge which cars also share and no fixed path to walk on. Very awkward! The only advice I can give is to try to make sure you go on the green light.
The Younger brother of Wroxham
Being so close to the busiest part of the broads has its perks. If you’re staying for a number of days, it’s a good base camp for your day boat hire Norfolk is Wroxham. It’s also a destination to visit once you’ve hired your Potter Heigham day boat. You can moor up somewhere close and spend a couple of hours there if you wish, plenty of places to moor on the Norfolk broads.
It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people around Wroxham. Opting for a day boat hire in Norfolk should be an enjoyable experience and let’s not get it wrong, some people enjoy the hustle and bustle of Wroxham. If it’s your first time being out on a boat at all, opting for Potter Heigham boat hire is such a better option
Why Pick Potter Heigham For A Day Boat?
By this point, you’ve probably already made your mind up, but I’ll go through a couple of different routes you can take once you hop aboard your vessel. It only takes a few minutes of boating on either side of Potter Heigham Bridge to take you from the main boatyard to the picturesque reed-lined waterways of the River Thurne. You’ll see fishermen on the riverside and some holiday lets. This is where your Norfolk Broads day boat hire journey begins. Let me tell you some trips to make and doable within the day,
This is a beautiful destination and a very short distance from Potter Heigham. It’s around 4.5 miles and is probably my favourite location. It’s a wildlife haven for birdwatchers, I was very lucky once to see a bittern (One of the UK’s rarest birds) along with some buzzards, Marsh Harriers and the popular Heron. It also has a good number of British Crane, which in all honesty, scares the life out of me. Hickling Broad is also the largest of all Norfolk Broads. It can get busy during the summer. It shouldn’t impact your access to Hickling. Ask your hire company for help with navigational access to Hickling broads.
This route is around 13.5 miles and is probably of the most used routes by people spending a few days exploring the broads. Wroxham is not just known for its boats, but it’s a hub for shopping, and eating out as well as its day boat hire. It’s worth a stop, depending on the time you have. It takes around two and a half hours to get there, and you’ll see it’s very lively with families, fishermen and other day cruisers. Overall, I think you could get there and enjoy it on a full day!Reference Wikimedia
This is one of the places that you probably couldn’t get to in a day if you were coming from Wroxham to explore the Norfolk broads. It’s roughly 4 miles from Potter Heigham, and it’s a truly beautiful little village. For such a short distance you’ll find Horsey Mere which is one of the more northerly broads and pretty close to the North Sea. There’s a very good point in coming to Horsey and I’ll explain. Horsey is home to thousands of seals. The beach can’t be accessed by people, but you have a nice view from above. I’ve been hundreds of times and the most impressive is when I moored up locally, headed down and there were thousands. It was a beautiful site. Well worth the visit as it’s one of the best places in the UK to see this in real life!
You can pair this up with the Horsey Mill. One of the most used pictures on Norfolk Broads Postcards ever. Luckily, you won’t even have to go far as it’s right where all the boats moor up!
This is only around 4 Miles of waterways to travel. The location consists of two shallow lakes separated by the River Thurne, which is navigable, and surrounding areas of fen, reed bed, and marsh. The nature reserve is home to a variety of breeding birds, such as the bittern, bearded tit, common tern, Cetti’s warbler, and marsh harrier. Majestic common cranes inhabit the reserve and are often visible flying overhead. There are abundant numbers of wintering ducks and geese that visit the lakes and the adjacent fields. In the wintertime, one may also spot the hen harrier, merlin, or barn owl. During the summer, the reserve is an excellent place to observe swallowtails and numerous other invertebrates, like the Norfolk hawker. Several bat species are also present. Otters are commonly seen, and Chinese water deer can be easily spotted.
I find every time I visit this, it feels like a damn suntrap! I also end up getting sunburned. It has a natural wind block from the surrounding trees. It also narrows out until you get to the Martham Ferry boatyard. Furthermore, it’s a dead end up there, so best avoid that and stick to the main broad itself. Offers great fishing as well. It’s a lot more peaceful than some of the other broads, but still, bear in mind peak times can still get busy
River Thurne Itself
The thing about boat hire in Potter Heigham is that the Norfolk broads rivers just intertwine. So many little streams, broads and connecting rivers you can spend the whole day just boating around. If you’re unfamiliar with the waters or don’t have much experience on the water, it’s best to avoid just blind boating far distances. You can get lost, and I’ve been there before. Around 12 years ago I hired a boat for a couple of days with no real plan, ended up at some place near Norwich, had to randomly moor up for the night and took me all the next day to find my way home. Not good!
Boat Hire Prices – It doesn’t have to be expensive.
