Short back and sides for How Hill House

September 10, 2019

It’s not just school children who will be starting the new school year with a smart hair cut. Over the summer How Hill’s  roof has received a makeover thanks to expert roof stylist Mick Aldred and his colleagues.

The thatch had become rather shaggy and unruly in recent years, due to the actions of birds, squirrels and the wild Norfolk weather. But Mick and his team combed and trimmed the sides back into shape and replaced the sedge ridge for a fashionable new look.

As you can imagine, a restyle on this scale doesn’t come cheap. Luckily, How Hill received a generous grant from Norwich Freemen’s Charity which made the project possible.

Slightly more informative details can be found here.

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More chances to enjoy home cooked delights

July 27, 2019

Now that the school summer holidays are here our tearoom will be open every day. And if you’ve visited before you might notice a few changes. As usual, all our cakes, scones and sandwiches are freshly made in the How Hill kitchen but we have expanded our range to include more vegan, gluten and dairy free options.

We have also invested in a super-clever bean-to-cup coffee machine. It’s like having our very own robot barista and it makes absolutely delicious fair trade coffee. Not bad for a seasonal tearoom in the wilds of Norfolk!

In an effort to reduce waste and single-use plastic, this year we will be composting our sandwich packaging, serviettes and coffee cups which are now vegetable based and apparently fully compostable. Only time, and possibly Chris the Gardener, will tell. We keep paper straws and stock as many drinks in glass bottles as possible, which are recycled along with anything else we possibly can. We are also more than happy to refill your reusable coffee cup or water bottle… so remember to pop that into your bag when you visit.

The How Hill Tearoom is open every day from July 27th to 8th September from 11am to 4pm.
Please telephone 01692 678555 with any enquiries.


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Best View In Broads Gets Even Better

May 13th, 2019

It has often been claimed that the view from How Hill is the best in the Norfolk Broads.The house sits at the summit of a mighty hill (rising some 16m above sea level) with views out over the river Ant, marshes, woods, meadows and windmills.

But an even loftier viewpoint is afforded from the scaffolding which currently wraps around the north side of the house. Thatcher Mick Aldred last replaced the sedge ridge on the thatched roof twenty years ago, and now he’s back to do it again. He says this is the highest roof he has ever worked on, and on a fine day “it’s like heaven up there.” With binoculars it is even possible to see the spire of Norwich Cathedral, nearly eleven miles away.

Mick’s dad and brother are also thatchers. Once when they were cutting reed on the marsh beyond Turf Fen Mill their reed cutting machine fell into a hole. They later heard that the hole is one of several craters made by bombs dropped during the second world war.

The locally grown sedge, secured with a lattice of brotches (short lengths of split hazel wood) is only expected to last around twenty years, whereas the reed which makes up the majority of the roof lasts much longer –  in this case  sixty years and counting. By the time the work is finished in July the scaffolding will have been erected in three different positions and over nine hundred bunches of sedge will have been used.

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New Year, New Sofas

January 8th, 2019

Thanks to funds donated by the Friends of How Hill we have started 2019 with some brand spanking new leather sofas in the Sun Room.  The old sofas had served us well for many years. Originally donated from various sources, and not the smartest furniture in the first place, they were starting to look decidedly shabby. That’s when the Friends came to the rescue. We now have five smart new leather sofas, two pleasingly chunky new coffee tables and seven lovely new cushions with Robert Gilmore nature prints.

Slowly but surely we are working our way around the house; repainting, renewing and updating as we go. Come and visit us this year and see what we’ve been up to…

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Polecat Found In The Garden!

November 27th, 2018

Everybody was surprised and delighted yesterday when Chris The Gardener found an unexpected animal in one of his live rabbit traps. It was the unusual smell which first alerted him as he approached the trap, which was in the corner of the walled garden in front of How Hill house. Closer inspection revealed an extremely cute and incredibly stinky European polecat – what a catch! The polecat was understandably quite jumpy and keen to be on its way so it was immediately released back into the garden. Chris hopes that it will help to keep the rabbit numbers down, many of which rudely ignore the rabbit-proof-fence which surrounds the How Hill gardens.

