Discover the Norfolk Broads
A guide to 12 great days out in the unique environment of the Norfolk Broads compiled by people who live there

Discover the Norfolk Broads - A guide to 12 great days out in the unique environment of the Norfolk Broads compiled by people who live there

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Where are the
Norfolk Broads?

Day Six: Cycle ride / picnic – Clippesby to How Hill

The Broads National Park is well suited for exploring on two wheels, as the landscape is relatively flat and crisscrossed by a network of small, quiet lanes, ideal for escaping from the noise and pollution of four-wheeled traffic. Don’t worry if you haven’t brought your own bikes, as there are a number of cycle hire centres located in and around the Norfolk Broads, supported by the Broads Authority. A leaflet is available from Visitor Information Centres providing details of their locations and contact telephone numbers. We have chosen one such centre, at Clippesby Hall, near Acle, and designed a 15 mile route based around How Hill on the River Ant, but other centres will be happy to provide suggestions for days out in their local areas.

Start: Clippesby Hall Reception, Clippesby, near Acle
Ordnance Survey Explorer map OL40; grid reference TG426144
SatNav postcode NR29 3BL

Cost Guide: £ - £££

Our recommended itinerary is as follows:

•   Start from Clippesby Hall reception and coffee shop, which is located off the B1152 between Acle and Potter Heigham

•   Take a bike, with cycle hire available if required, and pedal your way along seven miles of quiet lanes to How Hill Nature Reserve, which is one of the most unspoilt places in the Norfolk Broads

•   Stop off on the way at the studio and gallery of local artist S. F. Clarke, showing many fine examples of his Broadland scenes
•   Continuing on to How Hill, picnic on the wide expanse of grass overlooking the River Ant, a great place for the kids to let off steam, before wandering down to the waterside

•   Here you can explore the reputedly haunted traditional marshman’s cottage, home for a whole family in Victorian times. See how they lived, the clothes they wore and the tools they used

•   Walk the nature trail leading to Crome’s Broad with its bird hide, discovering creatures and plants at home in the Norfolk Broads on this walk for all seasons

•   Or embark on a waterborne mystery trail by electric boat, along dykes fringed with marshland plants. An experienced guide will show you the wildlife, with stunning dragonflies, marsh harriers, swallowtail butterflies and many wild flowers all able to be seen here at different times of the year. The trip lasts around 50 minutes, includes a short walk to a bird hide

•   Cycle back to Clippesby via the village of Ludham, (with an optional additional route off-road via St. Benet’s Abbey) stopping for afternoon tea at Alfresco Tearooms opposite the village church, a friendly, typically English tearoom, with a secluded courtyard area which is perfect on sunny summer days

•   As you return from Ludham along the quiet lane to the north of the main road, don’t miss the sight of the old RAF airfield on the left. Spitfire squadrons flew from here in the Second World War, including ace pilot Johnny Johnson, and the control tower is still visible across the fields to the north


Cycle Hire Centres

Bungay, Outney Meadow Caravan Park. tel 01986 892338

Burgh St Peter, Waveney River Centre. tel 01502 677343

Clippesby, Clippesby Hall. tel 01493 367800

Hoveton, Broadland Cycle Hire at BeWILDerwood, Horning Road. tel 07887 480331
(Please book in advance outside school holidays.)

Ludham Bridge, Ludham Bridge Services. tel 01692 630486

Stokesby, Riverside Tea Rooms and Stores. tel 01493 750470

Bicycles can be hired by the day or half day at very reasonable rates and free route maps are available from each location. Some centres also have tandems. The hire centre at Ludham Bridge has two electric bikes which can be used by people with limited mobility. For more information please visit any of the Broads Information Centres.

Young Family Option

The trip from Clippesby Hall to How Hill and back is around 15 miles long, and may not be suitable for younger children. For a shorter alternative route, follow the quiet country lanes down to the river at Thurne, taking your bikes to the windpump at the end of the dyke for your picnic. The windpump has recently been restored and is now back in working order. This is a lovely spot for your picnic, as it is a popular stretch of water for yachts and there can be few better sights in the Norfolk Broads than a mass of sails billowing in the breeze around Thurne.

The village has a pub and a gift shop, together with a children’s playing field and a picturesque thatched church standing a little way out of the village on the hill overlooking the river. A route map for this trip is available from Clippesby Hall, or as part of the Broads by Bike leaflet or online at


The Broads by Bike network comprises nine circular routes around the Northern Broads from 10 to 25 miles, with interlinking connections and a full perimeter route around the whole area. The trails have been developed by cyclists for cyclists, with the help and cooperation of Sustrans and the Broads Authority.

