An historic market town
22 mins to Downham Market
37 mins to Fakenham
Perched on the banks of the River Ouse, King’s Lynn has been a centre of trade and industry since the Middle Ages, and its rich history is reflected in the many beautiful buildings which still line the historic quarter.
Originally named Bishop’s Lynn, during the reign of Henry VIII the town was surrendered to the crown and took the name King’s Lynn. During the 14th century, Lynn was England’s most important port, dominated by the Hanseatic League. Although the growth of London later eroded the port’s importance, ship-building and fishing became prominent industries, the latter of which is documented at True’s Yard Museum.
With more than 400 listed buildings, two warehouses – Hanse House and Marriott’s Warehouse – still stand in the centre of the town, along with King’s Lynn Minster and Custom House. These have appeared as stars of the screen in numerous period dramas and it’s not unusual to spot a camera crew and cast on location.
King Street, which runs from Tuesday Market Place to the Custom House was once known as ‘Stockfish Row’ for the number of fish merchants that lived there, With a listed building every 26ft, Sir John Betjeman described it as one of the finest walks in England. In 1845, there were at least ten pubs on this street alone, and although these have faded away a relatively new arrival is the WhataHoot distillery with its gin school and handmade spirits.
With Cambridge, Peterborough and Norwich all within an hour’s drive and a direct rail line into London King’s Cross arriving in the capital in just 1 hour 40 minutes, King’s Lynn continues to attract a growing number of professionals seeking an easy commuter route. It’s easy to see the appeal of this central location with a clutch of high street retailers and independent restaurants in the town’s Vancouver Centre. The Majestic Cinema and King’s Lynn Alive Corn Exchange are the place to catch a film or show, or check out what’s on at St George’s Guildhall, the UK’s largest surviving medieval guildhall, today a vibrant arts centre.