Experience the elements walking along floodbanks interrupted by a small harbour and onwards to
one of Norfolk’s most beautiful beaches, as featured in Shakespeare in Love. A walk to blow
the cobwebs away.
1. Start at the Drove in Burnham Deepdale and follow the black and white National Trail acorns from here going eastward.
2. Follow the floodbank round Burnham Norton and onto the approach to Burnham Overy Staithe.
During the post medieval period, the inhabitants of Burnham Norton attempted to drain and reclaim some of the landscape close to the coast, which provided valuable grazing land. A number of post medieval drainage ditches are visible on aerial photographs, as well as the remains of industries that were
carried out in the parish such as the remains of a salt producing site and oyster beds. These show that
Burnham Norton thrived on the natural resources of the coastline.
3. Take the cross field path off the floodbank towards the village of Burnham Overy Staithe.
The windmill you can see dates from 1814 . Its internal machinery has been removed and is now let as a holiday home. Walk through the village past the harbour and once again onto the floodbank. It is possible to get a ferry to Scolt Head Island from here, which is a National Nature Reserve managed by the National Trust and Norfolk Wildlife Trust. The “skeleton” of Scolt Head Island, is made of glacial shingle above which sand and silts were deposited. It is a nonintervention reserve where natural coastal processes are allowed to occur.
Continue walking on top of the floodbank and enjoy the spectacular views.
4. Past Gun Hill the sand dunes can get very hot in the summer months. Make your way onto the beach but keep to existing tracks to minimise damage but keep clear of fenced areas, which in May, June and July protect colonies of nesting birds. Holkham Bay is also a National Nature Reserve, this part of the bay is also a much favoured spot for naturists!
Walking on sand – If the sand is dry and progress is slow, look for slightly wetter, harder sand which should make things
slightly easier. Follow the bay round to the main access point for the beach and onto the boardwalk which leads to Lady Ann’s
Drive. The Coasthopper picks up from the stop to the left of the southern end of Lady Ann’s Drive.
The beach here is part of Holkham Estate which also boasts a spectacular house, deer park and boating lake . The estate has a herd of 150 cows, the meat of which is sold via the Victoria (at Holkham) and the Globe Inn
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