Historic wherry takes explorers on a delightful Norfolk Broads adventure

Taking to the river at Surlingham Ferry, swimming holiday participants Ralph Rolls, Alice Hubbard and Elaine Powley(blue swimming cap) have been using Wherry White Moth as a mobile base during the week organised by John Cunningham-Rolls. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Trying something a little different this week, visitors to the Norfolk Broads discovered a unique way to view the stunning scenery and peaceful waters of the county's magical waterland.

White Moth, a restored 1915 wherry, carried tourists across the Broads, where passengers took part in lengthy swims, exploring the long stretches of picturesque water.

John Coningham-Rolls, who organised the new venture, said the 59ft white sailed yacht was perfect for the week-long holiday. He said: 'I first heard about White Moth from a friend in Norfolk who suggested it would be a wonderful way of combining a swim-sail week, unique to the Norfolk Broads.' Mr Coningham-Rolls, who lives in Clapham, London, has worked closely with the Broads Authority to organise the trip.

Originally built for an Arthur Moore in 1915, White Moth spent her first five years cruising the Broads before joining a hire fleet until the 1950s.

She eventually fell into disrepair until she was saved and restored in 1985 by Colin Facey. She was bought in 2012 by Andrew Scull, a trustee of the Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust, who has loaned her to the charity for three years.

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Retired Elaine Powley, 69, travelled from North Yorkshire to enjoy the swimming holiday. She said: 'It has been magical – the water is like swimming in silk, so soft, clear and clean.

'The yacht makes you feel like you have gone back in time and the scenery is like a continuous painting.'

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Ralph Rolls, 54, a teacher from Wimbledon, said: 'The boat is a lovely bit of history and it's amazing to see her work on such scenic surroundings.'

The holidaymakers took part in swims twice a day, as the wherry made her way through Beccles, Geldeston, Burgh Marshes, Somerleyton, Loddon, Norwich and other destinations.

For more information visit www.wherryyachtcharter.org or www.coningham-rolls.com

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