On the Broads: Arriving by water at some jewels in Broadland crown

Can a staycation provide as much fun as heading for exotic climes? Stephen Pullinger and family spent a week exploring the Broads.

Day four of the Pullingers' staycation on the Broads thankfully started with at least a patchwork of blue amid the grey skies over Potter Heigham.

Leaving the village at a sedate pace, we acknowledge the waves of friendly fishermen and watch the quaint cottages lining the banks make way for open countryside.

Our destination, Ludham, is only a short cruise away but the wisdom of setting off early is shown when we arrive in Womack Water to find a veritable armada of holiday boats and yachts already there.

There is no space at the picturesque village staithe, but we find a bankside mooring in sight of the Hunters Yard and its striking fleet of mahogany sailing cruisers and half-deckers.

Ludham is another place too often passed by in a car but there is plenty to explore on foot for boaters making the short walk to the village centre.

The King's Head offers good beer and a varied menu and there is another pretty little Broadland tea room. Thrower's is one of those legendary village stores that seems to stock everything and the magnificent church is full of history.

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Back to the boat along Horsefen Road we join other visitors exploring the small gift shop at the staithe.

Our route plan involves a return to the southern Broads and Oulton Broad and Beccles so we set off mid- afternoon to reach Yarmouth and cross Breydon Water at low water.

The cruise down the Bure allows ample opportunity for spotting herons and an array of other birds.

After a smooth crossing of Breydon we stop for the night at the 24-hour moorings in front of the famous Berney Arms, a pub accessible only by water. A freehouse, I enjoyed a good pint out of Reedham's Humpty Dumpty brewery.

Having been grazing most of the day on the boat we passed on the menu, but other boaters were enjoying their hearty portions.

Before sundown there remained just enough time to feed the eager ducks and geese which proceeded to serenade us through the night.

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