A visit to Kings Lynn, then finding the Star of the Show – Castle Rising

I had seen a leaflet that made me think we really should visit Kings Lynn.  Unfortunately our first impressions weren’t brilliant, which then clouded our overall impressions.  The town centre was the first area that we really saw, sprawled over a large area of interconnecting streets it’s not the most inspiring town centre I’ve ever seen…

We eventually found the mediaeval area, the Minster, the Guildhall and the riverside.  These definitely had their charms but, unfortunately, were unable to hold our attention.  We think that, perhaps, if we’d managed to park by the riverside we would have been more inclined to explore more thoroughly – for instance I later found out that True’s Yard (Fisherfolk Museum) looked to be worth visiting. as well as ‘The Tales of Lynn’ situated next to the Guildhall.  Maybe another time….

As it was we had a quick drink by the river in the Marriott’s Warehouse and then headed back to the town centre to get our hair cut (the morning wasn’t a complete waste of time!)  To be fair having made an appointment when we arrived this probably affected our view of the town as we didn’t have time to really engage in anything.

I had seen a glimpse of a castle from the road on our way to town, and on seeing the sign for Castle Rising we diverted to go to have a look.

This is one of our best impulse visits so far 🙂 Castle Rising is totally enchanting.

The first building we saw turned out to be Trinity Hospital (actually more commonly known to us as an almshouse), built to take in 12 ‘sisters’.  Read it’s history here.


Trinity Hospital – an Almshouse for 12 women


Opposite the hospital is the beautiful church – when we visited Sandringham the next day I saw, in the museum, a picture of the Queen visiting this church 🙂

And beyond this the village’s Market Cross.

Of course, we couldn’t miss the Castle!  Run by English Heritage with the usual mix of excellent maintenance and information boards, plus a shop and toilets (there is a small charge to enter – I think, £4.50).

This castle has a couple of rooms that could almost be occupied with just a little bit of work – I’ve had to persuade Calv that it might be too big for our 1st project…!  There are also the remains of an older church on the site which was deconsecrated when the castle, with it’s own chapel, was built.

In the evening we hopped on our bikes to explore up the coast a little from where we were staying.  It very quickly became apparent that the further north you go towards Hunstanton itself the better it gets!

The tide was too far in for us to get a proper impression of the beach, but we passed some nice looking eateries, a lovely common and could see nice places to stay and shops etc. up towards the town centre.

Just 2 1/2 miles from where we were staying we found Old Hunstanton with it’s beautiful beach nestled among the sand dunes.  Here there are also facilities together with a café, pub (The Ancient Mariner – also a hotel) and a Lifeboat Station.

We had a spot of dinner in the Ancient Mariner before heading back to the van.  This was a lovely evening ride and, to be honest, if you don’t have bikes you could walk it 🙂

The next day we finally visited Sandringham – we were so close we really couldn’t not go!  I will tell you about this wonderful place in my next post 🙂



Author: MandoraTheExplorer

Having given up full-time work we currently work a year to travel for 4-5 months, and we're hoping to continue this until we can retire properly! Currently living, and loving, life to the full :)

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