Tent camping and glamping on the edge of Hickling Broad National Nature Reserve, the largest of the Norfolk Broads and conveniently within driving range of the coast
Bring a bike to Hickling Campsite and you’re pretty much sorted for your stay. Everything is within pedalling distance here. It’s less than a mile to the banks of Hickling Broad, the largest waterbody in the Broads National Park and a haven for wildlife, and only four miles to the coast, where beaches and protected dunescpaes await. In the other direction, there’s Ant Marshes and several good pubs and, when you finally decide you’ve done enough pedalling, you still don’t need to get in the car. There are canoes for hire, dinghies to sail and board walks to wander, stretching out like hugging arms around Hickling Broad, leading you to tree-top huts and bird-hides in the reeds. It really is the best of the Broads parcelled up into one small area.
Cycling is also particularly easy owing to the handy flatness of the region. There are no big hills to trek up here and, consequently, Hickling Campsite itself is blessed with a perfectly flat meadow. Tents are welcome, preserving a traditional camping feel and keeping the grass in good condition, while campfires are a must – firepits are provided with every booking. Initially, tents are recommended to pitch around the edge of the meadow, allowing extra space in the middle for children to run wild and make friends, while mature hedges along the border (look out for wild raspberries in summer and blackberries in autumn) provide shelter from the breeze.
“It’s our little piece of paradise”, owners Tom and Jo proclaim. The couple grew up locally and have a very clear affection for the area. If you need more advice on where to go, they’re happy to give recommendations – should you stroll to The Greyhound Inn or to The Pleasure Boat Inn, for example; such tough decisions to make. It’s the Norfolk Wildlife Trust that look after Hickling Broad itself and a Visitor Centre is open on the shore (½ mile away) from 10am–5pm daily during summer.
There’s an excellent little picnic spot, along with toilets and a café, and you can catch boats across the water to a 60ft tall tree tower on the far side. From the top the view is outstanding and it’s a great place to soak in the surroundings. You may well find yourself agreeing with Jo and Tom too – it's a little piece of paradise indeed.
4 showers, 4 toilets, 2 wash up sinks, water taps, recycling bins and a freezer for ice-packs. Campfires are permitted in the firepits provided, using our locally sourced firewood that is available to buy onsite.
Tents, dogs (on a lead) – yes. Campervans, caravans, motorhomes – no.
Walk the few hundred metres to Hickling Broad, the largest of the Norfolk Broads and a designated National Nature Reserve. Board walks and footpaths allow some access (including routes to bird-hides) but for the best of it go exploring by boat – canoes and dinghies are available to hire from Whispering Reeds Boats (01692 598314). You can also do full sailing lessons and courses with the Hickling Broad Sailing Club. If you want someone else to do all the hard work for you, take one of Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s boat tours. The timetable is available here. Away from the broads, it's around 4 miles to the coast. Overstrand beach is to the north and huge Winterton Dunes National Nature Reserve is just to the south. The nearest beach is Sea Palling – 3.5 miles away – and is an excellent dog-friendly, vast sandy spot. Waxham Beach is four miles from the campsite and is one of the few beaches that not many people know about, unless you're a local or a regular visitor.
Food & Drink
Onsite they have 'The Hickling hut' which offers fresh local produce including meats, pastries, and cakes fresh-baked every day by award-winning Norwich bakery Pye Bakers. They also have an impressive all singing, all dancing coffee machine.
It's a ½-mile walk to the Pleasure Boat Inn (01692 598870) down on the waterfront overlooking the Broad and just under a mile to The Greyhound (01692 598306) in Hickling where the food is excellent.
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Rated ★★★★★ over 25 reviews
IDEAL FAMILY CAMPING
We (Self, wife 5+9 year old and the dog)spent 3 nights here in August. Fantastic location for access to broads and beaches. Local pubs offer great food in great settings. Kids played and made friends. Clean facilities hot showers onsite shop offering a selection of treats. Flat spacious field in lovely location. We will revisit Jo and her helpers!!
