Diss is a picturesque market town, situated at the ‘gateway’ to the Waveney Valley. It is a town full of hidden gems and a rich history with a diverse range of sights and experiences making Diss a unique place which is just waiting to be explored.  

John SkeltonHow many market towns have inspired two poet laureates? John Skelton wrote some of his finest verses here in the 16th century while Sir John Betjeman fell in love with Diss in 1960s, regarding it as one of the finest towns in England.  Our walk will prove to you he was right! Taking the majestic Mere, our 6 acre lake, as its focus, we guide you up through distinctive Mere Street to where a bustling market is still held every Friday. We visit the church where Skelton was rector, explore Diss's heritage triangle by ascending Market Hill and then town St Nicholas Street to explore its evocative shopping courts and hugely successful Corn Hall.

We visit the Thomas Paine memorial plaque in Beehive Yard, before returning to the Mere via the picturesque Diss Park where we lean about Cittaslow. The audio walk features an engaging cast of characters who bring the buildings you see to life with their memories and anecdotes. People recall Sherrif Bunny, who used to cadge drinks dressed as a cowboy, Reggie Coxhall who liked to stand on the corner, tapping his knee with a newspaper and many other town characters.

Basil Abbott
Basil Abbott winning the oscar!
Basil Abbott, current director of the award winning Diss Museum provides the historical background with an engaging wit. Diss is sufficiently large that one audio walk can't take you everywhere. So hopefully you will return to explore Fair Green to the west of the town, with its long history of fairs and its vibrant pubs, cafés and restaurant.

The introduction is probably best heard by the Mere where the walk starts. Check out our audio map that shows you the route and by clicking on the numbers, you can listen to the tour stop by stop before you come (or enjoy it again afterwards in the comfort of your home!) We have also created a slide show that takes you along the route, so you can familiarise yourself with the town before you coming.

To download the tour, go to our download page. We also have a selection of links and suggestions for further reading. This will be continually updated.

Enjoy Diss and remember Betjeman's conclusion: "Diss seems a very nice place to live."