What to do in Burnham on Sea

02 Mar 2020

Legend says that Joseph of Aramethia, the Phenician trader landed at Burnham on Sea, close by Paradise Farm (marked as Paradise for several centuries) with the boy Jesus before travelling across the moors to Glastonbury, where his staff grew into the holy rose thorn which flowers at Christmas.

Follow in the foot-steps of many travellers to this friendly Victorian coastal town where you will be greeted with a warm welcome.  There are a host of independent businesses in an around the High Street. 
The town boasts a mile-long esplanade over-looking the Bristol Channel close to the estuary of the River Parrett and Stert Island with the vast amount of wildlife that visits throughout the seasons.  As you walk along the esplanade next to the Church you will find the enclosed Marine Cove Gardens a place to take shelter and rest a while, the garden was built in 1927 and restored with a Heritage Lottery Grant in 2011.  There is a pergola, cherub fountain, lion head pool and shelters. 

With accessible sandy beaches stretching for 7 miles with the natural sea defences of the dunes following the coastline to neighbouring Berrow and Brean, this makes for a brisk walk at any time of the year or follow the National Cycle Network route 33.  The section from Brean to Burnham-on-Sea is along the beach and is known as the 'Stop Line Way' because this section follows the line of the World War II Taunton Stop Line, built in 1940 as a defence against invasion.  Be sure to visit our Volunteer operated Visitor Centre for the all essential Tide Times!

Burnham on Sea has the second highest tidal range in the world and the shortest pier!  Visit as the sun is setting for a view that will not disappoint.  We are fortunate enough to have 3 Lighthouses – the low lighthouse which stands on 9 pillars on the beach and is probably one of the most photographed landmarks in the area was built in 1832 along with the High Lighthouse built by Joseph Nelson both grade II listed buildings.  They replaced the Round Tower as a lighthouse situated next to the 14th Century Church of St Andrew.  The low lighthouse is the only one that still operates but is well worth a visit as the sun is setting to add to your photo album.  

Dogs are welcome at certain times so best to check with the Visitor and Information Centre or look at one of the maps.

Beach area 1 – Dogs are banned all year round on the beach, jetty and esplanade steps

Beach area 2 – Dogs are banned on the beach and esplanade steps from May to September each year. Outside of these dates dogs are permitted on this area of the beach.

Beach area 3 – Dogs are banned on beach and esplanade step from May to September each year. Outside of these dates dogs are permitted on this area of the beach.

You can choose to cycle or walk following the esplanade to the South and pick up the river Brue towards Highbridge with its links to the M5 and Railway Station.

The town also supports the Litter Free Coast & Sea Somerset with regular community operated beach cleans by the Yacht Club and encouraging local businesses to reduce their single use plastic. Many local businesses offer the free water refills including the Town Council Offices and Princess Theatre and Arts Centre, where if preferred you can stop and have something to eat or drink in the Gallery Café whilst admiring the work of local established and emerging arts from the local area.

Nestled between Burnham on Sea and Highbridge is the Apex Leisure and Wildlife Park.  A 42-acre site which attracts thousands of visitors each year.  The cycle route passes through the park but is accessible for wheelchair users and walkers alike.  There is a free carpark, cycle points, toilets and seasonal refreshment stands.

It is recognised for its importance as an aquatic site for over wintering and breeding wildfowl and attracts a diverse range of wildlife.  The Friends of Apex Park have been active since 2001 and have helped to improve the park for residents and visitors.  The park is owned and maintained by Sedgemoor District Council and host many events throughout the year, with the biggest being Somerset Play Day in August.

The park has achieved the coveted green flag award for many years and is recognised for being one of the best parks in the country.  The Green Flag Awards is a national quality scheme for greens spaces in England and Wales.

If you visit during late Spring and early Summer make sure to check the events diary for one of the music events in our Manor Gardens which are organised by volunteers and are free to attend.  They show case many local artists and bands.  Bring a picnic and a blanket and enjoy an afternoon of music and entertainment within a short distance of the town centre.  There is a children’s play park and tennis court close by to entertain all age groups.

The people of Burnham on Sea and Highbridge and warm and welcoming and usually able to tell a tale or two.  If looking for a place to visit and feel at home then please pay us a visit soon.
What to do in Burnham on Sea
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