Thursday, 27 November 2014

This is our plan for our April 2015 visit to the Norfolk Broads. 

Apart from above Potter Heigham, we have now explored all the rivers, except the River Waveney, and as I have read some really good reviews on The Locks at Geldeston, we are determined to visit there. While we are in the "South" we will overnight at a few of our favourite southern moorings; Loddon, Oulton Broad and Reedham.

There are a few places that we have passed and thought that we should visit the next time but never managed it. So we will overnight at Stokesby, a visit to both St Benets Abbey and Cockshoot Broad and have a brunch stop at the Stracey Arms.

When we get back to the northern rivers, we usually like a day on the River Thurne, to overnight at Coltishall, spend some time in Wroxham doing various activities, everyone loves Ranworth, and we would like to revisit Neatishead and eat at the White Horse as it has now been completely refurbished.


Friday 17th April 2015

Get to boatyard and get underway as soon as possible. Cruise down the River Ant turn onto the River Bure, and continue downstream, mooring at Stokesby. Travelling time 3 hours 20 minutes.  Visit nearby Candle Workshop if we get down there in time.  Dinner at the Ferry Inn. 


Saturday 18th April 2015

Leisurely morning, with either a visit to Candle Workshop, or a visit to the village, or a walk along the river bank. Short journey downriver to the Stracey Arms windmill, for lunch on board, opportunity to ascend the windmill, and visit the farm animals kept there. Leave at 14:00, and cruise down to Great Yarmouth. Low water here is at 16:42, but we should get down there for 15:30, the bridges here should be navigable then and the boat is powerful enough to cope with the tide still going out, as we don’t want to moor up too late. Follow the River Yare past Reedham, and the turn down the River Chet to Loddon, and moor for the night, ETOA 5:30pm. Explore the village, dinner in the Swan.


Sunday 19th April 2015

Morning visit to the village, pick up the Wherrymans Way, by the church, and follow footpath down and along by the river. Leave Loddon by 11:00 and return to the River Yare and back past Reedham, turning down the new cut to St. Olaves, arriving around 1pm. Maybe have lunch in the Bell, and short visit to the Priory. Leave by 2pm, and get down to Beccles around 5pm, hopefully we should be able to get under the bridge and continue to Geldestone for the night arriving at 6pm. Low water in Beccles is at 8:27pm, but the rise and fall here is nearly 3 feet. Dinner in the Locks Inn.


Monday 20th April 2015

Low water 8:51 in Beccles, so not a late start here, journey time 1 hour. Short visit into Beccles, for provisions, the continue back upstream on the Waveney. Turn off for Oulton Broad, journey time 2 hours 15 minutes. Moor either at yacht station, or in front of the Hotel. Maybe a walk into Lowestoft for the afternoon or the Carlton Nature reserve, or enjoy the nearby park.  Carvery for dinner in the Wherry Hotel.


Tuesday 21st April 2015

Journey upstream to Somerleyton and moor, journey time 1 hour. Visit the pretty village,
maybe taking the long walk to Somerleyton Hall, for either a visit of the gardens and maze, or the house too. Return to the boat for lunch, and continue up the New Cut to Reedham for an overnight mooring, journey time 45 minutes. Explore the riverside village, dinner in the Reedham Ferry. 


Wednesday 22nd April 2015

Early start, about 7:00 to cross back over Breydon Water, ideal time 8:11 to cross. Sail up the Thurne, should arrive at Womack Water before 12:00, look around Ludham village and get supplies in supermarket. Have a sandwich in Al Fresco tea shop. Move off and moor at St Benet's Abbey for a visit.  Move on up the Bure and moor for the night at the Ferry Inn, Horning. Overnight here, and have dinner at the Ferry Inn.


Thursday 23rd April 2015

Cruise across the river, moor and walk down to Cockshoot Broad. Set off and aim to be in Wroxham before midday (journey time 1 hour 20 minutes),  get the pilot to take us under the bridge. Moor in Wroxham, and maybe visit Wroxham barns, or just Wroxham town.  Continue up the Bure to Coltishall (journey time 1hour 30 minutes), if we arrive early enough maybe cruise to the limit of navigation at Horstead Mill, return to the common and moor up for the evening. Nice walk into the village. Enjoy the peace of the common, and then dinner at the Kings Head.


