Quirky Norfolk staycations...including a floating glamping pod

Secret Water glamping pod 

Hippersons Secret Water glamping pod - Credit: Hippersons Boatyard

If being rocked to sleep by a rippling river and waking to the sun shimmering across water floats your boat, enjoy our host of heavenly holiday ideas. 

Wonderful wherries 

On the River Ant with the Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust

On the River Ant with the Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust - Credit: Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust

Hathor, Olive, Norada, White Moth and Ardea are five of the last remaining historic wherries on the Broads.  

Wherry Yachts Olive, Norada and White Moth were built in Wroxham more than 100 years ago, with Ardea launched in 1927 (and back in Norfolk after spending part of her life as a houseboat in Paris). Hathor, with her Egyptian-themed decorations, was made for the Colman family as a pleasure wherry. 

They are cared for by the Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust which hires out Norada, Olive, White Moth (and sometimes Ardea too) for short breaks and holidays afloat, complete with an expert skipper. The skippers, like everyone else involved in the Trust, are volunteers who love sailing the historic craft – and welcome help from willing guests. 

For more information on chartering an overnight sailing, or booking a scheduled day sail, email bookings@wherryyachtcharter.org or call 01603 781475. 

Wherry Albion 

Wherry Albion passing St Benets Abbey. Picture: Mike Page

Wherry Albion passing St Benets Abbey. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

More than 300 trading wherries once carried goods through the rivers of Norfolk. During the summers more than a century ago, the skippers would scrub out the holds and take holidaymakers on trips. 

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Wherry Albion is one of just two remaining traditional trading wherries on the Broads and can still be chartered overnight or for weekends or longer, complete with a skipper. Holidaymakers are encouraged to have a go sailing the wherry too – when not too busy enjoying the journey, marvelling at the wildlife or waving at passers-by. 

The black-sailed icon of the Broads usually sails from her Ludham base and even if you can’t holiday on Wherry Albion, regular day cruises are planned and the visitors should be able to step aboard for free at open days. www.wherryalbion.com

Aboard ashore 

The Wild Duck in Heacham

The Wild Duck in Heacham - Credit: submitted

The Wild Duck in Heacham is no ordinary holiday home. Converted from a boat dating back to the 1870s, the accommodation is beautifully presented, romantic and peaceful. Beached behind the dunes overlooking the Snettisham RSPB reserve on one side, and the waters of the Wash on the other, guests will fall asleep to the sound of the sea and the rustling of the reeds. One of the bedrooms is built into the bow with 180 degree views, and children love the bedroom in the hull. The elevated sun decks give front row seats to beautiful sunsets. Available from Norfolk Hideaways www.norfolkhideaways.co.uk 

Glamping on water

It’s not quite a boat – but it is floating, and the first of its kind in the UK. Secret Water is a luxury glamping pod moored on the river near Beccles. The deck is positioned so that guests can watch the sun rise - and set too - and there are day-long lovely views towards Old Beccles bridge and the quay, Secret Water sleeps up to four with a bedroom, bunk room, kitchenette, wet room, underfloor heating – and use of a rowing boat. It is part of Hippersons Boatyard where owners Simon and Mary Sparrow live on a barge and also have several pretty houseboats available as holiday lets, plus day boats, kayaks and canoes. www.hippersons.co.uk   

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