A riverside estate with a thatched Edwardian study centre set in acres of marsh and woodland, with a cottage museum and restored mills.
An Introduction to How Hill
The How Hill Estate is a study centre with a fine large, thatched Edwardian house set in acres of reed, marsh, woodland and a small broad, together with a marshman's cottage and three restored drainage mills.
The main role of the Estate now is to provide residential field courses for school children and young people (they try their hand at thatching and other crafts).
But the centre is also ideal for conferences and training activities as it makes a prestigious setting for presentations. The Edwardian house is not open to the public, but the rest of the estate is. This includes the marshman's cottage, nature trail, boat trips through the reed beds and walks along the banks of the River Ant.
We start our tour of How Hill at the Edwardian study centre, which is an impressive sight. The building was built in 1904 by the architect Edward Thomas Boardman as his family's holiday home. It became a study centre in 1967, providing residential field courses for young people (to try their hand at thatching and other crafts).
Study Centre at How Hill
How Hill Staithe Sign
The view from the study centre over the surrounding countryside is magnificent. The large playing field makes a great place for a game of football, cricket or rounders!
View of Broadland from How Hill
The tiny Marshman's cottage, known as Toad Hole Cottage, is well worth a look inside as it is furnished as it would have been around 100 years ago, when an entire family lived here!
Marshmans cottage at How Hill
Toad Hole Cottage
Adjacent to the cottage is a nature trail. The path takes visitors on a varied journey around the local countryside and includes a viewing hide, bridges and views over the reeds to the windmills.
How Hill Nature Trail
Bridge over a dyke
View over the reeds
View from the hide
Returning back to the river, a good path leads along the bank of the River Ant and gives good views of the reed beds and the restored mills. The path extends all the way down river to Ludham Bridge, about 2 miles away.
How Hill Staithe and boathouse
Drainage mill at How Hill
River Ant in winter at How Hill
Bundles of reeds, ready for thatching
The River Ant flows past How Hill. This twisty picturesque river is heavily wooded and gets narrow in places, but is a wonderful stretch of the Norfolk Broads to enjoy your boating. The staithe at How Hill has recently been improved and is a wonderful place to moor up, have picnic and watch the world float by! It is also the starting point of boat trips aboard the Electric Eel, a 50 minute boat ride through the reed fringed dykes not normally open to the public.
Broadland river scene at How Hill
Wooden yacht sailing on the River Ant at How Hill
Boats moored at How Hill Staithe
The River Ant at How Hill
Electric Eel Boat Trips
Mooring the Electric Eel at How Hill
Just below the staithe on the opposite bank is Turf Fen drainage mill. This was built by Yarmouth millwright, William Rust around 1875 to drain Horning marshes into the River Ant. Although the tower only had two floors, it was 31' high with a Norfolk style boat shaped cap, four double shuttered sails and a six bladed fantail.
The mill ceased working around the 1920s when cattle no longer grazed the marshes.
Turf Fen drainage mill
Turf Fen windmill at How Hill
The lanes and paths around How Hill have some wonderful Norfolk rural properties and they are a great place for a walk or bike ride.
Thatched cottage at How Hill
Farmhouse at How Hill, Norfolk
The lane by the car-park has the entrance to the study centre at How Hill.
Across the road is this dismantled mill, now we believe it is a holiday home.