We’re not sure if it’s the idyllic little sites with all the facilities or the attraction of the unspoilt rural waterways which makes the Norfolk Broads such a hit. For us, it’s the perfect weekend getaway. It wasn’t our first visit to this part of the world, or even this particular site for that matter but this year, we decided to pay a return visit.
The site we stayed at was called Willowcroft Caravan Park, nestled in close proximity to the popular destination of Potter Heigham, a key stop off for many on their boating holidays. There’s not a great deal here, a coffee shop or two, Boat hire, oh and a little shop called lathams, the ultimate shop for anything and everything. This isn’t the draw though. The picturesque backdrop of the low lying plains, gorgeous broadside cottages coupled with the friendly hustle and bustle of boaters really does make this place ideal for a quiet getaway.
Willowcroft Caravan Park was our only option for visiting this area a second time round. We previously stayed here in the summer of 2016 and immediately fell in love with the site. It was coincidental that we visited the caravan and motorhome club site at Chatsworth Estate earlier this year, in Feb. Whilst we were there, I was approached by one of our neighbours who commented on how lovely it was to see a younger couple out and exploring in their caravan. We got talking and I soon found out they were the owners of the site in Potter Heigham, I guess it’s a small world out there! Shortly after returning from Chatsworth, I got in touch with the owners, Kandy and Jim to book our dates and they were only too happy to help! We booked for an extended weekend from Thursday through to Sunday evening.
I left work on Thursday, headed home, hitched up and we were soon on the road. One of the first joys we encountered on our journey was the A11, even at 5PM the traffic was light and from what we could see, most of it was heading in the opposite direction! Travelling up from Suffolk, our journey time wasn’t too bad, around 1 hour 30 to cover the 50 odd miles. The end of this route takes you through some great scenery passing over Acle Bridge before reaching Potter Heigham.
One thing to be aware of is that the access to this site is narrow and requires you to follow a single track road for around half a mile. Don’t worry though, with a steady speed and a cautious approach, its nothing to worry about. Kandy and Jim are keen on ensuring you observe the site arrival and departure times to prevent a caravan head to head! We arrived at 7PM and were immediately greeted with a very warm welcome before being shown to our pitch. We had a choice but went for a lovely secluded pitch, surrounded by box hedging and with its own water tap! Set up was easy but be aware that some of these pitches would benefit from a motor mover, but it’s not essential. We were soon set up and sipping on our favourite tipple!
Friday was upon us so we took the opportunity to do what most do in this area and hired a boat. No matter where you land on the broads, theres bound to be a boat to hire nearby! We decided to head to Wroxham, knowing the availability of boats and parking! Wroxham is around a 20 minute drive and is yet another glorious ‘must see’ town for anyone in this area. Wroxham is a great location to hire a boat from with a good choice in destination. We hired a boat from Barnes Brinkcraft and paid a reasonable £71 pounds for a 5 hour hire and had plenty of time to see some sights. From Wroxham, we headed out in the direction of Horning, an equally picturesque village a few miles further up the broads. We managed to cover around 4 miles before turning round, and heading back, which also included a stop at the Ferry Boat Inn for a lovely midday meal sat on the waters edge. Mooring here is free for day boats and there’s usually someone on hand to help you if you’re not too confident with the parking elements of boating!
The rest of the weekend was mostly spend chilling out with the family. No pressures, just sitting back, relaxing and taking in the beautiful surroundings of Potter Heigham. Unfortunately, with degree deadlines looming, I had to take Saturday out and concentrate on working, that wasn’t fun whilst being away in the caravan, but hey, it makes a good office too! Grace and the family decided on taking a stereotypical day out to the seaside, where other than Great Yarmouth! It’s about as seaside as you can get, rock, Ice-cream, novelty this, fun fair that! You name it, it’s got it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the Mediterranean but you can’t fault a great British day out at the seaside!
Evening fell once again and what better excuse than to get out the BBQ. Any of you that follow us on social media will have seen our £11.99 Lidl Foldable BBQ. Probably the best £11 quid I’ve ever spent. We take it everywhere and I’m convinced that since we’ve had it, it’s been used everywhere too. For Grace and me, there really isn’t anything better than sitting out on a summers evening, with a drink, BBQ on, watching the world go by. After a busy week at work, we find it’s just what we need! The site was peaceful over this weekend, with only the smell and smoke of another BBQ or two to lift the atmosphere.
There is one downside of Charcoal BBQ’s though, you end up stinking! We did too, so off to the showers it was. The facilities at Willow croft are a bit deceptive. From the outside, there’s a very discreet looking wooden building, almost rustic, in keeping with time. Stepping inside though is a different experience. Modern facilities which although basic, give you exactly what you need. By the way they’re always spotless clean.
If we had one criticism of this site it would be the showers. We found that the shower head was quite close to the wall and backing up to rinse your hair sometime resulted in turning the shower off! The provision of an additional clothes hook or two and a shelf for lotions and potions would have made these A star! Despite this they were still hot and overall clean, which is the most important thing of course. The washing up area and local information was great too!
Sunday is usually the worst day, if you’re going home that is! We made the most of the morning though before we departed. The site is on a dead end road. Walking out of the site, turning right, and walking a few hundred yards takes you straight to the water’s edge. From here there’s a brilliant tow path that heads straight into Potter Heigham. We saw some gorgeous views walking along here, from the free grazing cattle to the old windmill. T-0 came and it was time to head home. Packed up, hitched up and headed off until the next time!
Willowcroft Caravan Park really does have a lot to offer. A great location, nearby attractions, services pitches and high quality facilities. We can’t recommend this place enough! For more details, or to book, please visit:
Barnes Brinkcraft Boat hire