Price is a very loose term. Many factors go into boat hire from Potter Heigham. The most important thing is to navigate the broads at your own pace. I’ll give you a rough idea of where you’re likely to be, then make an informed decision before you boat hire on the Norfolk broads. Just remember that the more additional luxuries you require, the more expensive the boat will be
- Half-day trip – If you’re a complete novice, this is the best option. My advice is to visit a couple of the local broads and get to grips with the basics. Handling a boat is a lot different to a car. I remember the first time I went out, I completely misjudged the handling and spent most of the day snaking around the river system. For this reason, maybe avoid peak times. It’s often cheaper as well to go outside summer season.
- Full-Day Trip – This is a great option if you have some experience, or with somebody that does. You can see a majority of the main sites of the magnificently beautiful Norfolk broads. The broads national park is best experienced with numerous visits but on a day boat, you can explore the main parts. Some parts can be difficult to navigate so the more time the better.
- Picnic Boats – These boats are ideal for families or large groups of people. I enjoy these if planning a special occasion. They’re not that practical for fishing but have plenty of onboard space for your picnic needs. Just make sure you check the weather. Again I’ve made some terrible errors of judgement in the past. Although it’s been a number of years since I went out on a picnic boat, many have a canopy and have seating up to 12 people depending on avaibalibilty
- Cruisers – These are some of the most expensive. It’s the comfort that’s prioritised here. I’ve been on these a handful of times and I just prefer being out in the air, I just love the feeling of the outdoors not in a cabin. If you’re into your boating comforts this would be an ideal boat for you. Just bare in mind though, this shouldn’t be your first-choice boat if you’ve never been on one. There’s a good chance a company will refuse you the hire for lack of experience.
- Electric Boat – I’ve only seen this before and they’re damn expensive and never hired one. I’ve only been on small electric fishing boats. They have the highest tech you can think of on these and are better for the environment. I’d best keep these for a longer visit or boating holidays. That’s of course if you fall in love once you begin your Norfolk Broads Adventure. The majority of the time, you should just stick to a standard boat, there are plenty of them available to hire.
The Best Company for The Everyday Person.
There’s only one company I’d recommend here and I haven’t used another Potter Heigham day boat hire company in years. HERBERT WOODS!
Why Herbert Woods
Herbert Wood caters to just about any boating situation, It’s also situated within the Potter Heigham boatyard. Everything about your trip just becomes easier and much more convenient and no you’re going to get top-tier customer service. They’ve been a company for decades and know this river system inside out. Herbert Woods boast a huge fleet of boats offering everything you need for any situation. What I like is simplicity. Prices are also very reasonable, especially in peak times. Although when it comes to day boats, they don’t hire out their premium boat on a day trip.
To find it, you can’t really miss it! Drive straight to Potter Heigham and it’s the first thing you see.
How much does a boat cost
As of the date of this blog, prices start from around £26 an hour or £135 a day. The day boats from here can fit up to 8 people and they require a £200 deposit before hiring. You will get this deposit back though. I can’t stress enough, in peak times book in advance.
Can you fish from the boat?
I thought I’d add this section just to bring some clarity. Most companies do not care if you fish from the boat. It’s common courtesy to clean up after yourself if you do fish. The broads have some of the best fishing spots I’ve ever found have been random places. A lot of the free mooring areas have good fishing but you may want to spend some more time at these locations. You’re required to have a valid license to fish.
The most common species here are Roach, Bream, perch and plenty of Jack Pike. You will find some tench here but they’re not as common as you might think. Locally at St Benets Abbey, carp have been caught in recent years. The guys in the office will be able to point you in the right direction. If it’s purely fishing boats you’re after, maybe opt for a fishing boat instead.
Is it easy to drive a boat on the Broads?
Once you get the hang of it. There are no locks on the broads so shouldn’t encounter many issues
Do you have to wear life jackets on Norfolk Broads?
It’s always advised. All boat hire companies will provide each passenger with a life jacket.
Will I get a safety briefing?
Yes. You will be asked about your experience out on the water before a brief is given
What do I need to bring?
The number one thing when participating in Potter Heigham Day boat hire is plenty of water. It can get very warm on the water with the sun reflecting off. Bring suncream and snacks if you need them
Can you stop anywhere on the Norfolk Broads?
You can stop anywhere unless it says ‘NO MOORING’ there are some notable places that charge a fee like yacht stations at Norwich and Great Yarmouth where facilities are available. There are plenty of free moorings throughout your broads. If you view the guide, it will show you all the spots when enjoying day boat hire in Norfolk. With potter heigham boat hire though, there’s a large stretch of free mooring
I hope I’ve managed to shed some light on my advice on all things Potter Heigham day boat hire. As always, things change and so do some company rules and regulations. Take this as a guide and always do your due diligence before parting ways with any money. A couple of other things to keep in mind, there are guides to different restaurants on the Norfolk broads and free mooring locations. It’s also worth familiarising yourself with the Broads Authority’s latest rules of the water.
There are plenty of other ways to spend a day out on the water, I have some information on paddleboarding and canoe hire.