What’s going for it? I know what you want. Pink-painted, 18th-century cottage. Living-room with beams and inglenooks. Pantiles on the roof, maybe thatch. Paddocks out back. Ooh, and can I have a stream, too? What you’ll probably get, though, is redbrick, 1980s semi. Garage on the side. Heritage lantern by the front door. Straight outta Brookside. Bag of John Innes on the drive, waiting for the weekend. Demand for the East Anglian Dream, you see, outstrips supply. Diss can supply pink-painted cottages, for a price, dotted about the pretty old town and its hinterland; this is, after all, where the great nature writer Roger Deakin escaped to his Walnut Tree Farm, and where that other great nature writer Richard Mabey has put down roots. But since the place became a commuter hub, it’s wrapped itself in semis and cul-de-sacs. It makes for an odd mix: the old, the new, and the newold – or oldnew – regurgitating the past as out-of-town retail opportunities, where you can pick up a skinny latte on the rush-hour schlep to Norwich.
The case against A tad humdrum; you’ll have to travel for culture and vice. Cars, cars, cars.
Well connected? Very. Trains: two or three an hour to Norwich (20 minutes); twice hourly to Ipswich (25 minutes), Colchester (40 minutes) and London Liverpool Street (90 minutes). Driving: 45 minutes to Norwich, Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, an hour to the coast.
Schools Primaries: Roydon, Palgrave CofE, Scole CofE and Diss Infants are all “good”, says Ofsted. Secondaries: Diss High is “good”.
Hang out at… The Crown at Burston. Beams? Tick. Roaring fire? Tick. Beer garden? Tick. Norfolk Pub of the Year 2016? Tick.
Where to buy The old centre has cottages and town houses galore, though there’s high demand. Check out Fair Green by the river for more period property. Otherwise it’s the suburbs, with nice detacheds and semis along Croft Lane and Roydon Road especially. Nearby hamlets like Palgrave, Suston, Scole, Burston and Dickleburgh are lovely, too. Large detacheds and town houses, £400,000-£750,000. Detacheds and smaller town houses, £250,000-£400,000. Semis, £200,000-£450,000. Terraces and cottages, £120,000-£275,000. Rentals: a one-bedroom flat, £450pcm; a three-bedroom house, £750pcm.
Bargain of the week Large four-bedroom, detached Victorian house, close to the town centre, £315,000, with muskermcintyre.co.uk.
Let’s move to Framplington, Suffolk: too good to be trueRead more
From the streets
Duncan Livingstone “Great rail connection to London; being the first stop from Norwich, there are always plenty of seats.”
Jean Grocott “The newly refurbished Corn Hall. The ‘yards’ are full of good independent shops.”
Ann Thwaite “Ignore the hideous Victoria Road and the conjunction of Tesco and Morrisons.”
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