Burnham-on-Sea gives the impression of being a retirement haven, with little of the vibrancy of nearby Weston-super-Mare. The beach is sandy at the top, with dangerous mudbanks lower down the beach. It is backed by a substantial sea wall and promenade, with plenty of facilities including showers, drinking water, toilets ♿, cafes, pubs, a Tourist Information Centre and a jetty. The main town centre and a supermarket are just a short walk away. The river Parrett emerges at the southern end and flows parallel to the beach about 400 yards from the sea wall.
Swimming is only allowed for approximately two hours either side of the high tide - at other times a red flag is flown. The seawater here is a muddy brown colour all year round, and decidedly uninviting. Signs warn against swimming, due to poor water quality and also dangerous low-tide currents. Lifeguards patrol from early July to early September (10.00 - 18.00), and a dog ban is in force on the whole beach backed by the sea wall, from 1st May to 30th September, with the ban in place all year round on the section of beach between the jetty and the pavilion. There is roadside P&D parking along the Esplanade.
North of the main beach is Burnham's famous lighthouse on stilts, and the shore here is backed by dunes covered in Lyme Grass. Access to the shore at this end, along with limited roadside parking is from roads such as Allandale Road and Grove Road. The nearest rail station is Highbridge, about 1¾ miles away.