About Mid Norfolk Property including Dereham
A guide to some of the Property hotspots in Mid Norfolk
The area of Mid-Norfolk is arguably more difficult to define than other parts of Norfolk, one of the largest counties in England – whereas North Norfolk is easier as it is the broad strip running from Heacham to Cromer, encompassing Fakenham, Holt, the Burnhams, as in our North Norfolk area guide.
For the purposes of this piece, we’ll make a geographical classification: Mid Norfolk here is defined as south of our estate agency base in Fakenham down to Swaffham, Dereham, across to Reepham and Aylsham. As the name of the area suggests, Mid Norfolk lies in the heart of farming country, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s like Birmingham, which is the furthest place from beaches in the UK. It’s not at all. You can easily reach many of Norfolk’s glorious beaches in 40 minutes or less from many of these towns, as the sea is under 30 miles away.
Mid Norfolk, its wonderful country landscape and rich mix of properties has lots to offer in its own right.
Other parts of Norfolk are easily accessible from Swaffham, which sits handily along the A47, which whisks you to Kings Lynn in a Westerly direction or to Norwich and eventually Great Yarmouth heading East.
Property prices in mid Norfolk are more affordable than the bejewelled honeypots of Cley, Brancaster, Wells, Burnham Market and South Creake.
We will look specifically now at Swaffham. It’s a lovely market town in its own right, birthplace of Howard Carter, the Egyptologist, of Tutankhamun fame. Swaffham’s centre bulges with fine Georgian architecture – so much so that it was the setting for the Stephen Fry drama “Kingdom” a few years ago. It also is home to a Waitrose and several other well known brands.
Property in Swaffham is available for a range of lifestyles and prices. 95 properties are currently on the market there, with prices starting from £60,000 for a town centre period apartment up to just shy of £600,000 for an elegant barn conversion. 4 bedroomed detached properties, some with extensive land, can be bought for £300,000 to £400,000, many oozing with character.
Residents in Swaffham hang on to their homes for a long time it would seem, longer in fact than the 7 year national average. They’re wise too it would seem, as properties bought in 2001 and 2002 according to land registry data have seen values double and triple over the last 15 years.
Less than 7 miles from Swaffham is the fantastic Oxburgh Hall a medieval moated country manor house built around 1482, another National Trust property in Norfolk that is well worth a visit.
Dereham, Reepham and Aylsham are other popular attractive towns in mid Norfolk.
Dereham, like Swaffham, has a bustling centre and sits closer to Norwich. It’s just 15 miles away along the A47 and it is one of the bigger settlements in mid Norfolk with 18,000 residents. It’s not to be confused though with West Dereham which is 25 miles away. If you’re visiting using a Sat Nav, exercise caution!
The town has an illustrious past; named after the deer that roamed the area, it has relics dating back to the Bronze Age. The church’s bell tower housed prisoners in the Napoleonic war, who were transported from Great Yarmouth (braving the Acle Straight?) It’s geographically classed as the centre of Norfolk – its exact centre is where Tesco’s is. It has a proud rural heritage too, with the Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum being close by.
Property in Dereham is slightly more expensive than Swaffham – it’s closer to Norwich which tends to impact on prices across Norfolk as a general rule. pronounced “Dear ham” it can cater for all budgets with studio apartments available for under £70,000 to grand mansions at £1m plus. There’s more properties for sale in Dereham, 136 at this time, which is to be expected – given the size of the town.
Reepham is another stunning town in Mid Norfolk. It reminds the team at The Norfolk Agents, of Holt to a degree, albeit on a smaller scale. Pronounced “Reef ham”, it’s one of those places whose name can confuse visitors – like Happisburgh (“haze borough”) and Wymondham (“Wind ham”). It’s a delightful town, once pronunciation is mastered.
The architecture in Reepham is stunning, with many buildings dating from the 18th Century with heavy use of flint and showing Flemish influences.
At its centre is an enchanting marketplace dating back to 1217 and there are numerous places to shop, eat and drink. There’s an idyllic 26 mile long distance path on the former railway called The Marriott’s Way which you can walk or cycle to reach Norwich.
Property in Reepham is not as readily available as Swaffham or Dereham.
Just 16 properties are currently for sale there – but prices are very similar to Dereham in fact, with many stunning properties on the market for £400,000 to £500,000 – imagine the thousands of pounds savings they could make by marketing through The Norfolk Agents!
Aylsham is another pretty mid-Norfolk market town, which unusually has new developments being built at Bure Meadows. It has a charming, winding town centre and sits between the Norfolk Broads and the coast, the best of both worlds.
Like Reepham, it has a charming market place with Georgian architecture and a stunning vantage point of Norfolk from the 14th Century church of St Michael. It is home to the Bure Valley railway which runs to Wroxham.
The magnificent National Trust property, Blickling Hall is close by and is well worth a visit at any time of year. It has a full calendar of events for all ages. You can even immerse yourself in the 1930s and stay in National Trust accommodation on the actual estate.
Wherever you choose to live in Mid-Norfolk, you’ll find delightful houses, villages and towns at every turn. It is slowly but surely acquiring the kudos of North Norfolk and is a great area to live and work in.
We do hope this Area Guide to Mid Norfolk has given you food for thought – if you’d like any more advice or information on this area, please don’t hesitate to contact us, The Norfolk Agents.