Volharding is an extraordinary vessel and provides a base for magical waterborne holidays on the River Stour in Suffolk. She is fully seaworthy (although permanently moored for self-catering purposes) and lies to a jetty in a large garden alongside the owners two other waterside retreats. She sleeps from two to twelve guests with two double beds, one in the lovely skippers stern cabin, the rest are traditional sea going bunks. The cockpit has amazing views up the Stour to the west toward Mistley and to the East, Harwich and Felixstowe.
As the tide ebbs and flows covering and uncovering the RSPB mudflats, the scenery changes and the light is always different. The huge dawns and sunsets are a major part of the memories you will take home with you. There are still Thames Barges sailing these rivers with their majestic red sails, and if you like we can organise a day away on board one.
Have your lunch outside in the cockpit amongst the birds, or sit below in the comfortable saloon listening to the saltwater lapping against the hull.
Offering all the right ingredients to relax and unwind, the location feels so remote and peaceful, yet it is only 65 minutes from the M25 and a short walk along the riverbank to the Bristol Arms or up the lane to The Rose Pub. It’s perfect for those who want to unplug from their busy, stressful lives and recharge their batteries in beautiful natural surroundings.
The Shotley Peninsula is an area within the larger Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, stretching from the village north to Kessingland. You could easily spend every day of your holiday exploring somewhere new, from rivers to heathland and forests, and fantastic shingle beaches with seaside attractions. With AONB status, and sitting on a site of Special Scientific Importance (SSI), the environment around Volharding is protected, allowing flora to flourish, attracting a wide variety of birds and wildlife, as well as swathes of wildflowers, especially in spring and summer.
Suffolk is a foodie’s paradise. The quality of food and drink produced in the region is outstanding, and there are a wealth of independent shops, pubs and restaurants selling it. The Suffolk Food Hall is nearby in Wherstead. It is 8,000 square feet of deliciousness! You can get everything here whether you’re after a wedge of local cheese and freshly baked bread for a simple picnic, or some fresh fish or meat for a summer barbecue. They also run a variety of cooking workshops and have an excellent restaurant.
Spending time outdoors is easy in Shotley. Make sure you take comfortable shoes because there are miles of footpaths taking you through the gorgeous Suffolk countryside and along the coast, or maybe you’d prefer to cycle or horse ride. A boat trip will give you a different view of Shotley, take the foot ferry across to Harwich or to the Napoleonic fortifications at Felixstowe, or just grab your binoculars, sit up on deck, walk along the riverbank to Mistley or to the old barging pub at Pin Mill.
There’s no such thing as a bad weather day when you stay here. When the weather prevents you enjoying everything that the outside environment has to offer, head indoors to a museum, or do a brewery tour. RSPB Minsmere holds bird watching events all year round. Ipswich, Colchester, Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge are great for shopping, or wrap up warm and sit on the beach at Aldeburgh with a paper wrapped packet of steaming hot fish and chips. If its warm and sunny simply bask out on deck letting your cares drift away down the river.
Volharding is perfect if you want to relax with nothing to distract you from enjoying time with friends and family in the most extraordinary setting. There are no deadlines, no difficult decisions, just endless ways to relax and enjoy yourself.
Carl Scott joined Independent Cottages in August 2017
Facilities on board:
Facilities on deck: There is deck space to relax outside with the well deck having a dining table seating six guests - the perfect place for a 'sundowner' and nibbles before dinner.
Additional information: Prices are charged at £160 per night. Short breaks available all year round. Prices include heating, electricity, bed linen and towels. Up to two dogs welcome.
Visit the owner's website (opens in new window)