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The Burnhams in North Norfolk

Bird Watching in North Norfolk

Burnham Market, Burnham Overy Staithe and Burnham Thorpe


Few places in Norfolk have seen their popular reputation sky-rocket in the last decade as the Georgian village of Burnham Market, which lies 3 miles inland from the famous North Norfolk coastline. Burnham Market is the busiest and most central of the collection of Burnham villages in this area of the county, and it is not uncommon to find a buzzing atmosphere in the village even during the colder winter months. Such is the boutique nature of the shops, the fine dining of local restaurants and affluence of second home owners here, that the village is often referred to as Chelsea-on-sea.

Burnham Market is a linear settlement which is set around a long village green and smaller island greens which hold the village sign and memorial cross. The main road is bordered by houses with picturesque façades dating mostly from the late 17th and 18th centuries; small cottages are more common on the central village streets, farms and larger manor houses are found as you move further out. The pretty parish church of St. Mary's, with its beautiful flint and stone exterior and stained glass window, can be located at the western end of the main road.

Many locals and visitors are attracted to the villages most popular venue,The Hoste Arms, for a drink or a meal. The seventeenth-century coaching inn possesses a traditional log fire in the front bar, a panelled dining room, a bright conservatory and walled garden, and a Moroccan themed terrace. Thirty-five charming bedrooms are available on site should you want to stay in Burnham Market overnight.

Most tourists to Burnham Market come to visit on the strength of the shopping experience that the village has to offer. Independent boutique stores which stock designer brands or sell their own labels and products through well known department stores are all located within a small radius that can be explored easily on foot.

The Hat Shop at Pentney House is the largest hat shop in the country, with a range of 5000 hats to suit many formal and casual occasions, and the shop is especially well visited in the run up to Royal Ascot and weddings. Friendly staff are on hand to help you coordinate your outfit with a hat if you bring it with you.

High fashion from stores such as ANNA, Gun Hill Clothing, The Warehouse, Joules, Ruby and Tallulah, Gillys, and Catherine Alexandra provide country outfits and tasteful designs which challenge leading labels for quality. Augmented by jewellery from nearby shops such as Urban Armour (which supply to Harrods, Liberty and Fortnum and Mason), it's little wonder that Burnham Market is considered a shopper's paradise.

Art Galleries are very well represented in Burnham Market too, and the village attracts a healthy number of amateur and professional collectors of fine art. The Fairfax Gallery, with sister galleries in Holt and Tunbridge Wells, has a beautiful collection from emerging and established artists and has strong links with the London art scene. Burnham Grapevine Gallery has a counterpart in Norwich and is committed to great contemporary art, especially from local sources. One of Britain's leading Cartoonists, Annie Tempest, exhibits and sells work from her shop Tottering-by-Gently. Fish and Ships Coastal Art is the perfect place to find art inspired by the Norfolk Coast, whilst Storm Fine Arts and Pocock's the Artmonger have a range of art and antiques to suit many pockets.

For those with an interest in history, a mile east of Burnham Market is Burnham Thorpe, the birthplace of Norfolk's most famous son, Horatio Nelson. His father was Rector of the church here, and it is today full of memorabilia relating to the Nelson family. The local pub which was frequented by the young Horatio, aptly named The Lord Nelson, serves absolutely delicious food and quality ales, and the staff are happy to tell interested visitors about the pub's history and its ties to England greatest Admiral.

Located less than five minutes drive North East of Burnham Market is the small hamlet of Burnham Staithe. For sailing enthusiasts, the tidal creeks found at Burnham Staithe which snake through the salt marshes and out into the sea provide a great opportunity for recreational dinghy sailing.