The history of this piece of the North Norfolk coast dates back to at least Roman times, when there was a fort between what are now Brancaster and Brancaster Staithe called Branodunum. The fort formed part of the “Saxon shore” fortification system and was built to protect approaches to the Wash. In fact, there is a school of thought that there was a timber fortification here which predated the Roman fort in the days of Boudicca. One attribute which is left over from Roman times is the importance of seafood to the local economy. Both oysters and mussels are cultivated in the area. Hungry visitors have the option of buying seafood baguettes from a wooden hut by the harbour, or alternatively paying a visit to the excellent White Horse pub where a feast of local seafood is accompanied by wonderful views over the marshes. In 2008 the National Trust helped to open a brand new fishing quay at Brancaster Staithe for local fishermen to unload their daily catch. Walks can be taken alongside the marshes where there are plenty of opportunities for birdwatching. During the winter months, bird enthusiasts are treated to the sight of endless skeins of pink-footed geese flying inland to feed or heading out to sea to roost. In summer the skies over the marshes are alive with swallows, marsh harriers and other birds looking for food over the reedbeds. The tidal inlets among the salt marshes at Brancaster are the perfect spot for messing about in boats.
Map of the area.