A charming and historic village in West Norfolk with strong links to Admiral Horatio Nelson, Burnham Market is located a few miles inland from the North Norfolk Heritage Coast and is a wonderful place for a short break or a long Norfolk weekend.
Burnham Market enjoys a pretty setting and interesting history, with 17th and 18th century buildings arranged around a marketplace and central green. In the village are top Norfolk hotels, eateries and shops, which, along with easy access to the beautiful beaches and coast attract plenty of weekenders from London, giving the village the nickname of Chelsea-on-Sea.
A wonderful base for exploring North Norfolk, Burnham Market is perfect for foodies with a penchant for a good hotel and a spot of shopping!
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Where is Burnham Market Norfolk?
Burnham Market is situated 36 miles northwest of Norwich and 22 miles northeast of King’s Lynn. The village is two miles inland from the North Norfolk coast between Brancaster Staithe to the west and Wells-next-the-Sea to the east.
Burnham Market is surrounded by four other Burnhams, unspoilt coastal villages steeped in history and the legacy of Admiral Lord Nelson.
There is no Burnham Market beach, although nearby is the beautiful beach at Burnham Overy Staithe, which borders the River Burn estuary and can be reached on the Norfolk Coast Path, or by kayak or SUP along the nearby salt marshes and creeks.
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Burnham Market – Getting There & Getting Around
Driving to Burnham Market
If you’re travelling from the north of the United Kingdom, pick up the A17 south at Newark-on-Trent and follow the route around the Wash to King’s Lynn. This road is mainly single carriageway, and slow moving agricultural traffic and trucks can cause delays, so built this in to your travel plans.
If you’re travelling from the Midlands, you’ll come into Norfolk via Peterborough and pick up the A47 north and east to King’s Lynn. From the south, the A10 brings you through Cambridge directly to King’s Lynn.
From King’s Lynn, which is well worth a stop on the way through, pick up the A148 towards Fakenham, and at Hillington pick up the B1153 cross country to Burnham Market.
There are over 180 parking spaces at the pay and display North Street car park, a short walk from the village centre. Charges apply between 8am to 6pm, and it costs £1.50 for one hour, up to £6.00 for 24 hours. Use the postcode PE31 8HG for your sat nav. Card, cash and cashless options are available to pay for parking.
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Getting To Burnham Market by Public Transport
The county of Norfolk is within easy reach of the rest of the UK, with great transport links. You can get to the West Norfolk town of King’s Lynn by mainline train from London in less than two hours. Simply take the regular Greater Anglia service from London King’s Cross, which leaves every hour or so.
Alternatively, you can take a National Express coach from Victoria Coach Station to King’s Lynn. This takes around 6.5 hours depending on the time of day, and you do need to change at Norwich, but it’s often much cheaper than the train, especially when booked in advance.
At King’s Lynn train station get the CoastLiner 36 bus from the Transport Interchange next door, and get off at The Green stop in the centre of Burnham Market about an hour later.
If you’re planning a visit from elsewhere in Norfolk, the CoastHopper from Cromer and Sheringham connects with the CoastLiner bus at Wells next the Sea, and Sheringham is connected to Norwich via the Greater Anglia train service.
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Getting Around North Norfolk
The Coastliner 36 bus heads to Burnham Overy Staithe and Holkham before arriving in Wells-next-the Sea, where you can hop onto the CoastHopper bus to Stiffkey, Morston, Blakeney, Cley, Salthouse, Weybourne, Sheringham, East Runton, West Runton and Cromer, meaning you can get to many of the best spots in the Noth Norfolk coast by bus.
How about hiring a bike? This area of the Norfolk coast has an abundance of pretty villages linked by a network of byways, bridleways and quiet country lanes, which are perfect for cycling, and Burnham Market is on the National Cycle Network and the Rebellion Way.
These lanes, bordered by fields of wheat, hedgerows and woodlands, see little traffic, which means you can explore the Norfolk coast at a leisurely and safe pace. You can hire bikes in Burnham Market at Burnham Cycles on North Street and at Deepdale Farm in Burnham Deepdale.
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Where to Stay in Burnham Market
Burnham Market is awash with stylish hotels, quirky Airbnb’s, pretty cottages and holiday homes for rent, and has one of the UK’s best campsites nearby. Whatever your holiday style, we’ve rounded up the best options for you.
Of all the Burnham Market hotels, The Hoste Arms is the best and has become a destination in its own right. Once a traditional village pub, The Hoste is now a luxury Norfolk hotel across two sites, the dog-friendly original Hoste Inn and the adults-only Georgian Vine House.
