Burnham-on-Sea is a charming little seaside resort located near Bridgwater Bay, Somerset. At low tide the seafront presents a glorious seven-mile stretch of soft sandy beach, ideal for the bucket-and-spade brigade.

Burnham-on-Sea © Travel About Britain

Burnham's most distinctive landmark is a unique wooden lighthouse, which stands out to sea on stilts. Built in the early 19th-c, by local curate David Davies, who used the subsequent income from shipping tolls to sink water wells along the foreshore. This was a vain attempt to make Burnham a spa town, rivalling that of Bath and Cheltenham, but unfortunately the waters were so unpleasant the spa never became prosperous. Albeit, Davies's ambitions did lay the foundations of a popular seaside destination instead, with miles of beautiful golden sands.

Low Lighthouse
Burnham Low Lighthouse © Travel About Britain

Burnham enjoys many of the usual seaside attractions, including the smallest pier in Britain. The long seafront promenade is lined with several listed buildings and enjoys spectacular views across Bridgwater Bay. There is a bustling town centre packed with shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants. The Ritz cinema, in Victoria Street, is a popular little picture house screening all the latest blockbusters.

St Andrews Church

St Andrews Church © TAB

The 14th-c. parish church of Saint Andrews has a fine 78ft (32m) tower, which leans 3ft from the vertical due to its sandy foundations.

Apex Leisure and Wildlife Park, at the southern end of town, is a large flooded clay pit and nature reserve, spread across 42 acres. Home to Ducks, Mallards, Greg Herons, Water Voles, Mute Swans, rare butterflies and dragonflies. Fishing permits are available. Stert Island, located less than a mile off the coast, is another bird watchers' paradise, where oystercatchers, shelduck, gulls and other migrating birds nest.

The coastline in this area is popular for watersports such as fishing, sailing and water-skiing. There is also a championship golf course to the north.

The nearby coastal villages of Berrow and Brean also offer miles of lovely golden sands. To the northwest stands Brent Knoll, a 445ft hill with the remains of an Iron Age hill fort.

Map of Burnham-on-Sea


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