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Boating holidays on The Norfolk Broads.

Updated on May 31, 2014

The ice cream boat on The Norfolk Broads.

Ice cream boat on the Norfolk Broads.
Ice cream boat on the Norfolk Broads. | Source

The Norfolk Broads - An area of outstanding natural beauty.

On a recent boating holiday on the beautiful Norfolk Broads we came across a young man who spent his days pottering about the water selling ice cream from his small boat. During the course of a week we encountered this enterprising lad several times, I couldn't help thinking what a fantastic way to earn a living, truly a dream job.

At least when the weather is kind, which it was for the whole week we were on holiday. I'm not so sure about it being such a great job in the rain, then again, would people want to eat ice cream in bad weather? Maybe he only goes out on bright sunny days.

Outstandingly beautiful scenery..

The Norfolk Broads are outstandingly beautiful, bursting with life and a very popular holiday destination for nature lovers and boating enthusiasts alike.

During the summer months the waterways can be filled with pleasure boats, when the ice cream boat appears you cut your engine and wave at the young man driving. He pulls alongside, hooks onto your craft and you chose your goods. Children in particular love buying their ice creams and lollies this way, it is such a novelty for them.

Most of the boats have small freezers on board, so you can take the chance and stock up on ice cream for a few days.

A floating billboard.

The boat itself tells everyone just what it is selling, with its huge colourful ice cream cone and giant chocolate flake sticking out the top of the bow. It makes you smile just to look at it. I think we hailed him down at least once a day during our trip. Gives a whole new meaning to the saying stop me and buy one.

Not a bad working enviroment.

The Norfolk Broads.
The Norfolk Broads. | Source

Calm and peaceful waterways.

The waterways are calm and peaceful, plenty are wide enough for two boats to pass each other easily. You wouldn't think it to look at the above picture but the main road was only a few yards away from the edge of the swaying reed bed. Noise from the road was almost non existent as cars are few and far between in the area. But it does mean that you can tie your boat up on the bank and walk to a local pub or the shops.

Of the many windmills left standing on the broads I believe only one is still operational and used to mill flour. They do make great landmarks and an interesting place for birds to roost.

One of the many windmills on the Norfolk Broads.

Windmill by the side of the lake.
Windmill by the side of the lake. | Source

The Norfolk Broads.

Finding the Broads.

The Norfolk Broads are situated on the eastern coast of the United Kingdom. Covering over one hundred and twenty miles of navigable waterways, with a total of sixty three wide but shallow broads and seven rivers.

Of the sixty three broads only thirteen are generally open to the public but that is an ample amount when you consider the very low speed limit on the water.

You drift along and have plenty of time to see everything, it's not like racing by in a car, where as soon as you see something interesting you are a mile beyond it!

A potential customer?

Duck hitching a ride on a boat.
Duck hitching a ride on a boat. | Source

Hitchhiking ducks.

I love the fact that you putter along so slowly that very often passing ducks hitch a ride on the side of the boat. Keep some stale brown bread to feed them and you have a friend for life!

The large herons are much more interested in catching their own meals and tend to look upon a piece of floating bread with disgust. They are a very regal looking bird and surprisingly large when viewed close up.

Herons are a common sight on the Broads.

Heron fishing by the side of the water.
Heron fishing by the side of the water. | Source

Boat hire on the Broads.

Several companies hire boats for use on the broads, from small day boats to larger ones that are hired by the week. We chose a company called Richardson's, they were reasonably priced, friendly and very efficient. If you are a novice sailor then they take you out for a short lesson before you set off on your own. The boats are very easy to drive, much easier than a car and a lot more fun.

If you ever get the chance to take a holiday on the Norfolk Broads be sure to look out for the little ice cream boat.

Dream job?

What do you think, could you see yourself doing this for a living?

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  • GALAXY 59 profile image

    GALAXY 59 5 years ago from United Kingdom

    Thank you alcalderon. I must admit I was envious of the guy driving the ice cream boat, such a great place to work.

  • alcalderon profile image

    alcalderon 5 years ago from Orange County, Ca

    I absolutely love this post. Makes me feel like I can be free and productive at the same time.