Herbert Woods
Herbert Woods
4
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
Located in the Broadland village of Potter Heigham Herbert Woods is the perfect place to begin your Norfolk Broads Adventure. From Norfolk Broads Boat Hire to Day Experience, we have a complete experience for the whole family.
Norwich, Norfolk, England

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(79 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.0
855 reviews
Excellent
555
Very good
125
Average
45
Poor
58
Terrible
72

Carol P
32 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
After our very unsatisfactory experience aboard the less than elite Dazzling Light, we were asked to complete a form outlining our issues for the directors to review. The upshot of that was a call to offer us 10% off our next booking. Why do companies think it’s OK to do this? They have acknowledged our forward bathroom was constantly under water, the rear one had a dreadful smell the whole time, the TV didn’t work, the radio didn’t work, the mud weight winch didn’t work, and yet they think it’s perfectly acceptable to make us spend another several hundred pounds with them before getting any recompense!!
When we politely declined being coerced into spending another sizeable sum we were offered our fuel money back - a princely £70.
When you’ve spent a lot of money on a holiday and something goes wrong, the way it’s then handled can make such a difference to how a customer is left feeling about a business. In this case, we are left feeling as if our custom is of absolutely no consequence, and the fact that we spent several hundred pounds on an elite boat that was anything but, is just too bad.
Written 16 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jo K
Stevenage, UK30 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
This was our second booking with Herbert Woods and we are already sorting out dates for our next visit. Very friendly staff, nice briefing, beautiful well-maintained boat (gleaming light). As expected it was chilly aboard a boat in February but the warm air heated soon had us toasty and warm. Boat was spotlessly clean stocked with everything you would need and the welcome hamper a lovely touch.
Booking via their website was a breeze and fuel deposit quickly calculated, emailed to me and returned to my account. Thank you all and hope to see you again soon.
Written 14 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Journey615816
1 contribution
Nov 2023 • Couples
My husband and I returned from 1 week on Supreme Light in November which was our much anticipated honeymoon. We are loyal customers and have been on holiday with Herbert woods every year for a few years now. We had saved up really hard to afford this honeymoon and buy ourselves a small piece of what we were led to believe was a bit of luxury by booking one of your elite range boats. Unfortunately we were extremely disappointed with the boat, we were really underwhelmed and upset by the standards of the boat and felt we have been totally miss-sold. It has sadly taken the exciting edge off our special holiday, we will be looking at cruisers from other suppliers going forward. 
I will state that the staff are immensely friendly and nothing is too much trouble for them but I can see that the lack of maintenance and lack of detail is obviously a company policy of which they must follow.
But if a company touts their product as ‘elite’ that means it’s the best of the best, no corners cut and nothing but the best. However, the only thing elite about this boat was the sticker attached to the outside of the cruiser and even this was worn and falling off!
From the fixtures and fittings to the overall condition and cleanliness of the boat, nothing reached what we’d consider elite.

Firstly as detailed on the website we were expecting the hamper to contain the items listed , we didn’t receive any orange juice and only 1 pint of milk unlike the 2 pint shown on the photo and then some other basic products from the co-op not really locally sourced as stated online. We had to try go out of our way to try and find an open shop from the available moorings for milk whilst on holiday because we didn’t get the quantity we were expecting. Although it does state the contents may change online it was clear that the products were from a supermarket and therefore I doubt the products listed were unavailable. 

