Suggested Holiday Itineraries
First time sailors will often cruise for hour after hour each day of their holiday and while there is nothing wrong with this approach, it can mean that you are bypassing some picturesque villages or other points of interest. So what is the ideal amount of time to cruise but still have time to step ashore at interesting stop off points? Perhaps an hour's cruise in the morning and a couple of hours after lunch will allow you to experience the best of both worlds so to speak. Below are a few suggested itineraries which are designed to get the most from your trip on the Broads but without cruising more than 3 to 4 hours per day.
One Week cruise from Wroxham
Pick up the boat and head for Coltishall for your first night afloat. Moor on the village green, a very pretty spot close to the Rising Sun Public House.
After a home cooked breakfast make for Ranworth for a lunchtime stop. Climb to the top of St Helens church tower to get a wonderful view of the surrounding area. Just enough time to visit the nature trail at the edge of the Broad to get close to the wildlife. After lunch head on down the river Bure to Acle for an evening meal at the Bridge Inn with its unusual conical shaped roof.
Having checked the tide tables onboard, cast off for Great Yarmouth, A 2 hour cruise from Acle. Moor at the Yacht Station before taking the kids into town to have "all the fun of the fair", sandcastles and all. Spend the rest of the day on the beach before returning to your boat for the evening.
Your departure time coincides with low water at Great Yarmouth and it's off south through the wide expanse of Breydon Water, a huge inland tidal lake. Arrive midday at Reedham Village, tieing up outside the Lord Nelson Public House. After a pub lunch, stroll through the countryside bordering the river to the site of Norfolk's last chain ferry before turning inland and back to Reedham Village. It's soon time to be on your way this time heading for the pretty market town of Loddon, on the river Chet. Narrow streets and period properties make this an interesting stop off point for the evening, with it's choice of bars and restaurants.
Another alfresco breakfast before casting off for the trip back down the river Yare to Yarmouth. Make a quick visit to the market to stock up on provisions for the rest of the week. After lunch at one of the riverside bars its off towards Potter Heigham with its famously low bridge and picturesque chalets which line the river. Watch the pilots expertly guide cruisers through the impossibly tight archway of the bridge whilst you while the evening away with a beer in hand.
Retrace your steps back down the River Thurne then up the Bure until you reach the dyke leading to South Walsham, a beautiful tranquil broad. Make the pleasant walk through the countryside until you reach the village. Stop for a thirst quenching drink at the local pub before returning to your boat via the Fairhaven Gardens Trust, set in acres of woodland. Lunch is taken in full sun sat atop your boat, whilst you watch the wildlife of the broad. Time to cruise on up the River Ant to Neatishead. Take time to visit the nature trail which looks out on to Barton Broad, famous for being the location where Nelson reputedly learned to sail.
Retrace your steps down the Ant and then make your way up to Horning, a picture postcard village on the River Bure. Make the walk into the village with its many shops and restaurants before enjoying lunch overlooking the river at one of the three pubs which line the banks. You will probably see the Mississippi Paddle Steamer go by. Back to your boat to make the short journey on to Wroxham, "The Venice of the Broads" , famous for "Roys" the largest village shop in the world. Take your pick of a number of bars and restaurants to eat out at before settling in for your last night afloat
It's back to the boatyard before preparing for your journey home from an all too short visit to the Norfolk Broads.
Weekend 3 night cruise from Brundall
Take over your boat at 2.30pm and head for Reedham for your first night. Settle into your new home for the next few days before heading out for an evening meal at the Ship Hotel.
After a hearty cooked breakfast onboard make your way down the New Cut to St. Olaves for a short lunchtime stop. Take time to visit the ruins of the 13th century Augustinian Priory. Then make your way to Oulton Broad, a beautiful location for all types of boating. Moor at the Yacht Station before taking a stroll through Nicholas Everitt Park. View the myriad of boating activities whilst enjoying a meal at one of the hotels or bars which overlook the Broad.
Just time to purchase the Sunday papers before casting off for a lunchtime stop at Somerleyton with it's Stately Home and maze. Then on to the village of Rockland, at the head of the stunningly beautiful Rockland Broad. As the end of your Norfolk Broads voyage approaches, swap stories with other holidaymakers at the New Inn.
Its an early start to enable a steady 30 minute trip back to your boatyard at Brundall, whilst enjoying the last of the peace and tranquillity that epitomises the Broads.
Midweek 4 night break from Stalham
Arrive mid afternoon to be shown over your home for the next few days. A short cruise will take you across Barton Broad with it's water lilies and chances to see the electric blue of kingfishers as they glide past you. Moor for the evening at Neatishead, a pretty village complete with it's "local" the very smart White Horse. Reservations are recommended for those people planning to eat there.
Wake up to beams of sunshine poking through the gaps in the curtains. After breakfast, make your way down through Ludham Bridge to peaceful South Walsham and it's Broad. Drop your mud-weight mid Broad to have lunch al-fresco amid the ducks and swans in this beautiful location. After lunch, head for Acle and the Bridge Inn. Get ready for your evening meal whilst the kids play in the Inn's gardens and amusements.
After a traditional cooked breakfast, cast off for a lunchtime mooring at Thurne with it's iconic white windmill. After a stroll around the village and surrounding countryside, it's time to head for Potter Heigham, one of the "centres" of the Broads. It's low bridge is famous around these parts, as is Lathams store, which attracts visitors from all over Norfolk. Settle in for a home cooked meal this evening, followed by a game of cards and a bottle of wine.
After a short walk back to Lathams for milk and a paper, set off for Ludham Bridge on the River Ant for a lunchtime stop. Take time to walk into the village of Ludham with its "olde worlde" charm. Too soon it's time to cast off for your last overnight mooring at Sutton Staithe. The village of Sutton is a pleasant short walk, as is Stalham complete with it's long main street of local shops. An evening meal at the excellent Sutton Staithe Hotel rounds off a fabulous break.
A 30 minute voyage gives you your last opportunity to spot the elusive kingfisher as you make for the boatyard at Stalham. Moor up for the last time, satisfied that your have experienced a different calming pace of life.