New path opens up ancient route to Broads visitors

Broads visitors can now follow in the footsteps of medieval monks with the opening of a new stretch of footpath.

The path will complete the link from St Benet’s Abbey to How Hill National Nature Reserve via Ludham Bridge.

And on Tuesday 2 May the ribbon will officially be cut on the long-awaited path prior to a free guided walk as part of the 2017 Broads Outdoors Festival.

The news means that visitors can now walk all the way from 11th century St Benet’s Abbey to How Hill along the picturesque riverside, just as the monks of the abbey once did.

A previous footpath existed some years ago but flood defence work meant the original route had changed.

Therefore the Broads Authority worked hard to negotiate with the landowner to get the access needed for the new path which was identified as a key link in the Authority’s Integrated Access Strategy.

Adrian Clarke, Senior Waterways and Recreation Officer, said: “The aim of the strategy is to open up links for public access across the Broads, particularly between land and water and so that visitors can easily get to village facilities, like those at Ludham, from moorings and other popular destinations.

“For years the only direct route between the abbey and How Hill had been by boat but now visitors could moor at either location and explore by foot, experiencing the wonderful landscape and the cultural heritage.

“We are very grateful to the landowners for helping make this happen.”

Monastic Meanderings, the guided walk following the official opening of the path, will start at 10am from How Hill to St Benet’s Abbey and back again, taking in the diverse landscape of the Ant Valley and including a talk from the Norfolk Archaeological Trust on the History of the Abbey.

The walk is free but booking is essential through the Broads Information Centre at Toad Hole Cottage, How Hill on 01692 756096 or 01692 678763 or via toadholetic@broads-authority.gov.uk.

Thursday 27 April 2017