King’s Lynn and

The historic medieval port of King’s Lynn has a wealth of stunning buildings, heritage museums and attractions. In fact, it has the highest number of graded buildings in the country. On Purfleet Quay is the splendid 1683 Custom House, described by Pevsner as ‘one of the most perfect buildings ever built’, and now the tourist office.

From as early as the 13th century, King’s Lynn was one of England’s most important ports, beginning with trade around a ‘lin’, or estuarine lake, and quickly establishing links with cities in northern Europe through the Hanseatic League, a group of German cities whose ships travelled in convoys to deter pirates.

The Custom House and statue of Captain George Vancouver in King’s Lynn. 


King’s Lynn has long prospered and depended on its maritime links for trade and business; a journey that can be discovered today in the cobbled lanes, quays and merchants’ homes by the Great Ouse that leads to The Wash and North Sea.


Just outside King’s Lynn is Sandringham, the Royal Family’s private Norfolk estate for more than 150 years, when it was bought by Queen Victoria for her son Albert, later Edward VII. The family have traditionally spent each Christmas and New Year at Sandringham House, but otherwise it’s open to the public with stunning gardens and impressive museum.

Nelson Street in King’s Lynn has many historical buildings.

Getting around


The King’s Lynn Town Guides offer a varied programme of walking tours taking in the rich history of the town and its maritime heritage. Regular walks include ‘Historic Lynn’ and ‘Smugglers, Sailors and Merchant Adventurers’.

King’s Lynn Trinity Guildhall Town Hall is one of the many Grade-listed buildings in King’s Lynn.


Don’t miss


St George’s Guildhall in King’s Lynn is the oldest working theatre in the UK, dating back to 1445 and thought to be the only surviving stage on which William Shakespeare performed.


During recent renovations, timber floorboards were found under the existing auditorium, and they have been dated back to the 15th Century. The theatre has documents that show that Shakespeare acted at the venue in 1592 or 1593.


At the time, acting companies left the capital when theatres in London were closed due to the plague. The Earl of Pembroke’s Men – thought to include Shakespeare – visited King’s Lynn.

Sandrignham House

Sandringham House and Estate is the home of the Royal Family but is open to the public.


Discover the taste


Close to Sandringham is the Congham House Hotel & Spa where you can enjoy a traditional Afternoon Tea that includes crustless sandwiches, petite pastries and – go on, you’re on vacation – a glass of bubbly.

Seahenge display at Lynn Museum, our own version of Stonehenge and dated around the same time.


Live like a local


Locals are particularly proud of Lynn Museum where you can see Seahenge, a unique timber circle dating back more than 4000 years to the Early Bronze Age that was revealed in the sand at nearby Holme-next-the-Sea after a storm 25 years ago. That’s about the same age as Stonehenge.


Useful website Visit King’s Lynn and West Norfolk