Where is a nice place to live near Norwich?!

(33 Posts)
atomicyoghurt Sun 27-Jan-13 19:07:31

Hello all,
husband has a job at the university we want to live within cycling distance (probably about 10 miles max.). We have three kids under 5 and by September will need a reception and year 1 place at a local school, as well as a preschool/nursery place (I know, nightmare!). We are not used to village life, having been London-centric for all our lives and only having got a car recently we are used to having things within walking distance.. I reckon we could cope as long s there was at the very least a shop within walking distance, and we like the idea of taking advantage of the countryside/seaside/broads! We don't know the area at all, but we've looked online at Poringland, Taverham, Hethersett etc. It's crazy trying to make a decision with no background knowledge! Has anyone got recommendations, or is there anyone local that has any advice?!

hugoagogo Sun 27-Jan-13 19:30:27

Do you want to be in a village? If not what's wrong with Norwich itself?

If you aren't used to countryside living then I wouldn't start with Norfolk; it can be seriously rural.

atomicyoghurt Sun 27-Jan-13 20:39:44

Well we live in Epsom which is 1/2 hour from London but has all the facilities necessary for life within 20 mins walk plus is next to the countryside. We went to look around the famed golden triangle but hated it. If we'd wanted to live in a terrace with cars on top of each other we'd have stayed in west London. I guess we are asking for somewhere close enough to Norwich to get to centre on a short bus ride, but also with some shops in walking distance.
I was confused by the 'villages' that don't seem to have any shops at all, just hairdressers!

Pannacotta Sun 27-Jan-13 21:08:46

I would look at Norwich itself if you are used to London.
The Golden Triangle is a good area foe UEA and schools and you will fin dlots of people who work at UEA live there.
You could awlays rent for a while to get used to the area and get a feel for if you want to live in Norwich or just outside.

Pannacotta Sun 27-Jan-13 21:09:44

Sorry just read your last post and saw you didn tlike the Golden Triangle.
Cant help with villages.

housesalehelp Sun 27-Jan-13 21:34:11

pretty certain there is a norfolk mumsnet local have a look at that

Hassled Sun 27-Jan-13 21:39:17

Hethersett and places like Cringleford are nice - also have a look at Trowse. And keep bumping this - there are a fair few Norfolk MNers.

hugo makes a good point though - Norfolk rural is no-pissing-about rural and you may well find it a shock - I know I couldn't stand it. Stick with the Norwich suburbs, I reckon.

redwellybluewelly Sun 27-Jan-13 22:01:23

Norfolk rural is no pissing about rural

Hell yes. Lived here 3 decades and nowhere is is quite like it wink

Even the slight suburbs have very variable public transport and the UEA is on a spur of the network rather than a hub. Look at Eaton, Cringleford and although most of the golden triangle is terraced hell there are stretches in some parts of Norwich with more character.

Village is village up here. Wymondham has quite a thriving town centre and its cycling ish distance to uea. But I wouldn't cycle it. Hethersett has a small high street and the GP used to be good. Stoke Holy Cross is lovely but again no shop. Long Stratton has a lot of new housing and shops but not sure transportljnks are that great.

Other side of the city you have the broads villages. Rackheath is getting bigger and with the proposed new ring road then links to cross the city might improve. If you drive to uea parking can be an issue so I would really recommend staying within walking/cycling/bus distance

Fairylea Sun 27-Jan-13 22:05:29


Well I moved from south London to diss and I wouldn't like to live in Norwich. For me Norwich is too much like croydon and is becoming more so.

If you could cope with the commute (20 mins by train or 40 mins by car) I'd move to diss or somewhere this way. Good schools, village feel but with supermarkets etc shops, low crime rate etc.

I wouldn't live near Norwich if someone paid me.


2cats222 Sun 27-Jan-13 22:28:28

Look at Wymondham (pronounced wind-ham) or Attleborough. Close to Norwich but neither is too rural

guineapiglet Mon 28-Jan-13 09:38:17

I grew up near Wymondham and it is a lovely area, - there is a train line into Norwich but it is on the wrong side of town for the University - all the popular areas are Eaton, Unthank Road, Earlham Road area etc, but they are busy - there are other villages out to that side of the city - Little Melton, along out to Dereham, which is also a really nice town. It is a wonderful county - but very rural/agricultural, fabulous teaching hospital and Norwich is a lovely, lively city, - look at the HS situation and work down if you see what I mean, Norfolk is a NIGHTMARE for 6th form applications etc. Wymondham HS is very good and the town is a bustling market town with great pubs.....

