Snettisham RSPB Nature Reserve

© Copyright Richard Humphrey and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


Name: Snettisham RSPB Nature Reserve
Nearest town: Hunstanton
County: Norfolk
Grid reference: TF650328
Latitude/Longitude: 52.86822,0.45139
Telephone: 01485 542689

Center map

Snettisham is a nature reserve owned and maintained by the RSPB and faces The Wash on the Norfolk coast. This 25 mile estuary is an important location for migratory and wintering wildfowl and waders and it is home to two of the most spectacular sights for birdwatchers in the UK.

One of the amazing sights at the reserve is the flight of approximately 50,000 wading birds leaving the mud flats of The Wash and landing in front of one of the hides at Snettisham. To have the best chance of seeing this amazing sight it is advised that you visit at a time when the tide is high enough to cover the mud flats. If you want to see the flock leaving the mud flats, the best location to see this spectacle is the wader watch point on the beach (usually between half an hour and an hour and a half before high tide). The Shore, Sanctuary or Roost Hides are best positioned to see the flock land and when the tide is due to go out you can see them take off from the beach between the wader watch point and Shore Hide.

The other amazing spectacle is watching the tens of thousands of Pink-footed Geese flying overhead in V formations. This takes place between mid-November to late January, usually an hour or so after dawn. Once dusk arrives they return back to the mud flats for the night. It is best to position yourself on the beach between the wader watch point and Rotary Hides to see the geese and to arrive at dawn to ensure you have enough time to get in position. Also, prepare yourself for the loud calls of the geese as they fly overhead!

There are four hides in total at Snettisham, two of which are accessible by wheelchair. There is one nature trail which is 3.5 miles long. Please note that there is a fairly long walk of approximately 1 mile from the car park to the reserve so bear this in mind if you are visiting to see the Pink-footed Geese or the flight of the wading birds.

Interesting birds at Snettisham

You may see some or all of the following different types of birds during your visit to the Snettisham nature reserve.

All Year: Oystercatcher, Redshank, Ringed Plover.

Spring: Barn Owl, Marsh Harrier, Oystercatcher, Ringed plover, Wheatear.

Summer: Avocet, Black-Headed Gull, Common Tern, Knot.

Autumn: Bar-Tailed Godwit, Brent goose, Fieldfare, Redwing.

Winter: Goldeneye, Hen Harrier, Peregrine, Pink-Footed Goose.


  • There is a car park with a height restriction so coach parties should call ahead.
  • Peaceful and remote location.
  • Guided walks are available.
  • Group bookings can be taken.
  • Pushchair friendly
  • Great for walking.

Opening times

The nature reserve at Snettisham is open at all times.


Entry to Snettisham is free of charge, but donations to the RSPB are welcome.

RSPB membership is excellent value with a range of great benefits. Take a look at the various RSPB membership options.