Nestled within the heart of Norfolk
Located in the Brecklands, in the heart of the county, Dereham is a classic country market town and an architectural haven with plenty of Georgian gems set on generous plots, blended with more recent developments.
In the eighth century, it is said that the youngest daughter of Anna, King of East Anglia, prayed for a miracle during a famine and two deer appeared every day to provide milk for the nunnery she had founded. When a huntsman tried to snare the deer, he was thrown from his horse – believed to be an act of divine retribution – and killed. The hunt is depicted on a town sign at the entry to Butter Market from the High Street.
Today, a twice weekly market, on Tuesdays and Fridays, along with a strong cohort of independent and specialist shops and free parking make the town a fabulous place for an afternoon spent browsing. Look out for the town’s other historic landmarks which include the Mid-Norfolk Railway, a heritage line which runs 1950s railcars to Wymondham Abbey, Dereham Windmill, a Grade II listed building which was saved from the brink of destruction, and Bishop Bonner’s Cottage, established in 1502 and believed to be the oldest building in town.
Heritage buffs are spoilt for choice with living museum Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse just a few minutes out of town, or step back in time and adventure at Castle Acre Castle and Priory, an 11th century monastic site, and National Trust property Oxburgh Hall, which is half an hour’s drive away.
When you’ve worked up an appetite exploring, spice things up with a tasty dish at Spice Fusion curry house or head to The George Hotel, Bar and Restaurant which offers excellent accommodation, freshly cooked food and award winning ales, wines, beers and spirits . Brisley, 6.5 miles away, is home to one of Norfolk’s best pubs, The Brisley Bell, with a first-rate menu and a warm welcome which has earned it multiple awards. Otherwise head to The Old Dairy in Stanfield and stock up on its artisan bread and produce for an easy dine-in experience.
With good local schools, a leisure centre and golf course, Dereham and its surrounding villages are a fantastic spot to enjoy the best of Norfolk country living with easy commuting access to Norwich and the coast at Wells-next-the-Sea, just 22 miles away. Come discover a Norfolk gem.