Let’s move to

The Guardian - Weekend - - Contents - Tom Dy­ck­hoff

Diss, Nor­folk. Plus All the places I’ll never live

What’s go­ing for it? I know what you want. Pink-painted, 18th-cen­tury cot­tage. Liv­ing-room with beams and in­glenooks. Pan­tiles on the roof, maybe thatch. Pad­docks out back. Ooh, and can I have a stream, too? What you’ll prob­a­bly get, though, is red­brick, 1980s semi. Garage on the side. Her­itage lan­tern by the front door. Straight outta Brook­side. Bag of John Innes on the drive, wait­ing for the week­end. De­mand for the East Anglian Dream, you see, out­strips sup­ply. Diss can sup­ply pink-painted cot­tages, for a price, dot­ted about the pretty old town and its hin­ter­land; this is, after all, where the great na­ture writer Roger Deakin es­caped to his Wal­nut Tree Farm, and where that other great na­ture writer Richard Mabey has put down roots. But since the place be­came a com­muter hub, it’s wrapped it­self in semis and cul-de-sacs. It makes for an odd mix: the old, the new, and the newold – or old­new – re­gur­gi­tat­ing the past as out-of-town re­tail op­por­tu­ni­ties, where you can pick up a skinny latte on the rush-hour schlep to Nor­wich.

The case against A tad hum­drum; you’ll have to travel for cul­ture and vice. Cars, cars, cars.

Well con­nected? Very. Trains: two or three an hour to Nor­wich (20 min­utes); twice hourly to Ip­swich (25 min­utes), Colch­ester (40 min­utes) and Lon­don Liver­pool Street (90 min­utes). Driv­ing: 45 min­utes to Nor­wich, Ip­swich and Bury St Ed­munds, an hour to the coast.

Schools Pri­maries: Roy­don, Pal­grave CofE, Scole CofE and Diss In­fants are all “good”, says Of­sted. Se­con­daries: Diss High is “good”.

Hang out at… The Crown at Burston. Beams? Tick. Roar­ing fire? Tick. Beer gar­den? Tick. Nor­folk Pub of the Year 2016? Tick. Where to buy The old cen­tre has cot­tages and town houses ga­lore, though there’s high de­mand. Check out Fair Green by the river for more pe­riod prop­erty. Oth­er­wise it’s the sub­urbs, with nice de­tacheds and semis along Croft Lane and Roy­don Road es­pe­cially. Nearby ham­lets like Pal­grave, Sus­ton, Scole, Burston and Dick­le­burgh are lovely, too. Large de­tacheds and town houses, £400,000-£750,000. De­tacheds and smaller town houses, £250,000-£400,000. Semis, £200,000£450,000. Ter­races and cot­tages, £120,000£275,000. Rentals: a one-bed­room flat, £450pcm; a three-bed­room house, £750pcm.

Bar­gain of the week Large four-bed­room, de­tached Vic­to­rian house, close to the town cen­tre, £315,000, with muskerm­cin­tyre.co.uk.

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