Market Towns In Norfolk

by - Date: 2007-08-26 - Word Count: 643 Share This!

Rural England is rightly famous for its market towns as they are often the life blood of the local community. Norfolk has some of the UK's most interesting and historical small towns and they offer holidaymakers a great way to get to know the local area.

Norfolk has good range of large and small market towns, each with their own individual identity. In the south of the county is the town of Diss, which borders the county of Suffolk. The major attraction in the market place, at the heart of the town, is the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin. Sitting slightly above surrounding buildings, the Church can be seen for miles around and has stood on its current site since 1290 - making it one of the oldest in the county. Over the years the church has undergone a number structural changes, but visitors can still see fine examples of gothic architecture. During the summer months the church holds lunchtime music concerts. The town also has a museum of local life, with stories and history of Diss and the people who have lived there.

The market town of Alysham also has a very long and chequered history. The town predates Norman times, and its layout is of national importance because of its unusual narrow alleys, or ‘lokes' as they are locally known, and over 200 listed buildings. If you venture just outside the town, Blickling Hall, a National Trust property, is well worth a visit. This very attractive Jacobean house, with extensive gardens, has been used as a location for a range of films and also plays host to open air concerts throughout the year.

Wymondham, which used to be on the main London to Norwich route during the middle ages, is one of the county's prettiest towns. The town boasts a fantastic Abbey, traditional Market Cross and medieval streets. It's real claim to fame however is that it was the birthplace of the Kett's rebellion, as the famous oak tree where the plot was hatched stands just outside the town.

Downham Market, a short drive from the historic port of King's Lynn, dates back to Saxon times. The town has a wealth of interesting historic buildings, including the unique gothic designed black and white clock tower which is made from wrought iron. Downham is also famous for the events that are held in the town. These include its annual music festival, St Winnold's Fayre, and a water festival with Dragon Boat Racing and sailing displays on the local rivers.

Fakenham, once voted the best place to live in the UK, is in the heart of rural Norfolk. The town, like so many others in the area, has a rich history and includes a market square which dates back to 1200. But the town is probably most famous for its racecourse which hold events throughout the year and attracts the some of the worlds best jockeys.

The town of Swaffham has recently been made famous by the new Stephen Fry drama ‘Kingdom'. The popular ITV drama has shown the town in all its glory and has included views of the large market place and the recently restored Assembly Rooms. The town is also famous for its two large wind turbines at the Ecotech Centre - which is a great place to visit.

Holt is possibly the jewel in the crown of Norfolk towns, and as a result has become one of the most fashionable places to visit in the UK. The town has a great array of local shops, top quality delicatessens, butcher and fishmongers. It is also home to the Norfolk institution Bakers and Larners - a very upmarket department store.

So whether you are looking for history, events, following in the footsteps of celebrities, or hanging out with the in crowd, Norfolk's market towns have something to offer everyone.

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Related Tags: travel, norfolk, uk holiday, norfolk holiday

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