Norfolk gems on new Monopoly game

Victoria LeggettWe have all taken a stroll along Pall Mall, carried on past Liverpool Street Station before settling down on Park Lane - and smugly announcing plans to build a hotel - now you can play monopoly with Norfolk National Trust gems.Victoria Leggett

We have all taken a stroll along Pall Mall, carried on past Liverpool Street Station before settling down on Park Lane - and smugly announcing plans to build a hotel.

Now fans of one of the most iconic board games in history can take a more picturesque route as they take a turn at Blakeney Nature Reserve or roll into Blickling Hall - clutching a top hat or maybe a small dog.

Tomorrow, a special National Trust edition of Monopoly goes on sale featuring two of the East's stunning and celebrated sites.

Blickling Hall, near Aylsham, sits proudly with some of the most expensive properties on the board in the space usually associated with Leicester Square.


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The yellow property, worth �260, is bested only by the green hues of sites like Wales' Snowdonia and Ireland's Giant's Causeway and the purple glow coming from Lyme Park, Cheshire, and Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire - which will set players back �400 and �350.

But, as you would expect, the estate's workers would have preferred something a little pricier.

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Patricia Murfin, visitor services and enterprises manager, said: 'With Blickling Hall being a flagship property, I would have liked to see if on the purple section. We're a lot larger than Lyme Park.'

When comparing rental value, the difference becomes even more noticeable.

Players can build either holiday cottages, instead of houses, or a visitor centre, in place of a hotel. A single cottage at Blickling Hall costs just �110 compared with the Cheshire mansion's �200, while a visitor centre at Lyme Park will bring in �850 more rent than the same service in Norfolk.

'That's outrageous,' said Ms Murfin - tongue firmly in cheek.

Blakeney Nature Reserve, known for its stunning views and key breeding sites for wildlife, takes the place of one of the board's railway stations.

Known as 'beach spaces' for this edition, the north Norfolk site replaces Marylebone and is joined by Woolacombe, Studland Beach and Strangford Lough in the remaining three spaces.

But the nature reserve and Jacobean house - which has a mortgage value of �130 - are the only two National Trust sites in the East of England to make the board.

Popular attractions including the 15th-century manor house Oxburgh Hall, near Downham Market, and Horsey Windpump missed out.

Ms Murfin said it would have been very difficult to choose just 36 names from so many stunning sites.

She said: 'There are over 300 National Trust properties, plus coastal and countryside areas. I'm really pleased for the property that it has been featured.'

She said demand would be very high when it went on sale tomorrow. 'We are expecting it to be very popular. There are many National Trust members in this area and they will be delighted,' she said.

'The thing with this game is that people can relate to the properties. If you have been to the property, it's familiar to you, and it's nice to know which property you are playing for.'

The enterprises manager also hopes it will encourage others who see the Norfolk sites on the board to come along for a visit.

As well as the place names, the game has been adapted to ensure it is more in keeping with the National Trust and its work.

Utility squares become a farmers' market and the Green Energy Trust, and taxes are replaced by National Trust Insurance and National Trust Books.

Chance and Community Chest cards remain but instead of winning a beauty competition, players can win a conservation competition or might find themselves faced with a bill to help pay legal fees to fight an unsightly development.

The board game, which costs �25, will go on sale tomorrow and will be on display in Blickling Hall's shop when it opens at 10.15am.

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