Everything you need to know as historic King's Lynn Mart returns

Pupils from local schools enjoying The Mart in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

King's Lynn Mart is set to make its return - Credit: Archant

Excitement is growing ahead of the return of the historic King's Lynn Mart.

The annual event will officially open on Saturday (February 11) in the Tuesday Market Place after a two-year absence. 

The Mart opens in King's Lynn on Valentine's Day. Picture: Ian Burt

King's Lynn Mart takes place at the Tuesday Market Place - Credit: Archant

It was cancelled in 2021 due to coronavirus restrictions, and was one of the final major showpieces to take place prior to the pandemic in 2020.

Ahead of opening day, here's everything you need to know.

What's the history?

The Mart (German for 'market') has been a key event in the King's Lynn for more than 800 years.

It marks the beginning of the showmen's season. 

The Mart in King's Lynn opened on Valentine's Day. Picture: Ian Burt

The opening ceremony at King's Lynn Mart in 2017 - Credit: Archant

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The first recorded charter was in the 13th century, before Henry VIII granted a Valentine's fair in 1537.

What's on offer?

As usual, this year's extravaganza promises a host of activities and entertainment in the market place. 

That includes a number of fairground rides such as dodgems and waltzers, as well as Big Bomber and Freak Out for the adrenaline junkies.

Brooklyn Langley, three, enjoying the 815th King's Lynn Mart. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Brooklyn Langley, three, enjoying the 815th King's Lynn Mart. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

There will also be a number of stalls and games for younger children. 

The traditional ceremonial opening, which sees various dignitaries and showmen parade through town, will take place on Saturday (February 12). 

How long is it going on for?

The Mart would usually begin on Valentine's Day, but the decision was taken to bring the festivities forward for an extra two days of entertainment. 

Nick Daubney, right, Mayor of West Norfolk, on the Waltzers with Bishop of Lynn, Jonathan Meyrick, a

Nick Daubney, right, Mayor of West Norfolk, on the Waltzers with Bishop of Lynn, Jonathan Meyrick, and sea cadet, Nicole Handley, at the opening of the 815th King's Lynn Mart. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Starting on Saturday (February 12), the fair will be staying open every day until Saturday, February 26 - except Sundays.

The traditional children's day will take place on Monday (February 14). 

What are the opening hours?

On Saturdays and half term week (February 14-18), the Mart is open from 12pm until 10pm.

The Mart has been set up on the Tuesday Market Place in King's Lynn and will open on Valentine's Day

The Mart has been set up on the Tuesday Market Place in King's Lynn and will open on Valentine's Day. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

In the second week (February 21-25), the opening hours are 6pm to 10pm. 

What's new this year?

A number of rides are making a welcome return this year after several years away. 

They include Big Bomber, a carousel and The Tornado.

Four-year-old Arthur Hurrell throws some hoops at a stall at the 815th King's Lynn Mart. Picture: DE

Four-year-old Arthur Hurrell throws some hoops at a stall at the 815th King's Lynn Mart. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

How much does the entertainment cost?

Prices vary for each ride and depend entirely on the operator. 

On children's day, each ride is priced at £1 per person, except the bungee which is £2.