The Burnhams is a group of six picturesque villages clustered around the River Burn on the north Norfolk coastline, around an hour and a half’s drive from Hemsby. There’s Burnham Overy Staithe, Burnham Thorpe (birthplace of Horatio Nelson!), Burnham Overy Town, Burnham Deepdale, Burnham Norton and Burnham Market, which is the largest and perhaps the best known of them all.
Discover all the best spots in the Burnhams
Each of the Burnham villages offers something different, and makes for a perfect day out in the fresh air and beautiful Norfolk scenery. For coastal wildlife and walking, head to Burnham Overy Staithe, which is the point of departure for boats headed to Scolt Head Island Nature Reserve and has a secluded beach at the end of a long walk. The nature reserve is also accessible from Burnham Deepdale; in this village you’ll find Dalegate Market, an independent retail site with shops, galleries and a cafe. Burnham Norton is most popular for its church, St Margaret’s, which is one of 124 round-tower churches in the county, while Burnham Market, the main hub of the Burnhams, boasts a cosmopolitan atmosphere that has earned it the nickname ‘Chelsea-on-Sea’!
One of Norfolk’s most famous inhabitants was naval commander Horatio Nelson, and he was born in the village of Burnham Thorpe in 1758. His father was rector of the church here, and although the family’s home was demolished in 1803, the rectory that replaced it now bears a plaque in honour of this former resident. Naval history enthusiasts will particularly enjoy a wander around Horatio’s childhood stomping ground, pausing at key sites such as All Saints’ church, where his father preached and both of his parents and siblings are buried. Be sure to stop for a drink or something to eat at the family friendly Lord Nelson pub, which Horatio once frequented and came to be named after him.