Which Norwich suburb is the best one to live in?

Suburbs of Norwich: Sprowston and Costessey

Suburbs of Norwich: Sprowston and Costessey - Credit: Archant

When it comes to the suburbs of Norwich, there are plenty to choose from, but how do you decide which one is right for you?

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We've looked at commuting distances and transport links, schools, house prices, crime rates, and local amenities of 11 suburbs and villages to help you make the choice.

Sprowston

•Education: Before it officially became a town in 2011, Sprowston was the largest parish in Norfolk with over 14,000 residents. Today the town, which is located just over two miles from Norwich city centre, still retains a population of this size and also boasts its own infants school, junior school and community high school, as well as being close to several schools on the outskirts of Norwich, such as White Woman Lane Junior.


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In 2015 Sprowston High school was rated as 'requiring improvement' by Ofsted, while both the junior and infants schools have been rated as being 'good'.

•House Prices: The average cost of a house in the town is £194,595, with semi-detached properties selling for an average price of £192,886, detached properties fetching £240,252 and terraced properties costing £173,217, according to data from Right Move.

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•Crime: Sprowston is a low-crime area. UK Crime Stats found that in April 2016, 66 crimes were committed in the town and nearby village Spixworth, of these, fourteen were violent and five were burglaries.

•Facilities: Other amenities in the town include a Tesco Extra, a convenience store, charity shop, fish and chip shop and a barbers. A short drive away on Salhouse Road is Sprowston Retail Park which offers a selection of stores such as Furniture Village, Dunelm and Pets at Home.

•Transport: If you're looking to commute by car, a drive into Norwich city centre takes only 15 minutes. If not, a bus service operated by First is available between Norwich and Sprowston, number 11 on the Pink Line travels from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to Sprowston police station, stopping along the way in Cringleford, Norwich city centre and adjacent to Tesco in Sprowston.

Old Catton

• Education: The village's setting, only two miles north-east of Norwich makes it a popular residential area with over 5,000 residents in the civil parish. The area currently has two infant schools, a Church of England junior school and a specialist college for communication and interaction, all of which have been rated as 'good' by Ofsted.

• House Prices: Average house prices here range from £169,227 for a terraced property, to £260,962 for a detached home.

• Crime: A low-crime rating has been given to the village by UK Crime Stats and only 19 crimes were committed throughout April 2016, three of which involved violence and one was a burglary.

• Facilities: Aside from the proximity to the city centre, Old Catton has several other unique selling points, including its conservation area comprising of The Deer Park, Buttercup Meadow and Catton Park. The village also contains several notable buildings such as Catton Hall, The Church of St Margaret and The Orangery and has been home to interesting residents like Black Beauty author Anna Sewell, who wrote the novel whilst living in Old Catton and former professional snooker player Barry Pinches. There are also various shops, a doctors surgery, dental practice, two pubs,

• Transport: A bus service (21A Orange Line) runs roughly every half an hour Monday to Friday between Longe Road and Castle Meadow, or if you prefer to travel by car to the city centre, the drive would take roughly 15 minutes.

Hellesdon

• Education: Six schools are on offer to local residents, one high school, two junior schools and three infant schools. Hellesdon High School, Kinsale Junior School, Kinsale Infant School and Firside Junior School were rated as 'good' by Ofsted, while Heather Avenue Infant School and Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School were rated as 'outstanding' in the latest inspections.

• House Prices: The average house costs £209,543 and the population is roughly 11,177.

• Crime: The area's crime is measured along with crime in the nearby village Horsford. In April 2016, a total of 114 crimes took place in the combined areas, 36 of which were violent crimes and 12 were burglaries.

• Facilities: This village is home to several small independent shops, a community centre, library, Tesco Express, a Co-Op Daily, and is close to a large Asda superstore and petrol station, as well as B&Q and Norwich International Airport.

• Transport: The number 37 First bus on the Purple Line runs daily and travels between Mulbarton and Hellesdon, stopping at Mile Cross, Norwich city centre, Tuckswood and Keswick along the route. By car to the city centre is around 10 minutes.