In a wonderful location to explore the coast, the Hoste is both comfortable and stylish, with lots of tradtional Norfolk touches. Regularly voted as one of the UK’s coolest hotels, this place offers a real escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
With an excellent gastro offer including fine dining and brasserie style food, both of which feature local Norfolk specialities like Brancaster mussels and Cromer crab, a beautiful courtyard garden and a movie room where you can catch a show on a rainy day, this really is the best place to spend a weekend in Burnham Market.
The White House
Deep in the heart of Burnham’s gorgeous countryside is The White House, an elegant contemporary hotel in a beautifully restored Georgian country house, which has retained the era’s light and space. The vibe here is uber-relaxed, and the hotel is just far enough outside of town for you to be able to kick back and enjoy the tranquil countryside views.
There’s a tennis court here, alongside a pretty patio and garden area, and bikes to borrow for a ride into the village or the nearby coast. There is no restaurant, but a very good breakfast spread to set you up for a day’s exploring.
The Railway House by Barefoot Retreats
Resplendent with eight beautifully refurbished rooms offering first-class accommodation, The Railway in Burnham Market is a hotel with a difference! One of the rooms is a stunning 1952 railway carriage which has been restored to its former glory, with a good dose of glamour added, to make a supremely comfortable bedroom and en-suite.
With a communal area, garden and honesty bar, but no food service, this isn’t your traditional hotel. But, it’s well located and has fabulous touches like luxury bedding, robes, Nespresso machines and a hot tub on site, which elevate The Railway House from simple Airbnb-style accommodation to something more.
No Twenty9 is a lively restaurant with rooms in the heart of the village, which enjoys a wonderfully styled bar and restaurant, and nine quirky boutique rooms designed around stars of the golden age of film.
I love going out for dinner and just being able to fall into bed after a short climb upstairs, and No 29 is just perfect for that. Sampling their unique style of cooking using wood as fuel, and dining in the pretty walled courtyard surrounded by twinkling fairy lights strung amongst the olive trees is a real treat.
The Nelson Country Inn
The aptly named Nelson Country Hotel started life as a village inn in 1685 and has recently been refurbished and refreshed, to offer seven boutique B&B rooms alongside the restaurant and bar.
This is definitely a more budget option, but you’ll get a good night’s sleep in the comfortable and fresh rooms, and enjoy a hearty breakfast.
No. 4 Back Lane
This chic two bed holiday home from the Norfolk Cottage Agency is just a few minutes walk from the centre of the village. In a traditional brick and flint building, No 4 Back Lane has a cute courtyard, spacious interior, its own private parking space and everything you need for the perfect Norfolk holiday.
A charming traditional Norfolk holiday home in the heart of the village, Bluebell Cottage has two bedrooms, a pretty garden and a homely feel.
Deepdale Camping & Rooms
A quiet and friendly Norfolk campsite, Deepdale Camping is located near the sea in the stunning North Norfolk countryside. The campsite, which always gets fantastic reviews, has also just been named as the most popular campsite in the UK!
This dog-friendly campsite is located in the village of Burnham Deepdale, just three miles from Burnham Market. There is fantastic walking on the doorstep and the fabulous North Norfolk beaches are within very easy reach. With abundant bird and wildlife and the big open skies of Norfolk, which are breathtaking, particularly at night, this is a great campsite for outdoor enthusiasts.
Where to Eat in Burnham Market
Alongside The Hoste, No Twenty9 and The Nelson, who all offer a full restaurant service to non-residents (and we can recommend No Twenty9 for a fab breakfast!) there are lots of other great places to eat in and around Burnham Market.
With an ever-changing menu designed around sharing plates and the best of local ingredients, including Norfolk wine, Socius is modern dining at its finest. With a mention in The Michelin Guide and holding two AA rosettes, you’ll need to book this very cool restaurant well in advance, especially during the summer months.
Tilly’s Cafe & Bakery
Right on The Green, Tilly’s is a small dog-friendly family-run cafe serving a fantastic selection of breakfasts, light lunches, afternoon teas and delicious homemade cakes.
On Creake Road in the village, The Mermaid is a traditional British fish and chip shop. There are a couple of tables outside to sit and eat, but this is essentially a takeaway which makes freshly fried and tasty fish and chips very well. Enjoy!
Less than two miles north in Burnham Overy Staithe is The Hero, a laid-back and friendly village pub, which focuses on cooking with locally sourced produce to create seasonal menus. They also serve local craft beers in their homely bar.
