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Making a move to... The Royal Coast, North Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 16:59 27 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:59 27 March 2018

Views of Cley from across the marshes (photograph iwitness24/Lesley Buckley)

Views of Cley from across the marshes (photograph iwitness24/Lesley Buckley)

(c) copyright

Unspoilt beaches, abundant nature, charming architecture and wild landscapes – it is not hard to see why our ‘Royal Coast’ is so desirable

Very few of us need telling about the wonders of the north Norfolk coastline, stretching from the tidal marshes and flint cottages of Cley to the windswept, bird lovers paradise of Snettisham.

Known affectionately as the ‘Royal Coast’ thanks to its close proximity to the Sandringham Estate and the royal family’s love of its beaches and pretty villages, the property market has boomed in the last 20 years sending house prices soaring.

And you can’t blame anyone for wanting to settle in this idyllic corner of the country. Unspoilt views, wild stretches of sandy beaches, nature reserves, stunning old buildings, a lively arts scene, great food and drink, sailing and a relaxed way of life. However, there are still places to be discovered tucked just a few miles behind those coastal hotspots, where property remains more affordable.

The area which attracts most attention and is famed for its high level of second home ownership is the Burnhams. But venture just a few miles and you will find many other charming villages such as Docking, North and South Creake, Sedgeford, Binham, Walsingham and Shernborne, Ringstead and Wiveton.

Staying closer to the coast, the stretch of marsh and sea from Cley to Wells, via the villages of Blakeney, Morston and Stiffkey with their signature flint buildings, is a boat lover’s paradise. There are plenty of places to both moor your boat and take it out exploring the tranquil, coastal channels.

However, most suited to those with a family is the swathe of coastline from Old Hunstanton to Snettisham. It might be closer to the Royal Estate, but property can still be found at an affordable price. It boasts good private and state schools, is closer to King’s Lynn, which has a regular commuter train service to London taking around 90 minutes, and it has plenty of amenities for all ages.

Hunstanton itself is a bustling seaside resort which is packed with holidaymakers come summer, but just a few minutes away from the traditional bucket and spade seafront, you will find quiet stretches of golden sand even in peak season. The town has plenty of shops, pubs, excellent sports facilities, lively community events and a theatre.

A piece of Tudor history

East Barsham Manor; for sale with Savills, Norwich, 01603 229229

East Barsham Manor is a magnificent Grade I listed Tudor country house in one of the most popular parts of glorious north Norfolk. The great seat of Sir Henry Fermor, it was built in 1520 to 1530 and was designed to dazzle and impress.

The house is a powerful statement of the rising status of a Tudor family well connected in Norfolk and at court. The south façade with its eight polygonal buttresses has superb decorative brickwork, carving, terracotta tiles, brick turrets and finials.

There is also a great group of ten chimney shafts with different patterns and decoration in carved brick and terracotta, fashionable at the time and used by Cardinal Wolsey at Hampton Court. Steeped in history, it is reputed that Henry VIII stayed at East Barsham and walked barefoot from there to the shrine at nearby Walsingham.

A partial restoration was begun in 1922 and was completed in 1936 when the west end of the house was rebuilt. The work of both periods was careful and conscientious in its use of old materials. The house was acquired by the current owner in 2014.

Set in formal gardens and grounds, today the manor offers seven bedrooms, six reception rooms, a three-bedroom cottage and the gatehouse.

Louis de Soissons, head of residential sales at Savills in Norwich, comments: “The wonderful, rippling rose red Tudor brickwork and moulded terracotta are spectacular. This is no pastiche – this is the real thing.”

East Barsham Manor is for sale through Savills in Norwich, price on application. For more information please contact Louis de Soissons on 01603 229229

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