In this series of Ramblings, Clare Balding visits the far flung corners of the UK and walks with those for whom these little visited places are just ‘home’.
North Cornwall coast
17 August 2007
This week goes to the far east of England to the Norfolk Broads for a circular walk from Ludham Bridge passing through How Hill.
Today the Norfolk Broads are a popular tourist destination for those wanting to enjoy the relaxation of a boating holiday or the chance to walk or cycle for miles in an area teeming with natural history and well known for its huge spectacular sky-scapes, with no hills to encounter!
However, back in medieval times, the area was one of the most densely populated parts of the country, with peat digging a major industry. Yet the man-made origins of the Broads were only discovered in the 1950s when Joyce Lambert showed that they were created from former peat diggings which then filled naturally with water, probably at a time when there was an increase in sea level.
Naturalist Simon Partridge who was born and brought up in the area takes Clare on one of his favourite walks which starts at Ludham Bridge taking in How Hill House, the Norfolk Broads Environmental Study Centre. The Broads are managed by The Broads Authority.
Map: OS Landranger 134 Norwich & The Broads Start: Ludham Bridge Start Grid Ref: TG 373171 End: Ludham Bridge Distance: 4-5 miles Terrain: all footpaths, on the level Suitable for: all walkers
A two to three hour, circular walk starting from Ludham Bridge, walking upstream along the banks of the River Ant. Follow the meander of the river to How Hill House, which boasts three windmills and includes all the different types of habitats found in the Broads. On reaching How Hill, there is a trail which is easy to follow which takes you through carr woodland, by dykes and along a board walk to the hide overlooking Crome's Broad.
Walk back to Ludham Bridge, passing How Hill Farm. Just past the farm (grid ref 374186) follow a footpath southwards. After a few hundred metres this path joins a single track road, turn left towards the village of Ludham. At the end of this road, cross straight over the joining road, and continue on a footpath behind a small group of houses known as Whitegates. This path then passes across a field of corn (maize actually, that really is as high as an elephants eye!) to the main A1062 and back to Ludham Bridge.