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Love West Norfolk - some of the highlights

Think of West Norfolk and the cliffs of Hunstanton, the architecture of King’s Lynn, and the regal heritage of Sandringham come to mind. But alongside these well-known and well-loved attributes, there is a plethora of village gems which make West Norfolk such a special place to visit.

Now Love West Norfolk, the campaign to celebrate and promote West Norfolk has identified some of these gems which are well worth a visit…

Shouldham King's Arms

Shouldham: West Norfolk’s only Community Pub

Shouldham is home to the CAMRA award-winning King’s Arms which is West Norfolk’s only community pub. Alongside fantastic food and drink, it incorporates a community café during the daytime Monday-Friday staffed by volunteers. The King’s Arms story bears testament to community spirit, having been driven forward by the efforts of local people, resulting in the formation of Shouldham Community Enterprises and ultimately the pub being saved. You can find out more about the pub here.

Events are also a great reason to visit Shouldham and in July an al fresco dining and music evening is held in the beautiful grounds of a historical barn. Demonstrating the village’s credentials for beer drinkers, there’s a three day summer beer festival at the end of August/beginning of September with live music on the village green. There’s also a Weekend Winter Beer Festival at the end of January. More information can be found here by clicking on the News and Local Groups tabs.

Snettisham: A beach haven for wildlife

The beach at Snettisham is well worth a visit, especially for the wildlife which can be found here. The beach is next to RSPB Snettisham Reserve which makes it a fantastic spot for bird watching.

The coastal location provides a home for Snettisham Beach Sailing Club with members able to sail both on the sea or on the large lake adjacent to the clubhouse. The club offers a busy programme of sailing throughout the year.

Snettisham is also a hotspot for diners with two restaurants, Old Bank and the Rose and Crown, both having won awards.

Walpole St Peter

Walpole St Peter: Largest Parish Church in England

In Walpole St Peter you will find the largest parish church in England which counts Prince Charles as one of its patrons. In 2019, its annual Flower Festival and Fayre will be in its 58th year, running from Friday 31st May to Monday 3rd June. The theme for 2019 will be Transport through the Ages and alongside the stunning floral arrangements, there will also be a wide range of marquees and stalls, and a small steam train offering rides and a falconer with his beautiful birds of prey.

During the rest of the year, the impressive church hosts markets for Easter, Summer, Harvest and Advent. The next one is on Saturday 1st December from 2-4:30pm and will feature a range of market stalls and refreshments. At 4pm, there will be gathering outside to light the Christmas tree and a short session of carol singing to welcome in the Christmas season.

Marham: Linked to the Royal Air Force

The village of Marham, 12 miles from King’s Lynn, is intrinsically linked to the Royal Air Force base of the same name. With such a close connection, the village is home to the RAF Marham Heritage Museum with its fabulous collection of objects, photographs and archive material relating to the history of RAF Marham.

It is open to all with free entry and it is open every Tuesday and Wednesday and the last Saturday of the month between 9.00am and 4.00pm. Things to see here include a Victor Bomber ejection seat, historic uniform displays and a Tornado ejection seat. There is also a WWI Air Gunners Memorial and the curator has recently been giving a talk to mark 100 years since the end of World War I.

West Dereham: An interesting history

West Dereham, situated four miles to the east of Downham Market is home to the Grade 1 listed Parish Church of Saint Andrew. This is recognised by many organisations, such as English Heritage as one of the most important medieval churches in the UK. The church comprises of a round tower with an octagonal belfry, nave, chancel, a Stuart font and pulpit. A Napoleonic Wars soldier’s headstone can also be found in the Churchward.

The village has an interesting history. West Dereham is generally acknowledged as the birthplace of Hubert Walter (circa 1160-1205) who became Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of Richard I and Thomas Dereham, an informal Jacobite ambassador to Rome. West Dereham also has the remains of St Mary’s Abbey founded in 1188, an example of a Premonstratensian Abbey.

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