Making a move to . . . Aylsham
PUBLISHED: 05:46 24 November 2014
© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2012
With its historic market place, quaint streets and impressive Georgian buildings, it is little wonder Aylsham is such a popular place to live.
Surrounded by rolling countryside and swathes of farmland, it is the perfect location for those who love both the rural life and all the amenities, hustle and bustle of a busy town.
It is also a market town with a difference – one of only five places in the UK to be named as a Cittaslow town. At the heart of the Cittaslow movement is ensuring a high quality of living and bringing the community together for the common good – so for Aylsham to be granted this status is a reflection of the town’s idyllic lifestyle.
The real charm of Aylsham is its beautiful architecture, strong sense of heritage and its bustling town centre.
Its award-winning twice-monthly farmers’ market attracts visitors from surrounding villages and towns, and its market place and narrow streets have a healthy mix of independent retailers.
There are also some great pubs, restaurants and art galleries.
The historic Black Boys Inn is one of Aylsham’s oldest surviving buildings and dates back to the 1650s, offering refreshment and shelter to weary travellers through the centuries and continuing that tradition today. It has had some famous customers over the years – including Daniel Defoe who dined at the Black Boys Inn in 1732 and Lord Nelson who, it is said, liked to dance there.
In recent years, the town has expanded enormously, with many new properties built ranging from two-bedroomed starter homes to executive detached family houses. Its rich history means there are also many stunning and unusual period properties in idyllic settings, from grand Georgian houses to rambling country cottages.
With its close proximity to both Norwich and the coast, it is a highly sought after location and it boasts many properties in the £500,000 to £1m bracket.
There is also a great choice of new and old family homes ranging from £200,000 to £300,000 and with excellent state schools in the town and several leading independent schools nearby, it is particularly popular for those with children.
There are some beautiful walks and bike rides close by, taking you out into the surrounding countryside and down to the river Bure. For those who like to adventure further afield, the Marriotts Way takes you from Aylsham to Reepham and on to Norwich or alternatively, walk alongside the Bure Valley Railway into Wroxham and then get the narrow gauge train back.
Just outside the town there are several historic houses and gardens to explore, including the beautiful Wolterton and Mannington Estates, owned by the Walpole family. Most famously, however, Aylsham is just a short cycle ride from the magnificent 17th century stately home Blicking Hall. Run by the National Trust, it has beautiful gardens, a vast park to explore, a café, shops and holds special events throughout the year.