The largest of the Broads, NWT Hickling Broad is a year-round haven for wildlife.

Great British Life: Potter Heigham village sign. Potter Heigham village sign. (Image: Denise Bradley)


1. From the car park turn left. After about 125 metres, at the finger post turn left. Follow this path across the fields to the road. Turn left. Follow the road to the T junction. Turn right on to Green Lane, Ignore any paths off to your right as they are badly maintained. You will come to the junction at Decoy Road.

2. Turn right. You will come to a finger post to your right - this is the entrance to the bottom of Hickling Broad and the Weavers' Way long distance path from Cromer to Great Yarmouth. Follow the path alongside the Broad. You will be looking over reeds until you reach the hide where there is some open water. Passing through the gate, after a short distance you will come to some trees and a sharp left turn at the information board.

Great British Life: The thatch among the reeds. The thatch among the reeds. (Image: Peter James)

3. If you are doing the short walk, go down the steps and cross the bridge to the track. Turn right, then left, following the track to a finger post where you rejoin the main walk at point 5.

The long walk bears left here to follow Candle Dyke. There are some attractive thatched holiday homes to the left. At the main river you turn right. On the opposite side of the river are boat yards. You now follow the path to Potter Heigham Bridge, passing the pumping station, an old windmill. Under the bypass you come to the medieval Potter Heigham bridge, believed to date from 1385 and famous for being the most difficult to navigate in the Broads. There are toilets and refreshments here. Bridgestones tea room serves large portions of homemade cakes, and there is also Lathams store.

Great British Life: Potter Heigham BridgePotter Heigham Bridge (Image: Peter James)

4. At the road, turn right passing the tea rooms and Lathams. You will come to a track with a finger post. Turn right. Follow to the bypass. Cross the road with care, taking the track to the finger post. Turn left.

5. Follow to a house on your left, where you turn left onto Marsh Road. Follow this to the church, bearing slightly left. Following the road through the village to the village hall.

Great British Life: St Nicholas Church, Potter Heigham. St Nicholas Church, Potter Heigham. (Image: Steve Adams)


START: Potter Heigham Village Hall, with kind permission, park towards bottle banks


DISTANCE: Main walk 7.6 miles/12.3km, short walk 5.2 miles/9km


WHAT3WORDS: civil.animates.skies


Great British Life: Hickling Broad nature reserve.Hickling Broad nature reserve. (Image: Simon Finlay)

Hickling Broad and Marshes

Hickling Broad is a national nature reserve managed by Norfolk Wildlife Trust the main part of the reserve and visitor centre are on the opposite side of the broad at Hickling where there is a walk round to the hides there is a charge for non-members there is abundant wildlife around the broad including swallowtail butterfly’s bitterns and marsh harriers.

The largest of the Broads, NWT Hickling Broad is a year-round haven for wildlife.

It is easy to spend a day walking around Hickling's trails or, in summer, gently while away a couple of hours taking in the Broad’s hidden corners on one of NWT's summer wildlife water trail boat tours.


Great British Life: A finger post on the Weavers' Way. A finger post on the Weavers' Way. (Image: Peter James)

Weavers’ Way

Named after the once important weaving industry, which flourished in the middle ages around North Walsham, the Weavers’ Way runs for 61 miles between Cromer and Great Yarmouth. The Weavers’ Way offers a rich contrast of scenery, from the woodlands and mixed farmland of north Norfolk to the grazing marshes beside the rivers Thurne, Bure and Yare.

Outstanding features include a number of flint churches, large country houses, windpumps, and historic railway infrastructure such as station buildings, bridges and crossing cottages.


Great British Life: The Ingham Swan. The Ingham Swan. (Image: Chris Taylor)

The Ingham Swan

The Ingham Swan has put this corner of north east Norfolk on the culinary map. Also a stone's throw from the coast, it's in the where area chef patron Daniel Smith grew up. The menu showcases the best of what's available locally and inventive cooking. The seven-course Taste of the Ingham Swan menu includes Soufflé Suissesse, a dish created in homage to Michel Roux Jr's restaurant Le Gavroche, where Daniel worked and which closed earlier this year.

There are also seven luxury rooms, if you decide that you would like to make a stay of it.


Great British Life: Norfolk Mead Hotel. Norfolk Mead Hotel. (Image: Norfolk Mead Hotel)

The Norfolk Mead Hotel

On the banks of the River Bure at Coltishall, The Norfolk Mead Hotel is a gorgeous base from which to explore the Broads. It's owned by James Holliday and Anna Duttson, who met on the Formula One circuit where they were travelling the world and catering for the McLaren team. The hotel has spa treatment rooms where you can relax and unwind and is well known for its scrumptious afternoon tea.