As nature awakens and days get longer, discover west Norfolk’s blooming nature parks, superb historic sites, entertaining family activities, and so much more. We have created a list of the best places to visit this Summer season!
Where to Go… For Fun Family Days Out
From theatre shows to educational visits, fitness classes to nature walks, plan the ultimate family fun day with our exciting selection of activities in west Norfolk.
Are you a fan of comedies? Musicals, pantomimes, plays and opera? If yes, take a trip down to the coast and catch a fantastic show at Hunstanton’s Princess Theatre. With a wide range of family-friendly films and shows to choose from, you are guaranteed a fun-filled experience.
For an educational adventure, explore the only working windmill open to the public in the area, Bircham Windmill. Climb up to the top, witness mill machinery turning, and take in the tranquil views of the Great Bircham countryside. Learn along the way, feed the farm animals on site and bake your own bread to take home with you.
Get up and active or take up a new sport at Alive this season. Learn to roller skate, have a go at archery, sprint down the athletics track, play a game of badminton, climb up the bouldering cave or go for a swim. With venues in King’s Lynn, Hunstanton and Downham Market, Alive hosts a wide range of fun fitness classes and activities!
Get closer to nature, unspoilt habitats and wildlife at Pensthorpe Natural Park, the 700-acre reserve packed full of exciting family experiences. Inspire all generations of your family with the outstanding beauty of the natural world. From five charming gardens to a range of diverse habitats, your children will return home more interested about the great outdoors.
Famously known as a ‘Festival Town’, King’s Lynn hosts a wide variety of festivals with an impressive selection of music, performance, poetry and literacy events throughout the year. Events include comedy, theatre and jazz, choral and classical recitals – there is truly something for everyone! King’s Lynn Festival has brought talents from around the world to our stages with big names including pianist Alfred Brendel and soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. This year, King’s Lynn Festival will continue to bring you virtual events to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
Where to Go… To See Animals Up Close
Summer is the best time of year to get up close and personal to a range of animals. Whether it is holding a starfish at Hunstanton, feeding farm animals in Stow Baldolph or watching lambs take their first steps in Snettisham, there is something for every animal lover to enjoy!
Make friends with a wide variety of rare breed animals at Church Farm in Stow Baldolph this season. Meet horses, sheep, goats, pigs, donkeys, and more! Explore the petting areas and learn about each breed during an Animals Encounters session. There are many opportunities to meet litters of piglets, baby goats and new-born lambs.
Explore the ten spectacular aquarium zones at Hunstanton’s SEALIFE Centre. With a wide variety of exhibits and wonderful species in each zone, you are in for a treat at this fun-filled marine aquarium. Get close with snakes, lizards and curious critters from the jungle or have a close encounter with the cheeky Humboldt penguins at Penguin Beach. With immersive tank displays, interactive themed zones and thousands of marvellous creatures, a mesmerising unwater world awaits you at this coastal treasure.
For an all-round farm experience, take a trip down to Snettisham Park and get involved in many hands-on exciting activities and adventures this Summer season. From collecting and grading the eggs from the Rhode Island Reds to venturing on a 45 minute deer safari, there is a wide selection of agricultural activities for you and your family to enjoy!
Where to Go… For Unique Shopping Experiences
Catering to all your fashion and lifestyle needs, west Norfolk is home to some of the quirkiest independent shops and finest markets in the country.
As the largest antique centre in Norfolk, Warehouse Antiques and Collectables offer a wide range of charming, high-quality and affordable items from the Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco periods. With stock that is constantly evolving, the spacious warehouse is the best place to discover hundreds of authentic antiques including books, ceramics, jewellery, shabby-chic furniture, and more.
Stocking over 500 unique teddy bears and animals, reminisce over your favourite childhood toys and take a trip to The Steiff Shop. From jumbo bears and adorable keyrings to a great selection of traditional Brio toys, Ravensburger jigsaw puzzles and vintage style Baghera pedal cars, The Steiff Shop is the perfect place to find the most wonderful gifts for adults and children alike.
Choose from over 1,700 of the most delicious craft beers, real ales and lagers and 1,000 outstanding spirits, liquors, syrups and malt whiskeys at Beers of Europe, Britain’s largest beer shop. As one of the most knowledgeable wholesale alcohol suppliers in the country, the family-run business aim to get you the best deal.
For ‘not on the high street’ finds and a wonderful range of bespoke items, visit Dalegate Market this Summer. The retail site is home to many independent shops including Gone Crabbing and Driftwood Glass Studio. During the warmer months, they welcome four weekly Pop-Up Shops.
Within the old carrstone and red brick walls once belonging to Sandringham Estate, uncover the lovely hand thrown porcelain and stoneware pieces by June Mullarkey, photographs by Siobhán Williams and the superb acrylic paintings by Ben Mullarkey at Dersingham Pottery and Gallery.
Situated in the picturesque coastal village of Snettisham, Torc Books is the ideal place to find antiquarian and second-hand books. Brim full of pre-owned literature and the odd smattering of new publications, this small characteristic shop has everything a book lover could ever want or need.
Discover the flint-walled Augustinian ruins, superb café, fully-stocked food hall, charming independent shops and award winning farmers’ market at Creake Abbey this season. On the first Saturday of every month, visit Creake Abbey’s award winning farmers’ market and be greeted by over 50 stall holders offering a wide range of local produce.
Download the Visit West Norfolk App, browse through our large shopping directory and favourite your choices!
Where to Go… For Culture and History
Delve into west Norfolk’s history, heritage and culture at our museums, castles, estates and tours this Summertime.
As the beloved country retreat of Her Majesty The Queen, Sandringham Estate attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year with its rich and interesting history. Since coming under royal ownership in 1862, the remarkable stately home has been occupied by many royals over the years, with the surrounding gardens personalised to their individual tastes. Sandringham House and Restaurant are set to open from 29th May 2021.
Unfold the story of west Norfolk at Lynn Museum this season. The museum is full of incredible historic artefacts including an Iceni gold coin hoard, Victorian merry-go-round, and the 4000 year old Bronze age timber circle, Seahenge. With a changing exhibition programme, there is plenty to learn about this fascinating hanseatic town and its rich maritime history.
Travel back in time and experience medieval England at Castle Rising this Summer. From battle re-enactments to delightful displays of archery and dancing, this impressive medieval fortification hosts a number of magnificent events throughout the year that bring history back to life.
Listen to the captivating stories of King’s Lynn’s most celebrated characters including the local explorers, seafarers, and criminals at Stories of Lynn. Situated within the knapped flint walls of the 15th century Trinity Guildhall, the fun-filled exhibition opens your eyes to life in an old goal cell, striking historic treasures including the glorious King John Cup, and so much more.
Embark on a journey and explore over 900 years of history with King’s Lynn Town Guides this Summertime. Tour through the marketplaces, secret courtyards and alongside the river and learn how this west Norfolk town evolved from a small settlement to one of England’s most important ports.
Immerse yourself in the maritime heritage of King’s Lynn at True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum. The last surviving fisherfolk yard celebrates the town’s past and present fishing community and explores the interesting people and events in the North End fishing quarter. With film shows, guided tours and a programme of exhibitions, there is plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Learn more about west Norfolk’s charming historic and well renowned sites on the Explore West Norfolk App.
Where to Go… To Enjoy The Great Outdoors
With idyllic rolling landscapes, wide open spaces and a spectacular coastline, west Norfolk is the perfect place to experience the great outdoors.
For truly outstanding views, attractions and a breath of fresh air, visit Hunstanton this Summer. The Victorian seaside resort is the ideal base to enjoy west Norfolk’s marvellous coastline. Relax by the sea, play on the sand and take part in a game of crazy golf or bowling. During the warmer months, stroll alongside the Town’s vibrant Esplanade Gardens and follow the self-guided Horticultural Trail.
Hunstanton Searles Sea Tours run thrilling seal safaris and coastal tours out of The Wash and into the North Sea. On their famous Wash Monsters, you will get the opportunity to see one of the largest colonies of Common Seals in the UK, learn about coastal legends and capture exceptional panoramic views of Hunstanton’s iconic red and white striped cliffs. Click here to view Searles Sea Tours 2021 Timetable.
Locally known as the green heart of King’s Lynn, The Walks is a 17 hectare park full of beautifully well-tendered gardens, perfect picnic spots and modern amenities. The open space has two play areas, a parkour unit, a multi-use games area and historical sites including the 15th century Red Mount Chapel.
During this Summer season, pick your own delicious blueberries at Fairgreen Farms. With three fields dedicated to the production of this super food, you are invited to come and pick your own during the harvest period. With easily accessible blueberry bushes free from thorns, the activity is safe and suitable for all ages and abilities.
Soak up the captivating views, tranquil atmosphere, and have a truly relaxing break at Gooderstone Water Gardens this Summer. Sitting well within the Norfolk countryside, the 6.5 acre garden is the ideal attraction for garden lovers, nature enthusiasts and inspired photographers.
At Westacre Gardens, view and choose from a vibrant selection of unique and interesting plants grown in their lovely nursery. Take a tour through the stunning display gardens and browse their wide range of perennials, alpines, shrubs, grasses, and more on sale.
Go on a wild adventure and explore a safe-haven of open spaces at Welney Wetland Centre. Watch hares box and ducklings take their first steps, take a stroll along the wooden footpaths or have a go at pond dipping or bug hunting this Summer – there is so much you don’t want to miss this season!
Whilst exploring our superb landscapes, find water on the go and uncover local water stations by downloading the Refill App.
Summertime is a fantastic time of year to get away, rewind and visit King’s Lynn and west Norfolk.
Don’t forget to check out our Events Page on the Visit West Norfolk Website for details about the latest shows, markets and other dazzling events happening in our area – we look forward to seeing you soon!