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
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