Water lapping quietly against the side of your boat. Birdsong in the air and a mesmerising view stretching in all directions. The Broads National Park in Norfolk has it all for a trip filled with nature that will nurture your soul.
The Norfolk Broads is a place like no other
A massive wetland landscape teeming with rare and beautiful wildlife. With wonderful towns, villages and Norwich – a stunning cathedral city. It offers the opportunity for the most idyllic holidays. With cruises on the beautiful waterways by all manner of craft – even your own stylish motor cruiser (if you get bitten by the Broads bug!)
This compelling patchwork of rivers and lakes is in fact not a natural landscape. It is a result of intensive digging of peat in the Middle Ages to provide fuel. The empty pits were soon filled by rising water levels and now form a network of over 125 miles or 240km of navigable waterways. Check out Tingdene Lifestyle’s blog on the history of the Norfolk Broads.
The Norfolk Broads landscape is one of beauty and peace, of water, marsh, woodland and wide skies – with views of church towers and windmills. There is abundant wildlife including many rare butterflies and dragonflies. Some of the nature reserves can only be visited by boat, providing a marvellous experience of some of our most elusive wildlife.
The Venice of the East
In fact, the Norfolk Broads has more miles of waterway than the Italian city. Likewise, it has more canals than Amsterdam! The Broads National Park offers visitors an experience unlike any other. Both on its rivers and lakes and, alongside them, on peaceful paths and cycle ways.
Without a doubt, the best way to discover the Broads is by boat. So much of the Broads can’t be reached by road that days – and nights – afloat become a real adventure. There are hidden places, perfect fishing spots and close encounters with wildlife at every turn. There are plenty of places along the meandering waterways for you to moor up and hop out to explore pretty villages and market towns, or to stop at a welcoming pub. The famous Broads motor cruisers have been holiday favourites since the 1930s, and today’s boats have all the comforts of home on board, so even if you prefer to visit during the quieter, cooler months, you’ll have a cosy base for your explorations.
Visit bustling Broadland and you can enjoy many activities including the aforesaid boating holidays, as well as sailing, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, walking, fishing and cycling. The Norfolk Broads has many lovely hotels, B&B, country cottages, parks and camping sites in which you can stay. There’s also the fantastic Tingdene Marina at Broadlands if you want to own a boat and have wonderful adventures in this magical place, and many more across the UK.
Norfolk is a great British wonder
According to The Daily Telegraph, the Broads National Park is one of the 20 Great British Wonders that – scandalously – aren’t World Heritage Sites. It highlights the Upper Thurne Area for its wonderful beaches with hundreds of grey seal pups in the dunes in winter. Plus, lots of other rare wildlife around Hickling and Horsey, including the UK’s largest butterfly, the British Swallowtail, in June.
The big skies and sparkling landscape of Norfolk’s marshland fields are a big draw. It’s a perfect canvas for adventure and relaxation – time to reflect, space to explore, a magical opportunity to enjoy a fabulous break.
Broadland Marina is a place like no other
Perfectly situated facing onto Oulton Broad, between the beautiful Suffolk coastline and the world-famous Broads National Park is Broadland Marina. It has easy access to the sea via Mutford Lock and direct access to the Norfolk Broads. You can even head to Tingdene’s Brundall Bay Marina on the many cruising routes of the Broads. Close to Lowestoft seafront, sea-going craft can take a coastal trip to Southwold, Aldeburgh, and further afield. Travelling up the coast to Great Yarmouth offers a circular trip back to Broadlands Marina via the Yare and Waveney rivers.
It’s been a rainy year so far! We have spotted the sun a few times and there’s still time to start up the barbecue and cook all your summer favourites – aboard your boat! Steel or aluminium, free standing or mounted, gas or charcoal; there’s a variety of options to suit your BBQ preferences that are approved for marine use. Be sure to maintain your grill well to keep it (and your boat) lasting until next Summer!