Beckett3 Mon 28-Jan-13 09:58:02

From what you've said I would suggest Horsford, Hellesdon, Alysham is nice but possibly a bit far?

redwellybluewelly Mon 28-Jan-13 10:30:42

Dereham isn't a 'nice' town! Its really run down and depressed!

Aylsham is nice but the road Norwich <-> Aylsham is often very congested.

guineapiglet Mon 28-Jan-13 10:58:18

I stand corrected! Its been about 15 years since I last went to Dereham! Lets say it used to be nice. Aylsham and north norfolk are lovely, but a very long cycle ride to the UEA! I have friends on the east side, Thorpe, and out to Brundall and Acle - all nice areas, but the wrong side again for UEA. Someone posted about Diss and Attleborough, they are both worth a look at, but not sure you want to go that far on your bike!

Fairylea Mon 28-Jan-13 12:09:10

Just thought I would mention if it makes any difference that diss has excellent secondary school and also a very good sixth form centre.

meditrina Mon 28-Jan-13 12:11:25

Aylsham would be do-able if you could commute by motorbike, not pushbike.

TallyGrenshall Mon 28-Jan-13 12:20:25

How about Costessey? Takes about 10 minutes to drive to the UEA, about 15 mins into Norwich, so cycling wouldn't be too bad. There are a couple of schools, a few shops, post office, pubs etc. There's also a Sainsbo's just outside the village

There are a couple of woods for walks etc, a good park (as well as smaller ones) and there is a cycle path from the village into Norwich which is nice to walk along

However, if you have a look, try for the village itself and not Queens Hills (sorry to anyone that lives there), it's a new estate that has been added on and doesn't really have the benefits of the older part of the village

throckenholt Mon 28-Jan-13 12:21:04

You don't want to have to travel through Norwich - so ideally somewhere to south or west (Norwich itself or places in that direction). Hethersett - cycling is a bit of a rat run so not a nice cycle - otherwise it is ok (ie schools, shops, services etc). Mulbarton might be an option - primary school, nursery, small supermarket, better cycle into UEA. Otherwise Eaton and Cringleford areas of Norwich are popular for UEA staff, and the Golden Triangle.

ShowOfHands Mon 28-Jan-13 12:21:16

Dereham wasn't nice 15yrs ago either! It did have a nice sausage shop once upon a time...

I used to live in Thorpe St Andrew and cycled to the UEA every day for work, even while pregnant. I then moved further out to Postwick. I like that general area. Brundall/Blofield/Lingwood etc. Right on the Broads, schools good, cycle to the city/UEA easily.

I would love to live actually in Norwich. I miss being close to it inordinately; I'm living sort of West Norfolk now. I think if you picked the right kind of area, the city itself could be a brilliant place to live.

ShowOfHands Mon 28-Jan-13 12:22:20

Oh yes, a friend lives in Mulbarton and lectures at the UEA. She is very happy and has school aged children who are doing well/cycles to work etc.

throckenholt Mon 28-Jan-13 12:24:07

Long Stratton has fine bus links to Norwich city centre but useless to UEA. Cycling from there is possible - but longish cross country cycle - depends how keen you are !

OhThisIsJustGrape Mon 28-Jan-13 12:32:57

I would say Eaton or Cringleford. You'll be very close to the city but far enough removed from the terraced houses and street parking smile. Not sure what primary schools are like but as far as high schools go CNS and the new Norwich Academy are close by, for future reference.

Wymondham is a lovely town, Hethersett also. There are lots of new estates popping up on Dereham Road/Costessey areas too.

I agree with others though that if you want rural then you really will be rural. I live about 25 miles from Norwich in a village with nothing in it. Nearest shop/supermarket/petrol station is 10 miles away!

Norfolk is lovely though, never far from the coast (go North Norfolk though rather than Great Yarmouth direction), broads, Thetford Forest etc and Norwich is 'A Fine City'.

Oh and Dereham is shit. I blame Poundland moving into the old Woolworths store personally grin

OhThisIsJustGrape Mon 28-Jan-13 12:34:34

Oh and where are you ShowOfHands? I'm between Dereham and Fakenham.

