Seven things to do in King's Lynn

Aerial view of Customs House and Purfleet Quay in King's Lynn. Picture: John Fielding

Aerial view of Customs House and Purfleet Quay in King's Lynn. Picture: John Fielding - Credit: John Fielding

King's Lynn is a Hanseatic port town with plenty of maritime heritage and historic buildings. 

It also has plenty on offer for families to enjoy on a visit to the west Norfolk town including attractions and a bustling town centre shopping centre known as the Vancouver Quarter. 

Here is a guide of seven things to do when visiting the town: 

1. Custom House 

Where: Purfleet Quay, PE30 1HP

Price: Free entry 

When: Every Wednesday and Saturday between 10am and 3pm

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Parking: Baker Lane, the South Quay and the Saturday Market Place all have short-term spaces nearby, while the Tuesday Market Place is also within walking distance. 

The 17th century building has reopened to visitors again after being closed for more than two years for refurbishment. 

The work on The Custom House in King's Lynn has been completed and the scaffolding has been taken do

The Custom House in King's Lynn Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

The ground floor has an exhibition on the King's Lynn Civic Society with details upstairs about the Custom House and Henry Bell who built the building in 1683 as a merchants’ exchange. 

Historical information on medieval mystic Margery Kempe and Norfolk artist Emily Chapman are also displayed. 

The Custom House, which overlooks the harbour, opened in 1685 as a merchant's exchange and to regulate trade through the port. 

2. True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum

Where: North Street, PE30 1QW

Price: Adults £3, seniors £2.50, children £1.50, under 5s go free, family £6 

When: Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm (last entry 3pm) 

Parking: The Tuesday Market Place, Common Staithe Quay and Chapel Street car parks are all within a short walking distance. 

The museum tells the story of the town's old fishing community in the North End with the building being located at the site of the last surviving fisherfolk yard with cottages. 

How we lived: The interior of one of the preserved cottages.

How we lived: The interior of one of the preserved cottages. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Many boat builders lived in the North End of the town which means the museum is brimming with personal stories of those who passed on the trade to generations of families. 

A range of interactive activities can be found within the museum which is a short walk from the town centre. 

3. The Walks

Where: London Road, PE30 1PE

Price: Free

Parking: A small number of free parking spaces are available at certain times on County Court Road, while paid parking is a short walking distance away at the St James Multi-storey car park just over the road in Clough Lane.

The Walks is the premier green space in King's Lynn with plenty of room for activities and picnics. 

There are also facilities within the park including a playground, a Grade II-listed church and an eighteenth century walkway. 

The Red Mount Chapel in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The Red Mount Chapel in King's Lynn - Credit: Ian Burt

It is also the home of National League football side King's Lynn Town, and the late 15th century Red Mount Chapel which was once used as a wayside chapel for pilgrims en route to the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.

4. King's Lynn Minster (St Margaret's Church)

Where: Saturday Market Place, PE30 5DQ

Price: Free entry 

Parking: There is parking in the Saturday Market Place just outside the Minster, as well as around the corner at the NCP Church Street car park. The Boal Quay Car Park is a further five minute walk away

When: The Minster is open every day until 6pm

Dating back to the 12th century, the Minster towers over King's Lynn, creating picturesque views for those travelling to the town on the West Lynn Ferry. 

EDP Norfolk Magazine. March. Views around King's Lynn. View of Queens Street leading to King's Lynn

EDP Norfolk Magazine. March. Views around King's Lynn. View of Queens Street leading to King's Lynn Minster. - Credit: Angela Sharpe

The Minster website offers virtual tours to give an idea of the interior of the historic building before you visit in person. 

With tearooms located opposite the Minster with outdoors seating, there is scope for enjoying a cuppa and bite to eat after a visit. 

St Nicholas' Chapel can also be visited on St Ann's Street which still retains many of its fifteenth century features despite no longer operating as a place of worship. It often hosts music, theatre shows as well as functions. 

5. Escape Rooms King's Lynn 

Where: 36A Norfolk Street, PE30 1AH

Price: £20 per person

Parking: The Old Cattle Market Car Park next to the town centre Sainsbury's and Chapel Street Car Park are the nearest 

When: Book a time on the website at www.escaperoomskingslynn.co.uk

A good one for family, friends or colleagues to get stuck into with three themed rooms on offer at the Escape Rooms. 

Teams will have to use logic and an eye for detail on order to crack the code. Riddles and clues will be provided for the team to escape within a set time

There is also an escape room on Campbells Meadow called Locked in Lyn but it has recently had to close "due to unforeseen circumstances". 

6. Lynn Museum 

Where: Market Street, PE30 1NL 

Price: Free entry from October 1 to March 31. For the rest of the year it is: adults £5.10, concession £4.86, child £4.70, twilight £1.50, family tickets also available 

Parking: The Old Cattle Market Car Park, Blackfriars Street Car Park, and St James Multi-storey Car Park 

When: Tuesday to Saturday: 10am to 5pm ; Sunday: noon to 4pm (April to September only)

A public museum has been situated in the town since the mid nineteenth century, and the Lynn Museum is the go to place to find out more about Seahenge as well as other historical gems. 

Permanent collections include medieval wealth, Civil War, local industry and invaders. 

The Seahenge exhibition at the Lynn Museum in King's Lynn. Pictured is the great central stump. Pict

Seahenge is on display at Lynn Museum - Credit: Ian Burt

The museum also hosts a range of exhibitions both physical and online including on Thomas Baines, a nineteenth century artist and explorer born in King’s Lynn who travelled to Africa and Australia.

Lynn Museum also offers programmes for schools. 

The town is blessed with museums with Stories of Lynn also located in the Saturday Market Place next to the Town Hall. 

7. Corn Exchange 

Where: Tuesday Market Place, PE30 1JW

Price: Vary when booking online

Parking: Tuesday Market Place and Common Staithe Quay are the closest 

When: Box office can be visited from 9am to 4pm Monday to Saturday 

The aesthetically-pleasing venue is an entertainment venue for those wishing to visit the theatre and cinema. 

A new boutique cinema was unveiled in the autumn of 2020 as part of a £1.6m facelift for King’s Lynn’s Corn Exchange.

The Corn Exchange hosts everything from opera to pantomime, and also has a café within the venue. 

A new two screen cinema opens on the Corn Exchange in Kings Lynn
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020

A new two screen cinema opens on the Corn Exchange in Kings Lynn Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The Majestic Cinema is a popular location for film fanatics in the town, located next to the Vancouver Quarter in the centre of the town.