Secondly the boat itself was tired inside and has absolutely not been maintained to a high standard, we were shocked at the very poor condition of some areas of the boat, and as loyal customers who have tried other boats sadly we feel we have paid a premium price expecting a small piece of luxury for low standard boat which was no more elite and worse in some cases than other boats we have been on from your fleet. Some of the issues we found were:- 
* shower head covered in limescale 
* Kitchen tap covered in limescale 
* Bottom of kettle had a layer of floating limescale 
* Top deck blue seat all worn and torn 
* Top deck control gauge had fallen into the control panel 
* Woodwork mouldy and damp in a number of places 
* Thick amounts of cobwebs in a number of places around the boat 
* Curtains don’t have enough hooks to attach to rail which leaves them gaping and drafty
* On the first night we had to call to engineer as the antenna wires weren’t even connected into it meaning it was never going to work although he did change this the antenna didn’t work the entire duration of the holiday. 
* The analogue aerial only worked 1 night of the holiday , each night we were spending nearly an hour trying to get signal on each aerial which was frustrating to say the least. It doesn’t matter so much on summer time holidays but when you book a winter holiday and have to moor up by 4.30pm due to loss of sunlight it’s a really long night without any form of tv. 
* 1 bulb not working in bedroom and 1 very dull 
* 1 dull bulb in saloon area 
* The heater, whilst it did work, gave out a constant loud tapping noise, of which the engineer said was ok as it was still working.
* It was supposedly an elite 6 berth boat but after a full day of cruising there was barely enough hot water for 2 showers, most days one of us had to have a cold last half of a shower.
* The doors and moveable hatches just generally had poor fitting with large gaps around in places as the panels don’t meet properly, again not an issue in summer but when your hiring these boats out in winter it’s a problem. 
* We had a couple of days of inclement weather and whilst cruising had to use the windscreen wiper, which I can only assume has been put there as a joke. It cleared about an A5 sized area of the screen, poorly, rendering us with near zero visibility and creating a dangerous situation.

I’ve attached some photos of these issues.

Sadly we feel that Herbert Woods in this instance have not taken the time or pride necessary to ensure everything is to the standard it should be for its customers and have done the bare minimum to prepare the boat and charge the premium price, and it has left us extremely dissatisfied with our honeymoon experience.

Although raising this issues directly with Herbert Woods after our holiday and giving them the opportunity to address these issues and discuss them further with us , we were not satisfied with their initial response and are now 5 weeks on without a resolution, and having to chase them up. Customer service and holiday satisfaction seems to be an even lower priority than boat maintenance and up-keeping expected boat standards.
Written 27 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to share your detailed feedback regarding your honeymoon experience aboard Supreme Light. We sincerely apologise for the disappointment and inconvenience you encountered, which did not meet the high standards we strive to uphold for our elite range boats. We are grateful for loyal customers like you and are disheartened to hear that your much-anticipated holiday fell short of expectations. Following our conversations, we are relieved to have reached an agreement that we hope addresses your concerns satisfactorily. Your insights have been invaluable in highlighting areas for immediate improvement, particularly in maintenance, cleanliness, and the overall customer experience. Rest assured, we are taking your feedback seriously and implementing necessary changes to ensure our service truly reflects the elite standard we advertise. We appreciate your patience and the opportunity to resolve this matterwith you.
Written 5 February 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Claudine T
1 contribution
Nov 2023 • Family
A fabulous bonding experience to have with your family (even the teenagers)! The staff were all very welcoming and hospitable. Nothing was too much trouble! We are planning to go back in summer.
Written 23 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your wonderful review! We are so pleased to hear that your boating experience was a fabulous bonding opportunity for your family, teenagers included. It's fantastic to know that our staff made your experience even more enjoyable with their welcoming and hospitable nature. We are thrilled that you're planning to return in the summer, and we look forward to providing you with another memorable trip. Your satisfaction and positive experiences are what we strive for, and your feedback is greatly appreciated.
Written 6 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

laurence t
1 contribution
Nov 2023 • Family
Staff are always fantastic, so friendly and helpful. The boats are excellent, nice and warm for winter boating! November is a great time to go as the Broads are so beautiful then
Written 22 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for your positive feedback about our staff and boats! We are delighted to hear that you found our team to be friendly and helpful, and that our boats provided a warm and comfortable experience for your winter boating adventure. November indeed offers a unique beauty on the Broads, and we're glad you enjoyed it. Your kind words are greatly appreciated, and they motivate us to continue providing excellent service and experiences for our guests. We look forward to welcoming you back for another wonderful trip on the Broads!
Written 6 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SJG
1 contribution
Oct 2023 • Family
First time ever hiring a boat on the broads and although the broads where great the boat was not! We hired the Ray of Light, the boat constantly lost power on every day out and felt like it was going to break down, this also meant we couldn’t keep up with other boats are friends had hired. The boat was dirty throughout and had stained bedding. All the cabins leaked and the heating was intermittent at best, we had no heating at all for the last 2 days, not ideal in October. When one of the other boats in our party broke down(for the second time on the trip) the engineers had a look at our boat and said they had fixed the issue with the boat loosing power, unfortunately they had not. When we returned the boat no one seemed too bothered when we explained the problems we had. Awful first boating experience, very disappointing!!
Written 20 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are deeply sorry to hear about the challenges and disappointments you faced during your first boating experience on the Ray of Light. It's concerning to learn that the boat did not meet the expected standards, both in terms of cleanliness and functionality. The issues with power loss, cleanliness, and the heating system are certainly not reflective of the quality experience we aim to provide. We apologise for the inconvenience and discomfort caused, especially given the cold weather in October. Additionally, the lack of adequate response when you returned the boat and reported these issues is not in line with our customer service values. We take your feedback very seriously and are committed to addressing these concerns to improve our service and fleet maintenance. Please contact us directly if you wish to talk further about this matter.
Written 6 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

