Holkham Nature Reserve Beach Walk
Explore 9,600 acres of grazing marsh, woodland, salt marsh, sand dunes and foreshore in England's largest Nature Reserve.
The walk begins at Burnham Overy Staithe, following Overy Creek to the beach at Holkham Bay. You continue east to Wells-Next-The-Sea, passing the pretty harbour on the way before reaching Stiffkey Salt Marsh where you will find a vast open expanse of salt marshes with large numbers of birdlife including waders and wintering wildfowl. You continue to Morston where you can catch a boat to Blakeney Point Nature Reserve with its colonies of seals. The final stretch takes you through Blakeney to Cley-Next-The-Sea and the Cley Marshes Nature Reserve. This 430 acre reserve contains reed beds, freshwater marsh, pools and wet meadows.
Holkham Nature Reserve really is a special place with its wonderful mixture of habitats. You will pass through a maze of creeks and saltings, dunes and sandspits, woodland, green pastures and grazing marshes. There is also a huge variety of wildlife to see with pink-footed geese, white-fronted geese, brent geese, wigeon and waders regular visitors to the reserve.
To continue your wildlife watching in North Norfolk you could head to the splendid Pensthorpe Natural Park near Fakenham. It has several lakes and woodland trails with various wildfowl and red squirrels to look out for.
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Holkham National Nature Reserve Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Holkham National Nature Reserve Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Holkham National Nature Reserve OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Holkham National Nature Reserve Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
The beach and the reserve are a popular place for dog walkers. There are some no go areas during certain times of the year with signs to advise.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
The circular Burnham Market Walk starts in the nearby village and visits the reserve and Holkham Park before heading to the noteworthy village of Burnham Thorpe. The village is notable as the the birthplace of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, victor at the Battle of Trafalgar. There is a bronze plaque on the wall here which is a nice piece of history to witness in the area. Nelson's father Edmund was also rector of Burnham Market's churches during the 1760s and 1770s. In the village you can enjoy a visit to The Nelson pub which dates all the way back to 1685.
Head south to Great Walsingham and you could pick up the Walsingham Way. This long distance trail runs from the mediaeval abbey at Great Walsingham to the city of Norwich, passing several fascinating historic sites on the way. The abbey in Walsingham is one of the highlights of the area and not too far from the reserve. There's some lovely grounds with the snowdrop and bluebell walks particularly popular.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Norfolk Walks page.