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HEAD EAST – Be moved by History & Heritage

East Anglian museums and live heritage events reveal tales of local heroes and heroines, and bringing to light new stories of superheroes, mavericks and change makers. History and Heritage highlights here…

 

HEAD EAST to a place out of time: A chance to explore King’s Lynn’s rich past AND dazzling future

The new spectacular illuminations are free, family friendly – and an excellent opportunity to enjoy this little-known town.

While somewhat off the beaten track, King’s Lynn draws a good number of tourists who come to explore the town’s rich heritage, particularly its medieval architecture. My name is Karen Eng and I am an artist who was asked by Head East and arts-and-tech organisation Collusion to co-write a story to underpin its next projection-based public art project THE INTERGALACTIC HANSEATIC LEAGUE, I knew it was my chance not only to make King’s Lynn the hero of a whiz-bang futuristic climate change story, but to draw attention to the things I so love about this town, in the here and now.

Now that the project is in full swing I’m delighted to invite you here to experience THE IHL as part of a fun day and evening out. Use this itinerary as a guide to exploring Lynn’s past AND future, taking in many delights along the way.

 

Arrive by train early in the day

Tickets from Cambridge on a weekend with a railcard are around £5, and it takes 50 minutes! Definitely better and faster than driving. Once you’re here, everything can be done on foot! Book your train tickets to King’s Lynn with Greater Anglia here.

 

Head straight to the Old Argos Windows in the Vancouver Quarter

See the beautiful and inspiring display of the work of 570 Lynn schoolchildren at the AGENTS OF CHANGE exhibition. As part of its mission, the IHL recruited 570 King’s Lynn schoolchildren to help inform them what the MINDSHIFT entailed. The children’s creative responses are also featured as the Corn Exchange projections, and provide the messages that you’ll shoot through space later in the evening at the interactive game MESSAGE IN A SHUTTLE projected at Greyfriars Tower.

 

Take in a matinee of a blockbuster at one of our cinemas

King’s Lynn boasts not one but two gorgeous cinemas where you can see the IHL’s Transmissions to the people of King’s Lynn in style. (They’ll be shown among the previews.) The Majestic is a 1930s purpose-built cinema, featuring beautiful stained glass and mosaic work as well as spacious theatres with excellent sound – and tickets are always only £4.50! Meanwhile, the Corn Exchange’s brand-new cinemas are intimate, ultramodern and sleek.

 

Stop for a historic tea

Try The Bakers Tea Room for tea and cake – they are HM the Queen’s baker, so you can’t go wrong! There’s more tea and cake at Cobbles Tea Room in Hanse House, the last standing Hanseatic warehouse in England. You can even have a historic coffee at Crofters, in the undercroft of St George’s Guildhall, a medieval building where Shakespeare is said to have played!

 

Go record shopping or antiquing

Not many people know that Lynn is an excellent destination for vinyl hunters. Not only do we have an HMV that was the first home of Queen’s drummer Roger Taylor, but Blackfriars Antiques on Tower Street, The Record Shop and RETRO!, which are next door to each other on St James Street, all have a fantastic selection of used LPs. You can also find a large selection of antiques and collectibles, including some books and records, at the Old Granary Antiques Centre, down the cobbled King’s Staithe Lane.

 

Ride the ferry, walk to the coast

A ferry has carried passengers between King’s Lynn and West Lynn since 1285. For £2 return, you’ll be taken across the Ouse to see a stunning view of Lynn from across the river. Walk up the riverside path (if you walk far enough you’ll reach the shoreline of the Wash), first grabbing a Scotch egg from Prior’s of West Lynn butchers for sustenance. The boat picks up at the end of Ferry Lane.

 

Have a meal

For good old-fashioned fish and chips, visit Bitson’s, a gem of a chip shop. You can find homemade Portuguese savouries and good strong coffee at the charming Pica Pau on Tower Street and a selection of Portuguese sweet treats at Nice and Tasty on the High Street (where you can see IHL Transmissions in the window!). For a meal by the Great Ouse at sunset head to Marriott’s Warehouse. It’s also in Hanse House. Marvel at its huge warehouse door, and make sure to go upstairs to see the model of medieval Lynn.

For a relaxing drink by an open fire, visit the Georgian-era Bank House across from the Purfleet Quay. They also have a menu based on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. Once the sun goes down, you’ll see the EYE TO THE FUTURE portal begin glitching on across the quay on the Custom House. (You might also recognize it if you’ve seen Armando Ianucci’s recent adaptation of David Copperfield.)

 

After dark: the projections (and drinks) trail

Start at St Nicholas Chapel to see the HYPERSPACE MOORING on the spire. (While you’re there, look for the famed historic Exorcist House across the churchyard, if you dare!) Walk to nearby Tuesday Market Place to see the AGENTS OF CHANGE projections (look for the dancing hands) at the Corn Exchange. Then pop into the 1920s style Massey & Co Bar & Lounge in the Wes Anderson-esque Duke’s Head hotel and pretend you’re sipping a cocktail at a glitzy party thrown by the Great Gatsby.

Wander down the High Street and drop in at the Tipsy Teapot, a new fanciful, independently owned bar that will make you feel like you’ve fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole! Make a left down St James street to visit Greyfriars Tower & Gardens, where you can play the two-player interactive MESSAGE IN A SHUTTLE game and walk through the INTERGALACTIC SYNTHESIZER sound installation.

Come back up to the peaceful Saturday Marketplace and sit at the Wenns Chop & Ale House to take in the COUNTDOWN CLOCK projection on the Minster. Treat your kids to a bubble waffle at Waffleopolis while you’re there, or grab an ice-cream cone before you head back to the rail station.

The INTERGALACTIC HANSEATIC LEAGUE is best experienced live in Lynn, but if you can’t make it to Lynn this time, you can still participate! Visit ww.the-ihl.com to view the IHL’s Transmissions, featuring Kate Dickie of Game of Thrones, find the DATA LOG activity book to get your little ones involved, and tell us what YOU think the MINDSHIFT is with our #whatisthemindshift TikTok challenge!

The INTERGALACTIC HANSEATIC LEAGUE is live in King’s Lynn cinemas and the town centre through 31 October. To view previous Transmissions, explore the story, find a site map and more, visit www.the-ihl.com.

 

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