£279 at foxschandlery.com
Magma have been creating marine friendly grills and accessories since 1976, with this Marine Kettle Gas Grill coming highly recommended by many. Easy to install and disassemble for cleaning, its classic looking round lid acts as an effective windshield whilst keeping grease and spatter contained. The radiant heat plate distributes heat for even cooking and increased fuel efficiency, whilst the “Stay Cool” handle is durable and heat resistant. Mounting brackets are not included, but Magma have lots of options to choose from to suit your boats needs.
£119.95 at cobb-bbq.co.uk
The Cobb has been developed into its present form from an electricity-free cooking system for rural areas in Africa, getting its namesake from the dry corn-cobs that were used as its fuel source. Now using coals, briquettes or their own ‘cobblestone’, food is isolated from the coals so there are no flare-ups or smoke. It contains a metal basket for the coals, sitting inside a stainless steel bowl, where the firelighters sit beneath, all encased within the outer shell that stays cool when in use. There’s a range of accessories you can buy for different types of cooking too.
£39.95 at marinesuperstore.com
This no-frills, stainless steel rail-mount barbecue is designed to contain a regular disposable barbecue, as a safe and very affordable option. The lid acts as a windbreak and protective cover – a step up from the original lidless version it is based on. With an instant barbecue included in the price, you’re ready to get it clamped onto your boat rail and lit straight away!
£259.95 at marinesuperstore.com
Available as a charcoal grill too, the Kuuma Stow N’ Go 160 Gas Grill is designed for high pressure gas canisters and can be mounted to any Kuuma rail, rod or pedestal mount aboard your boat. It’s ready to go out of the box and easy to set up. It’s rust resistant and easy to clean due to the hardy stainless steel design. You can get plenty of food on this large but lightweight barbecue and it performs well in windy weather. Handy when you’re out on the water.
9 fantastic locations to start up the barbeque
You’ve got the boat, you’ve chosen the grill. Now you need the perfect location to moor up and cook up. Tingdene Marinas has nine premium destinations across the UK for you to choose from, with fantastic facilities, Cruising Clubs and even discounts at our other marinas.
Britain’s Biggest Inland Waterways Festival
Come along and enjoy all of the activities and entertainment that make Crick Boat Show such a great day out. Taking place from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 August 2021, the Crick Boat Show is open from 10am – 6pm Friday and Saturday and from 10am – 5pm on Monday.
You can drop by to see us at Stand LB at any time, but to secure an appointment or obtain further details, please email [email protected] or call 01933 551662.
Tingdene Boat Sales showcasing a brand new Viking Canal Boat
Across the three days, our Boat Sales Team will also be showcasing a Viking 60′ x 12′ 06″ widebeam and will have full details of new and pre-owned narrowboats, widebeams and Dutch barges available.
Time on a narrowboat is without doubt time to be treasured. Leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind and explore the great British countryside from a totally different perspective. Discover the hidden treasures that our waterside villages, towns and cities have to offer.
You can use your narrowboat as a weekend retreat, for family fun, or as alternative accommodation. Having a safe place to moor with access to necessary facilities and services is key to maximising your life afloat.
Here at Tingdene Marinas we’ve made it our business to give you exactly that. We offer annual moorings at great locations with excellent onsite facilities. We give you the opportunity to socialise with fellow boaters in calm and tranquil settings. Life can indeed be stress-free!
Thames and Kennet marina is the perfect location for your narrowboat
Thames and Kennet Marina is unique on the Thames, as it features the only purpose built narrowboat marina that can accommodate boats in excess of 70ft. The marina layout is specifically designed to allow ease of access to berths and the service pontoon. Plus, all berths are on floating pontoons with access 24hrs a day, 365 days a year. Just a short distance away is the historic boating town of Henley-on-Thames. Or visit the bustling town of Reading, which offers high speed transport links to Heathrow Airport and Central London.
The marina offers direct access onto the River Thames and is located adjacent to the Kennet and Avon canal and on to the historic cities of Bath and Bristol. Alternatively, the Oxford canal is approximately 2 days cruising upstream, offering access to the full canal network. 3 days downstream you reach the Grand Union Canal, which leads to the Paddington Arm and Regents Canal with all the sights of central London.
