The village of Hickling is on the edge of Hickling Broad, which is the largest of the Broads and is popular for all types of boating. The scope for birdwatching is excellent, you can often see marsh harriers hawking the reed beds here, and hear sedge and Cetti’s warbles exploding with song within them. In summer at certain times at least, swallowtail butterflies are just part of the scenery.
Like Barton Broad, Hickling Broad is a nature reserve under the jurisdiction of the Norfolk Wildlife trust, which has a visitor centre open April to September and bird observation hides here. A water trail takes visitors by boat across the Broad to visit the Tree Tower, a raised observation deck only accessible by the water trail, from where you can get a magnificent view over the Broad to the North Sea coast beyond.
Cyclists will love the quiet lanes, with a number of places offering cycle hire. Lovely sandy beaches can be found at Waxham and Sea Palling, which are just three miles away, and there is easy access to the whole of Norfolk’s rich and diverse coastline. The village has two pubs serving food and further facilities are a short drive away in Stalham. Just south of Hickling Broad, is the village of Potter Heigham, a village best known in these parts for two things, it medieval bridge dating back to 1385 and Lathams, a very good value discount store.