Try this lovely walk around Ranworth Broad in Norfolk

A peaceful evening on Ranworth Broad.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A peaceful evening on Ranworth Broad - Credit: Archant

Peter James of the Norfolk Ramblers guides us round this pretty walk on the Broads.

A 4.5 mile, 7km walk taking in Ranworth Broad  
Start at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust car park (Donation please)   
Grid reference TG 3601 1457  
Nearest post code NR13 6HY   
what3words: ///quaking.pigment.skinning  

1 Leave the car park and turn right. Follow the tarmac road, passing an attractive thatched building usually used for storing bundles of cut reeds. Carry on, following the earth track to a marked path to the right. Follow this, then turn right to follow the path beside South Walsham Broad which is part of Fairhaven Gardens. Follow the track; at the junction keep straight on, passing the properties on the right. This brings you to the road.   

2 Go straight on the road for a few yard;s the path is straight on. At the fingerpost follow the track to a gate. Follow the path; you will then come to a stile. Cross this, going straight on across the meadow. The stile out of the meadow is to the left of the fence. Go straight on, passing the pond on your right, to a marker post. Turn right across the lawn, passing the thatched barn to the stables which you pass on the right-hand side, then go through the garden to a track. Follow the track to the road; turn right. There is a derelict church on your right; follow the road for a while, passing the crossroads at Priory Road. Just after this the road turns right - follow the road to the junction opposite Ranworth Church.   

3 Cross the road going down the hill. Beside the church turn right at the village hall -  the entrance to Ranworth Broad is on the left. Follow the boardwalk, which will bring you to the visitor centre which floats on the broad. When finished at the broad return along the boardwalk to the road, turn left, follow to the junction, taking the path beside the road where you will come to Malthouse Broad then straight on back to the car park.  

Ranworth Broad visitor centre

Ranworth Broad visitor centre - Credit: Steve Adams


Ranworth Broad   

From here, good numbers of duck – wigeon, gadwall, teal, shoveler and pochard – can be watched in the winter. Great crested grebes are present all year, though much more elegant in their summer plumage, and kingfishers occasionally zip across the water. Hundreds of cormorants roost in the trees, with marsh harriers passing overhead. Common terns nest in front of the centre.  
The boardwalk passes through excellent woodland and reedbed habitats; several interesting plants are present, as well as common woodland birds. The explosive song of the Cetti’s warbler can often be heard, though these brown skulkers are much harder to see. Swallowtails are present, as well as Norfolk hawkers and other dragonflies.    

Most Read

Coffee and ice cream are available at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust visitor centre. 

Panxworth's ruined church tower

Panxworth's ruined church tower - Credit: Peter James


Panxworth church tower   

We know very little about the original medieval church, except that it was said to be in a state of disrepair as early as the 16th century. Panxworth was always a small village, and the church was located well away from the main part of the village. The fact that Ranworth church was so close probably contributed, as well to falling congregations.  

The nave and chancel must have been pulled down sometime in the following 200 years, for a newspaper report in 1847 stated that 'For a long time nothing has remained of the church but the tower.’ 

The Maltsters pub in Ranworth.
Picture: James Bass

The Maltsters pub in Ranworth - Credit: Archant


The Maltsters 

This popular pub, with views over the water, is the ideal stop-off for a little light refreshment. They’re dog-friendly too, so if you have your canine companion with you, they’ll be welcome. In fact, the next-door pizza place is called Milsom, after the pub dog!