Project Description

CYCLE RIDE & PICNIC

The Broads National Park is well suited for exploring on two wheels, as the landscape is relatively flat and criss-crossed by a network of quiet lanes, ideal for escaping from the noise and pollution of four-wheeled traffic. We have based our chosen itinerary from a cycle hire centre, at Clippesby Hall, near Acle, and designed a 15 mile route taking in How Hill Nature Reserve on the River Ant.

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

Ask at Clippesby Hall Reception for details of the recommended cycle route, or pick up the Broads by Bike leaflet available from Visitor Information Centres. For more information on hiring bikes in the Norfolk Broads visit www.broads-authority.gov.uk

You can pre-order your bikes to hire by telephoning 01493 367800

Picnic lunches along with fresh bread and local produce are available from Susie’s Coffee Shop at Clippesby Hall, although it is advisable to telephone on 01493 367807 in advance and pre-order your lunch.
Remember to take sunscreen, a drink and some insect repellent.

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. The boat trip is not suitable for children under two.

  • Visitors with disabilities may find it helpful to phone in advance to check whether How Hill is sufficiently accessible for them
  • There are toilet facilities at How Hill and at Clippesby Hall
  • There is free customer parking at Clippesby Hall Reception, together with a coffee shop serving Italian coffee and home made cakes

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

• 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 (closed Dec to March).
• 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

WHAT AM I?

Adopted by Louis Vll as his crusading heraldic emblem, I became known as ‘fleur-de-lys’, a corruption of Louis.

YELLOW FLAG IRIS

If not handled carefuly, this Iris’ 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 the damp meadows around the Norfolk Broads, opening their vivid yellow flowers.

MORE GREAT DAYS OUT