On the Broads: Grey, rainy day sees us find bright spot on the Broads

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

Day three on the Broads posed the question – where to go on a grey, rainy day?

It's the same dilemma faced on any holiday in Britain unless you are extraordinarily lucky – but at least you still have the riverside scenery and wildlife to enjoy.

The outdoors attractions of Bewilderwood at Horning would have to wait for a sunnier day and we plumped instead for a gentle cruise to Potter Heigham.

Leaving the swans at Acle behind us we were swiftly off the River Bure – highway to Horning and Wroxham – and on to the River Thurne and glimpsing the roof of the Herbert Woods building half an hour before we actually arrived at the Broadland village.

Arriving at Potter Heigham is another example of how different things look from the water.

The quaint cottages on the riverbanks, all different and guarded by fishermen on the water's edge, arrive one by one, and lend the village a special charm that is not immediately apparent when you turn up by road.

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The crowds milling round the little bridge show it is a favourite hub of the Broads and even on a gloomy day there is still the famous Lathams shop, an Aladdin's cave for bargain-hunters, to explore.

Calorie-laden hot chocolates and cakes at the Flour and Bean caf� were followed by what appears to be a de rigeur activity for families visiting Potter Heigham – feeding the greedy swans and ducks.

The Herbert Woods basin is a pleasant place to stroll round and look at the boats for sale.

With thunder clouds beginning to roll in, it was not the weather for a walk but there are scenic footpaths on both riverbanks for a better day and the local lanes are also popular for cyclists.

The middle of the week brought the need for a toilet pump-out and the reason for mentioning such a mundane activity is that it highlighted how friendly and helpful the staff are at all the boatyards – a fact that enhances the holiday experience.

With rain still falling, we gave the two village pubs a miss and settled down on the boat to plan day four.

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