Last week in Lidl, they had inflatable 2 person Kayak’s for sale for the measly sum of £39.99. Always looking for our next adventure, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one! Annoyingly though we only managed to get it out for a test today: cue the longest week ever as I drooled over everyone else’s Instagram pics of inflatable Kayak adventures.
Neither of us has kayaked before so I decided to pick up a couple of life jackets from Amazon and also a waterproof phone case.
It wasn’t until I looked at the box of the kayak at home that I realised our combined weight was slightly (ahem!) over the maximum weight of 160kg that the kayak could handle. This, along with a well timed Aldi offer of an inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard set becoming available this week, led to another rather more expensive impulse buy! 🤭 bet you can guess what else we added to Ruby’s collection?!
Anyway back to today- I was working until 1pm in Norwich but for the first time in several weeks we both had the afternoon and evening off. That and the fact that it was glorious sunshine here cemented the fact that today would be test day for our new inflatable water crafts.
After a few errands, including a stop off at Norwich Camping and Leisure to get a refill Camping Gas cylinder, we arrived at Whitlingham Country Park where there is a lovely small broad fit for two novices to make their debut launches!
If you don’t have your own kayak or SUP you can hire one here for a very reasonable amount. To launch our own it costs £5 per craft.
We agreed we would try the Kayak first. It took us about half an hour to unpack and inflate and instructions were easy enough to follow. Luckily, with the SUP kit came a large pump, which helped enormously on the larger air chambers- our 12v pump coped well with the smaller ones.
Life jackets on, we put a blanket in for Jazz to sit on without his paws piercing the kayak and in we went! At first we struggled to get a comfortable position going on our bums (I think it was because we were too heavy!) so we decided to kneel which gave us more height for the paddle in the water. There was quite a breeze but the small contained broad was ideal for us to practice on especially as it was now after hours so no one else on it!
Keith did the majority of the paddling and I along with Jazz sat up front taking pics.
It took me a little while to get my water legs but we had lots of fun trying the kayak out!
After a while our bellies started grumbling so we heaved the kayak out of the water and left it to dry outside Ruby whilst I cooked us dinner inside Ruby. The sun was beating down despite it being almost 6:30 now!
We enjoyed burgers for tea followed by some local Lakenham Icecream- yum. I hoped that I could get the SUP inflated for a play, but realistically by now it was just too late. It’s been a very busy week of work and we were both feeling exhausted so we decided to return perhaps next week for a go on the paddleboard instead. So keep your eyes peeled for our review on that new toy sometime soooon!
It didn’t take long at all to deflate the kayak and pack away! It stores away well in a bag for easy storage.
I’d highly recommend a trip to Whitlingham Country Park. For kayaking and water based activities (not swimming though) needs you can either go solely on the Broad for £5. Or you can go on the river which takes you to Norwich in about 6 miles- for this you need a permit which is £7 approx and last for 7 days.
For cycling or walking there are ample paths- including a well surfaced circumference path around the broad.
There is a huge array of wildlife to enjoy, whilst we were there we saw numerous dragonfly’s, and there were some bird watchers with huge camera lens’.
There are two large pay car parks (you pay on departure- it’s camera recognition, so you can’t avoid it) we paid £4.20 for 3.5hours. The car park isn’t gates so you can enter or exit at any point.
There are toilets and a cafe along with an info centre open during the day.
There is a basic campsite right on the Broad which allows fire pits but has no electricity. However if you prefer the more well serviced pitches and campsites the Norwich Camping and Caravan ClubSite is just down the road.
We would highly recommend a trip here- we had a wonderful afternoon chilling and having a mini adventure.
Need another reason to visit Norwich? Check out our “reasons to camp in Norwich post”
Until next time