Friday 24th April 2015

Leave Coltishall and arrive back in Wroxham by 10, get the pilot to take us under the bridge, and moor in Broads Direct boatyard, or moor at the cafe if the yard is full. Walk around to the Bure Valley Railway station and catch the first steam train to Aylesham11:10 (or 14:00), either visit the village, or catch a cab to Blickling Hall if we have time. Return to Wroxham on the 15:30 (or 12:40), and cruise onto Salhouse Broad (40 minutes) and dinner in the Fur and Feather in Woodbastwick.


Saturday 25th April 2015

After breakfast, pop round the corner to the Great Hoveton Nature Trail. Cruise down to Horning (40 minutes), if we get a public mooring we can have lunch outside the Swan after looking around the deli etc, if there are no public moorings moor at the New Inn and have lunch there. Continue back down the Bure to Ranworth on Malthouse broad (1 hour), we should aim to be here by 3pm to be sure of a space. There is a pleasant walk here, or walk through the nature trail to the visitor centre, or visit the church here and climb the tower for great views.  Dinner in the Maltsters.


Sunday 26th April 2015

Leave Ranworth and turn back up the river Ant, and make for How Hill staithe (journey time 1 hour 20 minutes).  Join the lovely nature trail here, then look over Toad Hole cottage museum, maybe take a trip on the Electric Eel through the reed beds. Continue up the Ant to Barton Broad, and turn down Lime Kiln Dike, moor either at Neatishead staithe or Gays staithe. Dinner at the newly refurbished White Horse.


Monday 27th April 2015

Wherever we moored last night, leave with enough time to arrive back at Richardson by 9:30, via Sutton broad for a photo stop. 

Saturday, 3 May 2014


The plus side of over-nighting at Sutton, was there wasn't any reason to get up early, the boatyard was only 20 minutes away. Even so, we were the last boat on the staithe as we finished our morning tea. We turned the engine on and had tepid showers, the boatyard was so near it wasn't worth showering whilst moving, then finished packing.
The Staithe Emptying
Leaving Time
It was easy to turn the boat in the narrow but empty dike, and we were soon cruising across Sutton broad. The sun was up and the sky blue which really improves the views on this lovely broad. It is such a shame that people don't appreciate the beauty of this broad. The channel through the reeds is so narrow people would be forgiven for not realising it is a broad, and it really is worth stopping here and drinking in the beauty. The tree lined backdrop, with most of the broad filled with tall reeds and the wildlife swimming between the foliage. This morning we spotted ducks watching over their numerous ducklings.
Beautiful Sutton Broad
Reed Filled
Passage Cut Through The Reeds
Full Of Wildlife
And Their Young
We turned right, and a short slipway brought us back onto the main dike, with the boatyard just a few hundred yards away. We moored up in Heron Quay, and the handover crew quickly tied us up and had our fuel tank refilled for the next lucky hirer. However, Broadland Mars wouldn't be going out again for another week.
Travelling The Slipway
Back On The Main Dike
Boats Leaving The Yard
And The Mars Returning
We returned to reception and I got £24 back for unused fuel, I was really shocked and questioned it. The last time we crossed Breydon Water was on Broads Sunset and we had to pay a further £40, but I was told that these older boats were really good at conserving fuel. With extra money in my pocket, we treated ourselves to mugs of hot tea, and egg & bacon rolls while we waited for the taxi.

The taxi ride to Norwich was uneventful, we missed chatting to our usual driver from Catfield cabs, as he had retired. We got to Norwich station a few hours early, so caught a bus into the Elm Hill part of Norwich for a couple of hours, then walked back to the station, I felt a pang of nostalgia as we crossed Foundry bridge, and saw the spot we were moored a few nights before at the yacht station.
Nostalgic Views
The train back to Manchester was on time, and although a very long journey we were comfortable enough. We knew we would be back in Norfolk soon, but it was unlikely to be this year as we were going to Italy in August/September, so we were really going to have a withdrawal.

It wasn't long after being back, that we back Broads Harmony for 10 nights in April.

