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Things to do in King's Lynn, Norfolk

King's Lynn is an historic medieval port dating back to the 12th century, situated on the River Great Ouse. In medieval times, the Hanseatic merchants wanted an English base with many warehouses, and chose King's Lynn, where the leagues warehouse can still be seen today.

King's Lynn's was home to Captain George Vancouver, born in the town in 1757. His voyages took him most famously, to Canada, where he founded the town, which now bears his name.

Burnham Thorpe, north of King's Lynn, is the birthplace of England's most celebrated sailor, Admiral Lord Nelson.

At the heart of the old town, and overshadowed by the 12th century church of St. Margaret, is the Saturday Market Place.

Here the chequered-fronted Trinity Guild-Hall is the home of The Stories of Lynn, which tells the stories of some of Lynn's more infamous characters in the original cells of the town gaol. Also housed here is the Regalia collection, whose exhibits feature a series of facsimile royal charters and the priceless King John Cup.

Marriott's Warehouse - home of the new interpretation centre - The Green Quay. The exciting, interactive exhibition at the heart of the centre highlights the unique wildlife of The Wash, one of the most spectacular features of East Anglia.

As well as its many elegant merchants' houses and medieval riverside storerooms, King's Lynn also boasts England's only surviving Hanseatic Warehouse, but the most famous monument to maritime prosperity is the Custom house, built by Henry Bell in 1683, which overlooks the River Great Ouse from Purfleet Quay.

It houses a special display of the maritime history of King's Lynn, as well as the tourist information Centre.

The varied history of everyday King's Lynn is celebrated through the town. At the town House Museum, life in Lynn is recreated in Tudor, Stuart and Georgian displays, a Victorian Kitchen and a 1950's sitting room.

At the Lynn Museum you can see the paw print of a Roman dog, antique fairground horses, and a special collection of Nelson memorabilia.

King's Lynn has maintained its thriving commercial heart and relative prosperity. While the winding streets and alleys of the old town remain intact, Lynn also boasts an extensive, pedestrianised shopping area, with a lively combination of national retailers, specialist shops and family businesses.

Lynn still has bustling markets held on the informatively named Tuesday and Saturday Market Places.

The Corn Exchange - is a grade II Listed Building on the Tuesday Market Place, home to a multi-purpose venue for concert and community use. Close by is the King's Lynn Arts Centre, a more intimate venue hosting a wide programme of comedy, music and cinema.

Kings' Lynn is host to the splendid King's Morris who parade through the town on high days and holidays, and the oldest fair in the country - the King's Lynn Mart, now a bustling fun fare, takes over the Tuesday Market Place for a fortnight every February.

Families who enjoy sport are well served, Lynnsport is the biggest sporting and leisure complex in East Anglia.

The King's Lynn Sports Centre has facilities like a climbing wall, squash courts and a multi-purpose sports hall.

Much of it designated an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the West Norfolk coastline is a mass of sand dunes, reed beds and clear horizons, crying out to be explored on foot or by bicycle.

Old Hunstanton, Brancaster and Holkham, in particular, have lovely beaches, rimmed by acres of pale sand and perfect for a variety of activities from kite flying to cricket.

Boat trips are available from several points along the coast, and bicycles can be hired locally to follow the newly formed Norfolk Coast Cycleway, which runs from King's Lynn to Cromer.

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