Okay, I have read all the opinions on Horsham, and I agree with them all! But has anyone thought of the poor souls who have the misfortune to live there? I am one of these poor souls, and have lived there for a year-and surprizingly enough am looking to sell my house already! The reason we live here is I work in Surrey and my husband works in Hampshire. We couldn't afford to live in either of these two counties because the house prices are so stupid, and we had good jobs we didn't want to give up. I suggest to anyone who is just starting out and happens to work in South-East England to consider looking for houses in Horsham. We have a huge terraced 2 bedroom house with small garden and massive rooms, down a very quiet road. (Loads of people want to live here, so houses can get sold in less than 3 days!) We got it for £67,000 - for the same kind of place in Surrey we would be looking at £140,000. Go figure. When we were looking in Guildford all we could afford was a 1 bedroom attic flat the size of a pub toilet. Horsham is situated in a great area - near places like Brighton and Guildford and then up to London, so you can get almost everywhere (just don't use Connex South Central). Horsham isn't the place for a social life, but then you've got Brighton which is just brilliant, or Guildford if you are desperate. Ignore Crawley which is next door unless you fancy a beating. It is a commuter town and everyone is a bit obsessed about flowers and their gardens, but it is a good place for young couples and their first homes. You probably won't last there long but while you're saving for that perfect pad, then it is worth it. Also as everyone is so reserved and middle class, they daren't complain about noisy music or rampaging pets, they just care if your roses are blooming more than theirs! Also lots of famous people live in the surrounding areas, so you may spot Alvin Stardust, Phil Collins, Bucks Fizz or James Bolam et al doing a spot of shopping in Sainsburys!!
Horsham is only an hour in the train from London and is therefore home to a whole herd of commuters, whose families live in the expensive and rather boring, middle-class,landscaped estates, and attend the nice little schools and shop in the clean and safe, predictable shopping centre and Swan Walk, the mall. There are some charming old houses though, with traditional Horsham slab roofing, and the countryside round about, especially St Leonard's Forest, remnant of the old weald, with the huge hammer ponds, is beautiful. And the council seem to provide the best flower beds for miles around; really gorgeous. Facilities include a large and attractive park with good sports and leisure opportunities, a good selection of shops, including big, out of town, or nearly out of town, Tescos and Sainsbury's, Office World, Currys and carpet and do-it-yourself shops. That's all become a bit predictable, but there are quaint old parts of Horsham, like the Causeway, leading down to the fascinating old parish church and the river and the cricket ground, and the Carfax, the main square, is paved over and home to cafes and the like, with little alleyways off. At the other end of the shopping area, the Bishopric, there is another paved sitting area, complete with trees and stream and boulders and a huge sculpture, a great ball with water gushing out of it as it rises. Oh, and MacDonalds of course. It might be useful for you to know, however, that I am glad I have moved from Horsham.
Diss is a small Norfolk market town that I wouldn't really recommend visiting. It's very boring, I grew up there so I should know. Although it is pituresque in certain places (a big lake-type thing in the middle, a village green where the annual fair is held and a few quaint old streets) nothing ever happens except a few fights on a Friday night between local boys bored out of their tiny skulls. There are about 7 pubs, the best is The Sun in the centre of the town, it's got a beer garden looking out onto the lake (which is called 'the Mere'). Don't be afraid of the American Werewolf in London-style reaction of local people in the pub, they don't get out of Norfolk very often you see... There is a very nice vegetarian restaurant in Norfolk Yard, at the top of the hill behind the church, and a few other tea rooms and shops that are worth visiting (the nicest are all in Norfolk Yard). Basically, if you want to come to East Anglia to visit the Broads or the Coast, there are many places to visit that are a lot more interesting than Diss; try Southwold, Lavenham or Lowestoft, or best of all, stay in London, you'll have a much better time I promise. VITAL STATISTICS 1 Mere 7000 inhabitants 7 Pubs 1 Snooker Club (Diss Cue Club) 0 interesting night-life opportunities 1.5 hours from London Liverpool Street station
Horsham is a small tory market town. Very pretty, nice shops, but pretty dull. The town is home to the Collyer's - the college Harry Enfield went to, and the most amazing and unusual fountain you'll ever see. It's looks sligtly like a jacket potatoe moving up and down on a stick. Honestly. It has to be seen to be beleived. What's even more amazing is that is was actualy allowed to be built, Horshams tory council takes years to decide anything, such as decided whether to build a skateboard ramp or give a licence to a nightclub. And so, due to the lack of nightlife there are loads of fights - just so the townies have something to do. If you are out drinking just make sure you don't look at anyone the wrong way. Smell the flowers, see the fountain, go home.
A lot like Crawley really, just less of it. Horsham rates well with the park (nice and big), Arts Centre (small cinema which shows the good stuff as well), and good transport links. On the bad side, town planners seem to think they can make up for the unbelievable dullness of the town by vast amounts of flowers. This may seem like a good thing, but they have gone to far. Every railing has a (window-)box, every space has plants squashed in with no regard for taste. The population is very much commuter-belt, and the youth are predominately Townie. Has one club which should be awarded by all but those who think that Ibiza would be a good holiday destination. Same can be said for just about every pub and bar.