- OS Explorer series 1:25000, Number 251 Norfolk Coast Central.
- Start: TF 855 394. Creake Abbey Café & Food Hall car park, 11/2 miles south of Burnham Market on the B1355.
- This is a circular walk and there are toilets and a café at the start/finish.
Check the fields opposite the car park for barn owls and then take the track which runs to the left of the pond round to the impressive ruins of Creake Abbey, evocatively named St Mary of the Meadows.
With the ruins on your right continue up the road until you come to a wooden gate on your left and a permissive footpath sign heading diagonally (NW direction) across the meadows. Cross the footbridge over the River Burn, continue through the gate and past the stand of trees on your right until you come to a mettled road. There are often cows in these meadows so dogs on leads.
Once on the road, turn right and keep walking (looking out for bullfinches in the hedges) until you come to a fork in the road. You will be taking the right fork over the bridge, but before you do look more closely at the finger post pointing along the left fork. It reads Nelsons birthplace. Burnham Thorpes most famous son!
Take the right fork over the bridge and continue until the road turns left and opposite you will see a wide track with a footpath sign. Follow this green lane as it slowly climbs uphill.
You are now approaching the highest point of the walk, a lofty 50m above sea level. Beyond the harbour, windmill and marshes of Burnham Overy Staithe lies the sea and Buzzards can often be seen circling overhead and, if you are walking in the winter months, look out for flocks of Pink-footed Geese flying overhead in typical V formation.
Continue along the track as it starts to descend, heading towards the large wood. This is the Holkham Estate. Pass to the left of the first trees that you come to and very soon youwill hit The Great Wall of Holkham. Turn right here and follow the path along side the wall. Look out for the lovely English Grey partridge around here.
Follow the wall until you reach the road. Turn right here and head down hill until you come to a telegraph pole with a track on the left hand side of the road. Follow the hedgerow that runs beneath the telegraph wires (S direction) on the right hand side of the hedge until you meet a hedge running at right angles, turn right.
Follow the new hedge towards the large stand of trees (Old Meadow Plantation, W direction). At the next hedge turn left (S direction) and at the next hedge turn right (W again). You have basically zigzagged across the fields following the hedgerows between the telegraph pole and the left hand corner of the large wood. This is one of several permissive paths that you have walked on today, set up by Natural England under their much appreciated ‘Conservation Walks’ scheme in conjunction with the landowners.
When you reach the wood, turn right (N direction) walking the length of the wood. Continue straight on when the trees finish and the path eventually turns into a track.
Turn left at the road and retrace your steps over the bridge, turn left at ‘Nelson’s’ finger post and along the road until you come to the sign on the left that directs you back across the meadows to Creake Abbey. Turn right, back to the car park and over to Abbey Café & Food Hall for a well-earned mug of hot chocolate. You may also find yourself tempted by one of the delicious homemade cakes !