Deepdale Marsh – The Burnhams – Norfolk’s undiscovered walks
The six Burnhams are known for their dining, hospitality and as the home of Admiral Nelson. What is less known about this area of the North Norfolk coast is its fantastic wildlife and the walks that can lead to its discovery.
There is so much to see, enough for several articles, but for this piece we focus on Deepdale Marsh. Have a look at the video to get a feel for this fantastic area.
Deepdale Marsh is a fantastic expanse of saltmarsh and freshmarsh running between Burnham Deepdale and Burnham Norton, where it becomes Norton Marsh.
Starting opposite Deepdale Market, where you can find a superb cafe and array of shops, you walk through a small section of woodland which can be seen from the A149 and accessed via The Drove, which is a no through road. The footpath starts directly ahead of you and this and leads out onto Deepdale Marsh.
The sea wall which runs across the marsh serves as a footpath and flood barrier, although in the floods of December 2013 this barrier was not enough to stop salt water pouring into the fresh marsh. To the north of the marsh sits Scolt Head Island, a very prominent feature and excellent site for wildlife. Looking south the village of Burnham Deepdale is visible and to the east and west stretches the Norfolk coast with Holkham to the east and the marshland all the way to Brancaster visible to the west.
The walk length is entirely up to you. A full walk from the start of Deepdale Marsh to Norton Marsh is roughly 2 miles each way and with so much to see can take quite some time to complete. Fortunately the ground is flat and even under foot so it is an easy walk to undertake.
Be prepared to face the elements as it is a very exposed section of the coast so strong winds and lack of shelter are two factors to consider.
In Autumn and Winter great numbers of Pink-Footed Geese head over the marsh and there is also always the chance of seeing Barn Owl, Short-Eared Owl, Hen Harrier and Merlin during the Autumn and Winter months. Spring and Summer are also a fantastic time of year to visit and migrants such as Swifts, Swallows, Terns can be seen along with Spoonbill, Avocet and Sedge Warbler. Butterflies can also be numerous on calmer days when the sun is shining and there is little wind.
This section of the Norfolk coast really does offer some fantastic views and wildlife watching. But whether you are a bird watcher, walker or photographer there is something to see out on Deepdale Marsh.
To access this great section of the Norfolk coast make sure you get off the coasthopper bus at Burnham Deepdale, either next to the church our outside The One Stop Nature shop. You can also walk to it from Brancaster Staithe along the coastal path. Parking is limited along The Drove but some is available in a lay by next to the church in Burnham Deepdale.
The fantastic White Horse public house is just 300 metres along the A149 towards Brancaster if you need to refresh yourself or warm up after a walk out onto Deepdale Marsh, or you could try the Jolly Sailors – the great family friendly pub a little bit further along the coast road in Brancaster.