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Top places to live in Norfolk Kings Lynn

Maritime West Norfolk town on the banks of the River Ouse with a beautiful historic quarter and rich cultural life. Plus the Royals live 5 miles up the road and if it's good enough for them... Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

WHY?  

Fascinating mix of ancient and contemporary architecture, and blend of indie and high street shops, the beautiful old Hanseatic port has oodles to offer families, from ten-pin bowling and swimming, to top class Arts and Music Festivals. Gorgeous Sandringham Estate is nearby and it’s a short hop to the seaside for miles of beautiful sandy beaches. Plus trains go direct to King’s Cross, for easy days out in quaint lil’ ole London.

EAT

We love scrumptious afternoon teas and slap-up Sunday roasts at modern brasserie the Bank House, cosily snuggled in one of Lynn’s many impressive heritage buildings. For a hit of sunshine and spice head to Soul Café and Restaurant – delish British-Caribbean Fusion food. Teens (who are we trying to kid) will love the insane burgers at Liquor & Loaded and mega sweet treats at Waffleopolis. Only 20 mins away you’ll find multi-award-winning quintessential country pub, the Rose & Crown in Snettisham and in Hillington get your urban food fix at The Ffolkes, home to super cool Street Feast – Muddy Award 2021 finalist. After you’ve scoffed all that, book in for exercise class with sass at Pole Perfect Fitness – also 2021 Muddy finalists – where they offer aerial classes and pole dancing. Oooh la la!

SHOP

Town markets are Tuesdays and Saturdays. Fans of The Great British Sewing Bee, make a bee line for family run haberdashery The Fent Shop and there’s major adorability at The Steiff Shop where over 500 different bears and soft toys wait for their forever homes. Just out of town, the Hardwick Narrows estate is the unlikely home of delectable Simply Cake Co – choc brownies galore – and Tropic Coffee’s Roastery to stock up on excellent coffee and loose leaf teas. Our favourite Hardwick Narrows resident has to be Captain Fawcett and his Emporium. Home to the ‘Marvellous Barbershop Museum’, it’s like stepping into a lavish Edwardian explorer’s club, a veritable wonder to behold. Meanwhile, a 20-minute drive away, we highly rate Duration Brewery, a modern farmhouse brewery and taproom, making beers rooted in land and story.

And, keep it quiet, but Kate Middleton was once spotted in Sainsburys buying Hallowe’en costumes for the heir to the throne. Spooky.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

As well as the epic Norfolk coast on your doorstep, there’s loads to do in town. The Corn Exchange is a fantastically comfortable theatre and cinema and there are fab heritage museums like True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum and the Lynn Museum, home of Seahenge. We love the brilliant Groundwork gallery dedicated to the environment. 5 miles away is Sandringham with gorgeous grounds open all year and Houghton Hall (30 mins drive) a glorious Palladian house with a world-class collection of contemporary sculpture in the gardens. For Normans in Norfolk try Castle Rising (15 mins drive) and lovely Castle Acre (30 mins by car) – kids love the ruined priory. Snettisham and WWT Welney Wetland Centre on the Ouse Washes are terrific nature reserves not far away. For much needed pampering, we recommend the lovely herb garden spa at Congham Hall, under 20 mins in the car. And Cambridge and London are both close enough for big days out on the train.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

£190,924. On average, terraced properties sell for £153,046, semi-detached ££202,035 and detached £269,331.

HOT PROPERTY

This 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom property with lovely countryside views in nearby Downham Market is on the market for £725K with Sowerbys.

SCHOOLS

Downham Preparatory School and Montessori Nursery is a non selective co-ed independent prep school for children aged 3 months to 13 years. Along the coast is highly regarded Glebe House, a nursery and prep school in Hunstanton which has buses from Kings Lynn and takes weekly boarders from 7-13. Other boarding schools include Gresham’s in Holt and Langley in Taverham. At primary level state options include Ofsted Outstanding Eastgate Academy and CofE academy Whitefriars (rated Good) which has a school dog to greet children in the playground. Secondary Springwood High School is rated Good and offers DofE plus a strong Arts programme.

BEST KEPT SECRET

A witch’s heart inside a diamond is carved into the red brick above a window of Numbers 15 and 16 Tuesday Market. As Margaret Read burned at the stake in 1590, her still-beating heart ripped itself from her chest, slammed into the wall at the marked spot, defied gravity and flew to the Ouse where the river waters bubbled like a cauldron as it sank beneath. Sounds plausible? Don’t worry, Norfolk has come a loooonnng way.

PS Carrstone, a russet rock found only in this part of the country gives some of West Norfolk’s properties a distinctive ‘gingerbread house’ look. Just saying…

COMMUTE

Norwich is about an hour by car, Peterborough an hour and Cambridge around 1 hour 15 mins. It’s a 2.5 hour drive to London or the train from Kings Lynn is 1 hour 40 mins direct into Kings Cross. Norwich airport has flights to European destinations with most international routes available via Schiphol.

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live  

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