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A great place to visit
Kings Lynn in General
Member Name: poet831
Kings Lynn in General
Advantages: A lot to see within walking distance of each other, plenty of eateries and shopping, good assortment
Disadvantages: gets crowded sometimes
Kings Lynn is an interesting mix of ancient and modern. The old co-exists, quite happily, alongside the new in this Norfolk market town. It's importance may not appear to be as it was in the Middle Ages, when this was one of the Hanseatic Ports and a major point for shipping and receiving of goods from Europe, yet it's industries are varied and seem to be thriving.
There are still markets held in the Tuesday Market Place on Tuesdays and Fridays, these dating back hundreds of years on the same site. And the Tuesday Market Place itself has seen much history over the years - having been used for public executions and amassing of men prior to going off to war, to the more enjoyable tradition of the Mart which opens every Valentine's Day, as it has for many centuries now. Many of the buildings surrounding the Market Place are also steeped in history of their own. The Corn Exchange now houses anything from concerts, to fleamarkets, to Broadway type musicals and is usually packed for most of it's offerings. The Olde Mayden's Heade is associated with an occurrence that happened during an execution of an accused witch, while what is now Barclays Bank was once a Merchant's House. King Street boasts many old houses which formerly belonged to some it's more notable fellows. The old Guildhall is now used as a theatre and gallery, and enjoys quite a varied schedule.
The Custom House has been re-furbished courtesy of a lottery grant, and is now the Tourist Centre. It has a small museum on the upper floor, showing it's importance in the earlier days of mechant shipping. It is picturesquely sitting on the bank of the Purfleet Quay - itself also recently drained and re-built.
Kings Lynn has lent itself, in the past, to the making of quite a few historical films, because the King and Queen Street areas can be easily transformed into earlier periods, and much of the riverfront has original warehouses. This has also provided many locals with the added bonus of a part as an extra - as in when "Revolution" was filmed, among others.
You can visit the Old GaolHouse and walk through seeing the sights of law enforcement of years ago, and an audio tour is available to complement the standing displays. Close by is the Guildhall, now accessible from the Old GaolHouse. Not only used for ceremonial purposes, it had a long history as the local courthouse prior to the new one being built. And just around the corner from that is one of the two museums in the town, the other being situated on the Vancouver Bus Station. for a look at Lynn's social and natural history, these are a must. Small and friendly, inexpensive and well worth dropping in for a visit. And walk around some of the smaller streets - like Nelson Street - many old houses marked by plaques of who lived there and when. Guided walking tours leave periodically from the town centre during Summer months.
There are various churches throughout the town, dating from the 9th century. Be sure to walk by the Greyfriar's Tower, now supported by scaffolding and desperately fighting a battle against time. St. Margaret's at Saturday Market Place and another on St. Anne's Street, whose name I can't place at this time.
Lynn's North End, which was for years a thriving fishing community, has it's own museum at True's Yard on the corner of St. Anne's Street. Behind the main museum are two of a terrace of tiny cottages which once housed complete families of those who belonged in this community. It is an interesting museum to do with the fishing heritage of Lynn, and the families who were a strong part of that history.
The local "park"- The Walks - boasts shaded avenues to walk through, a stream (with plenty of ducks to feed!), even a bandstand where the Town Band still plays on occasion. Local schools often use one low lying area for their sports days, and Summer sees many local College students in groups on the grass. There is a decently sized play area for children, with swings, slide, climbing frame and other activities. Well appreciated - the benches for us older folks to rest while the younger ones have their fun!
And here again, more history. Segments of the ancient wall still stand, as does the Red Mount Chapel, which has been used for many purposes over the centuries and is occasionally open to the public, and even less often, still used .
Kings Lynn is easily reached by bus or train from London and other areas. Visitors coming via the Southgates Roundabout will pass beneath the arch of the South Gate, once an integral part of the perimeter defence of Lynn. There is ample parking but very little that is free. Shopping is ok. The main shopping area in the town centre is pedestrianized and has a varied selection of stores including Mothercare, Boot's The Chemist, Littlewoods, a slew of electronic and music shops, and clothing places, and a small bakery restaurant, which is EXCELLENT and hads the most scrumptious salad rolls you can get! Sainsbury's and Iceland are close to the Bus Station, and Sainsbury's car park - ideal when you're laden down with bags of shopping.
Tesco is on the outskirts of town, close to the Hardwick Roundabout, along with Burger King, McDonald's, Pizza Hut and your big electronic store like Comet, and the D-I-Y heavens of MFI, Do-It-All and Sainsbury's Homebase. Here too, is one of the industrial areas, home to Campbell's Soups, Multitone, Decorative Sleeves, Frigoscandia, Master Foods and more. Another is along the North Lynn by-pass area, and yet another off the Hardwick Roundabout to what is now called the Old Cattle Market. I remember it being the NEW one, when the old was demolished to build the Vancouver Bus Station, and livestock was an integral part of the local agricultural community. Sadly, BSE and porcine ailments killed the industry in the 1990's and the Cattle Market fell victim, too.
There is a thriving club scene in Lynn, with places catering for most tastes in music. "Zoots" is for the younger crowd and plays up-beat dance music, "Chicago's" is a bit of dance mixed with rock, reggae, whatever you fancy if the deejay has it. "Dr. Thursday's"is a bar/eatery - ALWAYS PACKED on weekends.
"Top of The World" caters mainly for the 'more mature' ( I found it incredibly boring and preferred "Chicago's").
Likewise, the local eateries span all tastes and continents. Fish and chips, Chinese, Indian, Greek, and plenty of kebab shops ( that stay open after the clubs close and are always packed at that time!). My favourite after-club much was a chicken tikka naan from ChilliMasters. Just filled that empty spot nicely!
There's a lot to see in Lynn, and the tourists seem to like it, they come from all over. Famous folk associated with Lynn include Elizabeth Fry (the prison reformer), Captain Vancouver, Princess Diana and many others. Hotels range from the expensive to the cheap, so there's a place that everyone can afford. Stop by and visit the next time you're in the area - I know I will the next time I visit England again!
Summary: A great place to visit
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