The Village of Ranworth in Norfolk
A visitors guide to the Broadland village
of Ranworth located in the Norfolk Broads National Park. Ranworth is a
popular place situated right on the Broads with a scattering of houses and
a village inn The Maltsters.
The tower of St. Helens church dominates the skyline and has served the
villagers for over nine hundred years. It is well worth tackling the
ladders inside the church tower to climb to the top for the wonderful
views that the tower affords. The church bears the nickname the 'Cathedral
of the Broads' and it is easy to understand why when from its heights on
clear days you can see five Norfolk Broads.
Next to the church is a Visitors Centre in a converted old coach
house, which houses a permanent photographic display of East Anglican
churches, there are also tea rooms attached.
The Staithe known at Malthouse Broad is popular with boating enthusiasts
and there is overnight mooring facilities for a few boats. Here you
will find a seasonal information centre, cafe and well stocked shop.
Ranworth's Nature Trail with its boardwalk, leads you through tall
grasses, reeds and open water to a Broad which is closed to all
crafts. Here you will find a Norfolk Wildlife Conservation Centre, a
floating thatched building right on the edge of the Broad, which has
information about the Broads and their history. There are also views
out through purpose built windows with binoculars and telescopes at the
upper windows for bird watching.
Whilst on the Nature Trail look out for signs
of the Swallowtail butterfly as this is one of its breeding sites.
The large swallowtail butterfly can quite often be seen flitting about the
broads from June until early August. You wont miss it as it has a wingspan
of up to 4.5 inches. Striking brown and yellow markings and a red spot on
each of its hind wings. The caterpillar of the swallowtail butterfly which
is green and black stripped will only eat milk parsley, which
unfortunately has all but disappeared in the UK. The plant needs wet and
space to grow and it's only with careful management that these plants can
survive. In the Norfolk Broads where they still harvest sedge for
thatching, the milk parsley flourishes and so does the swallowtail
There is an electric ferry boat called
Helen that you can catch from the staithe round to the broad at certain
times of the year, tickets are available from the information
centre. This same service also does tours of the River Bure
and Malthouse Broad.
climb the tower of St. Helens
and there is a fine view of Ranworth Broad from its top. However, the
climb is steep and narrow and there are some ladders to negotiate, so
please be aware before you begin your upward journey.
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