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Aerial view of Brancaster Staithe Harbour at low tide, Brancaster Estate, Norfolk
Brancaster Staithe Harbour at low tide | © National Trust Images/Ian Ward
Norfolk

Brancaster Staithe wildlife walk

Wander through Brancaster Staithe and enjoy the sights of the coast and its wildlife on this circular trail. Look out for Brent geese, oystercatchers and other bird species. Along the way visit the Downs, and take in the views from Barrow Common, spot the Second World War wreck of SS Vina and visit the site of Branodunum Roman Fort.

Tidal flooding

Harbour Way at Brancaster is subject to tidal flooding. Check tide times before you go on your walk and please do not leave your car on the hard-standing as it may be flooded.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Harbour Way, Brancaster Staithe. PE31 8BW grid ref: TF791443

Step 1

From Brancaster Staithe Quay car park, turn right onto the coastal path, and head towards the harbour. Once at the harbour there are information signs giving details of its history, as well as current fishing information. A little way along the coastal path, a path heads inland to the White Horse pub situated on the coast road.

Small boat moored at Brancaster Staithe Harbour on a sunny day in Norfolk
Brancaster Staithe Harbour, Norfolk | © National Trust/Ian Ward

Step 2

Turn off the coastal path and head inland on the A149, signposted Deepdale Café. Pass the café, turning left into Delgate Lane and follow it towards Downs woods.

Step 3

Follow the road around to the right. You'll see large beech trees growing on the corner. A little further on you come to a crossroads, from here take the footpath around the edge of Barrow Common. You may like to take a slight detour to explore the common, which also makes a nice spot for a picnic. On the common look out for the unusual sight of hundreds of snails in tree cracks.

Samphire at Morston Quay, Blakeney National Nature Reserve, Norfolk
Samphire grows in tidal areas near Brancaster Quay | © National Trust Images/Hanne Siebers

Step 4

From the northern edge of Barrow Common, there's a great view over Brancaster and out to sea. Look out for the Second World War wreck of SS Vina, on the end of Scolt Head Island; a coastal steamer that was used for target practice by the RAF, and accidentally sank in 1944. Follow the path to the left and then right, back down to the coast road.

Step 5

Take care crossing the main road. You're now at the site of Branodunum Roman Fort where a sign gives information on its history. Having gone around the fort, the path heads off left, through two gates, towards the sea.

Branodunum Roman Fort omega sign by a 5 bar wooden gate with a grassy field beyond at Brancaster, Norfolk
Once a Roman Fort, Branodunum is now an important grassland habitat | © National Trust/Keith Miller

Step 6

You are now back on the coastal path. Turn right and follow it until you arrive back at Brancaster Staithe Quay car park.

End point

Harbour Way, Brancaster Staithe. PE31 8BW grid ref: TF791443

Trail map

Map showing the route of Brancaster Staithe wildlife walk in Norfolk
Brancaster Staithe wildlife walk map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2011 Ordnance Survey 100023974

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Brancaster Beach, Beach Road, Brancaster, Norfolk, PE31 8BW

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