A Chat with TheCanoeMan

Published: Tuesday 3rd Mar 2020

Written by: Isobel Taylor

The Norfolk Broads are made up of over 125 miles of navigable waterways and it is one of the fifteen UK National Parks. Famous for its picturesque scenery, rich heritage and vast array of wildlife, the Broads are hotspot for tourists. 

Perhaps one of the best ways to explore the Broads is to get on the water itself. TheCanoeMan offers canoe, paddleboard or kayak rental for explorers or if you’re a wildlife enthusiast or you’ve never been on the water before TheCanoeMan offers a great range of guided tours or courses. I caught up with Ellen, from TheCanoeMan to talk about why the Norfolk Broads are so special, where to find some of the most peaceful spots on the waterways and why she loves being outside in Norfolk.

Man and dog canoeing

Can you tell me a little about your role at TheCanoeMan?

My position is extremely varied! I can be doing anything from sitting in front of a computer to sitting in a canoe in the middle of a broad! A normal day would consist of moving boats and launching hires in the morning, then either catching up on admin or helping out on a canoe trail in the afternoon.

What services do you offer? 

A complete variety of outdoor activities and adventures. From canoeing, sea kayaking, paddleboarding, bushcraft and archery, we run everything from half day hires to full adventure days combining many different activities across Norfolk and North Suffolk.

Family in canoe

What does TheCanoeMan offer customers that is unique?

The opportunity to see some amazing stretches of river that you’d never be able to see in a normal cruiser boat! All motorboats on the River Bure are unable to get further than Coltishall, so anywhere further upstream is a paddler’s playground! You can paddle for hours and not see a single person, and you don’t have to worry as much about traffic, so you can completely immerse yourself in your surroundings; with all the green foliage and stunning wildlife such as Kingfishers and even Otters, it really is quite beautiful!

Canoe on river

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Probably the variety – no two days are the same around here! I also love getting people on the water and seeing their apprehension turn into pure enjoyment. I grew up around the Broads and love that I can share my appreciation of this place with others, whether they’re locals who’re exploring that particular spot for the first time, or people who’ve come on holiday to Norfolk and have never experienced the Broads and what they have to offer.

Why have you chosen the Norfolk Broads for your business?

Norfolk is perfect for paddling – there’s water everywhere! The Broads provide miles and miles of picturesque waterways which are extremely sheltered, making it much safer and enjoyable for beginners as many of our customers have never stepped foot in a canoe or kayak before!

Canoes moored up

When you are not working what do you like to do? 

I’m normally outdoors in some way, shape, or form. If I’m not out on the water myself, then I love going to the beach. There’s so much varying coastline around Norfolk that there’s something for everyone. If you like the idea of wild beaches, then Horsey is a great place where you’ll probably see the odd seal bobbing around, or if you like your beach to have a bit more to it, then there’s lovely seaside towns such as Sheringham or Cromer. 

I recently signed up for a half marathon, so running is currently something that I’m doing a lot of. The Bure Valley path is a great place for a run (or walk!), Norfolk is great for exploring on foot as it’s full of lovely villages (which are full of lovely pubs!).


Did you know TheCanoeMan is part of our Holiday Extra scheme? Book a holiday with Norfolk Cottages and you will automatically receive a voucher for 50% off a three hour canoe hire at Wroxham.

If you are inspired to explore the Norfolk Broads why not stay in one of our fabulous properties. Located all around the Broads find your perfect holiday cottage here.

Isobel Taylor



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