I first visited How Hill for a residential school trip when I was in High School. When we were staying on the Broads in our Herbert Woods boat we visited twice, it was nice to take L somewhere I had been so long ago and it was really nice for me to look round as an adult.
There is a free car park for the public to use close to the house, the house car park is reserved for staff and residential guests. There is also plenty of free Broads Authority mooring at How Hill.
There are clean and tidy bathrooms on the path between the river and the house, these are very well kept.
At Toad Hole Cottage you’ll find a little gift shop and ice creams available there too.
You will also find a Tea Room at How Hill, though it wasn’t open when we visited so I can’t comment on what it is like.
Things to do
There is a lot to do at How Hill and you can have a completely different experience each time you visit.
Gardens – there are two main areas of garden, the secret gardens and the formal gardens. The secret gardens are found at the end of a beautiful woodland walk and really do feel hidden away and secret, with lots of ponds and bridges they are the perfect area to explore and get close to nature. The formal gardens around the house are a lot of fun as well, we had an epic game of hide and seek with our friends. They also offer fantastic views over the river Ant and allow you to see the house in all its glory.
Toad Hole Cottage is a real gem of a museum, it is tiny and right by the river. It tells the story of the Marshmen who lived there and worked the broads. You can see how they lived and the tools they used as well as visit the fruit and veg garden and access a little sensory garden.
There is also a Nature Trail but we haven’t yet tried that, you can buy tickets for the trail at Toad Hole cottage and it is around 1.5 miles.
Additionally you can take a tour on the Electric Eel, a 50 minute boat ride exploring the dykes and stopping at a bird hide. You really need to book for this as the electric boat doesn’t take many people, as we were already on a boat we didn’t bother but it’s something I’d like to do over the summer.
Opening Times & Prices
Secret Gardens are open to the public every day and are free.
The Formal Gardens are only when the house is not in use by guests but are also free.
Toad Hole Cottage is free to enter and I believe open April to October 10.30am to 1pm, longer at weekends and longer during the summer season.
Nature trail is £2.50 per adult and £1.50 per child, you can get tickets from Toad Hole Cottage.
Electric Eel boat ride is open weekends and bank holidays and costs £7 per adult and £6 per child with family tickets available.
The tearoom is open from 11am to 4pm every weekend from 26th May until the 9th of September.
Donations are always welcomed by the trust as they go towards maintaining this brilliant resource.
These are only a snapshot of the times, for more information please visit the How Hill Trust website or give them a call.
Other than it being a bit hit and miss as to what will be open when you visit and the website not being the clearest this is a great day out that is free. They only ask for payment round the nature trail, which you don’t have to do and otherwise operate on donations.
It’s a beautiful location, gives a great insight into the Broads and is a brilliant place for kids to explore and enjoy nature.
We visited twice and loved exploring the gardens, playing hide and seek and trying to spot different animals and bugs. We saw a deer on our first visit and played hide and seek the next day.
We spent around two hours looking exploring the formal gardens, secret garden, Toad Hole cottage and just wandering on our first visit. And around an hour on our second stop, just playing. There is still more for us to see as we haven’t attempted the Nature Trail yet.
It’s a lovely quiet spot with plenty to see and really captured L’s imagination, I like that you can take the tri as long or as short as you want and spend time outdoors.
We will certainly be visiting again.