Norfolk Broads: Hickling Broad – Norfolk Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve

Today we set out to do something new for a family day out.  Originally we were headed toward Great Yarmouth area to an amusement park called Pettitts Animal Advenuture, but as we had plans to be someplace at 5 pm, we didn’t leave enough time to make it a full day out.  So instead, we took a detour and headed towards the Norfolk Broads to have our picnic and see what we could do.  

Last August, we visited Wroxham Broad and took a large narrated boat tour down the River Bure.  So having already done that, we chose to go to a new place.  I remembered hearing about Hickling Broad, so we set off to visit that.   After driving through a very cute village, we came down a path to the very end to a Norfolk Wildlife Trust nature reserve.  

Hickling is the largest, most scenic and ecologically 
important wetland habitat. Endangered species such as the marsh harrier, bittern and swallowtail butterfly, as well as summer visitors like the spoonbill, can be found on its grassland and marshes.  We spotted several of the above and I was extra happy to get a Swallowtail butterfly photo!






Going inside a bird hide was a first for all of us – so it was quite cool. 



At the visitor desk, the lady suggested the take an hour-long, electric boat trip at 3 pm, and until the we could have our picnic and then wander around the paths to explore the various hides.   So after our picnic, we set off with the kids complete with their life jackets so we didn’t have to return all the way back to he visitor enter.  Naturally about 20 minutes in, I was carrying them :).   





When the boat arrived, we had a bit of a chuckle – as the other people onboard were avid bird watchers complete with cameras about 14 inches long.   Clearly we were tourists out for a ride for the cool breeze on the water.   The guide took us into a hide which is only reachable by boat… and then to the top of a 60 foot climbing structure, but I felt too unsafe up their so I had to leave first yet the kids were happy to stay up it.





Back on land, we enjoyed a Ronaldo ice cream at the visitor center before heading out.  


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