spring on the riverside

Welcome, Ahoy

Heather is a traditional yet quirky houseboat, laying on the Broads Waterways of Norfolk and Suffolk. Maintained by two friends, she has been home to artists, holiday visitors and mariners for generations.

See on board the houseboat, visit the touring shop and relax on the riverside.


Christopher, Andrew

Christopher, Andrew

Public Staithes

Public Staithes

10 February 2012

Wintertime repairs & reflections

All but the essential contents were removed from the houseboat. Heather was then towed to Horning by MV Mishtari, skippered by Timothy Hallam. Heather's crew will continue her scheduled repairs, concentrating with carpentry and re~furnishing on board.

The winter period allows the crew time to delve into the history of Heather. We also aim to research the wealth of lost and surviving types of houseboats and their locations throughout the Broads landscape.



Both pictures appeared in the January 2012 issue of Harnser, the Broads Society magazine.

Above: A series of Broads houseboats drawn by naturalist, historian and conservationist, Arthur H Patterson (John Knowlittle), from 'Through Broadland by Sail & Motor', published in 1930. Arthur Patterson was a great advocate of 'life afloat' and all aspects of Broads culture. Many of the houseboats appear simply moored to posts in the Venetian fashion. A chimney poking out of the roof is a notable feature of some houseboats ~ smoke swirling from a blackened chimney across the low fen lands can be a wondrous sight.

Below: This sketch depicts the vast, timeless, muddy waters of Breydon, near Great Yarmouth. The boat on the right is an interpretation of a Breydon houseboat ~ houseboats were features of Breydon until a few decades ago. These characteristic vessels were often converted from old ship's boats. The houseboat illustrated was modelled on Heather and lays beside a pollarded willow. A 'Breydoner' is pulling in his nets, whilst a heron or 'harnser' in Norfolk tongue looks on ~ the harnser is the apt emblem of the Broads Society. Image: Courtesy of the Broads Society. Copyright 2012.

The crew would like to discover details of historic Broadland houseboats. Please share your memories for future generations and keep this important custom of the Broads alive.

Andrew & Chris

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