Summer, the prime time to be outside and on the water (when the British weather is behaving itself.) Sometimes we can take advantage of the world around us and forget about the importance of fresh air and vitamin D.
Here’s 5 fantastic activities you can try this Summer, on or near to your boat or marina. Why not try something new and get reconnected with nature?
An ancient way to get around the waters that potentially dates back to 3000 BC, Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) was introduced as its modern form from Hawaii in the 1900’s. SUP has had a significant uprising in recent years – you can hire paddleboards from most seafronts, rivers & bodies of water across the UK these days. Hire a paddleboard (or kayak) from Go-Paddle at our very own Hartford Marina, or the Oulton Broad Water Sports Centre next to Broadlands Marina.
Don’t fancy paddleboarding? There’s plenty of other watersports to try like the previously mentioned kayaking, canoeing, surfing. You could even track down an inflatable aqua park!
From rooftop gardening on a narrowboat, to growing greens on a cruiser; there’s plenty of options to keep plants healthy and stable aboard your boat.
Try pots on non-skid mats, or cords/ropes to secure your planters. Keep to plastic to avoid the risk of glass or ceramic breaking onboard. Your plants will be more subject to the elements so keep an eye on water levels – the rain might be doing too much, or not enough. Marine water should be fine for your flowers, but keep it away from any vegetable/edible plants to prevent parasites. Give the leaves a rinse if they’re subject to sea spray, as the salt levels may disrupt your plants.
What better time of year is there to start (or reignite) a passion for photography.
Birds, butterflies, bees and flowers. Landscapes, waterscapes, sunrise and sunset. Take advantage of those long daylight hours and get snapping. There’s plenty of affordable camera options, if you don’t already have a fantastic camera on a high tech smartphone. Check online for lots of tips, tricks and photography blogs, or find inspiration on Pinterest, Flickr or plenty of websites and magazines dedicated to capturing the world around us.
4. POND DIPPING
A fun activity for children and adults alike, give pond dipping a go this summer. Take a look under the water and see what you can find.
Buy or make some nets, get a tray (ideally white) for assessing your finds, a spoon or pot to look a bit closer and a guide to know what you’re looking for. Be sure to be careful and safely return everything you’ve found. The RSPB, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, NHBS and Woodland Trust all have great resources of how to go about connecting with nature and finding creatures to observe.
5. ‘APPY IN NATURE
The UK has its fair share of native and visiting wildlife during the summer months and there’s a variety of ways in which you can track which wildlife you see on your travels.
- Swifts are constantly in flight (unless they’re nesting). They travel to the UK in the early summer months until they return to Africa around 12 weeks later. Head to Swift Mapper to track where you see nesting swifts so their sites can be protected.
- Bees are an essential part of our ecosystem; based on your experience, you can track bees with Friends of the Earth to add data on any bees you see and the conditions around them.
- If you want to see what you can hunt down wherever you are, download the Nature Finder app. Made by the Wildlife Trust, it shows all their sites across the UK and which wildlife you can expect to find at each location.
If you’re new to boating on the river, or are a seasoned sailor looking for somewhere different to explore, why not take some time to meander down the lesser known River Great Ouse and discover the everyday wonders it has to offer.
Off the beaten tow path into lesser known waters
Flowing for 143 miles, this vast waterway is the fourth longest in the UK. It is navigable from Bedfordshire, through the heart of Cambridgeshire and to the Wash at King’s Lynn in Norfolk, visiting some stunning towns and villages along the way.
On your journey, you’ll experience the character and immense beauty of the Ouse Washes Landscape. This is a hugely important area of rich washland with internationally significant wildlife habitats and substantial drainage engineering heritage.
These are some of our favourite places to stop off along the River Great Ouse:
Huntingdon is a fabulous market town that’s ideal for stocking up on all the essential in preparation for your trip. Just a couple of miles away in the peaceful countryside lies Hartford Marina – your gateway to the River Ouse. The marina has 200 fixed and floating moorings available for canal and river boats of all sizes, offering all the amenities and services you’ll need for your vessel. The Hartford Mill pub and carvery is on site and it’s a great spot to relax and take in your surroundings. It’s the perfect place from where to start your journey.
