Making a move to . . .

A view of the coastline from Hunstanton South Beach towards Heacham

A view of the coastline from Hunstanton South Beach towards Heacham - Credit: IAN BURT

Snettisham, Dersingham, Sedgeford, Ingoldisthorpe and Wolferton. Rowan Mantell takes a look at property in some very well-connected west Norfolk villages.

Everybody needs good neighbours – and you will have very good neighbours indeed if you make a move to some of our loveliest west Norfolk villages. Because the beautiful villages of Snettisham, Dersingham, Sedgeford and Wolferton, and nearby communties, are nestled around the Sandringham Estate.

The royal estate is owned by the Queen and has been a much loved country retreat for generations of monarchs and their families. King George V called it “Dear old Sandringham, the place I love better than anywhere in the world,” and modern-day residents of this rather exclusive corner of England tend to agree.

Sandringham House is set in 60 acres of gardens, and 600 hectares of woodland and heath. The country park is open to the public, for free, every day of the year, but if you want your own piece of west Norfolk real estate then there is a wide range of homes for sale in the villages surrounding Sandringham.

From bungalows in Snettisham and Dersingham to substantial detached homes in Heacham and Ingoldisthorpe, there is plenty of choice for anyone aspiring to royal neighbours. As befits a holiday haven, there are caravans and chalets too – and even the occasional beach hut for the more bijou budget.

And it is not just Her Majesty who will be among your neighbours. Her grandson, the Duke of Cambridge, has been visiting Sandringham all his life, and can now make sure his own young family grows up surrounded by the charms of rural Norfolk. The Queen has given the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, 10-bedroomed Anmer Hall, on the Sandringham estate, as their own country retreat.

If you are keen to join the move to our west Norfolk villages, which of these lovely communities might you choose?

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Wolferton is the village which once had a royal railway station. For around a century the royals arrived at Sandringham by railway and the village station, now a private residence, boasted elegant waiting rooms for its aristocratic travellers.

Snettisham’s visitors are often high-flying too. Its coastal nature reserve, run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, is alive with flocks of resident and migratory birds. The village is also famous for the treasure unearthed nearby. Golden torques dating back to the Iron Age, and jewellery from the Roman occupation, have been found here.

Sedgeford has history in spades too, where the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project is one of the largest independent archaeological schemes in Britain, and has investigated Bronze Age burials, a Roman villa, medieval manors and a First World War aerodrome over the past 19 summers.

So, while you might not be lucky enough to be given your own country retreat on the estate itself, there are nearby villages with thriving communities and homes ranging from the modest to the majestic, for sale or rent. And who knows who you might meet if you join the local WI or toddler group . . .

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