Burnham Norton – The Burnhams – Norfolk’s undiscovered walks
Last time we looked at the fantastic yet unknown walk along the coastal path from Burnham Deepdale. For this article the focus is the far shorter but equally less known walk from Burnham Norton. Burnham Norton is a tiny village which sits to the North of the A149, between Burnham Deepdale and Burnham Overy Staithe. At the north east corner of the village is the start of the walk with a small area for parking.
The walk is a total of 2 miles and consists of a very convenient loop around the east end of Norton marsh. This article assumes leaving Burnham Norton in a northerly direction.
The start of the walk takes you through reed beds and marshy areas which are teeming with wildlife. Marsh Harrier and Barn Owl are regular here over the marsh and in winter the bird of prey count increases with Hen Harrier, Short-Eared Owl and Merlin all present throughout the winter months. In summer small birds such as Sedge and Reed Warbler are often heard singing from the reeds, as is Cetti’s Warbler. Dragonflies and Butterflies are also present here as the reed beds can make it quite sheltered for them and there is plenty of water close to the path for Dragonflies and Damselflies. It is worth noting that in the Autumn and Winter months this path can be flooded so wellingtons are advised.
This section lasts for about 0.75 miles and is followed by climbing up onto the sea wall which runs all the way to Burnham Deepdale and forms part of the walk which was discussed in the previous article. From here we turn south east and walk towards Burnham Overy Staithe, the village clearly visible in the distance. This section is about 0.9 miles in length and its elevated position gives fantastic views across the marshes in all directions. It is worth remembering that this area is very exposed and can be very hot in summer and very cold, wet and windy in Winter so please consider this before walking along the sea wall. The pools on the west side of the bank are worth scanning for waders, in Autumn it is a good place to find Pectoral Sandpiper which is a fairly scarce passage migrant. As this section of the walk reaches its climax the path moves close to the River Burn which snakes its way through the marsh and inland, this is the same river which can be viewed from the water mill South West of Burnham Overy Staithe.
After walking along this section for 0.9 miles you come to a t-junction. Turning left will take you towards Burnham Overy Mill and eventually to Burnham Overy Staithe itself. However here you turn right which takes you along the south edge of Norton Marsh and into more reed beds. After about 0.3 miles you will arrive back at the small car park in Burnham Norton and conclude the walk.
This walk covers a variety of habitats and there is always something to see regardless of the time of year.
Located conveniently for a visit to Dalegate Market in Burnham Deepdale, just 1 mile to the west, Burnham Norton marsh offers a fantastic short walk across easy terrain where wildlife is plentiful at every time of the year.