Just five miles away from Huntingdon lies the stunning St Ives. A thriving market town that’s full of riverside cafes, restaurants and bars. It’s a great place to stop off for lunch and soak up the sunshine, followed by a browse in some of the town’s many antique stores.
This small and beautiful village is three miles south-west of Huntingdon. It’s peaceful, quiet and perfect for a relaxing stop-off. Especially if you want to explore the magnificent late 13th century Church of All Saints that stands proudly in the centre of the village.
Tranquillity reigns in Earith. It’s ideal for those who are looking for an undisturbed afternoon on the side of the river or a stroll around the quaint village. Moor-up and visit The Raptor Foundation where you can see wonderful birds of prey – all of whom have been rescued.
Littleport and the nearby hamlet of Little Ouse sit just below sea level, which tells of just how low the fenlands really are. The village has an incredible network of streams that were created to control flooding in the region. There are numerous shops, eateries and pubs – our favourite being The Swan on the River which has moorings nearby.
The fenland city of Ely and its historic cathedral need no introduction. It’s a stop that you will want to incorporate on your journey down the river. The city is packed with museums, shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes. They also host concerts, festivals and other events throughout the year.
The Great Ouse really is very special
From the incredibly diverse and extensive wildlife to the attractions along the way, you can’t help but marvel at the wonders it has to offer. There are plenty of temporary moorings along the Great Ouse, but if you’re looking for something more permanent then Hartford Marina is the place. It’s close to Huntingdon and St Ives, and the transport links for London, Peterborough and Cambridge are excellent. The marina facilities have benefited from recent investment, now boasting a social club, on-site restaurant, laundry room and post room. It also offers all the usual services including pump-out, boat repairs, washing facilities and electricity to berths.
Hartford Marina offers temporary and permanent moorings. Perfect for a few hours away from it all, a weekend afloat or as your main home. Contact the friendly and experienced team at the marina for further information on 01480 454677 or visit the Hartford Marina page.
The winter months and falling temperatures can wreak havoc on your craft if it is not properly prepared. So if you’re going to leave your boat unattended for any length of time this winter, we recommend winterising your boat so that you don’t have any nasty surprises when you return in the spring.
DRAIN FRESH WATER
Drain fresh water tank by opening your taps and letting the water drain overboard. When no more water comes out, turn the water pump off at the switch panel. Leave ALL taps on (especially the hot taps if you have a calorifier), including the shower, with the shower head placed in the shower tray or bath. Turning the stop cock off is NOT sufficent!
INBOARD RAW WATER
Cooled engines should have the sea cock turned off, anti-freeze fed into the raw water feed and fed around the engine until it leaves the exhaust. Check that the sealed cooling, if present, also has the required level of anti-freeze in the system.
Engines should be checked for a coolant anti-freeze level of at least -20 degrees, and ensure that the coolant levels are topped up.
Battery levels on all wet cells should be checked and topped up with distilled water unless these are of the ‘sealed for life’ type. Turn off battery isolators, and if you have an installed marine battery charger, this should be turned on to keep the batteries topped up.
Ventilation is essential to keep down damp. Leave open a couple of window hoppers for air flow which helps to stop mold growing. Do not block low level vents on doors etc.
INSTANT WATER HEATERS
Instant water heaters should be drained using the drain plug, leave the plug out with a bowl under the outlet. Leave the thermostat control on maximum.
Diesel heaters with a frost stat. You should ensure that you have a FULL tank of diesel, and very good batteries. If you have access to electricity through a metered lead, and have a marine battery charger, connect to the shoreline so that batteries do not go flat.
DO NOT RELY ON MAINS ELECTRICTY TO KEEP YOUR BATTERIES TOPPED UP!
Electric heaters should be used with caution. The recommended heater is a greenhouse ‘Tube’ heater. These are very low wattage and cannot cause fires. DO NOT USE THE FOLLOWING – fan heaters, bar heaters, gas heaters, or any heater that has exposed elements. If you do, you may find your insurance is invalid if they cause a fire! And another reminder:
DO NOT RELY ON MAINS ELECTRICTY TO KEEP YOUR CRAFT FROM FREEZING!
