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New tourist attraction for Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 10:38 17 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:55 02 July 2010

The Waterside tourist attraction at Rollesby.

The Waterside tourist attraction at Rollesby.

Stephen Pullinger

Families will be able to experience a taste of the Broads in more than one sense when a new tourist attraction opens at the end of the month.

Families will be able to experience a taste of the Broads in more than one sense when a new tourist attraction opens at the end of the month.

For The Waterside in Rollesby, near Great Yarmouth, offers a combination of boating, fishing and wildlife spotting with a new tearoom and restaurant.

The opening of the family attraction on March 29 will represent the realisation of a dream for the four Broads-loving partners behind the venture which has taken more than five years of planning and an investment well into six figures.

To complement the unspoilt and tranquil setting of Rollesby Broad - a site of special scientific interest - the chalet-style restaurant and neighbouring boathouse have been elegantly built out of wood.

Soon to arrive at the boathouse will be 12-seater Victorian launch, built in Woodbastwick by Classic Boatworks, which will provide hourly tours around the broad, including a running commentary on the site's history and wildlife.

Families will also be able to hire out rowing dinghies, electric boats and kayaks and enjoy a putting course on the site. Fishing is available in season and there is a new children's playground with a pirate ship design.

The attraction will create about 10 full-time and part-time jobs, including a chef and sous-chef for the eaterie that will serve as a licensed café and tearoom during the day and a restaurant serving contemporary English cuisine in the evening.

Mother-of-two Belinda Minors, 46, of High Street, Acle, the partner concerned with the everyday running of the business, said her family had fallen in love with the Broads and enjoyed regular summer boating trips from Wroxham.

She said: “What's so lovely about Rollesby Broad is the peace and quiet and calmness of the water. If you have had a stressful day it is the perfect tonic.

“We've been fortunate to have had a huge amount of support from the Broads Authority in developing the venture and believe we've created something unique and very special for people to enjoy.”

She said the completely unspoilt nature of the broad was highlighted when it froze over during the winter and foxes and an otter family could be seen walking across it.

The venue will be available for private hire for individual and corporate bookings and a number of special events are planned from April onwards.

Mrs Minors said: “We're planning a music or theme night on the last Saturday of each month and will be holding seasonal events, such as Wimbledon fortnight featuring strawberries and cream with a television screen to watch essential matches.”

She said they were confident about the tourism future of the Broads, especially in light of the strong euro encouraging people to stay at home - while the weather was not guaranteed the scenery certainly was.

T The Evening News Do Different Do Norfolk campaign aims to publicise the great activities, events and countryside of Norfolk.

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