The tide is out and the receding waters have created interesting patterns in the sand; water is still pooled in shallow dips on the beach. The view is westerly, towards Scolt Head Island Nature Reserve (seen in the far distance). NB - This view is as seen here, ie no wide-angle or fish-eye lens was used; Holkham beach really is this vast.
Holkham beach consists of many miles of clean golden sands, white sand dunes, mud and shingle patches and an area designated for naturists; there are no beach huts or deck chairs. Voted best British beach for a bank holiday break by readers of The Times, Holkham beach is three miles long and, at low tide it takes a half mile walk to reach the water line. The beach is frequented by many people but due to the vastness of the area not many can be seen grouped together in one place; there is plenty of room for dogs too.
One of the footpaths leading into the Holkham Nature Reserve can be accessed from the A149 east of Burnham Overy Staithe. The first section of this path leads through marsh pastures > Link
which were reclaimed in the 18th and 19th centuries, beginning at Burnham Overy in 1639 and ending with the construction of the sea wall at Wells in 1859. Further seawards, the marsh pastures turn into saltmarsh > Link
. Sediments deposited by the sea have built up into a skim of mud and silt and, over the years, evolved into saltmarsh. The middle and upper levels of the saltmarshes at Holkham are covered with plants such as sea aster and sea lavender > Link
. Leaving the saltmarsh behind, extensive dune systems > Link
form an impressive barrier between the saltmarsh and the foreshore > Link
. The dunes at Holkham sit on old shingle ridges and their landscape is continuously changing due to the effects of wind and water.