Burnham Overy Walk
Eight miles around the Burnhams
In Nelson’s footsteps
Eight miles around the BurnhamsShorter version 6.4 miles
Horatio Nelson was born at Burnham Thorpe in 1758 and lived with his parents at the Parsonage until he went to sea at the age of 12. In 1785 he returned to the village for five years “on the beach” when he was out of favour with the Admiralty and had no ship to command. During these two periods of his life Nelson would have spent many hours rambling around the countryside.This walk starts at the Memorial Hall, Ordnance Survey Landranger 132, Explorer 251, reference 853415 and visits the site of Nelson’s birth before returning to the village centre. For the shorter version join the walk at the kissing gate just north of the church.For public transport users the Coasthopper bus stops at The Hero public house a few yards off the route at Burnham Overy Staithe.
1 From the crossroads by the Memorial Hall take The Pightle alongside the flint cottages and follow this road to a crossroads. Go straight over the junction heading for The Creakes. Take the first footpath on the right, cross the River Burn by a narrow footbridge, then turn left to follow the river to a road. Nelson’s birthplace was demolished in 1803, making way for a much grander building. A plaque on the wall a few yards down the road to the left of the field gate marks the site. The walk continues by turning right from the gate heading back towards the village. Walk past a number of large houses into the village and take the second road on the right, Blacksmith’s Lane, and then left along the main road through the village. On the left, pass first The Lord Nelson pub, known as The Plough in Nelson’s time, then a huge stone barn. Bear right on the minor road to the church. When the lane bears to the right, north of the church, turn left through a kissing gate.
2 Keep by the hedge on the right as far as a cattle crush, here the path is indistinct – cross the field bearing half left seeking a footbridge over a small stream. From the bridge head for the trees, at the far end of the field seek a gate onto a disused railway line. Turn left, but soon leave the line by a path on the right. Continue through two fields keeping the hedge to the right. Cross a road and turn right, immediately past the last house on the left go left along Gong Lane. In a short distance turn left along a green lane heading towards Burnham Overy Town Church.
3 As a diversion take the path on the left through the churchyard. Just to the right of the path as it rounds the church there is a gravestone which commemorates the death by drowning of a person who capsized entering Wells Harbour. Return to the path and in a few yards turn left along a tarmac road, then as the road bends left take the green lane on the right and follow it as far as the water mill. Keep straight ahead along the busy road as far as the right bend. Go straight ahead along a footpath and follow it over fields to join the Coast Path. Turn right and continue across fields and along the road to Burnham Overy Staithe Harbour.
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4 From the harbour follow the Coast Path along the sea wall to a point where the path turns sharp left. Drop down from the path through a gate on the right and follow the broad track to the A149. Cross the main road and take the minor road ahead to the waymarked path on the right. Follow the path, with a hedge on the left, then through a signed gap in the hedge and follow the path diagonally right to another gap. Keep to the same line across the next field to rejoin Gong Lane at point three.
5 Retrace the outward walk through Burnham Overy Town to Burnham Thorpe church, point two.
6 From the kissing gate near the church go straight ahead along the stoney track to the start.
Norfolk Ramblers welcomenew members. If you are interested in walking in the company of like-minded people, visit www.norfolkra.org.uk or call 01508 538654. For queries about this walk call 01953 861094.