It was the family home of Christopher Boardman who competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics, winning gold in sailing. As gold medallist he was presented with an oak sapling which he planted at How Hill. His younger brother, Humphrey, rowed in the double sculls at the 1928 Olympic games and won double gold at the 1930 British Empire Games. Their father, Edward Thomas Boardman, was a Norwich architect, and their mother, Florence, was a daughter of J J Colman of the Colman's Mustard family.
The large Edwardian building houses the Norfolk Broads Study Centre, an independent charitable organisation which runs residential environmental courses for groups of schoolchildren. The How Hill Nature Reserve is administered by the Broads Authority. The "Electric Eel" is an electric passenger boat on which visitors can take a trip through the maze of reed-fringed dykes, normally not accessible to the public.
Toad Hole Museum is a former marshman's cottage and also houses the Broads Information Centre.