The White Horse
A few miles away in Brancaster Staithe is The White Horse, a popular gastro pub with fabulous views across the tidal marshes. Styled with lots of Norfolk touches, you’ll also find many Norfolk specialities here including local mussels when they’re in season, North Sea lobster, samphire and whatever has been caught from the sea the night before.
The Crab Hut
Another Brancaster favourite, The Crab Hut perches on Harbour Way in Brancaster Staithe and serves freshly caught seafood with aplomb!
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Things To Do in Burnham Market
There is a great collection of shops in Burnham Market which range from cute boutiques selling gifts, clothes and homewares to farm shops, a hat shop, a post office, book shops, jewellers, delis and quaint cafés, all housed in traditional cottages around The Green and the Market Place in the heart of the village.
The independent Burnham Market shops and boutiques are perfect for seaside-themed gifts or Norfolk souvenirs, and make a good place to stock up your present drawer! Norfolk Living and Bombay Sprout have wonderful selections of lifestyle and homewares products which I find hard to resist, whilst Mable’s Paint Pot, opposite the Burnham Market Stores, is a firm favourite with families.
Just make sure to leave space when you pack your weekend bag, for all the Burnham Market purchases you’ll want to take home!
Try Norfolk Food
When visiting Norfolk, you have to try out the local food, and if you’re staying in a cottage or holiday home locally, you can buy freshly caught seafood from Gurneys Fish Shop.
Pick up a sourdough loaf at artisan baker NoThirty3 The Bakery, dessert and Norfolk cheese from Humble Pie Deli and a bottle of something delicious from Satchells Wines, and you’ll have a local feast for dinner.
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Things To Do Near Burnham Market
Explore the Norfolk Burnhams
There are four other Burnham villages – Burnham Deepdale, Burnham Norton, Burnham Overy (encompassing Town and Staithe) and Burnham Thorpe. Many years ago, Burnham Sutton, Burnham Ulph and Burnham Westgate came together to create the large village of Burnham Market.
Together these Burnhams, all within a two mile radius around the River Burn, became the Burnhams of the medieval verse which speaks of “London, York and Coventry, and the Seven Burnhams by the sea”. Centuries ago, Nelson Of Thorpe Died Well Under Sail was a well-known mnemonic for the seven Burnhams.
Home to a distinctive round tower church, the Dalegate Market with pop-up shops, stores and cafe, and Deepdale Camping, the dark skies of Burnham Deepdale are perfect for star gazing.
With a population of less than 80, Burnham Norton is the smallest of this group of Norfolk villages. Home to St Margaret’s, a Grade I round tower church, it’s worth a visit for the magnificent 15th century pulpit and the ruins of Burnham Norton Friary.
Burnham Overy Staithe
More a village than a town, pretty Burnham Overy Staithe occupies an enviable harbourside position between Burnham Market and Burnham Thorpe. From the harbour in the summer, you can catch a ferry to Scolt Head Island National Nature Reserve.
Between Burnham Overy Staithe and the sea, a web of tidal creeks reaches out through the marshes that line this stretch of coast, and finally reach the sea by passing through a gap in the sand dunes. This allows small sailing boats, kayaks and canoes access to Burnham Overy Staithe from the sea, making the town a major recreational sailing centre. You can also hire stand-up paddle boards to explore the marshes and coast.
Burnham Overy Staithe has a fabulously unspoilt and secluded beach which can only be reached by walking for a mile to get there. The huge expanse of beach stretches as far as you can see, and you can walk all the way to Wells-next-the-Sea along this unspoilt bit of Norfolk coast.
The birthplace of Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson, Burnham Thorpe is a sleepy village worth a quick visit. The Parsonage where Nelson was born on 9th September 1758 no longer exists, but Nelson’s Barn, built in its place, has a plaque set into the flintstone wall to mark the spot. You can find the barn on Creake Road, south of the village.
From Nelson’s Barn, it’s a half a mile walk north towards the village, where Nelson’s father was the rector at All Saint’s Church. Nelson’s parents are buried in the church, and a bust of Nelson is set on the north wall of the chancel above the site of his parent’s grave.
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Take a Hike!
This 404 mile long distance walk celebrates Britain’s naval heritage and England’s finest sailor Admiral Horatio Nelson. It follows a route from Burnham Thorpe, and links locations associated with Nelson between Norfolk and the HMS Victory, Nelson’s flagship in the Battle of Trafalgar, at the wonderful Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
The Nelson Way is a fitting trail for Norfolk, also known as Nelson’s County. If like me, the thought of walking 404 miles is a bit much, you can try my favourite bit of the route from Burnham Thorpe to Holkham.
This 11 mile Norfolk hike through the wetlands, dunes and sands of Holkham National Nature Reserve will reward you with magnificent beach views and huge skies, which accompany you for much of the route.
Norfolk Coast Path
Very probably the best-loved of the Norfolk trails, and one of the best ways to experience the wilderness and unique landscapes of the Norfolk coastline, the Norfolk Coast Path runs from Hunstanton in West Norfolk, to Hopton-on-Sea in South Norfolk, where Norfolk meets Suffolk.
The path runs for 84 miles, and passes through the stark and beautiful landscape of the Norfolk coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where you’ll encounter tidal marshes brimming with wildlife, and cross wide sandy beaches under the huge skies that Norfolk is famous for.
Burnham Overy Staithe is right on the coastal path and it’s easy to walk a stage from the village – you’ll find the path signed at either end of Harbour Way. Head east for a fantastic 4.5 miles walk to Holkham Beach, or west to Burnham Deepdale, then catch the Coastliner bus back to Burnham Market.
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Spend the Day at Brancaster Beach
Managed by the National Trust, Bancaster Beach or ‘Branny’ as it’s known locally, is blessed with soft sands perfect for picnics, sandcastle building and walking your dog. It’s also a popular spot with kite surfers, kite buggy fans and kite flyers – I learnt to fly a stunt kite here when I was a teenager. For me, it’s one of the best of the North Norfolk beaches.
Brancaster Beach also had its very own shipwreck, which was an amazing sight from the beach. Partially buried in the sand, the remains of the SS Vina were used by the RAF for target practice in preparation for the Normandy landings before she accidentally sank in 1944 and became stranded on the sandbank where she remained until being swept away in 2022.
The tides around the sandbank are strong and unpredictable, attempting to visit the wreck is very dangerous and getting cut off at high tide is a real risk – people have died in the past. Please don’t try to reach the shipwreck.
The water at Brancaster recedes to leave shallow lagoons where young children can safely paddle and play – try and time your family beach visit as the currents can be strong when the tide is in. You can check Brancaster Beach tide times here.
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Take a Picnic to Creake Abbey
Just 2.5 miles south of Burnham Market is Creake Abbey, the impressive flint-walled ruins of an Augustinian abbey dating from 1206. Located in a beautiful water meadow setting, the ruins are managed by English Heritage. Free to enter, they are the perfect place for a picnic.
Next door, you’ll find a collection of independent shops, Creake Abbey Café and Food Hall, and the location of the popular Creake Abbey farmers market, held on the first Saturday of each month.
The shop is small but does offer a brilliant food experience, offering everything from fresh sourdough bread, colourful salads, Norfolk cheeses and freshly prepared deli items, to frozen meals along with fruit and vegetables in season, soft drinks, wine and beer. So if you didn’t make a picnic, you can get one here!
A wonderful destination, Holkham has it all. The small village boasts one of Norfolk’s top stately homes, Holkham Hall, a beach, also known as Holkham Gap, and the Holkham National Nature Reserve. There’s a lot going on here!
One of the best stately homes in Norfolk, Holkham Hall is an 18th century Palladian masterpiece, with a fantastic walled garden, surrounded by rolling parkland and home to a herd of Fallow deer.
Holkham Beach is simply vast and probably the best beach in Norfolk – even in summer you can find a quiet spot here. The windswept tidelines, miles of dunes and maze of creeks which make up Holkham’s nature reserve are ripe for exploring by intrepid adventurers – young and old alike!
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Wells-next-the-Sea is a lively harbour town in North Norfolk’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Known simply as Wells, it is one of North Norfolk’s top seaside towns and makes a perfect base for a Norfolk holiday or day out.
There are lots of attractions to keep everyone busy in Wells. With an award-winning long sandy beach, a pretty Georgian town centre with a good mix of traditional and contemporary shops and eateries, and a bustling quay perfect for crabbing, Wells will entertain the whole family.
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Head to Sandringham
Sandringham, a 20,000-acre estate in the Norfolk Coast AONB, is where the Royal family retreats for Christmas and was reportedly Queen Elizabeth’s favourite home. Nearby, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, aka Wills and Kate, also have their home, Anmer Hall.
You can visit the house, gardens, parkland and St Mary Magdalene Church in a day, with many of the ground floor rooms of Sandringham House remaining as they were in Edwardian times. The gardens are beautiful and the parkland and woods which surround the house are a great spot for dog walking, family activities and picnics.
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Have I missed your favourite Burnham Market hotel, restaurant or activity from my list? Let me know in the comments so I can check it out and add it to this round up!