MAK­ING A MOVE TO... FAK­EN­HAM

If you are look­ing for the heart of Nor­folk, then Fak­en­ham is a fab­u­lous place to start, and maybe even fin­ish, your search

EDP Norfolk - - Property -

THE hand­some town of Fak­en­ham is right in the mid­dle of the county, sur­rounded by ru­ral love­li­ness and within easy reach of both the coast and the city.

Set on the banks of the River Wen­sum it is has some fas­ci­nat­ing claims to fame in­clud­ing be­ing home to the coun­try’s largest nov­elty choco­late fac­tory. Chances are, if you’re buy­ing Easter eggs for chil­dren this year, they could well have been made in Fak­en­ham’s Kin­ner­ton fac­tory.

Fak­en­ham also has the only mu­seum of gas and lo­cal his­tory in the coun­try, and quite pos­si­bly the world, and a mar­ket place part-paved with print­ing blocks to cel­e­brate the town’s 19th and 20th cen­tury sta­tus as a cen­tre of the print­ing in­dus­try.

Fak­en­ham is still a mar­ket town with a char­ter dat­ing back more than 750 years, a mar­ket and auc­tion every Thurs­day, and a farm­ers’ mar­ket on the fourth Satur­day of every month. And it even has its own tra­di­tional folk song,

Fak­en­ham Fair (“And the very best day in all my life, what­ever come to pass, was the day that I went up to Fak­en­ham Fair and I won me a car­ni­val lass.”)

Fak­en­ham Fair is still held every Au­gust, but Fak­en­ham is also a thriv­ing mod­ern town with shops, busi­nesses, pubs, cafés, a cin­ema, in­fant, ju­nior and high schools, a health cen­tre, cin­ema, li­brary, and plenty of sports teams, clubs and ac­tiv­i­ties. If you fancy a day at the races you are in aris­to­cratic com­pany, as the roy­als have long been fans and pa­trons of Fak­en­ham Race­course, on the edge of town. This month there is rac­ing on Fri­day March 16. It is just part of a busy cal­en­dar of events for the town, which holds its sev­enth an­nual Fak­en­ham Gin and Beer Fes­ti­val at the com­mu­nity cen­tre on March 23 and 24, and the fol­low­ing week­end, on Easter Sun­day, run­ning and cy­cling events will be held in the town cen­tre, rang­ing from tod­dler trike fun to run­ning and cy­cling road races.

This spring and sum­mer the town at the cen­tre of Nor­folk is also at the cen­tre of the mod­ern art world, as the Damien Hirst ex­hi­bi­tion Colour Space Paint­ings

and Out­door Sculp­tures opens at nearby Houghton Hall, on March 25. Vis­i­tors are ex­pected from across the coun­try and there is plenty to keep them in the area, with tourist at­trac­tions in­clud­ing Pen­sthorpe Nat­u­ral Park, Sculthorpe Moor na­ture re­serve and the Thurs­ford col­lec­tion.

The name, Fak­en­ham, is be­lieved to come from the Saxon words for a fair place on a fair river. That was more than 1,000 years ago; and yet only re­cently a Coun­try

Life sur­vey voted Fak­en­ham the sev­enth best place to live in the whole of Bri­tain.

Top: Fak­en­ham mar­ket day and town cen­tre

Above: Fak­en­ham races

Be­low: The new Fak­en­ham sixth form was of­fi­cially opened last year

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