The Fens, also known as the Fenlands, are a naturally marshy region lying primarily around the coast of the Wash, stretches across several counties and covers around 1 million acres.
To the south of King’s Lynn, the ancient town of Downham Market is the gateway to a mysterious and magical Fens, where the sheer sense of space, vast skies, wildlife and total tranquillity are not to be missed.
Most of the Fens were drained from the 1630s to the early 1800s, resulting in a flat, low-lying, and damp agricultural landscape. Its rich fertile soil, wildlife-friendly waters and a great abundance of wild flowers make a great visitor destination to explore.
Much of the Fens area lies within a few metres of sea-level, with much of the area originally consisting of fresh or salt water wetlands.
With a very special history, from its Ice Age beginnings through to man’s reshaping of it through drainage and its subsequent transformation into a major arable agricultural region in Britain for grains and vegetables (containing around half of the grade 1 agricultural land in England), the Fenlands area is a wonder to explore and experience. To learn more about the Fens landscape and its rich wildlife, visit the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Welney, one of the world’s largest wetland conservation organisations.
There are great opportunities for exploring the Fenlands by cycle, boat, on foot, or on horseback. Get out and about and explore this unique manmade landscape at your own pace, by travelling along the Fen Rivers Way, or take advantage of the miles of inland waterways.
However you choose to explore the Fens, you will enjoy the unforgettable sense of peace in this tranquil landscape.