SMOKE & CO2 ALARMS
Smoke & CO2 alarms should have the batteries REMOVED if you are not on the craft. During the winter months, we do not want to visit craft with alarms going off due to flat batteries in alarm systems.
MORING LINES & ROPES
Mooring lines and ropes should be used correctly. You should check all of your mooring lines for chaffing or wear. If worn, they should be replaced. Do not use the whole 10 metres of line on a mooring tee to secure your craft. If we need to loosen your ropes due to water levels, wind, or snapped ropes etc., it takes a long time to undo all of the knots!
You should not leave these actions until last minute. Make sure you prepare in advance.
Please be aware that this list is not exhaustive and does not guarantee that frost damage may not occur.
If you need help with any of the above, then please don’t hesitate to give the marina team a call. The team will be happy to help and can advise whether these actions can be completed by the marina on your behalf before any damage is possibly caused.
24th March 2020
Following last night’s Government statement on the Coronavirus pandemic, we would like to let you know that we are aiming to man our marinas on a minimum staff basis in order to continue to provide services for our berth-holders and to ensure we maintain safety around the marina.
We will aim to provide essential services for electric cards, gas, diesel, and pump-out, and would like to advise you that we will be accepting telephone payment only for these services. Unfortunately we will be unable to provide any other chandlery sales, slipway use, craning, or other services at this time.
Given the circumstances our office and maintenance staff will unfortunately not be able to interact with you directly, and we would ask that the requisite social distancing spaces are observed, please. As always you can call your individual marina offices as listed on the website to contact us.
Following the Government advice we would also ask that you only visit the marina if it is indeed essential that you do so.
As before we can assure you that we will continue to proactively monitor, evaluate and respond to the impact of the virus, and we will update you on any changes to the marina operations as they occur via email and our social channels.
If you have any concerns or questions then please do contact us and we’ll do our very best to help.
We thank you for your support through this challenging time.
21st March 2020
At Tingdene Marinas our first priority is always the safety of our berth holders and our employees. In these unprecedented times we know that the Coronavirus is a concern for everyone and we are doing all we can to keep them safe, whilst providing maximum flexibility as the situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve.
As it stands, in line with Government guidance, all our marinas remain open for business and all berth holders are able to access their boats.
The Marina Offices, including our Boat Sales Teams, are operating normal hours and can be contacted at all sites. Should you wish to view a boat from our website (www.tingdeneboatsales.net) please contact us and we will arrange to meet you individually at the sales berth.
We can assure you that we will continue to proactively monitor, evaluate and respond to the impact of the virus, and we will update you on any changes to the marina operations as they occur on our website and through our social channels.
If you have any concerns or questions then please do contact us and we’ll do our very best to help.
Take care and keep safe.
The Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA) administers the Gold Anchor scheme globally along with the Marinas Industry Association. The objective is “raising standards and providing customer centric services.” The accreditation is based on a self assessment and site assessment of 6 categories including ambience, customer service, facilities and environemental. Berth holder surveys contribute to the rating and mystery shopper checks are used during the validity period.
“I’m extremely pleased to accept this award on behalf of the team at Thames and Kennet Marina. Their continued commitment to improving the customer experience whilst raising standards is to be commended. I am extremely proud of their efforts. It is an increasingly competitive marketplace out there and it is reassuring to receive independent confirmation that we are offering first class service and facilities. We hope this gives both our existing and potential customers the assurance they need when choosing a marina.”
Perfectly positioned for exploring London
Situated on the River Thames, the marina has the ability to cater for all types of boats, including Dutch barges. Thames and Kennet offers excellent facilities, secure pontoons and some of the best amenities on the Thames. Complete with chandlery, laundry, toilet and shower facilities. . Check out the Dock restaurant and bar on the marina that often features live music. The marina is perfectly positioned for those wishing to explore London and the best of the UK’s inland waterways.
Come and take a look around the marina and see the quality of service and facilities for yourself. For more details please call 0118 948 2911 or email [email protected].