The ancient saxon town of Downham Market is a delightful place to visit and is one of Norfolk's oldest market towns. Considered by many to be the gateway to the Fens, and with a network of waterways close by plus lots to see and do in the town and surrounding area, Downham Market is a great place for a weekend break in Norfolk.
Things to Do in and around Downham Market
Downham Market has a wealth of interesting historic buildings. In the main square see the town's unique black and white clock tower. Gothic in design and made from wrought iron, it is proudly considered one of Downham Market's most distinctive features. The Town Hall is another beautiful building, which was built to celebrate Queen Victoria's jubilee in 1887 and remember to look out for the St Edmunds Parish Church - the town's oldest building.
For those who like to keep active there is plenty to do around the town. With the River Ouse running alongside there are a number of lovely riverside walks to be enjoyed and routes are easy to follow as you explore the Fen Rivers Way. Take a gentle stroll to Stowbridge and see St Peter - a church with a fairytale chimney and castle tower - not to be missed! If you'd prefer to join a guided walk the town provides ‘Twalks' every Wednesday and Friday morning, a walk with a talk. Sailing or boating enthusiasts will certainly feel at home here with plenty of waterways to navigate. And if you like fishing we can accommodate you too with angling being a popular pastime in this area.
Take a trip out to Church Farm rare breeds centre and enjoy the animals, nature walks, tractor rides and playground. For nature lovers, visit WWT Welney Wetland Centre bird/nature reserve - excellent for keen birdwatchers and home to the Festival of Swans each year - celebrating the return of 9,000 migratory Whooper and Bewick's swans to the Welney wetlands.
Shopping in Downham Market
Downham Market certainly lives up to its name having two outdoor markets a week, on Fridays and Saturdays. Very popular with locals and visitors, the market is packed with stalls selling local produce including jams, juices, cheese and breads along with much more. A recent addition to the Saturday market includes a Crafts and Collectables Market, every fortnight in the town square. Around the town you will also find plenty of shops to browse, including some delightful independent stores and boutiques.
Where to eat in Downham Market
There are plenty of places to satisfy every taste in Downham Market. From cream teas to hearty pub meals, there is a great range of places to eat. A local favourite is the Crown Hotel with its traditional feel; the Downham Tandoori and Balti House satisfies those with spicy appetites, while the Hare Arms Inn & Restaurant about two miles from the town centre offers a delicious menu if you're looking for somewhere special.
What's on in Downham Market
The town also holds a number of events throughout the year including its annual festival and carnival, St Winnold's Fayre, a music festival and even a water festival with Dragon Boat Racing, sailing displays, free arts events on the town square and plenty to entertain children. There's also lots of events on at Church Farm rare breeds centre throughout the year, including Craft Sundays, a Medieval Pageant in August, and celebrations at Halloween and Christmas. Or for a nature spectacle, visit WWT Welney for the Festival of Swans in November, when 9,000 migratory Whooper and Bewick's swans return for the winter.
Where to Stay in and around Downham Market
Downham Market is an ideal destination for a short break or longer family holiday, with plenty to see and do in the area. Whether you stay at a B&B in Downham Market, or charming holiday cottage in Downham Market or the surrounding countryside, you'll be sure to enjoy your stay in this charming market town.
Find out more about Downham Market
You can also find more information on Downham Market on the official tourism website:
Other useful links:
Related pages on Visit Norfolk: