The Hanseatic town of King's Lynn dates back to the 12th century and beyond when it was one of England's most important ports. The town's rich past has left a magnificent heritage of buildings and stories to be discovered.
King's Lynn is the ideal destination to spend a night or two, enjoying the superb mix of history, shopping and entertainment on offer.
Things to Do in King's Lynn
King's Lynn has a fantastic array of visitor attractions for all enquiring minds. Take your pick from the Lynn Museum - home of ancient timber circle Seahenge, visit the old police cells at Tales of the Old Gaol House, see the last surviving smokehouse at True's Yard Museum or discover the secrets of the Wash at the Green Quay Centre. Explore Lynn's social history at the Town House Museum, find out about the merchants, customs men and smugglers of the past at the Maritime Exhibition at Custom House, or watch the master crafters at Caithness Crystal.
Check out special open days at the historic 15th century gateway to Lynn, South Gate, or the intriguing Red Mount Chapel, a wayside chapel for pilgrims on route to Walsingham. Heritage Open Days in September are a real treat with many heritage sites open free of charge.
Hit the Trail! Pick up a copy of ‘Discover King's Lynn' from the Tourist Information Centre
and follow the Heritage Trail. Take the Pilgrimage Trail, to discover the 15th century Red Mount Chapel. Explore the Maritime Trail, where you will find out about King's Lynn's most famous son Captain George Vancouver. Or take the Hanse Walk to unearth King's Lynn's European connections with the historic Hanseatic League of Traders. Not to be missed is a fascinating tour with the King's Lynn Town Guides, where the history of the town is brought to life.
The Peter Scott Walk follows the old sea bank along the Wash from King's Lynn, to the Peter Scott lighthouse at Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire. The walk stretches from the mouth of the River Nene to the ferry crossing at King's Lynn. It follows the sea wall along the coast, and has fantastic views of the Wash and north Fens, with their wide open landscapes. The delightful Fen Rivers Way and Nar Valley Way also start from the town and lead through miles of magnificent open countryside.
Explore West Norfolk's Royal connections at nearby Sandringham House and Gardens. The pretty village of Castle Rising is also worth a visit with its magnificent 12th century Castle Rising Castle. Houghton Hall, Castle Acre Priory, Holkham Hall and Oxburgh Hall are all worth a visit. King's Lynn is a good base to head up to the nearby Norfolk coast or head south to the ancient town of Downham Market.
What's on in King's Lynn
As a vibrant festival town, King's Lynn offers festival goers something all year round including the annual fiction and poetry festivals, the renowned King's Lynn festival and the spectacular Festival Too.
The King's Lynn Festival continues its tradition of bringing world-famous musicians to the town for a two week feast of music and the arts in July. The festival has earned international renown for the quality of performances by leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists from the classical music world plus personalities associated with literature and entertainment.
Attracting thousands of festival goers, Festival Too is still one of Europe's largest FREE festivals and is not to be missed! The opening night begins with live music and a firework display, and heralds three weekends of top entertainment featuring pop and rock bands, top-rate tribute bands and the best of local talent. In addition, a variety of daytime street entertainment in the town centre provides fun for all the family.
King's Lynn celebrated its Hanseatic history in 2009 with a maritime extravaganza. The King's Lynn Hanse Festival was a spectacular event for all the family. The star attraction was the Lisa von Lubeck sailing ship, plus sea shanties, street theatre, heritage walks, European market, alfresco food fair, exhibitions and lots more along the quay.
As well as the impressive entertainment venues - the King's Lynn Corn Exchange, historic King's Lynn Arts Centre and the Victorian Majestic cinema - King's Lynn has lots to offer for an evening out. Sample the arts at one of the galleries; Shakespeare Barn and the Fermoy Gallery both at the Arts Centre and Greyfriars Art Space. Or visit the medieval Guildhall of St George, now an arts centre featuring dance, folk and jazz, lectures, workshops, films, exhibitions and theatre.
Fun for all the family can be found at the Strikes Bowl alley, Lynnsport Leisure Park, St James' Swimming Pool & Fitness Centre or check out the banger racing at the Norfolk Arena.
Where to eat in King's Lynn
A wide array of cafes, restaurants and pubs can be enjoyed within the town centre, for a simple on the go lunch to a special fine dining experience at one of the town's top restaurants.
Shopping in King's Lynn
With extensive pedestrianised shopping areas combining the old and new faces of Lynn, the compact town centre offers a great day out. King's Lynn has a vibrant town centre to shop for your every day needs as well as for that something special. The town has 18 out of the top 20 national retailers and a whole variety of independent stores. The Vancouver Quarter development has had a significant impact on the vibrancy of the town centre attracting more visitors and shoppers to the town.
King's Lynn has three weekly markets - Tuesdays and Fridays in the Tuesday Market Place, and Saturday in Saturday Market Place.
Where to Stay in King's Lynn
King's Lynn is perfect for a getaway break - with fast easy access from London's King's Cross station, this historic town offers plenty of attractions and things to do for a short or long stay. Whether in a bed and breakfast in King's Lynn, a stylish hotel in the centre of the action, or a holiday cottage in a nearby village, there's the right choice of accommodation in King's Lynn for you.
Accessible King's Lynn
A new online guide will allow people to see, at the click of a mouse, the level of accessibility of shops, restaurants, professional services, entertainments and accommodation in King's Lynn and West Norfolk. The West Norfolk Access Guide has been compiled after access consultants visited the 600 plus businesses and service providers in King's Lynn, Hunstanton and Downham Market. The guide, found at www.westnorfolkaccessguide.co.uk, contains information about wheelchair access, toilet and changing facilities, aisle widths, accessibility of shelving and much more, and is designed to help people with specific needs make informed choices.
For more information on accessibility, see Accessible Norfolk.
Find out more about King's Lynn
You can also find more information on King's Lynn on the official tourism website:
Other useful links:
Related pages on Visit Norfolk: