GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Holkham Nature Reserve Beach Walk

16 miles (26 km)

Explore 9,600acres of grazing marsh, woodland, salt marsh, sand dunes and foreshore in England's largest Nature Reserve. The walk begins at the delightful village of 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 OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Holkham National Nature Reserve Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Dog Walking

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 thebirthplace of Vice AdmiralHoratio Nelson, victor at theBattle 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.


Holkham Beach - - 543981

Holkham Beach

Holkham beach from Holkham Meals - - 97299

Holkham beach from Holkham Meals

Beach huts at High Cape - - 1389035

Beach huts at High Cape

The Foreshore near Holkham Gap - - 468105

The Foreshore near Holkham Gap. This view looks eastwards across the bay to Holkham Meals, with the access from Holkham Gap in the sandy inlet to the right.

Holkham Bay - - 177534

Holkham Bay. Lots of shells along parts of the beach. The sand dune on the right, covered in marram grass, is some 200 metres from the main coastline.

West end of a lagoon behind the dunes at Holkham - - 1404486

West end of a lagoon behind the dunes at Holkham. A tidal pool behind the dunes of Holkham Meals

Burnham Overy Staithe - - 847922

Burnham Overy Staithe. Just beyond the car park is the boat parking area.

Burnham Overy Staithe - - 847934

Burnham Overy Staithe. Looking west along the beach towards Scolt Head Island. The channel and sand bar on the right are marked on maps as Burnham Harbour.

GPS Files

GPX File

Holkham National Nature Reserve.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Holkham National Nature Reserve.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)