Delve into the fascinating history of King’s Lynn, as well as the beautiful surrounding countryside, with some of our favourite days out in this medieval town. Oxburgh Hall is a special National Trust stately home surrounded by a marvellous moat, Snettisham Park is home to a magnificent herd of red deer, the Minster is an impressive place of worship worthy of your time and that’s just the start. Tick off as much as you can during your stay, and then come back again to finish off the rest.
Activities in Kings Lynn
One of the best days out for anyone staying in King’s Lynn is a trip to the stunning Oxburgh Hall. It’s a half-hour drive away from our King’s Lynn hotel, but it’s worth the mileage to see this stunning 15th-century moated stately home. That’s right, it has a filled moat, but Oxburgh Hall has never been used as a fortress. It was the home of Sir Richard Bedingfield, a devoted Catholic, who installed a priest hole through a trapdoor, which is one of the very few priest holes in the UK that visitors can enter.
Oxburgh Hall is a National Trust property. They do a fantastic job of bringing the estate and its rich history to life. If you have time, take a while to explore the estate’s woodlands via one of the National Trust’s walking routes.
Kings Lynn Minster
Another fantastic day out in the countryside is a trip to Snettisham Park. It’s a working farm that spans more than 300 acres of beautiful Norfolk countryside. While you’re here, you can hop aboard the 45-minute deer safari, which will take you right up close to the majestic red deer herd. You can also bottle-feed the farm’s lambs, go on pony rides and explore the countryside via any one of three marked trails. Our top tip is to visit in spring or early summer when you can bottle-feed the tiny baby piglets and lambs.
King’s Lynn Minster
Trace the town’s history back to the 11th century with a visit to King’s Lynn Minster. This stark yet stunning place of worship is one of the town’s most iconic landmarks. It’s free to enter, or you can book a place on tour of the bell tower. The bells date as far back as the 17th century, and you can enjoy lovely views of the town from the tower. When you’re done, call in for a cuppa and a slice of cake at one of our nearby favourite places to eat in King’s Lynn.
Gooderstone Water Gardens
When the sun’s shining and you want to get out in the great outdoors, make your way to the nearby Gooderstone Water Gardens in the pretty village of Gooderstone. The enchanting gardens are a maze of waterways featuring a natural trout stream as well as four ponds, 13 bridges and a beautiful nature trail that ties it all together. Wildlife enthusiasts will want to stop off at the kingfisher hide to see one of the garden’s star species. It’s also a popular activity for artists and photographers looking for inspiration.
Anyone wanting to learn more about the history of King’s Lynn can make their way to the Lynn Museum on Market Street. It’s open every day bar Sunday and features a fantastic array of exhibitions, which date back to the origins of this historic and fascinating town. The standout exhibit, however, is Seahenge. The 4,000-year-old timber circle dates back to the Bronze Age and was moved here from Holme Beach after it was discovered in 1998. It’s incredible that it survives in such magnificent condition for you to see at Lynn Museum today. If you want to complete your culture trip, you can also visit the Stories of Lynn and True’s Yard museums in King’s Lynn, as well. A word to the wise, Bodenham Arboretum is not free, and the price of tickets changes with the seasons of the year but at roughly a few pounds for adults it's worth it for a peaceful afternoon outdoors.
The last stop on your history trip around King’s Lynn should be a visit to the Castle Rising ruins at the north-east of town. It is one of the largest, best-surviving and most-lavishly decorated keeps in the country and is fortified by 20 acres of earthwork. The castle was built in the 12th century and has a rich history, which English Heritage does a good job of bringing to life. It’s far from the biggest castle in the world, but you can explore it at your leisure, and the views of the surrounding countryside are quite exceptional.