King's Lynn (pop. 37,000) or just Lynn, as the locals call it, is a market town and port located near the estuary of the River Grear Ouse.
The town is well-known for its Festival of Music and the Arts (King's Lynn Festival), which takes place the second half of July. It features classical music, literature and theatre events, and is Norfolk's prime cultural gathering.
It was part of the manor of the Bishop of Norwich in the 12th century, and developed into the country's 3rd largest port in the 14th century, thriving on the wool trade with the Low Countries.
St Margaret's Church is the oldest building in town. It was founded as a Benedictine priory in 1100, although the present edifice was much altered with time.
In the 17th century, the town grew rich on glass-making and from the export of corn, newly arrived from the Americas. The Customs House, now housing the Tourist Information Centre, was built during that period, in 1683. Also note the Corn Exchange, completely refurbished in 1997 and now used to host King's Lynn Festival.
The most impressive buildings in town are the St George Guildhall (1421), the Town Hall and St. Nicholas' Chapel. Next to the the Town Hall is the Town House Museum (open daily 10am-5pm; from 2pm on Sundays, and until 4pm between October and April; entry £1.80), which has historical displays from medieval merchants and Civil War objects to Victorian toys and a 1950s living room.
Other interesting buildings include the Old Gaol House (open 10am-5pm; only Tue-Fri between Nov. and Easter ; entry £2.40), Clifton House and the Tudor Rose Hotel.
Market is held three times a week in King's Lynn: on Tuedays (flea-market, clothes, fish), Fridays (vegetables, flowers) and Saturdays (all sort of food), usually from 8am to 4pm.
How to get there
King's Lynn is on the A47 motorway between Peterborough and Norwich, and at the end of the A10 from Cambridge and Ely.
Trains run between King's Lynn and London King's Cross (1h35min, £23.40), Cambridge (45min, £8.50) and Ely (30min, £5.20).
'First' Bus X1 runs between Great Yarmouth and Kings Lynn via Norwich.
Train timetables & reservations