Tuesday, 15 March 2022 00:00

Adult breaks at historic thatched education centre on the Norfolk Broads

Written by  Richard Batson
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Adult breaks at historic thatched education centre on the Norfolk Broads

A stay in a stunning thatched house overlooking the Norfolk Broads – and a chance to sail one of the wetlands’ iconic wherries. That idyllic rural river break is among an expanding series of adult courses at How Hill, whose delights are usually enjoyed by excited schoolchildren. 

Since the 1960s the house, its gardens and grounds have hosted thousands of youngsters learning about the Broads, their nature, and social history through hands-on activities. 

But why should children have all the fun? How Hill also runs adult courses out of school term time. 

And a major redevelopment of the bedrooms to make them en-suite, not only improves facilities for school parties, but also enables the charity-run centre to revive its adult courses that are an important source of income as it recovers from a Covid enforced closure.

Centre director Simon Partridge said: “It has been a tough time during Covid, but the future is bright. Lockdown gave us problems, as it did many other organisations, but it also provided the ideal time to do these improvements while the house was quiet. They will enable How Hill to meet the changed expectations of people staying overnight – and they will put us in as strong a place as we have ever been.”

The adult courses really make the difference out of term time and should enable How Hill to run in the black by the end of 2022, making it financially sustainable going forward, he added.


Elegant How Hill house with its crowning thatch – picture Richard Batson 

Adults stay in the refurbished historic, which has spectacular views over the meandering River Ant, and its flanking windpumps, marshes and reedbeds, all teaming with wildlife. Breaks all include breakfast, lunch and evening meals, with home-cooked food. 

The expanded programme of residential adult courses are:

  • Spring birds – May 27-30 – a chance to see summer migrants, marsh harriers, Cetti’s Warblers and hobbies. Led by ornithologist Sue Delve. Cost £495 per person or £790 two sharing.
  • Gardens of East Norfolk – June 1-4 – visits to gardens rarely open to the public, plus evening speakers. Cost £495 per person or £790 two sharing.
  • Swallowtail weekend – June 17-19 – the prime time to see and learn about the stunning butterfly in its habitat, and explore the local fen. Cost £375, £600 two people sharing. 
  • Broadland Heritage – August 1-4 – explore the heritage of the house, gardens, estate and St Benet’s Abbey, plus sail on the pleasure wherry Hathor. Cost £495 per person or £790 two sharing.
  • Introduction to Broadland plants – August 8-10 and September 9-11 – find out about the Broads’ amazing botany and learn to identify species. Cost £375, £600 two people sharing.
  • Wherry Experience – September 5-9 – a rare chance for three days of sailing on an Edwardian pleasure wherry and wherry yacht, either crewing and taking the helm, or just relaxing.Cost £620 or £990 two sharing. 
  • Autumn Birds – September 16-18 – spot and learn about migrant birds and maybe see an osprey. Cost £375, £600 two people sharing.
  • Walking in Broadland – October 14-16 – 5 to 6-mile walks, including to St Benet’s Abbey, boat trips and evening talks. Cost £375, £600 two people sharing.
  • For booking and information call 01692 678555 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      

For more information about the courses, How Hill, and its history visit howhilltrust.org.uk


An adult course enjoying a trip on the pleasure wherry Hathor


Pleasure wherry seen from How Hill – picture Richard Batson


The day job – a school party enjoying exploring on one of How Hill’s boats – picture How Hill Trust 

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 March 2022 20:17

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