Hickling Broad – Norfolk Wildlife Trust

Hickling Broad – Norfolk Wildlife Trust

Back in August we enjoyed a lovely few days in the Norfolk Broads.  Norfolk is fast becoming one of our favourite places to visit, and this time around we were lucky to find a great campsite as well.  We were just a short distance away from Hickling Broad, the largest of the Broads, so it was high up on our list of things to see.

A quick look on the internet led us to the nature reserve, run by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, so we headed off to explore. Parking was free, while entrance to the reserve is free for members and children, but costs £4.50 for adults. As we paid at the visitor centre/gift shop, Finn spotted the ice creams so of course I did what any responsible parent would do: I bribed him!

The reed beds are a haven for wildlife

We studied our map and decided on the best route to take. Despite not having the carrier, we opted for the longer route as it had good views across the water. Plus, the thought of ice cream is enough to keep Finn walking for a couple of miles!

Studying the nature reserve map. We opted for a route of a couple of miles or so.

It was easy to follow and there were great views across the marshes. This area is full of wildlife, from birds, such as the bittern and marsh harrier, to the swallowtail butterfly and Norfolk hawker dragonfly. We didn’t see any of these, mainly because I find that a two year old isn’t the quietest, or most patient, wildlife spotter.

There are hides along the way where you can nip in and try to spot some birds

We did spot hundreds of newts as we crossed a boardwalk, even Finn managed to spot some. It was also great to see the Konik ponies. I didn’t manage to get a good photo, but we could hear them splashing about in the reeds. This hardy Polish breed has been introduced in many nature reserves across the UK to naturally maintain and encourage diverse habitats by grazing.

It was fun spotting newts along the path

For me, the best bit of this walk was enjoying the beautiful views across Hickling Broad. We’d never visited this area before, and after hearing lots of good things, we weren’t disappointed. There is also the option to explore the reserve from the water, with boat trips running through the summer. If we return (which I’m sure we will) a boat trip will be high on the list of priorities.

The views across the Broad were stunning

Now this walk looks perfect, and it almost was, if it wasn’t for one tiny thing. Now, I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me, afterall we were surrounded by lots of water, but we got absolutely bitten alive by mosquitos. Well rather I did. What made it worse was that Finn kept stopping and everytime we came to the halt, the mozzies descended. By the end of the walk my legs were red and itchy, Luke managed to pull up his socks and escape the worse.

Luke had to pick up Finn in order to keep walking and get away from the mosquitos

It’s all the more annoying as we had so much bug spray back at the tent. You’d think being an outdoor blogger I’d be better prepared!

Anyway, apart from this tiny detail, it was a really enjoyable walk. It’s always interesting to explore different landscapes and environments, plus the views were fantastic. We headed back to the visitor centre, and yes, I did honour my promise and treat Finn to an ice cream!

Have you enjoyed exploring anywhere different recently?

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  • Maid in Dartmoor Maid in Dartmoor September 27, at 19:34

    My girls would love hunting for newts! Looks lovely there. ? #adventurecalling

  • Cerys {mascara & mud} Cerys {mascara & mud} September 28, at 09:54

    The views across the Broad are breathtaking!

  • Annabel Annabel September 28, at 10:31

    Great newt photo! #adventurecalling

  • Emma Hip2trek Emma Hip2trek September 28, at 15:03

    Gorgeous photos, it looks a stunning place to visit. I’m glad I’m not the only one who bribes with ice cream! Shame about the mozzies. #AdventureCalling

  • Sarah Sarah September 29, at 16:34

    I keep meaning to visit Norfolk. My grandparents had some land there which is now owned by my Auntie. We are welcome to camp there whenever we want to and you’ve reminded me that I must arrange this. My Dad was actually born in Norwich but moved back to London as a toddler. Sarah #adventurecalling

  • Lauren Lauren October 02, at 10:23

    I also bribe Rowan. 🙂

    Looks like a lovely day out though. Spotting the newts would have made my day


  • Travelling With Our Kids Travelling With Our Kids October 02, at 20:38

    This looks great. I hate getting bitten. The itching is so annoying. Think my boys would love looking for newts #adventurecalling

  • Helena Helena October 07, at 15:54

    Ah I know what you mean about the mosquitos. I’ve somehow managed to steer clear of them this year. #adventurecalling

  • David - Potty Adventures David - Potty Adventures October 10, at 16:49

    I’ve never been to Norfolk sadly. This trail and reserve looks gorgeous. The fact that’s it’s pa led with wildlife would certainly keep my two very happy. #adventurecalling


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