Splendid peaceful and beautiful reserve set on the Norfolk Broads, home to variety of rare flora and fauna including the elusive bittern and attractive swallowtail butterfly. Freshwater marshes, reedbeds, ponds and river boat trip; boardwalks, accessible hides, marsh woodland, viewpoints and walks.
Length of walk: About half a mile (700m)
Location: Signposted from Hickling village
Map Ref: TG 428222 Postcode: NR12 0BW
Getting there: signed down single track Stubb Road from the village and onto an entrance track alongside animal rehoming centre
by public transport: Unfortunately there is no public transport to the site with the nearest stop at Heath Road opp Methodist Chapel (Service 34 and 6) and a walk of about 1 mile.
By cycling or walking: Norfolk Coast Cycleway optional route south of Happisburgh Common. Weavers Way public footpath along southern border of reserve and a public footpath from Hickling village.
Site owned/managed by Norfolk Wildlife Trust tel. 01692 598276, www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife-in-norfolk/nature-reserves/reserves/hickling-broad
Information boards in car park, visitor centre and hides
Parking: Free parking, surfaced and grass
Reserve: Open all year dawn to dusk. Members and children free; non-member £4.50 incl Gift Aid
Visitor centre: Open April – Oct 10-5 (October weekends and half-term only)
Boat trips: Contact site for details (NWT website has timetable download)
Shop and café: Shop is within visitor centre, no café but drinks dispenser, ice creams and confectionery available. (PH's in Hickling)
Toilets: At visitor centre (accessed from outside of building)
Accessibility and family provision
Open level parking area with visitor centre, hides and much of reserve accessible
Toilets: Suitable for disabled
Hire equipment available to borrow: Wildlife Detector explorer bags for children
Wheelchair access: To visitor centre, shop and toilet; hides
Induction loops: Unknown
For families: Visitor centre has variety of displays including interactive. Boat trips, viewing tower and platform, hides.
Dogs: NWT no dogs policy. Visitors with dogs can walk Weavers Way along South edge of Broad and the footpath from Hickling village where you can see some areas of the reserve. Dogs may also be taken to the raptor roost from Hickling car park
Access for all route
Start & Finish: At the car park
Distance(s): The wheelchair accessible Swallowtail trail is about half a mile
Accessibility: Both hides and the boat trip jetty are accessible, more able-bodied and all-terrain chair/buggy may be able to go further particularly if partially utilising the access track to riverside properties from directly outside the site entrance to complete a circular route (if ground conditions suitable)
Stiles & Gates: Gates into site, some gates on site separating grazing access. Variety of opening mechanisms.
Surface: Boardwalk and compacted gravel, short grass, compacted earth section to Secker's hide.
Waymarking: Trails are identified by simple waymarking
Seating: Benches in hides and picnic tables outside visitor centre, some seating around site, mostly simple bench with no back.
Specific hazards: Some low boards to edges of boardwalks. Reedbeds and waterways.
Footwear/clothing: For boardwalk sections general walking footwear. Sturdier walking shoes or boots may be required if venturing further depending on weather conditions.
Downloadable Walks for all guide sheet