The plan for this short trip was to have a couple of nights in Bury St Edmunds using the offical motorhome parking spaces at Ram Meadow Car Park but we had misjudged it and on arrival these were full and we diverted to Depden Farm Shop a few miles away.

Bertie amongst the Christmas trees at Depden Farm Shop

They were as helpful and welcoming as ever and lets us squeeze in amongst their recently delivered Christmas tree stock. Next morning we were up betimes and headed back to Bury St Edmunds to see if anyone was leaving the car park and there might be room for us - no luck still five motorhomes in five spaces and the whole car park solid. It seems we chose just the wrong weekend to come here as the town is full to bursting as they gear up for their Continental Christmas Market!

We bumble gently south to Haverhill which is much quieter and also has a Cineworld Cinema (we have free tickets for Cineworld!) and we settle back to enjoy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them after having lunch in Bertie. After the film we head back to Depden once again.

The next day Eileen had some family history business at the Suffolk Records Office in Bury St Edmunds. This was actually the main reason for the whole trip and this was why we had stayed in the area despite the prtoblems at Rams Meadow. I dropped her at the Records Office and drove off to Tesco to fuel up and do some shopping and have some free parking. When Eileen called me I drove back into the centre of the town to pick her up and we headed north to Kings Lynn which also offers moho parking in the main town car park. It is an easy drive from Depden via Tesco at Bury St Edmunds for fuel and Thetford. We stopped for lunch in a small car park beside the river on the edge of Thetford. Had the weather been better it would have been good to have walk along the river. As it was the light would not last so we headed on to Kings Lynn arriving at 13:30. The car park is quite large and there are two dedicated motorhome bays next to the coach bays backing on to Royal Mail Sorting Office.

 

Kings Lynn Aire at Austin Fields Coach Park - very handy for visiting Kings Lynn.

Despite the less than photogenic surroundings the location is excellent being right on the edge of the old town (and King's Lynn is very old) and a short walk from the river frontage. We had two OK nights here. We had expected the car park to be noisy with busy roads on two sides and the sorting office right behind us. In fact there is no significant noise at night and even the sorting office did not get going too early!

The first thing we did was walk down to the TIC in the old Custom House and get some info on the town. Here we found out about Lynn Lumiere where six buildings are illuminated by a colourful animation every evening. That does not do it justice by a long chlak. Each of the six buildings has a professionally authored, custom display that both fits the building and illustrates a related theme. The best ones I thought were the display in the Custom House which illustrated the voyage of Captain Vancouver (who mapped the North West coast of America in the 18th Century) and also the cargoes that would be handled in the port. The display projected on the Minster Tower on the subject of time was fascinating too. Both displays lasted about 30 minutes and then repeated.

Lynn Lumiere light show at Kings Lynn Custom House
Lynn Lumiere light show at Kings Lynn Minster Church

The only drawback of the Lynn Lumiere was the cold! It was near freezing that evening and you can quite cold standing still for half an hour at a time.

On the Friday we had a whole day in King's Lynn. We visited the True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum in a recreated "Yard" in the old fishertown area of the town. The museum covered the history of the town's fishing fleet and the conditions that the fisherfolk lived in the tiny cottages in the yards that made up this part of the town.

We also followed the Lynn Maritime Trail around the many landmarks of the town that celebrated the town's long maritime heritage. The town museum was good - especially the special section devoted to "Sea Henge" the prehistoric, wooden circle that was discovered in 1998 when the site was exposed at low tide near Old Hunstanton. This unique, bronze age, monument consisted of an inverted (huge) tree trunk that had been sunk in the ground with its roots forming a sort of platform and the whole thing was enclosed in a ring of fifty five split oak trunks. As the whole site was at risk from further erosion and degradation this site was excavated and the timbers preserved and moved to King's Lynn Museum where you can visit a full scale replica of this amazing site.

We left King's Lynn at 8am on Saturday morning as we would have had to pay for another day after 8am! It was quite cold and frosty and as we had to get up early to be away in good time we saved half an hour extra in bed by delaying breakfast until we got to Castle Acre. It was cold and misty with a hint of frost in places as we bumbled down the back roads.

As the Castle Acre Priory (EH) was not open when we arrived in Castle Acre we parked up in the village by the green to have our delayed breakfast. Later we spent a couple of hours at Castle Acre Priory as the sun came out and the mist lifted.

Castle Acre Priory
Castle Acre Priory
Castle Acre Priory
Church West Front
Castle Acre Priory
Castle Acre Priory
Church Tower
Fine norman arch

Mileage reading on return: 122488 kms
Mileage reading at start: 122872 kms
Mileage this trip: 384 kms

 

West Suffolk and Kings Lynn
Tagged on: