Well, if I’d just called it ‘a lot of boats on the Norfolk Broads’ you wouldn’t have read it, would you? Admit it! At least I’m giving you something else to look out for.
It’s moored at Stalham, on the River Ant, in Richardson’s marina. A peaceful setting, away from the hurley-burley of Wroxham. We glide gently across Barton Broad, and Jarek points out the shallow water where, almost daily in peak season, boats run aground. When we pause to admire the scenery, a swan raps smartly on the hull. I’m not sure if this signifies ‘get a move on’ or ‘where’s the bread?’ Short on bread, we move on!
There are a seemingly endless supply of them, strewn across the Broads. Many have been restored and stand there, gracefully pointing the way with their sails.
We sail on a little way and then execute a fine turn to seek out a mooring place. Time for hungry sailors to eat, and then stretch their legs. We are moored alongside How Hill House, and a treat is in store. Tiny Toad Hole Cottage was an eel-catcher’s home.
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How Hill Trust provides an environmental study centre for the Broads. The preservation of the incredibly beautiful house is no small part of this, but there are landscaped gardens too and a sweeping lawn for picnics, rolling down to the river. There’s even a restored grain mill, if you’re looking for somewhere to stay.
We’d better get back on board. Too much playing ‘lady of the manor’ isn’t good for me! And there’s a coffee stop to make, with homemade Polish rhubarb cake.
We putter along the waterways, using the sail sometimes, or the small motor. The water lilies drifting at the water’s edge and the dazzling yellow ‘water buttercups’ captivate me, but I’m unable to take a decent shot. I’ll just have to go back another day! Maybe you’ll come with me?