The Broads has more than lived up to its brand image of Britain’s Magical Waterland.
That’s the verdict of Visit England Chief Executive James Berresford after his first holiday on the Broads at the helm of a 44ft luxury motor cruiser.
Mr Berresford, who spent a long weekend aboard Norfolk Broads Direct’s Fair Majesty with his wife Dawn and friends Adele and Barry Eyre, declared they had had “a fantastic time” and would be back to explore the Southern Broads.
“I think it exceeds the brand,” enthused Mr Berresford. “It’s not a one trick pony. There are so many different experiences, from the welcome at reception to the moorings, where everyone is so helpful, to the food at the pubs.“
He describes the cruiser as “luxury afloat” and said the Broads Authority does a “fantastic job”.
“Everything is well maintained and the visitor centres are great,” he said. “It’s difficult managing a special, protected area but the Broads Authority has hit the balance right and there isn’t an over presence of people. The ranger launches provide that little bit of reassurance when they pass by.
“Everything slows down and you just go at your own pace. You end up not wanting to rush and half the joy is just mooring and sitting. I haven’t read a Sunday paper in such a relaxed manner for years. It’s just luxury. At night, when you look up, there are carpets of stars because there is no ambient light.
“People say you have to go abroad to relax on holiday but you don’t. You absolutely don’t. I will recommend this to everyone.”
Both Dawn Berresford and Adele Eyre admitted to being terrified of handling the boat to start with but they soon began to relax and enjoy the trip.
“It has been brilliant,” said Adele Eyre. “I can’t endorse it enough.
And Dawn Berresford added:” I wish we could have stayed all week.”
Mr Berresford’s party cruised from Wroxham to South Walsham Broad where they dined at the Ship Inn, and the following day explored the River Ant as far as Wayford Bridge. On the way back they stopped off at How Hill National Nature Reserve where they took a trip into the secret dykes aboard the Electric Eel and walked the nature trail.
“Our guide, Robin Jeffries, was just so knowledgeable” said Mr Berresford.
The party spent the night at Salhouse Broad where they hired canoes and dined at the Fur and Feather Inn at Woodbastwick.
“We just woke up to this beautiful, peaceful morning,” added Mr Berresford. “I feel ashamed we haven’t been before.”