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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Walker

Burnham Overy Staithe Circular Walk

Updated: May 18, 2023

Our first dedicated walking route blog can only be for one place; Burnham Overy Staithe. Of all the walks we've found so far in Norfolk, this is without doubt our absolute favourite. Not only does the walk take you out to one of the most spectacular beaches in the whole of Norfolk (if not the whole of the UK) but the views along the way are spectacular and there's so much to do there that you can quite easily make a whole day of it.

Starting point: Burnham Overy Staithe Harbour Car Park - PE31 8FF

Be aware that this car park does flood at high tide so make sure you check the tide times.

Distance: 3.88 miles (including walking on the beach so you could easily shorten this if you're looking for a slightly shorter walk)

Total Duration: 1 hour 19 mins (c.30 mins of which includes the walk on the beach)

Please be aware this walk is tide dependant once on the beach so if you plan on doing the full route, check the tide times in advance. You can always just walk out on the coast path to the beach at high tide though and admire the incredible view at the top of the sand dune, instead of adding the beach walk (and/or swim) on.

The walk starts at Burnham Overy Staithe Harbour, which is incredibly beautiful in its own right. There's so much to do here from paddle boarding, to kayaking and sailing and there's an amazing converted bike selling ethical coffee and cakes, served in beautiful marsh inspired ceramic cups that you absolutely have to visit before or after your walk! Link for this amazing local business (and lots of other ones at the bottom of the this blog).

Once you've parked up and got yourself ready, with your back to the water, you want to look left toward the top of the car park and you'll see a gate (with a red risk of fire sign) which leads up to the orangey/red gravel of the coast path. You're heading through that gate, up to the coast path and then heading left along the coast path, with the creak of the water on your left.

The good news is, this walk is a super easy one in terms of directions. As soon as you're on the coast path, you basically just follow it for about 20/25 minutes until you reach the incredibly beautiful sand dunes that lead you up and over onto the beach. Dogs are allowed off lead on all of the coast path (just be really mindful of birds and other habitats). The views are stunning. From boats, kayaks and paddle boarders passing on the creak, the geese flying overhead, to the rolling fields and countryside views on your right. Because it's a walk out to the beach, not that many people do it (especially earlier in the day) and it's so incredibly peaceful and tranquil. I've never done a walk here and not felt an incredible lightness and freedom along this stretch of the coast path. It's meditative!

You know you're close to the beach when you start to see the rolling sand dunes. At certain times of year, birds nest here so keep an eye out for signs as you may need to put your dog on a lead here for a short time. Keep to the sandy path (the coast path turns into sand just by the dunes) and you'll reach this big dune that you want to walk up and over to get to the beach. As you get near the top, slow down and prepare yourself for one of the most breathtaking views you'll ever see. We love going early in the morning and more often than not get the whole beach to ourselves and walking over that dune to see the most spectacular beach all to ourselves is absolute heaven to me.

Once on the beach you can either turn left and walk towards Scolt Head Island (an offshore barrier island nature reserve that you're able to walk out to at low tide - we'll cover this on another blog soon - but ferry recommendations below) like we did on the map of our walk below. Or, you can stay on the beach at the bottom of the sand dune and sit down and take it all in. Or, like I often do, jump in the lagoon (which is there at low tide and known as Deadman's Hole by locals). If you want to check out what I'm talking about with the lagoon, have a look at our reel on our Instagram.

Once you're done on the beach, it's time to head back the way you came. Here's the map of our route from our walk the other day so you can see the full route and more details.

In terms of things to do before or after your walk, here's our top recommendations.

Grab a coffee and cake at Norfolk Coffee Pedlar, which is normally situated at the entrance to the car park where you started your walk.

Cool down with an ice cream from Traditional Norfolk Ice Cream, which is again usually near the car park.

Learn to sail with Faire Sailing School which is run by Ash, an amazing 21 year old sailor who has circumnavigated the UK and worked on super yachts.

Explore the creaks on paddles boards with North Norfolk Paddle Boards.

Take the ferry out to Scolt Head Island with John at Welcome Ferrys. He runs 2 hours each side of high tide, so check the tide times before you visit.

Hire kayaks from the Boat House and explore the creaks on a double or single 'sit-on' kayak.

Go for lunch (or dinner) at The Hero (which is less then a 5 minute walk from the car park where you started your walk). We love this pub but it gets very busy (especially in summer) so make sure you book ahead.

If you do this walk, don't forget to tag us in your pictures on Instagram @norfolkuncovered. We absolutely love seeing all of your adventures.


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