Shakespeare endorsed port town with a long history of cultural importance
The historic medieval port town of King’s Lynn was described by Robinson Crusoe author Daniel Defoe as “beautiful, well-built and well situated,” with its 17th century Custom House noted by acclaimed architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner as “one of the most perfect buildings ever built.”
High praise indeed for the West Norfolk town, which also is home to the Britain’s oldest and largest remaining Guildhall – a 15th century edifice, widely rumoured to have been on Shakespeare’s touring circuit. The hall is recorded as having been used as a theatre since 1442, therefore also making it the nation’s oldest theatre.
At the other end of the town’s cultural timeline, is the GroundWork Galley, which opened in 2017 and quickly established an award-winning national reputation for showing and supporting thought provoking new works with an environmental slant.
The town’s annual festival, a highlight of the international classical music calendar, celebrates its 70th birthday in 2021 – while its concurrently-running contemporary counterpart, Festival Too (pictured), draws crowds in excess of 60,000 to the town’s Tuesday Market Place with big names such as Judge Jules and Nadine Coyle.
Add to all this the Alive Corn Exchange Theatre & Cinema, which stages year-round entertainment, and the town’s close proximity to the Queen’s estate at Sandringham, and you’ll need not to venture any further for a comprehensive cultural break.