St Benet’s Abbey

The Abbey of St Benet at Holme lies deep in the Broads, close to the meeting place of the rivers Bure and Ant. This was the only Norfolk monastery founded in the Anglo-Saxon period which continued in use throughout the Middle Ages, and is the only monastery in England which was not closed down by Henry VIII – the Bishop of Norwich is still the Abbot.

As well as being of great historical interest, St Benet’s Abbey is also very atmospheric. For over 200 years it has been a favourite spot for artists, photographers, and tourists.


THE CORRECT POSTCODE IS NR29 5NU – this takes you to St Benet’s Road. Follow this lane to the car park at the end of the track.

St Benet’s Abbey
St Benet’s Road (off Hall Common Road)
NR29 5NU 



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Download a printable PDF guide here.

Site survey

Download a the geophysical survey as a PDF guide here.

Access and facilities

The site lies on the north bank of the River Bure in the parish of Horning. It is about 3km south of the village of Ludham, on the A1062 Hoveton-Potter Heigham road.

  • by boat: this is the easiest way to reach St Benet’s. There is a public mooring place on the Bure a short distance west of the Abbey, and the route from there to the site is clearly marked.
  • by foot: a permissive path near Ludham Bridge/Johnson Street leads from opposite the public toilets along the river to St Benet’s Abbey – circa 25 minutes walk.
  • by road: St Benet’s is remote from main roads. From the A1062 (Hoveton-Potter Heigham) road, turn onto Hall Road (which is signposted to Hall Common) at the junction next to the Dog Inn, a short distance to the east of Ludham Bridge. About 900m along this road, a very minor road turns off to the right. This leads onto a long farm track extending across the marshes to the site.
    PLEASE DRIVE VERY SLOWLY as the track is bumpy. Car drivers must beware of cattle: livestock have right of way at all times!  The small car park at the end of the track has capacity for 10 cars and 3 designated spaces for visitors with disabilities.  Parking is also available at Ludham Bridge with a pleasant walk to the Abbey (see by foot).
  • by bus: For up to date timetable information, please visit





You can visit at any reasonable time during daylight hours. There are no toilet or other facilities at the site, and little shelter from the weather except within the standing remains of the gatehouse. There is a pub (the King’s Arms) and a tea room in Ludham, and another pub (the Dog Inn) on the A1062 closer to Ludham Bridge. At Ludham Bridge there is a shop, a cafe and public toilets.  BBQ and campfires are not permitted at St Benet’s Abbey.  Please ensure you take all your litter home.
The Trust welcomes responsible dog owners. Dogs must be on leads at all times.  Please clear up after your dog – dog waste bins are provided.

Guide book

NAT published a new guidebook in 2019 to mark the Abbey’s 1000th year. It can be purchased online through our distributor Bittern Books. Please click on the following link to access their external website: St Benet’s Abbey Guide 

Free guided tours 2023: 2pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays from June until the end of September. Meet by the Gatehouse.  Private tours can be arranged by contacting

St Benet’s Abbey Annual Service 2023: Sunday 30th July at 3pm, all welcome.  The service will be conducted by the Prior of St Benet’s Abbey in the presence of the Abbot of St Benet’s, the Bishop of Norwich.  Public parking is limited, and may be on uneven ground.  Arrival by foot or boat is advised where possible.

Talking bench

When you visit the site don’t miss the talking bench which can be found on the west side of the ruined church!