Relocation specialist and coast property expert Nigel Bishop casts his expert eye over the coast property scene.
Norfolk and Suffolk are England’s easterly counties, with Lowestoft in Suffolk being the most easterly town in the UK. The coastlines of these two counties have been homes to many a famous name – Benjamin Britten, George Orwell, PD James, John Constable, to name a few.
Is it any wonder the magic of the landscape and coast have attracted artists and musicians for centuries, immortalising the landscapes and festivals for generations? It is, of course, a home to the Royal Family at Sandringham – a favourite of our late Queen.
Being under two hours from London the counties have become popular with people relocating and there is an ever strong second home market. Inevitably some become hotspots both for tourists and incomers which generates income for the region – hopefully whilst retaining the local intrinsic character – always a fine balance.
Alongside this, investment has enhanced education, business and recreational facilities, in turn ironically generating further expansion of the towns and villages.
As a tourist it’s essential to partake of Norfolk crab – Cromer built its reputation on them in Victorian times when the train opened the area. You can re-live the olden days by enjoying a trip on the steam train on the North Norfolk railway from Sheringham to Holt.
Norwich is the only city in the UK partly sitting within a National Park (The Broads). Suffolk will be known for Aldeburgh, Southwold and Walberswick on the Suffolk Heritage Coast – again for the cultural elements and the water sport opportunities.
The miles of sandy beaches at Hunstanton are the only piece of Norfolk facing west whilst Holkham beach leads to the Holkham Nature Reserve – home to large flocks of over wintering birds and breeding grounds for Little Terns, Ringed Plover and Oystercatchers.
Brancaster lies within an area of outstanding beauty and is one of the most sought-after villages, popular for sailing and water sports.
Inevitably these two beautiful counties have succumbed to the property explosion with the “work from home” trend pushing prices to some of the highest levels in rural areas throughout the UK. The charm of the vernacular homes never fails whilst many new homes retain the local character being faced with flint maintaining the charm of the region.
Here’s my choice this month of three fabulous homes for sale in Norfolk and Suffolk:
Nestling between Holt and Wells-by-the-Sea is a 1950s family house with six acres and direct access to the coast path. This is a great village house with an opportunity to update to your taste. Brown and Co are he selling agents (brown-co.com, 01263 711167)
Brook Cottage, Kelsale, Saxmundham
A classic, listed, 16th century, five-bedroom timber-framed Suffolk house with mature gardens and outbuildings. A lovely country property not far from the coast. (flickandsons.co.uk 01728 633777)
This property has the wow factor for sailors: a stunning modern house on Oulton Broad with direct water access, slipway and mooring, yet convenient for the towns amenities. (abbottscountrywide.co.uk 01502 714250).
As the world shrinks and technology changes lifestyles it’s encouraging to know there are still rural and coastal environments preserving the natural elements and beauty of our country for future generations. These counties have managed to embrace the past with the future ensuring a lifestyle isn’t lost because, after all, “It’s all about coming home.”
For more expert advice from the property expert, check out Nigel’s last column here.