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Surlingham

Discover a little known gem on the River Yare – Surlingham.  The village, which is located opposite Brundall’s riverside holiday homes and marinas, boasts a magical broad, riverside pubs and nature reserves.

Surlingham Broad is a divine and secluded place to escape the modern world that is accessed by a choice of two dykes from the River Yare.  You can drop a mud weight and relax in the main 18 acre broad, known as Bargate. This is surrounded by a wild labyrinth of shallow waterways that should only be explored by experienced canoeists. Look out for Harbrough’s Grave in a chained off bay on Bargate, where you can glimpse the wrecks of thirteen historic sailing wherries.

The thatched Coldham Hall pub is a scenic spot to moor on the River Yare downstream of the broad.  The sailing club here organises the Yare Navigation Race each September, when dozens of yachts sail a passage race of over thirty miles to Breydon Water and back!  Best of all, you should follow the Wherryman’s Way footpath to the enchanting Wheatfen nature reserve (see Rockland).

Alternatively moor at the historic Ferry House pub, just over a mile downstream from Surlingham Broad, which has a lovely beer garden that’s a perfect spot to watch the sunset. A ferry once plied its trade here but it was destroyed after a collision with a coaster in 1939.

You can access the little RSPB Surlingham Church Marsh Nature reserve from here.  This has an excellent circular walk through riverside fen passing pools and reed beds with abundant birdlife. Stop at the atmospheric ruins of St Saviour’s church, where Norfolk naturalist Ted Ellis is buried and there is a magnificent panoramic view of the reserve. The walk also passes Surlingham’s main round towered church of St Mary.

Moorings

Coldham Hall
Large overnight moorings. £10 per night or free if you eat in the pub. Electric hook up costs £5.

The Ferry House
Free moorings for pub patrons.

Eating out

The Coldham Hall
Thatched pub with a large riverside beer garden and moorings. Serves freshly prepared, locally sourced meals and real ales. 01508 538366.

The Ferry House
Historic, family friendly pub with a large riverside beer garden and moorings. Serves traditional home cooked food all day and real ales. Breakfast available on request. 01508 538659.