Best villages in Norfolk
Published Feb 7th 2020
4 mins read
One of Norfolk’s greatest attributes is the number and
variety of villages found within the county. All come with their own charm and
personality making the county such an interesting and diverse place to live and
Norfolk is well known for being split down the middle with a fairly clear divide between North Norfolk and a South Norfolk. To the north, the focus is the proximity to the coastline and its beaches and also the access it provides to major towns and Norwich. South Norfolk – the focus typically lies in the forest at Thetford and also the access in and out of the county to the rest of the south-east via the A11 and A14.
Some of the best villages in Norfolk have such a mix of housing styles whether that be brick and flint cottages, Victorian rectories or timber-framed properties and even contemporary barn conversions. The patchwork mix of these altogether and in a street scene or around a village green help create the wonderful environment that Norfolk has.
North Norfolk villages
Burnham Market is a very well-known village in North Norfolk and is set around its village green with the church overlooking. The village is located some 3 miles from the sea. Burnham Market has the nickname of Chelsea on sea due to the Londoners who frequent the area. There are many popular boutique shops and fine eateries – namely The Hoste Arms and also Number 29.
Ringstead is a small village with a shop (that sells everything and is like the Tardis!) and has a pub which is well known locally and is called The Gin Trap. The village provides a sense of community and has an active village hall and bowls club. The village is located less than 5 miles from the well-known seaside town of Hunstanton.
Blakeney is a good-sized village and is very popular with visitors and also those that want a second home within a coastal village. The village’s proximity to the water is very much dependent on the tide; when the tide is in there is a roaring trade for the seal tours off the North Norfolk coast. Beans Boat trips are the locals for this. When the tide is out a lot of people enjoy the walk to Blakeney Point which at certain times of the year means one can see the seals and their pups on the beach.
Blakeney is host to a number of eateries namely Adnams own
pub in The White Horse and also The Kings Head – both serving good pub grub
(the former also does more restaurant styled food).
Wells-next-the-Sea offers residents homes with sea views, lovely sandy beaches, excellent pubs and numerous country walks on the doorstep. Property here can include the chocolate-box cottages which Norfolk is fondly known for.
South Norfolk villages
Old Buckenham is a village that is found some 15 miles south of Norwich, the village is built around an expansive village green – some say it could be the largest village green in the UK being c. 40 acres and its makeup is grassland and ponds so wildlife is very abundant. Old Buckenham has a real sense of community, a busy convenience shop/post office and pub. There are two schools within the village so children can be educated from primary all the way through to the end of secondary.
Hardingham is a typical quintessential British village with a small but friendly community, a church, village green and cricket pitch. There is also a railway station although it’s opened only for special occasions.
Banham is a village that is found also some 15 miles to the south of Norwich. It is a busy village with a convenience store, a pub, a post office and a butcher. A big selling point of Banham is that there is a zoo in the village and is very popular and people travel for miles to visit. Adjacent to the zoo is a lovely camping and glamping site.
Peaceful villages in Norfolk include Starston, located just 10 miles from Diss where you can take a direct train to London. The picturesque village has a thriving community with a community wildlife meadow on which local events which range from the annual fireworks display to local dog shows, are run.
Norfolk Broads villages
One area that we have not touched on is the Norfolk Broads. These are found to the northeast of Norwich and are a series of inland waterways that are a haven for wildlife and low speed or self-propelled boats… The area is very popular not only for those that live in the county but also for those seeking peace and quiet for a holiday.
There are too many wonderful villages to note each and everyone here but a particularly charming Norfolk Broads village is Hickling.
Hickling has its own broad and a real sense of community – whether that be in one of the two pubs, The Greyhound and The Pleasure Boat Inn, or the regatta that is held in the summer from its sailing club. Some properties overlook the broad itself but most sit within the heart of the village which also has a local shop.
The adjoining villages of Hoveton and Wroxham are known to be the ‘Capital of the Broads’. Both offer exquisite riverside living with many homes having moorings and river frontage, properties can be found on private roads positioned on offshoots of the River Bure. The beauty of these villages is not only in their proximity to the water but how well they are connected to Norfolk’s key hubs such as Norwich with the train journey taking only 15 minutes.
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