Taverham

• Education: This village which can be found five miles north-west of Norwich has its own junior school and high school (both are rated by Ofsted as being 'good'), as well as two state-run infant schools, Ghost Hill Infant and Nursery and Nightingale first school, (both of which have outstanding reports from Ofsted) and a privately owned preparatory school, Taverham Hall.

• House Prices: The average cost of a house in the village of Taverham is £234,330, with detached properties selling for an average of £281,888 and semi-detached homes fetching £186,557.

• Crime: Levels of crime are particularly low, and are measured along with those for Drayton. The combined crime total for the two villages in April 2016 was 13, with only two burglaries and four violence related issues.

• Facilities: Local amenities include a village hall, library, recreational ground, scout and guide hut, a pub, several food take-aways, a church and a nursery centre.

• Transport: For those seeking city delights, Taverham is a 24 minute drive from the city centre, or a number 29 bus on the First Yellow Line service runs periodically between Juniper Way and St Stephens Street until 4:06pm, while 28A, runs between Taverham and Norwich after 5pm during the week. It takes around 20 minutes to drive to the city centre by car.

Drayton

• Education: Approximately four miles north-west of Norwich is Drayton, a small village between Hellesdon and Taverham, that offers two schools, Drayton Junior School and Drayton Community Infant School, both of which have been approved as 'good' by Ofsted officials.

• House prices: The average price of a house in Drayton is £238,222.

• Crime: Rates of crime are low here and figures for April are the same as those for Taverham.

• Facilities: Drayton is also home to a bank, post office, butchers, doctors surgery, pharmacy, bakery, florist, hairdressers, several pubs and a Tesco superstore.

• Transport: The number 28 Yellow Line bus travels frequently throughout the day from Norwich City Centre to Drayton, stopping adjacent to The Cock Inn, or if you prefer to drive, the distance by car would take 20 minutes.

Costessey

• Education: The parish of Costessey is comprised of two settlements, New Costessey which was developed during the first half of the twentieth century and Old Costessey (often just referred to as Costessey). There are currently five schools in the area, Ofsted reports show that Ormiston Victory Academy has been rated as 'outstanding', while Costessey Junior School, Costessey Infants School and St Augustine's Catholic Primary school have been marked as 'good'. Queen's Hill Primary School required improvement in the last published inspection.

• House Prices: The average price of a home in Costessey is £204,053. Terraced properties on average cost £171,417, with semi-detached houses being priced at £188,445 and detached properties costing £254,864.

• Crime: 102 crimes were committed in Costessey throughout April 2016, 23 of these were violent, but only six were burglaries. The majority of crimes from April involved anti-social behaviour.

• Facilities: Costessey has grown substantially over the years with lots of new housing developments and the population is over 12,000. There is a lot on offer, including five pubs, parks, various medical services including a doctor's surgery, a dental practice and a veterinary clinic.

• Transport: Costessey is five miles west of Norwich, and a drive to the city centre takes roughly 20 minutes. If you'd prefer to take the bus, both the 23 and the 23A Red Line busses go between Heartsease, Norwich and Costessey/New Costessey and run daily throughout the week.

Hethersett

• Education: Six miles south-west of Norwich is Hethersett, a village with a population of roughly 5,600 people. In terms of education, there are four schools in the village, these are Hethersett Academy, Hethersett VC Junior School, Hethersett Woodside Infant and Nursery School and Hethersett Old Hall School which is independent. Both the academy and Woodside have been rated as 'outstanding', while Hethersett VC requires improvement. The Old Hall School is inspected by the ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) who have said that 'the personal development of pupils is outstanding'.

• House Prices: The average price of a house in Hethersett is £236,907. The majority of sales in the last year were detached properties which sold for an average price of £280,366. Terraced properties on average cost £161,121, while semi-detached are £221,329.

• Crime: The area has low crime rates. A total of 61 crimes were committed in April across Hethersett and Mulbarton. Two of these were violent, and two were burglaries.

• Facilities: Hethersett was the first village or town in the country to win the Prime Minister's Big Society Award for its outstanding contribution to the Olympic Legacy and sport and fitness in general. In keeping with this, a wide variety of sports clubs are offered in the village, including athletic football, cycle speedway, cricket, badminton, running, netball and rugby.

• Transport: Bus number 15A on the Green Line travels from Lingwood to Wymondham each day, stopping at both Norwich and Hethersett. Alternatively, a car journey between the village and the city would take 20 minutes.

Cringleford

• Education: Cringleford only has one school, Cringleford CE VA Primary school, which has been rated good by Ofsted.

• House Prices: The average house costs £317,671, broken down into house types, this works out as £227,818 for terraced properties, £239,790 for semi-detached and £373,797 for detached.

• Crime: A total of 25 crimes were committed in April 2016 in Cringleford. Six of these were related to violence, but none involved burglary.

• Facilities: Local amenities include Cringleford CE VA Primary School (rated as good by Ofsted), Cringleford Surgery, various social clubs, including a book club and amateur dramatics, veterinary clinic, a village shop, recreation ground and easy access to both the A11 and A47.

• Transport: The village has a population of just over 5,000 and is in an ideal location for staff at the University of East Anglia, being only a seven minute drive away, or those working at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, which also takes seven minutes to get to by car. The city centre on the other hand is a 15-minute drive. Alternatively the 11A Pink line bus travels between Cringleford and the city, taking 19 minutes to complete its journey.

Trowse

• Education: One and a half miles south-east of Norwich you can find Trowse, a village with a population of 826 (2011 census) and one school. That one school, Trowse Primary School, has been rated as 'outstanding' by Ofsted.

• House Prices: Its great location makes Trowse one of the more expensive suburbs to live in around Norwich. Semi-detached homes here cost on average £338,500, while terraced properties sell for an average of £247,300 and flats can fetch £308,000.

• Crime: The area has a low crime rating according to UK Crime Stats.

• Facilities: Amenities in the area include a sports hall, dry ski slope, Whitlingham Broad and country park, woodland walks, as well as a village shop, two pubs and a vegetarian cafe.

• Transport: First busses 88 and 89 travel from the city centre to Trowse, taking roughly 12 minutes per journey. A car trip on the other hand would take you only 5 minutes.

Thorpe St Andrew

• Education: This small town is a 13 minute drive from the city centre and is home to the administrative headquarters of the Broadland District Council. In terms of its schools, it has Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth form which was rated as 'outstanding' by Ofsted in 2014, and Hillside Avenue Primary and Nursery School which is rated as 'good'.

• House prices: The average price of a house in Thorpe St Andrew is £236,475 with terraced properties costing on average £211,865 and detached houses selling for £307,439.

• Crime: The village has a low crime rating.

• Facilities: A number of leisure facilities exist within the town, including the Yare Boat Club on the River Yare, as well as several pubs, a cafe, convenience store, post office, butchers, take-aways, beauty salons and a Sainsbury's supermarket.

• Transport: The Red Line, in particular busses 24 and 24A both travel between Thorpe St Andrew and Norwich, as well as stopping at Queens Hill. These buses run every half-an-hour Monday to Friday.

Bowthorpe

• Education: If you travel 20 minutes west of Norwich, you'll find Bowthorpe, a series of housing estates and a large industrial estate. There are currently three schools, St Michaels Junior School, Chapel Break Infant School and Clover Hill Infant and Nursery School. St Michaels and Clover Hill are rated as 'good', while Chapel Break is 'outstanding'.

• House Prices: Average house prices in this area are £161,821 for a semi-detached property, £162,221 for a terraced property and £221,796 for a detached house. The area has an overall average price of £180,582.

• Crime: Figures show that 100 crimes were committed in April 2016 and of these, 4 were burglaries and 33 involved violence.

• Facilities: In Bowthorpe, you'll find a shopping centre with a Roy's supermarket, a police station and community hall.

• Transport: Bowthorpe is frequented by the Orange Line bus service (number 21) which travels between the city centre, the UEA, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, West Earlham and Old Catton. The bus comes every 30 minutes and takes ten minutes to reach Bowthorpe from Forecourt Stand A in Norwich. The short drive to the city centre takes 20 minutes.

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