A booklet containing details of each of the routes has been produced by the Bike Hire Association and is also available. For a copy, call in to one of the Broads Information Centres or one of the cycle hire bases.

For further information on cycling please visit these useful websites:

Useful Norfolk Broads Contacts

Below you will find suggestions for accommodation, activities, attractions, food & drink and shopping.  All useful contacts while visiting the Norfolk Broads.




Food and Drink


Anchor & Riverside Cottages

Four bedroomed cottages directly on the main riverfront with small private mooring for a dayboat & free WiFi access. 20% under occupancy discount all year for up to 4 guests!

Barnes Brinkcraft

Barnes Brinkcraft is a family run business based in Wroxham. Our fleet of modern all weather Dayboats & Picnic boats offer everything for that perfect day on the river. Life jackets, tuition & parking are all included.

Bure Valley Railway, The

Opened in 1990, the Bure Valley Railway offers an 18 mile round trip through picturesque countryside which is as varied, interesting and beautiful as any to be found on a railway journey in England.

White Horse Inn

Traditional Norfolk pub, serving several real ales and tasty home made food

Sutton Pottery

Small studio workshop in rural East Norfolk, established by Malcolm Flatman in 1977 in the Broadland village of Sutton, near Stalham. He uses the Potters Wheel and the fire of a gas kiln to create a large range of reduction stoneware entirely by hand.

Day One Day boat trip Wroxham to Coltishall – £££££
Day Two Walk / Wildlife watching Ranworth & Fairhaven Gardens – ££££
Day Three Walk / Seal watching Horsey Mere and Beach – £/££ - YF
Day Four Guided boat trip / Wildlife watching Hickling Broad & Sutton - ££££
Day Five Canoe trip Wayford Bridge to Neatishead, via Barton Broad – £££ - YF
Day Six Cycle ride and Picnic Clippesby to How Hill – £/£££ - YF
Day Seven Day boat trip Ludham Bridge to Neatishead via How Hill – £££££
Day Eight Walk / Wildlife watching Salhouse & Cockshoot Broads – ££
Day Nine Canoe trip Martham to Horsey – £££
Day Ten Learn to Sail from Hunter’s Yard at Ludham - £££££
Day Eleven Walk / Boat trip Barton & Alderfen Broads – £/££ - YF
Day Twelve Cycle ride Discover the Norfolk Broads in a Day - £/££
YF - Young Family option available

A cost guide is included for each day out, ranging from lower cost (£: free or up to £15) to higher cost (£££££: £80 up to £100). These costs are based on a family of 4
undertaking all the activities suggested and are accurate as at the date of publication.

"Reeds are still cut for thatch in the Broads, each bundle called a 'shoove', with around 2000 shooves needed for the average house"

Wildlife Fact File
Iris Pseudacorus

Adopted by Louis Vll as his crusading heraldic emblem, it became known as ‘fleur-de-lys’, a corruption of Louis. If not handled carefuly, its sharp edged and pointed leaves can cut flesh, giving rise to another common name, ‘the sword flag’. By mid May these plants rise above most other vegetation around the edge of open water and in damp meadows around the Norfolk Broads, opening their vivid yellow flowers.

1. Ask at Clippesby Hall Reception for details of our recommended cycle route, or pick up the Broads by Bike leaflet, which details this and other cycle routes around the Norfolk Broads, available from Visitor Information Centres. For more information on hiring bikes in the Norfolk Broads visit
2. You can pre-order your bikes to hire by telephoning 01493 367800 or online at
3. Picnic lunches along with fresh bread and local produce are available from Susie’s Coffee Shop at Clippesby Hall, and it is advisable to telephone on 01493 367807 in advance and pre-order your lunch. Please note there are no refreshments available at How Hill
4. Remember to take sunscreen, a drink and some insect repellent
5. Grove Farm Studio & Gallery is open Wednesdays to Saturdays and most Sundays from 10am to 4pm, but it is advisable to ring on 01692 670679 in advance to check or visit
6. In high season it is advisable to telephone How Hill on 01692 678763 in advance and pre-book if you wish to take the boat trip. The nature reserve and cottage are open from April to October, and while entry to the cottage is free, there is a small charge for entry to the nature reserve and a charge for the boat trip
7. The boat trip is not suitable for children under two
8. Visitors with disabilities may find it helpful to phone in advance to check whether How Hill is sufficiently accessible for them
9. There are toilet facilities at How Hill and at Clippesby Hall
10. There is free customer parking at Clippesby Hall Reception, together with a coffee shop serving real Italian coffee and home made cakes

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Accommodation Activities Attractions Food and Drink Shopping What's On
and Events
Where are the
Norfolk Broads?

Discover the Norfolk Broads - A guide to 12 great days out in the unique environment of the Norfolk Broads compiled by people who live there