Burnham-On-Sea Royal Clarence owner Nick Richardson

The new owners of an historic hotel on Burnham-On-Sea seafront say they hope to bring back some ‘nostalgic charm’ to the building.

Nick and Ellie Richardson have bought The Royal Clarence on the town’s Esplanade and have told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week about their plans for the hotel.

Nick says: “We bought The Royal Clarence Hotel three weeks ago, mainly to relocate to a charming seaside town.”

“We are fully aware of the hotel’s long history; we fell in love with the building when we viewed it, and we aim to bring back some of the nostalgic charm to the building’s interior and exterior.”

“We have only been here a few weeks and we are enjoying improving and maintaining the building.”

Burnham-On-Sea Royal Clarence owner Nick Richardson

“We understand that our business plays a big part in attracting visitors to Burnham-On-Sea, and the responsibility we have ensuring visitors enjoy their stay.”

“Hopefully, we can help to maintain and promote the town’s reputation into the future. We are so looking forward to being a part of Burnham-On-Sea.”

“We thank our guests, local residents and business owners for such a warm welcome – the town has been very welcoming.”

The couple say they hope to improve the exterior of the hotel in time, but have already begun to make some small but important changes in the hotel, improving heating, several bathrooms, towels and pillows.

Former owner Paul Chatwin, who has sold the hotel to the couple, adds: “We have enjoyed our seven years at The Clarence and can now pass this hugely successful business on to Nick and his family.”

“The Clarence now operates on a ‘room only’ basis, offering great value rooms on the seafront. Guests are encouraged to venture into the town for the great eateries and pubs virtually on our doorstep.”

Paul adds: “The hotel’s success would not have been possible without the hard work and commitment of our staff and I would like to thank them all. Nick has a great team in place to support his new business venture. The Royal Clarence Hotel has a large number of repeat guests and I’m sure they will enjoy the exciting changes Nick has planned for the business. We are going to enjoy early retirement – for now.”

History of Burnham’s Royal Clarence Hotel

Built as a coaching inn, this is believed to be the oldest licensed premises left in Burnham-On-Sea.

The earliest known deeds date from 1792, a time when the future King William IV was still the popular Duke of Clarence.

The hotel was originally built at the head of a causeway which extended from the sands to the brink of the river. It was more than once damaged by floods during its construction.

The hotel is certainly likely to have been linked with the first activities of the neighbouring Spa development in the 1820s. In 1836 it was reported that “the hotel is about to be re-opened.”

The main entrance archway was on the side of the building, now Regent Street, not the front since no Esplanade existed at that time, there being only grass and dunes between the building and the beach. It was under this archway the horse and carriage would have delivered customers.


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