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Archive for Sailing holidays on the Norfolk Broads

August 9, 2018

Bank Holiday Weekends afloat with Waterways Holidays

The long hot summer means bumper bookings for Waterways Holidays, the UK’s one-stop shop for boating holidays on Britain’s canals, rivers and the Norfolk Broads, but the company still has some great-value breaks for August Bank Holiday weekend.

On the canals, a narrowboat sleeping a family of four costs as little as £609 for a three-night hire period from Friday 24 August. That’s for the 50-feet long Sir Cador, a four-star boat based at Brewood on the Shropshire Union Canal.

The boat has a double and a twin cabin, everything needed for self-catering and it is pet-friendly at no extra charge. The handover session includes tuition, and buoyancy aids are included, as is damage waiver and fuel.

On the Norfolk Broads, Sonata 4 is a 25-feet modern motor cruiser which sleeps two in comfort, with a sundeck and cleverly-designed interior to provide kitchen and shower/wc facilities.

Three nights’ hire of Sonata 4 starting Friday 24 August is £480 to include bedding and linen, gas, a welcome pack, initial tuition and the loan of buoyancy aids (excludes damage waiver and fuel).

Alternatively, for a weekend on the Broads under sail, try Javelin 3, a modern Bermudan-rigged yacht based at Martham on the Broads. She can sleep up to four and comes complete with galley kitchen, wc, sleeping bags and fuel (excludes damage waiver). Bank holiday weekend hire is £397.

Waterways Holidays: 01252 339023,  

Price and availability correct at date of issue: terms and conditions apply.

April 30, 2018

Yacht companies form Partnership to Save Broads Sailing Holidays.

The companies that offer yachts for hire on the Norfolk Broads have formed a new marketing partnership to promote sailing holidays in the Broads National Park.

“Fifty years ago there were over 40 boatyards offering hundreds of cabin yachts for hire,” says Andy Hamilton of Eastwood Whelpton, and the Chairman of Broads Sailing.  “These have now mostly been replaced by motor cruisers, but there are still five operators offering this uniquely Norfolk experience.”

Commenting on behalf of the new ‘Broads Sailing’ group, Andy explains, “By working together and speaking with one voice to promote the magical experience of sailing a yacht on the Broads, we are seeking to ensure that this truly unique experience and local heritage will continue to be available to future generations.”

“The new ‘Broads Sailing’ brand gives us a single, stronger voice ensuring that the Broads is promoted as an exciting destination for sailing in the UK, whether we’re exhibiting at a boat show, promoting ourselves to UK and international markets, or ensuring that our views are represented with the relevant authorities and stakeholders.”

A dedicated new website has been launched to act as the focal point for the joint marketing activity, featuring all of the Broads yachts for hire, both classic and modern, including live availability and a specialist advice helpline to ensure that questions are answered and that people are directed to yachts suitable for their needs.

“We need to make Broads sailing holidays easy to find online, easy to understand and easy to book,” says Andy Hamilton.

The Broads sailing holiday operators working together are:

  • Eastwood Whelpton Sailing Holidays at Upton
  • Martham Boats at Martham
  • Hunter’s Yard at Ludham
  • Swallowtail Boatyard at Ludham
  • Oliver’s Sailing Holidays at Martham Ferry

Between them, the five companies offer a wide range of yachts from two to eight berths to suit both novices and experienced sailors. Each operator offers full handover instruction on arrival at the start of each holiday. Eastwood Whelpton and Hunter’s Yard are also fully accredited RYA Training Centres offering RYA tuition leading to formally recognised qualifications, including for complete beginners.

“The Broads offers 125 miles of safe inland waterways, making it the ideal place for family sailing holidays in a beautiful natural environment, which is now part of the National Parks family,” says Andy.

“Our fleets include yachts which can be handled by novices through to powerful yachts that were designed and built for racing on the local rivers and broads. A sailing holiday on the Broads is the ideal ‘next step’ from dinghy sailing as well as presenting a different challenge to experienced sea sailors.

“Between us, we offer everything from the traditional  classic wooden hire yachts that hark back to the 1930s when they were fitted out with gimballed oil lamps, through to modern fibreglass boats with high standard accommodation – and most things in between! There is even a traditional yacht with an all-electric silent engine.

“I first sailed on the Broads as a 10 year old,” continues Andy. “I fell in love with the sailing and the local landscape and natural environment and returned for many sailing holidays with Eastwood Whelpton run by Tim Whelpton, an Olympic sailor and Norfolk boat-builder, and his wife Annie who founded Eastwood Whelpton in 1959.

“Tim died nine years ago, and when Annie Whelpton retired, my wife and I grasped the opportunity to continue their fantastic legacy. We made the crazy decision to leave our existing careers, purchased this long standing local business with 16 yachts and started a new life on the Broads in 2015!”

Ian Curtis, whose grandfather founded Martham Boats in 1946 says, “ is the 21st century equivalent of the old ‘Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Yacht Owners Association’ which in grandad’s time had more than 40 member boatyards.

“By working together with Hunter’s Yard, Eastwood Whelpton, Swallowtail Boatyard and Oliver’s Sailing Holidays, we are determined to reverse the decline of sailing holidays on the Broads.  We need to reach a younger, wider audience through the new website, and with other initiatives such as exhibiting together at relevant local and national shows.”

The five operators are delighted to be teaming up with Waterways Holidays to offer a high quality dedicated online booking and telephone support service to enquirers. The company is the UK’s leading booking agency for holidays afloat, and its managing director Nigel Richards is an enthusiastic Broads sailor.

“I love to sail on the Broads and particularly enjoy taking part in the annual Barton Charter Regatta, sponsored for the past 10 years by Waterways Holidays,” says Nigel. “I hate the thought that hire yachts might one day disappear from the Broads, and we’re very happy to lend our technology and support to this great initiative.”

Visit  or call 01252 796409


—ENDS— spokesman is Andy Hamilton: 01493 750 430


Release distributed by Beacon PR: 01572 748 800




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