Friday, 2 May 2014


After a really good nights sleep I woke refreshed, we had a long leisurely breakfast. Coltishall Common is a splendid place to just hang around, and every time we come here we stay until the last minute. I walked up to the shop for some milk, didn't really need it, I just wanted to have one last walk over the common.
One Last Walk
The day was brighter than yesterday, and cruise down our favourite stretch of river was spectacular. More wildlife was seen this time than ever before, we saw  families of Geese, Ducks, Swans, and plenty of Herons and Kingfishers.
Back Down he Bure
Goslings & Ganders
Swimming Lessons
Another Family
Looking For Herring
Pretty Church At Belaugh
Wroxham moorings were very busy, there were three boats in front of us waiting for the pilot, but we were under the bridge within twenty minutes. The pilot hopped ashore as we weren't planning a stop this time, as we had quite a distance to travel today.
Leaving The Busy Moorings
Tight Fit
Light At The End Of The Tunnel
No Time To Shop
Back Under Next Year
I turned the boat into Salhouse Broad, and just cruised around the board. This was our first visit to the broads that we weren't stopping here, Salhouse is our favourite broad. A little down river we discovered that our water tank was empty. I remember getting up in the night to use the toilet, and half asleep, I must have returned to bed leaving the tap running. All the water from the kettle had been used, so there was no more tea until we refilled.
Property Watch
Gotta Have A Boathouse
Got My Eye On This One
As we turned the corner into Horning we spotted a boat just leaving the public staithe, so I had us moored within a few minutes. As we were locking the boat, a guy from the broads authority made us aware there was a boat show at 2pm, and the spaces on the staithe were reserved. I told him that we were only going to be there for 20 minutes, which he was fine with.
Getting Ready For The Boatshow
20 Minutes To Hit The Village
We walked into the village and looked around the shops, buying some of the same delicious marmalade that we bought last time from the delicatessens. We walked down to the New Inn and arranged a mooring and water, and lunch. We didn't really want lunch, as we had some cheese and rolls in the fridge which we wanted to use up, and we weren't that hungry.
Best Marmalade In Norfolk
Time To Move On
Walking Down To The Swan
We moved the boat down the 200 yards or so, and Gus welcomed us. He asked if we had a lunch booking, and Paul told him that we only wanted to fill up with water. Gus said just pull into the boatyard next door and he would sort us out. He filled the tank, so we didn't have to get off the boat, which we were really grateful as the day was getting on.
Leaving With A Full Tank
We made good time, and were soon turning up the river Ant, when we passed Ludham Bridge, we pulled over and moored up for a late lunch. We continued up the Ant, and after passing How Hill, I had to do quite a bit of manoeuvring as a procession of boats passed me. They were obviously just leaving Richardsons, starting they holidays, as their steering was a little rusty. That twisty bit of the Ant, just before Irstead can be tricky passing boats, but I eventually reached Barton Broad.
Approaching How Hill
Twisty River Ant
The Return Journey
The Ice House, Irstead
Crossing Barton Broad
I always get that sad feeling when crossing Barton Broad in this direction, and I felt a pang of jealously as I passed all the excited faces of the holidaymakers coming in the opposite direction. I turned down the dike, and was soon crossing Sutton Broad, and the sun finally came out in strength. The Sutton moorings were full, all the way down to Sutton green, the only space was the same corner bit by the cut, where we moored last time, but weren't sure if it was a legal space. I got a few looks, but nobody said anything, and I wasn't in anybodies way.
Entering Sutton Broad
Really Undiscovered Lovely Broad
Narrow But Long
I had planned on walking through Sutton village, right down to the pottery showroom, but the weather was so lovely, that I just sat on the boat and enjoyed the sunshine and the Norfolk sunset.
We walked round to the Sutton Staithe Hotel, and had a great meal of steak and chips, and a dessert, well it was our last night.
Our Usual "Suspect" Mooring Place
Enjoying The Late Afternoon Sun
Unless you are moored on the village green, a torch is essential once it's dark at Sutton, or your could end up walking straight into the water. We did a little packing, watched some TV, and went to bed wishing we could have another week.