Norfolk Broads Holiday 2024

Arriving at the boat yard at Potter Heigham, via train, bus, a mile walk and a lift from a kind local couple, I checked in and boarded our boat for the weekend and was soon joined by Peter, Annick and Fozi. Having had the boat tour with a member of the boatyard staff, we loaded up the boat with considerable luggage, bought some ships provisions, and cast off for our destination for the evening.

On leaving the boatyard we headed south turning into the River Bure, passing through Horning and reached and moored up at Salhouse Broad after a couple of hours cruising. We then headed to the pub about a mile away for our evening meal, before returning to the boat in the dark afterwards, with our torches lighting the way through the wooded pathway to the Broad.

On Sunday we cast off, with Annick at the helm doing a good job steering the boat. We rejoined the main river, heading back past Horning, hoping to moor at Ranworth for lunch. To my surprise, there were a couple of spaces available so we moored up and had lunch. We then headed to the nearby nature reserve, where one of the few remaining wherries was moored up and open to visitors, so we had a look around it as well as the nature reserve.

Returning to our boat, we cast off and then headed up the River Ant to Stalham, passing under the low and narrow bridge at Ludham Bridge and crossing the exposed expanse of water at Barton Broad. As we neared Stalham, a kingfisher flew down the river passing by the side of the boat. At Stalham we moored up in the boatyard for the evening before handing off into the town for our meal.

On Monday morning, we departed the busy boatyard and headed back along the River Ant, passing close by another kingfisher perched on a branch, to moor at How Hill, where we had a walk round the wildlife trial walk, and spotted a deer, and visited the “secret” garden. Returning to the boat we had lunch, and I heard the low pitched boom of a bittern from the reed beds across the river. We left to continue down the River Ant, retracing our route, back under the little bridge, to moor up at Ludham for the final evening. After a couple of hours we arrived at Ludham and moored up in glorious sunshine. .

Tuesday morning saw an early start, and after a short cruise of about 40 minutes, we arrived back at our home boatyard, where we moored up amidst all the other boats, before unloading and heading back home. It had been a good weekend with everyone back safe and sound, no-one falling in the water or any other mishaps, and the weather had been good all weekend. Thanks to Peter, Annick and Fozi for their help with the moorings and keeping us supplied with teas, lunches, etc. I think I’m getting the hang of this lark.

Trev Eley.  15th May 2024