Let’s move to

King’s Lynn, Nor­folk

The Guardian - Weekend - - Front | Contents -

What’s go­ing for it? Amaz­ing, the ef­fect of geog­ra­phy. Were King’s Lynn any­where else in the coun­try but squelched into the re­moter end of the Fens, it would be over­run with tourists. They’d be there get­ting selfies next to some 18th-cen­tury town­houses or cutiepie half-tim­bered cot­tages they’d seen in the lat­est Sun­day night cos­tume drama. Bistros and ar­ti­san cof­fee houses would be flush. Var­i­ous branches of Ed­in­burgh Woollen Mills would have opened. But it is not. It is squelched into the re­moter end of the Fens. The wealth of the north Nor­folk coast is tan­ta­lis­ingly near, but not quite near enough. That rel­a­tive re­mote­ness today (I mean, it’s only just over an hour to Cam­bridge, so it’s hardly Siberia, is it?) has bred an in­de­pen­dent spirit: there’s some great lo­cal cul­ture be­hind those ped­i­mented por­ti­coes, and a fair bit of money has been spent on spruc­ing up the place. Geog­ra­phy favoured King’s Lynn hun­dreds of years ago, be­fore trade shifted to the At­lantic. That’s why it’s so beau­ti­ful today, all cob­bles, al­leys and ware­houses. King’s Lynn was once the big­gest port in the coun­try, and its mer­chants flashed their cash on those 18th-cen­tury town­houses. Maybe for­tune will smile on it again some day.

The case against The poor place has been scan­dalously knocked about in decades past, to make room for car parks and dual car­riage­ways, mean­ing that today it’s a slightly sur­real mish­mash of 18th-cen­tury al­leys and re­tail parks.

Well con­nected? Trains: to Cam­bridge (52 min­utes) and London (one hour 50 min­utes). Driv­ing: 30 min­utes to the sea­side at Hun­stan­ton, 50 min­utes to Peter­bor­ough and the A1, 70 min­utes to Nor­wich and 75 to Cam­bridge.

Schools Pri­maries: while many are “good”, East­gate is “out­stand­ing”, Of­sted says. No reports yet for North Woot­ton, Ref­fley and Gay­wood. Sec­on­daries: Spring­wood High is “good”. No re­port yet, ei­ther, for Fen Rivers Academy.

Hang out at… Mar­ket Bistro on Mar­ket Place is fabbo, as is Mar­riott’s Ware­house.

Where to buy The old town is a knock­out. From the brick Ge­or­gian town­houses lin­ing London Road right up to the stun­ning King Street, you won’t want for pretty amaz­ing pe­riod prop­erty from the 15th cen­tury on­wards. Nice nook of cot­tages, too, around Friar’s Street. Good sub­ur­ban de­tacheds in Gay­wood, on and off Gay­ton Road; and in South Woot­ton. Large de­tacheds and town­houses, £400,000-£650,000. De­tacheds and smaller town­houses, £200,000-£400,000. Semi-de­tacheds, £115,000-£300,000. Ter­races and cot­tages, £90,000-£250,000. Flats, £60,000-£250,000. Rentals: a one-bed­room flat, £380-£600pcm; a three-bed­room house, £550-£900pcm.

Bar­gain of the week It’s £750,000, yes, but look at what you get for that: a re­mark­able eightbed­roomed Vic­to­rian villa; with sower­bys.com.

Tom Dy­ck­hoff

Do you live in Clitheroe and the Rib­ble Val­ley? Do you have a favourite haunt or pet hate? If so, email [email protected]­guardian.com by next Tuesday.

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