Lovely chilled campsite
We stayed for our second visit with our 4 children August 3rd - 5th and loved it! The owners have nailed every little detail from the hand painted signs, clean toilets/showers, firewood shed and and the fab addition of the Hickling hut which stocks loads of locally sourced treats and essentials. We will definitely be returning and might try out one of the cute shepherds huts next time! Thanks Jo and the rest of the staff for making our trip extra special ♥️
A bit too free and easy
I stayed for three nights, arriving on June 10 '19 and leaving on June 13. Lovely relaxed campsite and well situated site with excellent facilities, a very friendly owner and helpful, welcoming staff. Then why only three stars you may ask? Well, my stay was ruined by a large extended family who didn't want to follow the "no music at anytime of the day" and "quiet after 10PM" rules after arriving on Friday afternoon. These rules are buried in a glossy brochure handed to weekend arrivals that I doubt anyone reads. I wasn't about to phone up Jo, the site manager who lives offsite, and complain at 11PM on a Friday night. After reminding the family of the rules I was laughed at and accused of not being polite enough in my request for them to tone it down! Personal abuse shouted into the night followed soon after. The families with kids nearby must've really enjoyed hearing that. I'd suggest a polite but prominent sign at the facilities reminding visitors of these rules and to respect other people in a shared space. It's Hickling Campsite, not Glastonbury and it only takes one bad apple to spoil the barrel... I left two days early to find another place to stay.
Stayed here for three nights with my husband and two children, 12 & 9. Hickling is a fantastic campsite. Despite the site being almost ‘full’ over the weekend, there was plenty of space on the flat field for neighbours to be a good distance away and children to play. The site is very quiet with a lovely chilled atmosphere. No electric, just tents, with spotlessly clean toilets, showers and washing up sinks. There is a very small shop open weekends and a freezer to keep ice packs cold. Very relaxed, lovely friendly staff, what more could you want. Near to beaches and the broads. We will definitely be back.
This is one of the very best campsites we’ve ever stayed at. Immaculately clean showers, plentiful hot water, spotless grass that we were happy to let our baby crawl around on, free braziers, peaceful location, I could go on and on. Jo and Tom have thought of everything to make their site so beautiful and easy to camp at. Also a lovely lack of rules and regs signs, too. Pure escapism. We’ll be back x
Relaxing and beautiful campsite
Great facilities, friendly staff, wonderful shop, well placed site, loads of room - thanks for the break!
Great quiet campsite with amazing shop
This is a lovely campsite, in a great location to explore the broads and the coast. The shop was well stocked and morning coffees and pastries were amazing. The no music rule meant it was a perfect site for families
Lovely campsite, great area for holidays!
We stayed for a weekend here as a group of 4 families, but we had plenty of space for kids to run around, and a sense of privacy despite the open camping field. The shop on site was very useful and the owners were wonderfully friendly. Lovely pub within walking distance (though partly down a fairly busy road which was a bit unnerving with the smaller kids in our party) and we had a great time at a nearby beach (Happisburgh) and at the local nature reserve. Hopefully we will come back before too long!
Great campsite for a family group
This is a great campsite for families and small groups. Really well kept, clean and tidy, in a fantastic location. Quiet at night and a friendly atmosphere. Highly recommended.
Great location; great facilities; great time
Campsite is in a great location a short drive from Norwich and Great Yarmouth. Managed by the lovely Jo, the vibe is enjoy yourselves and take it easy (prime example is the honesty box for the wood) backed by amazing shower facilities. Enjoy the gorgeous Norfolk weather, and relax without a care in the world.
Great 1st camping experience
We went for 2 nights in midweek may half term with 4 children and the dog. The campsite was clean, comfortable and very friendly. We got good local advice from Jo, the owner, and a lady that keeps the site clean and tidy (Sorry, I never asked your name). There's a well stocked shop (including meat for bbqs). Great roomy, clean showers and toilet/washing areas. For those who don't want to sleep in a tent, there are nice shepherd huts.
Rare gem of a campsite
Booked the Pod for one night on short notice, found it to be comfortable clean and well equipped. Didn’t actually use the fire pit but the logs are reasonably priced if you want to use them, toilets are clean nice warm showers. All in all great place to stay will loads of things to do in close proximity. Pod would benefit from a kettle as this is the only place with electricity
What a terrific campsite
We stayed for three nights at the end of the summer. Me, my son (10YO) and daughter (7YO). The facilities were great: clean loos, hot showers, hardly ever any queues, despite a full campsite. Spacious flat pitches. Lots of room for the kids to run about. Campfires encouraged, with wood matches, marshmallows all available at reasonable prices. Minimal light means that on clear nights the stars are spectacular. Tom & Jo are super-friendly, attentive, and responsive hosts. The area is wonderful. Walking distance to Hickling Board where we hired kayaks. A short drive to Norfolk beaches (Mundesley was our favourite) and Great Yarmouth for seaside larks. Short drive to a supermarket. Lots of lovely walks and nature. We'll be back soon for sure.
