Castle Acre

Castle Acre

Castle open throughout the year, Priory seasonal. 

A picturesque village on the slope above the beautiful River Nar. Once a significant town with a major castle and a priory, now both ruins.

How to get there

By road: 5 miles north of Swaffham off A1065

Bus: several services from a number of centres: Eagle  Freestone Coaches Peelings  Konect Norfolk Green 

Rail: Kings Lynn 14.5 miles

Bike: No designated routes nearby View local cycle routes


Castle Acre Village is a very rare and complete survival of a Norman planned settlement, and is very picturesque.  The Bailey Gate at one end of the village green is a survivor of the original ditched earthwork defences of the town with flint gates  - the main road into the village still runs through its archway. The village has two other important historic sites: the castle and the friary, both managed by English Heritage.

The castle site is beautiful, and is fun to run around. Part of the castle tower and walls survive with a well preserved motte and other extensive earthworks described as ‘perhaps the finest village earthworks inEngland’.

The prioriy is one of the largest and best preserved monastic sites in England dating back to 1090. Good visitor centre attached with an exhibition, display of artefacts, audio tour available, and a shop.

There is a good network of footpaths, public and permissive, around the village – the footpath through the meadows along the banks of the River Nar is particularly lovely.

Cost: Entrance to the castle is free! 

Admission fee for the Priory (free for English Heritage members), check English Heritage site for details 

Refreshments: Two pubs, one cafe and general stores. See village website for more information

Loos: Public loos near the entrance to the Friary.



Nature reserve open throughout the year (Toad Hole Cottage seasonal) 

A pleasant village in the Norfolk Broads, surrounded on three sides by rivers. It has its own small broad, Womack Water.

How to get there

By road: on the A1062 between Hoveton/Wroxham and Potter Heigham

Bus: Hourly service from Norwich  to Ludham. Firstgroup  Also check SandersCoaches  for term-time buses from local centres e.g. Great Yarmouth North Walsham and Stalham.

Rail: Wroxham 7 miles; North Walsham 15 miles; GreatYarmouth13 miles

Bike: No designated routes nearby View local cycle routes


There are a surprising number of things to do in and around Ludham.

Church of St Catherine is in the centre of the village, and has information about the ‘Ludham Worm’ story, and other local dragon connections.

How Hill National Nature Reserve is a couple of miles west of the village. Large car park and grassy meadow for picnics and messing about. The reserve is of international importance, good for spotting birds, (and hearing bitterns) seeing butterflies, dragonflies, and if you’re very lucky, otters and water voles.

At Toad Hole Cottage, near the car park, you can see how life was for a marshman and his family, and in the adjoining shop you can buy tickets for a trip on the Electric Eel, an environmentally friendly boat, which take you through secret water ways off the main river. Marked nature trails, and three drainage mills to see. See website for more information

St Benet's Abbey: The medieval gatehouse and adjoining eighteenth-century windmill form an unusual landmark in the marsh landscape. This was the only monastery in Britain which was not closed down by Henry VIII. You can walk to the Abbey across the marsh – about two miles from the village centre (and two miles back), or a longer walk along the river. Most people approach by boat.

You can hire a day boat from Ludham Bridge  or Hunters Yard on Womack Water offer trips and hire of vintage yachts.

Good network of public footpaths and permissive paths for walks around the parish.

Cost: Ludham  church: free! (but donations welcome) How Hill: Car park and Toad Hole Cottage also free!

Electric Eel and boat hire: for cost of trips check websites 

Refreshments: Pub, cafe and shops in Ludham village The Kings Arms Ludham; Alfresco café (opposite church) 01692 678384. 

Further shops cafe and another pub can be found near to Ludham Bridge: The Dog (SW of village towards Hoveton)  Tel: 01692 630321 Wayfarer cafe

Loos: public toilets at How Hill near the car park; and at Ludham bridge

Horning church


Church open all year

A beautiful church in a pretty spot, with some amazing carvings of dragons and snakes.

How to get there

Horning church isn’t in Ludham, but it’s not really in Horning either…It’s in an isolated spot in the part of the parish called Upper Street in a network of very minor lanes.

By road: If you have a satnav set it to TG354 165. Otherwise approach from the A1062 between Ludham Bridge and Horning village – from Ludham direction turn left down a minor road opposite Grove Farm.

Bus: Same as buses for Ludham (see left) – ask for the bus stop called ‘Horning adjacent to Church Lane’ – the stop is on the A1062 to the east of Horning – walk back (about 300 feet) to Church Lane – church is a short walk along the lane.

Rail: Wroxham (5 miles)

Bike: no designated routes nearby View local cycle routes


Horning church (outside Ludham parish) is in a very picturesque spot on a tiny lane and has some astonishing medieval bench end carvings of dragons, beasts and the mouth of hell. The ancient parish chest is under the side altar.

Cost: Free !(donations welcome)

BeWILDerwood adventure park nearby - more fun outdoors! 

Refreshments: lots of places at Ludham

Loos: none at the church - see Ludham

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