Merrylegs Mon 28-Jan-13 12:42:02

Stoke Holy X has a (little) shop. Brooke is nice. Eaton. Cringleford. There are lots of Norfolk MNers on here - they will all come out of the woodwork soon! We have a FB group. (You have to be invited I think.)

guineapiglet Mon 28-Jan-13 13:01:08

Just to add here, that there are some nice areas too, east of Norwich in the GY direction - Acle is a decent ( v) small town, and Martham is pretty. Beaches between Winterton going N are, in my opinion, some of the nicest beaches in the UK - but it is all very remote, good for days out, beach parties etc.

throckenholt Mon 28-Jan-13 13:10:09

If you are willing to drive - then options open up along the A47 - for example Brundall and Acle, or even the Trowse and Thorpe sides of Norwich (probably quicker going by the Southern Bypass than trying to go through the city). Going west - only Dereham (which has already been commented on) - Swaffham a bit far probably

To the south A11 - Wymondham is an option - wouldn't bother with Attleborough though.

To south east - Poringland or Brooke (a bit smaller) - Loddon a bit further out. Even Bungay (small town) and Beccles (bit bigger).

I wouldn't say Diss if you want to get to UEA in normal working hours - the A140 at Long Stratton is a real bottle neck and any bypass is light years away.

And a bigger village that hasn't been mentioned - Newton Flotman on A140.

I think Taverham is ok - but not the best journey into UEA.

CrazyMegOfBedlam Mon 28-Jan-13 13:24:47

I'd second either Costessy, Wymondham or Cringleford. Wymondham is lovely but Cotessy would probably be the better location for the uea.
Don't bother with Dereham, I grew up there and I can confidently say it is dire. Swaffham is defineatly too far out for your needs. Hth

atomicyoghurt Mon 28-Jan-13 13:48:13

Thanks everyone! Food for thought, and nice to know there's a good lot of people around when we do move there!

Pannacotta Mon 28-Jan-13 14:31:20

Out of interest, when you looked at the G Triangle did you look at the Avenues and the surrounding roads? There are lots of detached and semi detached houses there with good sized gardens, several good local schools and a cycle path to UEA. Also good local shops, post office etc there and you are on the bus route into town.

Lcy Tue 29-Jan-13 20:17:44

I would re-look at the golden triangle. Some parts are lovely!

Vagndidit Tue 29-Jan-13 22:01:31

DH works at UEA. Most of his colleagues live in Wymondham, Hethersett, Little Melton, Cringleford, Eaton and the Golden Triangle side of Norwich. He has one friend who moved to Thorpe St. Andrew and absolutely hates the commute. It doesn't look far on the map, but getting across the city centre is a nightmare.

I know from experience that most, if not all, of the Golden Triangle schools are very heavily oversubscribed. You might have better success securing places further out.

prettydaisies Sat 16-Feb-13 21:31:15

DH also works at UEA. We live in Cringleford and DH walks to work. There is a primary school here which is just increasing from 1 to 2 form entry (but also a new housing estate), a doctor's surgery and Waitrose is just down the road. There is a private nursery in the village, but also one at UEA where all mine went some time ago!

Fimbo Sun 17-Feb-13 15:53:47

I live in Hethersett and moved here 12 years ago from Scotland. It has a private school, first school with nursery, junior school and a high school. There is also a private nursery called The Rockinghorse and a playgroup within the grounds of the first school.

Both my children are school here without any problems and my daughter will more than likely be moving on to Wymondham High School 6th form.

The UEA is an easy cycle using a series of back lanes. You could use also the cycle path towards the new estate at Cringleford called Round House Park and up to the UEA that way. Either way as I say an easy commute by bike.

We have Tesco Express (with a handy free cash machine!), Chinese, Post Office, 2 Hairdressers, Private Dentist, Good Doctors Surgery, Gift Shop, 2 Funeral Parlours (yes really smile), Library, Charity Shop and 2 pubs. Both nice but The Queens Head is best, more a restaurant really than a pub and very child friendly.

Eaton, Newmarket Road & Cringleford can be quite pricey, but if you are coming from London then it's probably not that bad.

Little Melton is nice but the school is a through primary and then feeds to Hethersett High, most people try and get their children into Hethersett Junior School at Year 3 so you could find an older child left in a class with children much younger! There is a tiny shop and a florist and a village pub but its one of those carvery jobbies, not that nice really, which is most strange for being a village! There is a bus but it's about once a day.

If you need any more info about Hethersett then feel free to private message me. If it sways you any, we do have a lot of Norwich City Footballers living here and if you have money to burn there is gorgeous barn conversion in the centre of the village that has just come up for sale at £895k!!

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