Tom & Jo have the site spot on. Just returned from a two night stay in the pod. Accompanied by 3 friends who pitched tents. Where to start .......... The Pod: very clean, electric points, clever set up of a table that turns into a comfortable bed, dimmer light, and lots more. Marshmallows, popcorn and a bottle of soft drink waiting for us - great touch. Mustn’t forget the fire pit, already found it on the web to buy!!! The site: toilets, showers and washing up area are spotless. The hut with wood, kindling and marshmallows to buy were a nice touch. Tom and Jo: only got to chat with Jo, passionate about keeping everyone happy, friendly and very knowledgeable about the area. Things to do: the Greyhound pub food was of a high standard. The pleasure boat served great fish and chips. You must go and see the seals, lovely sight. All in all a fab weekend had by all. We will be back 🤗
Everything you need for a simple, relaxed camping experience
Just returned from a brilliant, relaxing 3 nights camping at Hickling campsite with my husband and teenage daughter. This is the place for you if you want a friendly, simple, fuss free experience. You will find: Flat pitches; Clean toilets, washing up facilities and hot showers; Plenty of fire pits with wood, matches, marshmallows and firelighters available; Friendly, helpful owners; Lots of fresh air activities within a short cycling/driving distance. Good local pubs You wont find: An over expensive shop Loud "entertainment" Playparks or swimming pool.
An amazing first camping holiday, the facilities were great and the owners Tom and Jo were very friendly and relaxed.
This was our first experience at camping, and wow it was a fantastic experience. The site was very clean, the toilets and showers were cleaned regularly. It was nice to chose where you would like to pitch your tent instead of being told where to go and don't feel settled. Jo and Tom have made this a very relaxing site, with all you need to have a wonderful time, One of the nice things here was on your departure day there was no stipulation as to what time you had to leave the site, so even on your last day you could take your time and not have to rush about. The location was great , it was in a quiet spot but near enough to alovely beach in sea palling if you want some beach days. We had a meal at the local pub one night and the food was lovely (the greyhound). I certainly will be returning to here next year and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to friends . Congratulations Jo and Tom your little paradise has won me over to the camping world. Thanks again for an amazing stay.
Simple perfect night away
We stayed in the owl hut, perfect for a simple night away just the two of us. Very impressed, everything spotless. Welcome pack appreciated. Will definitely return
I liked the families
My 8 year old had the best time. Hot showers and water and lots of local places to visit nearby. Will be booking again soon
An absolute gem
Just returned back from a weekend camping at Hickling Campsite . I absolutely love this place .. third time of visiting and already booked again for August . The location is absolutely perfect . Everything and more than you would expect . Thank you so much for providing such a tranquil relaxing and beautiful campsite .i almost want to keep this one a secret .
We have just returned from a super weekend at Hickling campsite. The site is well looked after and really friendly. It is very clean with lovely showers. We can't wait to come back and would highly recommend to our friends. Thank you for. Wonderful weekend!!
Welcoming and Clean
Very pleasant campsite - very clean shower and toilet facilities and owners very flexible with managing booking - able to change my dates at short notice.
BH Weekend Away
My daughter, husband I stayed in 'Duck' - one of 3 lovely little shepherd huts. The interior was beautiful and cosy and having our own bit of land for my daughter to play in was perfect. The campsite itself is lovely and it was so nice to wake up and have an outdoor shower first thing in the glorious sunshine (the water is warm and the showers are clean and spacious). We really enjoyed our time here and the campsite is near lots of beautiful villages and broads etc. Great place for walks and bike rides and near lovely little beaches. Great weekend overall!
Great Bank holiday stay
Lovely campsite, very laid back, guest welcome, bags of firewood available for £5. Only downside is some of the field was boggy and sections off so kids had less space to play, but otherwise all facilities clean and well maintained
Relaxing and welcoming
I can't compare to other sites as I'm new to camping, but I seem to have chosen a great place to start my camping adventures. The atmosphere is really relaxed with no designated pitches or check-ins for tent camping; you just turn up and the friendly notices guide you to find your own spot to pitch. If you are like me and like to find locations on Google Street View, the images are too old. But the campsite sign is super clear from the road so it's easy to find. I bumped into Jo before leaving and she was extremely friendly and helpful (over email too). She guided me to check out the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve when I said I was planning to go for a walk. All reserves I've been to in Norfolk so far are wonderful places to visit, with their own unique character and of course it is the broad that sets this one apart. There's a boat tour too, but I'm saving that for next time!
Peaceful, comfy, family fun
A great find - a lovely campsite with wonderful staff (the amazing Jo), great facilities in a lovely setting with marshmallows for sale and fire pits for use. We all had a wonderful time and the walking distance to the pub is perfect for adults and small children :-)