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The local area guide to living in Walsingham

Walsingham (made up of Little Walsingham and Great Walsingham) is a small village in the beautiful Norfolk countryside, in the east of England. A historically important place thanks to its religious shrines, it is very famous despite its diminutive size.

In medieval England, Walsingham rivalled Rome as a site of religious importance. In 1061, a Saxon noblewoman named Lady Richeldis (owner of Walsingham manor) had a vision that she was taken by the Virgin Mary, and shown the house in Nazareth in which Gabriel had given Mary the news about the forthcoming birth of Jesus. Lady Richeldis decided to build a replica of the house in Walsingham - a simple wooden structure, around which a priory was constructed several years later.

It became a place of pilgrimage, drawing common people, knights, nobles and even Kings. Unfortunately, its significance drew Henry VIII who had it plundered during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It lay derelict until the late 19th century, when a papal blessing led to the resurgence of the village. Now, hundreds and thousands from all over the world make the journey to the shrine.

Walsingham is beautifully historical, with cobbled streets, medieval buildings and quirky shops giving it a special character that charms visitors.

Information about the local residents

In total, 819 people live in Walsingham. The population, on average, is significantly older than England as a whole - the mean age is 47.5, compared to a national mean of 39.3. Nearly 60% of the locals are over 45.

Unemployment is low and home ownership high. Just over 2% of the local area's population are unemployed, and 46% own their property outright, whereas the average for England is 31%.

As residents of a village that attracts and relies on tourism, the locals are naturally friendly and welcoming. They well look after the 250,000 pilgrims that come to Walsingham every year and put together National Pilgrimage Day on the last Bank Holiday in May.

Up to 8,000 people take part, with a long procession following Mary's statue through the village and into the Abbey grounds. Following an open air mass, there is a big celebration throughout Walsingham.

Nearby schools

The four local primary schools of Walsingham, Blakeney, Hindringham and Kelling were federated in 2013, and now work together under the leadership of one governing body - The Pilgrim Federation. They promote Christian values of love, compassion, kindness, tolerance and respect, and are well-loved establishments within the community.

There are plenty of other options around, too. King’s Lynn is a reasonable distance away (26 miles) and has more than enough schools for children of different ages, offering different curriculums and atmospheres. Closer to home, Fakenham High School has a good reputation.

Getting around

For the best rail links, residents or visitors of Walsingham are best served by King’s Lynn, which can take travelers to Kings Cross, London in an hour and forty minutes. Norwich also offers excellent links. Both King’s Lynn and Norwich are within relatively easy access of Walsingham by bus.

By car, King’s Lynn is half an hour to forty minutes from Walsingham along the A148. From Norwich, drivers are best off taking the A1067 and can make the trip in 45 minutes! Due to the attractive proximities, a proportion of residents, commute to work in the aforementioned areas.

Local shops

Walsingham has basic essentials, as well as a wide range of fantastic artisan shops and craft stores to explore. There are also excellent pubs, cafes, tea rooms and restaurants for a good bite to eat.

Nearby Fakenham has more to offer shoppers, as well as a Tesco Superstore and Morrisons. Serious shoppers, though, are better off heading to King’s Lynn, just over half an hour away, where they'll find all manner of High Street brands and more. The Vancouver Quarter Shopping Centre is particularly excellent and hosts a plethora of cafes and diners.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@zoopla.co.uk

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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