King’s Lynn and West Norfolk
Brim full of history, with a vibrant town centre and stunning public parks and gardens, King’s Lynn is the ideal destination to spend a few nights and the perfect place to stay for exploring the rest of rural West Norfolk.
The Hanseatic town of King’s Lynn was one of England’s most important ports from as early as the 12th century and this maritime past is still very much in evidence today. Fine old merchants’ houses stretch down to the river between cobbled lanes and the elegant Custom House overlooks the harbour. The town’s heritage and rural history is reflected in an amazing array of historic buildings, parks, and at two magnificent market places: Saturday Market Place, where the Minster Church is surrounded by splendid buildings and Tuesday Market Place, quite possibly one of England’s grandest squares.
The historic gardens and parks are part of West Norfolk’s strong cultural heritage and are as important as our buildings and settlements, some being of international interest. They range from 17th century formal gardens to the landscape designs of the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Greyfriars Tower and Gardens in King’s Lynn is a real highlight, the splendid public gardens being modelled on the layout of the Franciscan friary that had existed on the site from 11th century, with the original friary tower still in place overlooking the gardens and the King’s Lynn War Memorial.
Also in King’s Lynn is the Walks, an historic urban park in the heart of the town. The only surviving 18th century town walk in Norfolk, this 17 hectare park boasts a unique 15th century chapel, The Red Mount (a Grade II-listed church) as well as beautiful landscaping, a children’s play area, café and public facilities.
Further afield, keen horticulturalists can find much of interest throughout West Norfolk, from water gardens to traditional flower beds, from country nurseries to beautiful parklands, picturesque lavender fields and much more.
The parks and gardens on the estates of the area’s stately homes are simply stunning, including the famous gardens of Sandringham Estate (the Norfolk retreat of HM the Queen), and Houghton Hall with its award-winning recent renovation of the 5-acre walled garden.
Other varied and colourful gardens in West Norfolk include Norfolk Lavender in Heacham, West Acre Gardens, Gooderstone Water Gardens, and many more.
The public gardens and parks of West Norfolk really are special features of the countryside and coastal landscapes, and the award winning public gardens of all three West Norfolk towns are well worth visiting; from the vibrant public gardens of Hunstanton to the equally award-winning town displays in Downham Market and King's Lynn.
King's Lynn, and the surrounding rural area of West Norfolk, offers a range of opportunities to enjoy a scenic tour of the region's fascinating and often colourful past.
To plan your journey to the picturesque region of West Norfolk, or for more information on how you can travel around the area once you get here, there is plenty of travel information to help you.
To ensure that you do not miss anything while you visit us, please take a moment to read our suggested itinerary, that ensures you will see the best that our area has to offer, this can be found at the bottom of the page, and is in both English and French. West Norfolk has excellent connections via road, rail or air, with good access to ferry ports and the Channel tunnel making it easily reachable from Europe.
Getting to West Norfolk really couldn't be easier. Visit our translatable travel pages for more advice.