What Burnham Market and it's surrounding villages have to offer.
Top end of the Market-It's well known for attracting the celebrity visitors and second home owners, but that's not all Burnham Market and its surrounding villages have to offer, as <br/><br/>Gay Webster discovers.
Top end of the Market
It's well known for attracting the celebrity visitors and second home owners, but that's not all Burnham Market and its surrounding villages have to offer, as Gay Webster discovers.
Park at the nearby Burnham Overy Staithe, but check the tides first or you’re likely to find your car in water when you get back! There are miles and miles of unspoiled beaches to discover, from inland salt marshes to the huge expanse that is Holkham Beach. The latter is famous for being “the beach where Gwyneth Paltrow walked” and has often been seen on TV in the Kingdom series with Stephen Fry. Burnham Overy Staithe and the associated harbour is a major recreational sailing centre. It is also the point of departure for ferries to the Scolt Head Island National Nature Reserve. There’s no escaping the Burnhams’ link to Lord Nelson, and here he’s marked at the Hero pub – popular for its home cooked fare – which sports a picture of him on its sign.
Brazen Head Bookshop and Gallery
Book lovers could literally get lost in their own world inside this shop, which is made up from a warren of rooms. There are books on the stairs, on the shelves, on the floor and plenty to choose from, whether your preference is up-to-date romantic novels or old Blue Peter annuals!
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- 5 Martin Clunes shares his favourite local places in Dorset
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- 7 7 scenic coastal walks to try in Somerset (with cafes on the way)
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- 10 See inside this £1.5 million modern property in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds
Another Burnham close by, this has everything for walkers and eco-friendly tourists. The eco-campsite features teepees to make the night under canvass a little different. There’s a caf�, shops, including the cool Fat Face chain, and a jolly, little gift shop for children called Little Giggles. It claims to be one of the driest villages in the country, so there is always something to enjoy outdoors. In winter, watch the sky fill with pink-footed geese or enjoy a refreshing walk on the beach.
Church of St Mary
It’s an incredibly well-maintained parish church, with second-hand books for sale inside, as well as the chance to see beautiful stained glass windows. A quiet haven to escape any crowds.
Gurneys Fish Shop
Its colourful, painted sign promises a wide range of locally caught fresh and smoked fish, including the "Gurney classics" of home-made chowder, the obligatory mussels and "The Fishcake". The smoked fish is home-cured with traditional oak sawdust.
The Hoste Arms
Probably as well known for attracting the likes of Amanda Holden to stay (including for her hen weekend), as for its food, the Hoste is perfect for a cosy winter break. Its other claim to fame is that its kitchen is “host” to what it claims is the biggest Aga in the world. It was designed for the Hoste by the hotel’s Paul Whittome, with Andrew McPherson and Tim Smith, the chief executive of Aga’s commercial division. It has several features that are unique, including built-in smokers. Across the green is its luxury, seven-bedroomed Georgian boutique hotel, Vine House – a haven from the bustle of the village, but only a minute’s stroll from all the facilities of the Hoste. Perfect for those looking for a romantic get-away in beautiful surroundings. Ten minutes’ walk away is the newly refurbished Railway Inn with converted railway carriage and newly-built railway house and railway cottages, all decorated in chic contemporary style.
There’s the chance to pick up something a little bit different from one of the many boutiques and clothes shops. Anna and Jack Mills are next to each other on the High Street or there’s Emma’s Court, opposite, home to Catherine Alexander, a shop for “real girls” plus Shoes on the Green. And, as the saying goes: “If you want to get ahead, get a hat.” Burnham’s home to the famous Hat Shop where there are thousands to choose from, whatever you are after.
Interior designer Miv has worked on projects for Houghton Hall and designed The Victoria at Holkham in 2002. She is currently working on the refurbishment of the Holkham Hall family wing. From her Burnham base, she offers a bespoke service, ranging from consultation over colours and fabrics to a complete interior design scheme.
A collection of buildings including The Shed and The Stables selling lovely things for the home and garden, including Hockney-style Marmite prints. Venture outside into the tranquil, leafy courtyard and discover garden pots, statues and plaques. In the barn and old stable there is metal garden furniture, planters, ironwork lamps, candleholders and baskets. The cottage is the place to search out something for the kitchen. Gardeners are not forgotten, with a range of goodies plus birdhouses and feeders in the potting shed.
Check out Tilly’s caf�, Humble Pie or Lucy's tea room, if you're feeling peckish. Alternatively, Grooms bakery has some tasty-looking offerings, including pasties, and it's been baking in Burnham since 1923.