The C17 Custom House that now houses the Tourist Information Centre was described by Nikolaus Pevsner as “one of the most perfect buildings”.
Regular guided walks are conducted by volunteer Town Guides at least three times per week during the tourist season and there are several self-guided walks available in the town and in the Walks, a beautiful tree-filled park.
King’s Lynn – steeped in heritage.
Much has been written about Norfolk as one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations, and the beautiful North Norfolk Coast commands nearly as many column inches as it generates in miles of traffic congestion on the narrow Norfolk roads that lead to its wide open golden beaches and even wider open clear skies.
At the confluence of the A10, A47 and A17, as well as being the terminal station for the fastest train from London to Norfolk (less than 100 minutes from King's Cross), King’s Lynn is truly the gateway to Norfolk’s holiday delights. Yet, thousands of potential visitors to the town will have either driven around King’s Lynn’s congested by-passes or arrived at its railway station, and following the unremarkable route into town, they would be completely unaware of the richness of its unique cultural, historical and architectural heritage which awaits them.......
By way of an appetiser, consider the following unique cultural assets awaiting the discerning traveller:
No less than 481 Listed Buildings Grades I, II* & II, including the finest collection of mediaeval architecture anywhere in the country, for a town of its size.
England’s only surviving Hanseatic Warehouse, dating from 1475 - recently renovated and brought back into use a popular bar, restaurant, galleries and retail space.
Clifton House – one of the finest examples in England of a mediaeval merchant’s house containing a unique 5-storey tower and open to the public a few days per year.
St Nicholas Chapel, the largest Chapel of Ease in England and home to one of the very finest examples of a mediaeval Angel Roof in England and a rare Consistory Court. Recently renovated and re-opened with the help of a £1.8m Heritage Lottery Fund grant and often housing interesting exhibitions.
St Margaret's Church: King’s Lynn Minster containing a unique C17 Tide Clock and two of largest and earliest mediaeval merchant memorial brasses in England.
Two mediaeval Guildhalls, Trinity Guildhall, now the Town Hall, was described by Nikolaus Pevsner as “a delightful group of buildings, all quite different, but forming a perfect sequence”.
The other, St George’s, dating from c 1430,is the largest in England and contains a theatre whose stage was graced by Shakespeare.
Two Market Places of medieval origin, one of which is reckoned to be the largest in England.
King's Lynn, Festival Town
At least four major festivals take place throughout the year, as well as numerous celebrations and events. Fiction festivals take place in Spring and Autumn with readings and performances from major writers http://www.lynnlitfests.com/Welcome.html
Festival Too 1-15 July claims to be one of Europe's largest free popular music festival, attracting major acts and filling the town on festival nights with a lively party atmosphere. Expect noise, spectacle, fireworks http://www.festivaltoo.co.uk/LineUp.
For those of more traditional taste, the two weeks following 16-29 July is the time for the long-established King's Lynn Festival specialising in orchestral and chamber music, song, dance, recitals, talks and poetry http://www.kingslynnfestival.org.uk/whats-on.
King's Lynn's ancient trading links with the Baltic ports are celebrated in May each year through the international Hanse Festival with music, dancing, boats, food and drink, overall with a distinctly medieval flavour. http://www.kingslynnhansefestival.co.uk/hanse-festival/
Lynn Lumiere is an innovative project to project images onto some of the important sites and buildings in town, in a joint initiative with Amiens through an EU funded project.
There are three museums: the Town Museum that houses the unique bronze age 'Seahenge', True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum a charming museum which celebrates the town’s fishing heritage http://truesyard.co.uk/, and the recently re-opened Stories of Lynn in the Town Hall, containing the unique King John Cup and King’s Lynn Town Regalia http://www.kingslynntownhall.com/storiesoflynn/. Here you will also find the unrivalled collection of borough archives in a new modern archive centre http://www.kingslynntownhall.com/townhall/archives/.
There are two theatres and a 3-screen independent cinema.
- There is a growing choice of food and drink options in the old town centre, around the South Quay or the Tuesday and the Saturday Market Places, some of which are in the most important historic buildings.
- The North Norfolk coast with its wide sandy beaches, protected coastal marshes and pretty flint villages is within easy reach. Nearby is the world renowned RSPB bird reserve at Titchwell Marsh http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/placestovisit/titchwellmarsh/default.aspx
- Snettisham, the Royal Sandringham estate, Castle Rising Castle and Houghton Hall – a wonderful William Kent country house originally built for Britain’s first Prime Minister Robert Walpole and now home to a fantastic contemporary art collection. All of these are within 30 minutes of Lynn and are accessible by public transport or taxi – or even by bike on some of the county’s quietest lanes.