wardy129
Boston, UK44 contributions
Nov 2023 • Family
Visited recently, booked an elite boat. It definitely wasn’t elite. The turnaround on the boat had clearly been done in a rush and the clean wasn’t done properly. Booked with this company a few years ago and it was excellent, but the standards have definitely slipped. We were also given an extra bill for fuel which was a bit of a shock to say the least add an extra £206 when we had already paid £200 fuel deposit. Will definitely not be using Herbert Woods again.
Written 20 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for sharing your feedback about your recent visit and experience with our elite boat. We are truly sorry to hear that the boat did not meet the elite standards you expected, especially considering your previous positive experience with us. The rushed preparation and inadequate cleaning you encountered are not acceptable, and we sincerely apologise for the disappointment this caused. Your feedback is invaluable in helping us identify and rectify areas where our service has slipped. We would greatly appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further with you please feel free to contact us at your convenience.
Written 6 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Gil Chesterton
United Kingdom1,229 contributions
Nov 2023 • Friends
We tried to book via their website and it kept failing, we tried calling, no answer. In the end we booked via a third party travel agent who was great. They called us back immediately, took payment, but obviously had a ‘Bat Phone’ to the yard as they were able to call Herbert Woods whilst we were on the phone and book it all. Hardly a digital experience!

We had top pay an extortionate deposit that was not held on the credit card, it was actually taken as payment! Cash Flow in Herbert Woods must be poor.

On our day of arrival, the last 5 road miles were horrendous in getting to the yard due to various road and bridge closures, to the point we did not arrive until 16:45. When we arrived, the team in reception who were very pleasant, said “oh yes, we never thought to let you know about the road issues, any way it is too late now for the lads to show you the boats so you will have to stay in the yard over night’

One individual showed us the boat and gave us a very quick brief, that turned out to be totally wrong and unsafe, as we found out the next day. Interestingly the chap showing us the ropes, the next day was scathing about his colleague, ‘referring to him as the ‘yard idiot’, how delightful!

We tried to use the marina toilets and showers, these were a disgrace. Showers out of order, toilets unclean, no toilet roll other than toilet roll tubes all over the floor. Have seen better festival toilets!

The individual giving us the safety demo, was the most uninterested/customer facing chap we have ever met, constantly asking ‘do you have any questions’, whilst at the same time shaking his head and moving his arms to suggest ‘do not dare ask a question’.

This is an employee of Herbert Woods who in the space of 5 minutes told us the boat was as old as the ark and in theory they should all be taken out of the water each year and maintained, but that is just theory! WOW! Such customer skills!

The weather was not great and we were told in no uncertain terms the windscreen wipers were a joke. This was very honest as only one moved and the rubber was long gone.

We were then told that key items such as a mallet for knocking pegs into the ground for mooring were not supplied. We asked why and got the response “customers thieve them’! WOW!

After a load of mis-information around where to park our car, we were on our way.

To our surprise the boat handled reasonably well, although basic indicators such as level of the water and waste tanks were no where to be seen. We ran out of water almost immediately (no one had any showers at this point). So the boat clearly had not been filled up.

We found the heating to be ineffective and only really worked in one of the cabins and saloon. One night it was making such a noise we shut it off by using the full boat isolators.

So a cold, damp boat overall.

We returned the night prior to ensure we met the stringent checkout time. One of slipped and hurt our shoulder and neck on the pontoons that were just slippy, this is despite wearing appropriate boating footwear.

We explained to the chap that had shown us the boat the issue with heating, it was evident he did not want to know, had no intention of doing anything. How lucky were the people taking the boat next.

We were told that they did the fuel tank measurement later in the day, so best to just leave. We tried to use the Marina toilets again, but gave up as they were even more disgusting than previous.

Latter that day we got a confusing email regarding fuel. It too a bit to read and understand the claim of what we had used, which seemed a lot for the duration/distance we had been. We had no way of checking the amount used and could only think it had been calculated by individuals who had no pride in their work and zero customer experience skills. A week later and still no refund, we had to chase. Equally we had to chase to get the large deposit back.

Very very very poor experience overall!
Written 19 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are truly sorry to hear about the numerous challenges and disappointments you experienced during your interactions with our company and during your time on the boat. From the difficulties in booking to the unsatisfactory condition of the boat and marina facilities, it's clear that we fell far short of providing the high-quality service and experience we aim to offer. The issues you faced with the booking process and the communication regarding road closures are concerning, and we will be reviewing our systems and procedures to ensure a more seamless and informative experience for our customers in the future. Regarding the boat's condition, cleanliness, and maintenance, we take your comments very seriously. We are committed to addressing these issues promptly to prevent similar experiences for our future guests. The behavior and attitude of our staff as described are unacceptable, and we will be looking into this matter with utmost priority. We also deeply regret the safety concerns and the lack of prompt attention to the issues you raised during your trip. Your feedback is crucial for our improvement and if you'd like to discuss this further then please do contact us.
Written 6 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ScubaDave76
London, UK118 contributions
Nov 2023 • Family
So we hired an Elite boat (Royal Light) for a week with the family. From the moment we picked it up to the moment we dropped it off we had nothing but trouble with it.

On collection we were keen to set off as our pick up time was delayed, we noticed the outside of the boat was very dirty with muddy footprints and leaves everywhere. Once we got settled in and start liking the beds we noticed dog hairs still everywhere from the previous guests, the toilet still had excrement in and the boat had not been filled with water. This was not a great start to a holiday, we are experienced boaters who own boats and property on the broads and have never seen anything like this.

The boat itself was poorly maintained, the leisure battery’s were faulty and not holding charge and there was a constant dripping from the prop shaft which made the bilge pump activate all night.

The third night into our stay we had to pay for a pump out as the toilets clearly had not been emptied properly.

I’m really dissatisfied with Herbert Woods and the communication since we raised our issues. I won’t be using them again and will stick to a much more professional boat yard like NBD or Richardsons.
Written 17 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are truly sorry to read about your disappointing experience with the Royal Light. The issues you've described, from the uncleanliness of the boat to its poor maintenance, are far from the standards we strive to uphold, especially for an Elite boat. We deeply apologise for the distress and inconvenience this caused you and your family during what should have been an enjoyable holiday. Your feedback as experienced boaters is particularly valuable, and we are taking it very seriously. Immediate steps will be taken to address these issues, including a thorough review of our cleaning and maintenance procedures, to ensure that such lapses in service do not occur again. We regret to hear about the communication difficulties post your trip and the impact this has had on your trust in our services. We would greatly appreciate the opportunity to discuss this matter with you directly and explore ways to rectify your experience.
Written 6 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Johndeertractor
Lincoln, United Kingdom17 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
We hired an elite boat, the boat was not clean and constantly damp and wet, and definitely nothing elite about it. On the first day the boat overheated, and aloud warning sound constantly going off. When we tried to moor we realised the stern bow thrusters wasn’t working. We called Herbert woods out to it, but they didn’t fix it, just told us to knock it back and reduce speed. Then 3 days later it broke down totally, and the engine wouldn’t start. They said it was something to do with the fuel system. At this point I didn’t have any faith in the boat at all. We really struggled with this boat all week. We have been on the Norfolk broads several times, but this is the worst boat we have had, and the worst customer service.
Written 16 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are deeply sorry to hear about the series of issues you faced with your elite boat rental. It's concerning to learn that the boat was not up to the cleanliness and quality standards we aim to provide, especially for an elite classification. The technical problems you experienced, from the overheating to the bow thrusters and eventual breakdown, are unacceptable, and we understand your frustration and disappointment. We apologise for the inconvenience and discomfort caused during your holiday, and for the customer service not meeting your expectations. This feedback is crucial for us, and we are taking immediate steps to address these concerns to prevent such experiences for our future guests. We value your loyalty to the Norfolk Broads. If you would like to discuss this further then please contact us directly at your earliest convenience.
Written 6 December 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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HERBERT WOODS (Norwich) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go