Aylsham is in the Broads region and not far from Norwich or the beautiful north Norfolk coast. You can bell ring, walk, and cycle, play golf, canoe or just relax.
The town takes its name from Aegel, a Saxon thane, who set up his home near the Market Place in about AD 500 , whilst a hoard of Bronze age metalwork discovered in 1968 close to the High School shows that he was not the first to settle here. However it was in the following five hundred years that Aylsham grew so that by the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 its population was around 1000.
By the 14th century the town was famous for its linen, supplying royal palaces. The linen industry declined in the 16th century to be replaced by the manufacture of worsteds, but the industrial revolution put an end to local textile manufacture.
For centuries boats using the River Bure could get no further upriver than Coltishall. Then in 1779 a canal extended river navigation to Aylsham and the town was linked to the sea at Yarmouth. In 1912 enormous floods washed away the canal and because of the introduction of two railway stations river trade began to diminish even further. The railway stations were lost during the I960's.
The first official census in 1801 shows a population of 1667, not quite double the population at the time of the Domesday Book. The population now is about 5500.
Aylsham is located 10 miles north of Norwich on the A140 and 10miles south of Cromer and Sheringham at the source of the river Bure.
ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS
Blickling Hall – A National Trust property, this magnificent Jacobean house offers much to its visitor from fine tapestries, paintings and rare books to its famous long gallery. Reputedly Blickling is the home
to the headless ghost of Anne Boleyn. The gardens offer wonderful viewing the whole year round.
Amazona Zoo - Located just to the south of Cromer, the Zoo is home to a wide range of animals from Tropical South America including Jaguar, Otters, Spider Monkeys and Flamingos. The Zoo is open all day every day.
Aylsham Fun Barns - Provides fun for children under 12 where they can Swing, climb, slide, balance and clamber on the outdoor play frames. Picnic areas are also available and all play areas are easily accessible for wheelchairs and buggies. Located on the A140 at the Aylsham roundabout - between Norwich and Cromer.
Bure Valley Railway - Norfolk's longest fifteen inch gauge line journeys from Wroxham to the town of Aylsham and makes stops at the villages of Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall. The 18 mile round trip runs through the picturesque Bure valley countryside following the meandering river through meadowland and ancient pasture. A cycle path runs alongside the railway line so why not cycle one way and let the train take the strain on your return journey.
Alby Craft & Gardens – A unique collection of 13 individual businesses, craft studio’s, gallery, gift shop, tea rooms and a four acre garden with free admission. Located in Erpingham just north of Aylsham on the A140.
Mannington Gardens – A medieval moated manor surrounded by a lake, trees, a Saxon Church and a tea room serving home made favourites. Open daily from 11am and found just off the B1149 to the north of Aylsham.
Wolterton Hall – A mansion house with fascinating history and collections where you can undertake a country walk or trail with superb views. Only open on a Friday from 2pm till 5pm. Located to the north of Aylsham on the A140 or B1149.
Tourist Information Centre
Bure Valley Railway Station
Tel; 01263 733903
Felbrigg Hall – One of the most elegant country houses in East Anglia, with a Georgian interior and amazing Stuart architecture. Felbrigg has a stunning walled garden with orangery and orchards. There are many lakeside and woodland trails to explore.
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015