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Norfolk Broads, any tips?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Sorry to pull us away from our snowy stuff in the middle of the season but....
I have to have something to look forward to, so I've booked a little boat at the begining of July.
I thought that's a cheap week for me and the misses.

I've never done the "Broads" and its only a couple of hours drive.
We've had boating hols before in France and Holland and loved it.

We're kicking off from Stalham.

Whats worth doing/visiting and whats not?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@DrLawn, Important question - what's the boat's bridge clearance? If it is quite low you will be able to get under Wroxham, and possibly Potter Heigham bridges. From Stalham you'll go down the River Ant via Barton Broad with options to visit Sutton Staithe or go up to Wayford Bridge along the way. The Ant is narrow, winding, and very pretty. How Hill is a good place to stop along the way. At Antmouth you have a choice, up the Bure to Wroxham, and if you can get through the bridge as far as Coltishall Common. This upper stretch is again very attractive, and as some of the bigger boats can't get under the bridge more peaceful. The Bure between Wroham and Horning gets very busy. Down the Bure places such as Malthouse Broad (Ranworth) well worth visiting - you used to be able to go up to the top of the church tower here, with fantastic views over the Broads, but I don't know if that is possible nowadays. St Benet's Abbey is worth a stop - now a ruin at one point it was the most important Abbey in East Anglia. Up the Thurne is lovely in a different way, more open, less trees, and lots of Marsh Harriers to spot. If you can get under Potter Bridge it leads to my favourite part of the Broads, Heigham Sound, Hickling Broad, and Horsey Mere - wide expanses of water, lined with reeds, lots of wildlife and open skies. At Horsey you can visit the restored windpump, and even take a half hour walk to the beach - make sure you return via the Lord Nelson, a real pub of character. Further down the Bure you come to Acle, and again, wide open spaces. Downstream of Acle it leads towards Gt Yarmouth, but unless you rush you probably won't want to cross Breydon Water on a one week trip.
Above all, take your time, it's best at no more than walking pace! (Speed limits vary between 3 and 5mph generally)

If you want to know anything else just ask - it's been "my patch" for many years.
ski holidays
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I spent my childhood reading adverts in the Radio Times and sending for brochures about boats on the Broads. There was never a snowball's chance..... but I used very seriously to look at the layouts and figure out whether there was enough room for us all to sleep. The Broads were a long way from Cardiff - I might as well have been dreaming of cruising round the Baltic.

Have a lovely holiday, @DrLawn.

I've still never been to the Broads.
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We did it a couple of times with a crowd of friends, 3 sailing boats. Had a great time (25+ years ago).

Things I remember: Cantley sugar beet factory, Reedham chain ferry, Potter Higham bridge. Transit of Yarmouth needed care with state of tide.

Strangely nearly every overnight mooring was next to a country pub. The other nights were a short walk from a country pub......

When it comes to sailing if I’m on the tiller I have a rare talent for ending up head to wind and making no progress.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@pam w, If you sail get someone to come with you and rent a yacht from either www.marthamboats.com or www.huntersyard.co.uk
The Hunter's Yard boats are particularly interesting as they don't have engines, so apart from the sails your only other option is the "wooden Topsail", the quant pole.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
DJL wrote:
Strangely nearly every overnight mooring was next to a country pub. The other nights were a short walk from a country pub......

While I enjoy boating I have never sailed there, but I have been walking or cycling in the area a few times. That rule seemed to apply to campsites too, without fail! And they were really nice pubs.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Been a long while since I was on the broads. 40 years to be precise. (Had to look up the year). It was the same week Charles & Diana got married. rolling eyes I thought - A nice quiet 2 weeks on a boat, away from all the wedding fuss. Didn't take my (all male) cousins into account. We spent 2 hours going up and down a small river in the middle of nowhere trying to find a tv signal so they could watch it. Puzzled Not even a pub in sight Mad
Spent the afternoon sat on top, in the sun reading James Herbert.

As @DJL, hinted. You tend to plan your routes around where to have lunch, and an evening beer or 3 Very Happy Very Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Wow, Thanks all of you!
For your encouragement, as @pam w, I spent my many hours in my school days dreaming about a boating holiday
with my school mates .. sort of knew that would never happen.
But I spent so much time studying the Hoseasons catalogue back then.
@RobinS,
I think its a small one that will go under the Potter Heigham bridge. And thanks for all that great info.
You mentioned sailing...
I was lucky enough to have a friend when I was a teenager who's dad had a business here in Royston building yachts.
So a few of us could go off on the weekend and use their demo boats moored up at Ramsholt on the Deben and up at Orford.
I watched a film on a plane last year "Yesterday" the Beatles and some guy who was the only person on teh planet who remembered them.
The was a scene in it at the Ramsholt Arms, I was blubbing out loud with nostalgia for those sunny carefree days when the Beatles were in full flow and I was young.

I'm going to sneak up to Norfolk before we go and get a tea towel .. to navigate by and dream while drying the dishes.
Catch you all later.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
pam w wrote:
I spent my childhood reading adverts in the Radio Times and sending for brochures about boats on the Broads. There was never a snowball's chance..... but I used very seriously to look at the layouts and figure out whether there was enough room for us all to sleep. The Broads were a long way from Cardiff - I might as well have been dreaming of cruising round the Baltic.

Have a lovely holiday, @DrLawn.

I've still never been to the Broads.


We, 2+5 year old, went on a whim. Also on a whim was really wanting a sailing boat, not a white plastic one. Three hours instruction from on of the yard workers and we were off on the good ship Daffodil (appropriate). It was a gaff rigged (why make it easy) ship with a drop down centre-board and a raise-up cabin roof. We had a great time!
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Charliegolf, Glad you had a great time,
I only booked this trip the other day as I thought its going to have to be a staycation this year.
It looked like hotel prices were going supersonic, then I looked at boats and could not believe how cheap it was ... "Get in quick", I thought.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@DrLawn, If you got it cheap, out of Stalham, presumably it's from Richardsons. They have a huge number of boats - just don't expect a super-yacht! Many of their boats are a touch older and more tired than some companies, but still perfectly serviceable as long as you don't expect super-smart luxury.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@RobinS, Yes, your spot on... it is Richardsons ... and I'm sure it has seen better times.
But we're not fussed.
Its not as though we are entertaining a bunch of people on the after deck in Cannes, this is Norfulk
We'll take a van up their with us and a couple of bikes and just make the best out of it.
If the weather turns bad we'll come home.
But it will be scorchio !
ski holidays
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@DrLawn, The sun always shines in Norfolk (well maybe not always - but more often than anywhere else in the UK!). The Broads is a beautiful area, and if it rains there are lots of good pubs to visit. The one time we had a motor cruiser rather than a yacht (as I had one arm in plaster) it was a 1953 vintage boat - and we had a great time.
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Treat 'em mean and keep 'em keen
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
We went last August and had a great time. The bits I liked the best were Coltishall - nice end of the river vibe. There was a great SUP rental there and we rented them and went further up. Thume (the big windmill) is really pretty. Ranworth Broad is lovely and there are nice walks around there.

One tip would be to take a dinghy or kayak or something so you can potter about. We moored up and then found it a bit boring sometimes (in August you have to get a mooring early).

We used Richardsons and our boat was fine. Bring citronella candles as we got munched in the evening and couldn't buy them anywhere!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thank you @RosieL,
So we have Mozzies to look forward to ? Crying or Very sad

Lets forget about them for now and take Jungle stuff, just in case.

I think we would get to the next mooring quite early each day (if we moved at all)
When we did one of these on the French canals it was very laid back, but we did one in Holland
and it was like parking on the side of the M25 ...if you could find a spot to moore up.
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sorry!!! Just thought I'd warn you as we were caught out. Just don't moor under trees and you'll be fine. It's just at dusk. Take the jungle stuff too but citronella candles are really nice in the evening.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
early July should be less hectic than August.
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
RobinS wrote:
@DrLawn, Important question - what's the boat's bridge clearance? If it is quite low you will be able to get under Wroxham, and possibly Potter Heigham bridges. From Stalham you'll go down the River Ant via Barton Broad with options to visit Sutton Staithe or go up to Wayford Bridge along the way. The Ant is narrow, winding, and very pretty. How Hill is a good place to stop along the way. At Antmouth you have a choice, up the Bure to Wroxham, and if you can get through the bridge as far as Coltishall Common. This upper stretch is again very attractive, and as some of the bigger boats can't get under the bridge more peaceful. The Bure between Wroham and Horning gets very busy. Down the Bure places such as Malthouse Broad (Ranworth) well worth visiting - you used to be able to go up to the top of the church tower here, with fantastic views over the Broads, but I don't know if that is possible nowadays. St Benet's Abbey is worth a stop - now a ruin at one point it was the most important Abbey in East Anglia. Up the Thurne is lovely in a different way, more open, less trees, and lots of Marsh Harriers to spot. If you can get under Potter Bridge it leads to my favourite part of the Broads, Heigham Sound, Hickling Broad, and Horsey Mere - wide expanses of water, lined with reeds, lots of wildlife and open skies. At Horsey you can visit the restored windpump, and even take a half hour walk to the beach - make sure you return via the Lord Nelson, a real pub of character. Further down the Bure you come to Acle, and again, wide open spaces. Downstream of Acle it leads towards Gt Yarmouth, but unless you rush you probably won't want to cross Breydon Water on a one week trip.
Above all, take your time, it's best at no more than walking pace! (Speed limits vary between 3 and 5mph generally)

If you want to know anything else just ask - it's been "my patch" for many years.


Brilliant advice above for anyone visiting the Broads. Heigham sound, Hickling Broad and Horsey mere are my favourite area of the Broads. Stretch from Wroxham to Malthouse/ Ranworth broads is way too busy for my liking. Wayford bridge far less busier location for hiring than traffic clogged Wroxham.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
DrLawn wrote:

So a few of us could go off on the weekend and use their demo boats moored up at Ramsholt on the Deben and up at Orford.
I watched a film on a plane last year "Yesterday" the Beatles and some guy who was the only person on teh planet who remembered them.
The was a scene in it at the Ramsholt Arms, I was blubbing out loud with nostalgia for those sunny carefree days when the Beatles were in full flow and I was young.


Fantastic!! Two lovely rivers Alde and Deben and the Arms is in such a lovely location. Did you ever sail to Iken church from Orford? One of the most picturesque spots in Suffolk.

In the film "Yesterday " an early scene was filmed near the Reed cutter pub at Cantley on the Broads.
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Hi @jimmybog,
But you're form "Suffolk" do they let you come up past Lowestoft? wink

To be serious though...
Sorry I can't remember much about the Orford Trips, I dont think we went up as far as the Iken Church.
I do remember getting stuck in the putty on a a trip towards Woodbridge though.

We quite often go up to Felixstowe Ferry though and have Fish n'Chips in the garden of the pub there.
But not very often these days to the other side at Bawdsey.

The problem is that its quite a long way round by road for us ... Felixstowe has such as easy trip in on the dual carriageway.

Getting back to the boat height though, I think it will be low enough to get under Potter Heigham it looks like a very small boat.
https://www.hoseasons.co.uk/boat-holidays/star-gem-bh1419?utm_source=traveller&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=booking-acknowledgement

I'm really looking forward to it now...
And I'll make it our business to look around Hickling Broad, thanks for the encouragement everybody.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
We'll need a trip report, of course....
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@DrLawn, I,ve always enjoyed the wildness of ' the ferry' ( and fun to sail). When next up that way, and if you fancy a pint by the deben, try the maybush at Waldringfield - cracking location right by the water. A significant chunk of my teenage summers was spent sailing and drinking my way up and down the deben - good times Smile
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Interesting reading this as a local as most people I know around here go to the coast rather than the Broads.
The best place on the Broads has to be Norwich by some way. A beautiful city - up there with Cambridge, York and Bath etc but without all the tourists. You can park up at riverside and walk up the the cathedral, walk around the city etc. Well worth a day out. The vibe in the evening is fantastic with so many good places to eat - just avoid avoid the Prince of Wales Road which is the main link between the river and and city and.
Walk north and head up behind the Cathedral, Tombland and Elm Hill....
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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@pam w, Eye, Eye, Capn!

@nickH, I'll have to try the Maybush sometime .. the snag is I wont be that way this trip.
Normally its just a day out to Felixstowe and a drive back .. so 1 single pint at lunch time is my limit Sad

@cameronphillips2000, I do like "Norridge" ... had a nice day out in the the first lockdown .. had a train to ourselves all the way,
than rode electric bikes around the near empty streets and out along an old redundant railway line.
The only people we saw were lining up to get in Marks N' Sparks food hall.

Thanks all!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
You'll,be excited the hear that the electric Beryl bikes have now been joined by Beryl eleftric scooters.
latest report
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
You'll,be excited the hear that the electric Beryl bikes have now been joined by Beryl eleftric scooters.
latest report
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
DrLawn wrote:
@cameronphillips2000, I do like "Norridge" ... had a nice day out in the the first lockdown .. had a train to ourselves all the way,
than rode electric bikes around the near empty streets and out along an old redundant railway line.
The only people we saw were lining up to get in Marks N' Sparks food hall.

Thanks all!


Oi think yer mean 'Naaah-ritch', buh! Thass heeuw the loocals sayy ert! wink
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Sorry @luigi,
but av ya gor a liote bouy?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
We make the annual trip from West Devon to the Broads for October half term every year. Have only ever done 3 nights. I'd imagine on 1 small boat, 2 adults and 4 kids any longer than 3 nights may become slightly "tense".

We always get the (ahem) cheaper end of the market boats which are old but perfectly fine. We always stay 1 night in Salhouse Broad between Horning and Wroxham - can get busy but I suppose horses for courses as to whether you like splendid isolation or the fun of watching other families berth their boats whilst you watch with a cold beer.

Definitely take SUPs fs you have any or consider renting 1 or 2 for the trip.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I think most things have been covered but would add that if you are only out for a week I would stay on the North and not bother going beyond Acle. Depending on your boat if it is a size that allows you to go under Potter or Wroxham bridges (with a pilot) its well worth it, as has been said previously. I live overlooking the Bure on the stretch between Wroxham and Coltishall and I also have a 30ft traditional broads sailing boat so spend quite a bit of time out and about on the broads, so please ask if you need any further information.
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