Polecats were once common in the area but were almost wiped out by hunting because of their appetite for chickens and game birds. This is the first confirmed sighting of a polecat at How Hill for many years, although during the summer one school’s nocturnal camera traps did capture footage of a ‘mystery animal’ which now seems likely to have been a polecat. It is believed that polecats first returned to the Thetford area of Norfolk in 2010, and they have been slowly extending their range ever since.

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Friends of How Hill Craft Fair – A Great Success

October 29th, 2018

Last Wednesday the Friends of How Hill (the brilliant band of volunteers who support the charity) put on another excellent craft fair, which raised a triumphant £2254.26 for the How Hill Trust. Once again it was a lovely sunny day and several hundred visitors came to browse the varied craft stalls, enjoy the demonstrations and treat themselves to homemade soup and cakes. The crafts on display included metalwork, weaving, spinning, stained glass, stencilled and painted artwork, beading, all sorts of exciting jewellery, wickerwork, wood turning, quilting, pottery and many more. As it was a day at work for me I didn’t intend to buy anything…but the pull of the stalls was too strong to resist! I came away with ten wool and felt jellyfish/octopus Christmas tree decorations, a dress made from upcycled tablecloths, several pounds of Ivor’s legendary raspberry jam and four giant leeks!

Thank you to all the Friends who helped out, especially Chief Organiser Bella. You did a grand job.

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Hathor Sails Home For The Winter

October 18th, 2018

Wherry Hathor has had a busy summer moored down at the staithe, where she has welcomed over eight thousand visitors on board. It is lovely having Hathor at How Hill. She makes the riverside even more picturesque than usual, and even from the house her mast and Jenny Morgan (wind vane) can be seen poking up above the trees. Hathor’s skipper Peter Bower becomes an honorary member of the How Hill team and can be found most mornings drinking coffee in the office with Sam the dog at his feet. But like the swallows which circle over Fisherman’s Field, Peter and Hathor are seasonal visitors. On a quiet Saturday in late September she sailed off down the river and back to her permanent moorings at Wherry Yacht Charter’s base in Wroxham.

It takes a lot of work to keep a historic boat like Hathor afloat and this winter she will be pulled out of the water for some essential maintenance. A team will clean the hull and scrape off the zebra mussels which have attached themselves. Any decayed planks will be replaced and then the whole boat will be prepared and treated with fresh coats of paint, varnish or linseed oil. Luckily Wherry Yacht Charter have a fantastic team of volunteers who seem to revel with sandpaper in hand!

Hathor will return to How Hill next May – September when she will be open for public viewing, chartered sailings and school visits.


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Pleasure Wherry Hathor Returns to How Hill

May 10th, 2018

The beautiful Edwardian pleasure wherry will spend the summer moored up at How Hill staithe, where she will be open to the public for much of the time. Hathor (pronounced “heart-or”) was built in 1905 in Reedham. She was designed by Edward Boardman, who also designed and lived in How Hill house.

Hathor is now owned and maintained by Wherry Yacht Charter. For more detailed information about her history please visit their website.

If you enjoy Hathor then you would love Ardea – the largest and most magnificent wherry ever built! This August the How Hill Trust is running a unique holiday break. Stay at How Hill house and sail on board Ardea from Wroxham to Norwich stopping at How Hill, Womack, Great Yarmouth, Cantley and Brundall. Full details here.



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Spring Cleaning Fever Hits How Hill

April 5th, 2018

It all started when we decided to repaint the office. How Hill is a busy organisation and the office is a place for planning, eating, working, filing, storing equipment and collecting craft materials. The walls showed at least three different colours and bore the scars of many past fixtures and fittings. Over two hectic days the office was transformed in a frenzy of ruthless de-cluttering, filing, sanding and painting and it is now a serene haven of organisation and productivity. Well, it is at least all the same colour.

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2018 Events Programme Out Now

January 19th, 2018

There are so many fantastic public events happening at How Hill  this year. Download a printable version of our events brochure here or visit our events pages to find out more, check availability and view pictures.

Beware! Some events sell out extremely quickly so book early to avoid disappointment.


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