Stories of Lynn


Set within the magnificent, newly-revealed vaulted undercroft of the 15th century Trinity Guildhall, Stories of Lynn invites visitors to come in to discover the stories behind the notable characters that helped shape King’s Lynn.

Medieval Lynn was a port of international importance and one of the largest port towns in England. Its status can be clearly seen in the rich legacy of historic buildings and beautiful architecture visible all around the town, and in its amazing collections of artefacts and its comprehensive borough archive.

Using information from the archives and collections, the stories of the seafarers, merchants, mayors, magistrates and miscreants over 800 years of the town’s history are told through an exciting, interactive, multi-media experience.

The revitalised town hall complex will act as a gateway to the town’s other heritage sites including the Red Mount Chapel, neighbouring King’s Lynn Minster, Greyfriars Tower, True’s Yard, St. Nicholas’ Chapel and Lynn Museum.

For more information, visit King’s Lynn Town Hall.

Plan a trip to West Norfolk and discover the other stories it’s hiding! Visit West Norfolk.

artist's impression of alan kane gravestone benches


Great Yarmouth-based artist Alan Kane was one of 40 artists with work in the British Art Show that came to Norwich in summer 2016.

Kane questions the hierarchies around forms of artistic production, particularly the distinction between high art and everyday creativity. In his installations and photography, he brings commonplace objects – from crockery, to items from joke shops and appliquéd badges – into artistic contexts. Kane is the co-curator of Folk Archive: Contemporary Popular Art from the UK (2000-ongoing), a collection of objects and documents associated with Britain’s local folk culture.

The British Art Show 2016 was host to a number of functional objects by Kane, including the Gravestone Benches (of which early designs are pictured here).

Read more about the British Art Show.

Plan a trip to Norwich. Visit Norwich is the perfect guide!




Every year since 2013, the Suffolk Coast has played host to Felixstowe Book Festival.

Driving home after an exciting weekend at Cambridge Word Fest, Felixstowe resident Meg Reid thought “Why can’t Felixstowe have its own book festival? Why should other towns have all the fun?” Meg spoke with fellow book lovers in the town and realised that there was enough interest in literature to support a book festival.

With the generous support of local funders, friends, family and volunteers, Meg got the book festival off the ground, and the first festival took place in June 2013. Now going into its fourth year, Felixstowe Book Festival has become one of the highlights of the East Anglian Arts Calendar.

2016’s festival took place across 25-26 June, and was the biggest yet, with opening night entertainment from FlipSide, Book Trails across the town and readings from celebrated authors and poets, including award-winning Hollie McNish.

For more information, and to book tickets for the next one, visit Felixstowe Book Festival.

Plan a trip to Felixstowe for the festival with The Suffolk Coast.




For today’s Culture365 item, we’re not in the East. Instead, we find ourselves in California for Benjamin Johncock’s The Last Pilot, another masterpiece shaped by the inspirational East.

Set against the backdrop of one of the most emotionally charged periods in American history, The Last Pilot begins in the bone-dry Mojave Desert during the late 1940s, where US Air Force test pilots are racing to break the sound barrier. Among the exalted few is Jim Harrison: dedicated to his wife, Grace, and their baby daughter.

By the 1960s, the space race is underway and Harrison and his colleagues are offered a place in history as the world’s first astronauts. But when his young family is thrown into crisis, Jim is faced with a decision that will affect the course of the rest of his life – whether to accept his ticket to the moon and at what cost.

While not set in the East, this region helped shape the novel. Author Benjamin Johncock wrote the majority of the novel in the seaside town of Southwold, Suffolk, before relocating to Norwich and finishing the novel at the Millennium Library with support from Writers’ Centre Norwich.

Pick up a copy of The Last Pilot in one of the region’s fantastic independent booksellers. The Book Hive is one of our favourites!

Feel like being inspired yourself? Have an adventure in Norwich and start writing that novel. Visit Norwich is the best place to go to plan your trip.

100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum


WW2 saw thousands of American servicemen arrive in East Anglia, using the region as a base for their sorties across the continent.

There are several places across Norfolk and Suffolk where you can find tributes to these brave men, such as the 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, in Thorpe Abbots near Norwich. The museum is a moving testament to the Americans who were stationed in Thorpe Abbot during the war. It consists of the control tower, the engine shed and several other original buildings, plus thousands of exhibits.

To plan your visit to this fascinating and atmospheric site, visit the museum’s website.

Explore further afield with Visit Norfolk. 



In the second post about Aldeburgh Music’s fantastic Easter programme, we’re looking at Fauré’s Requiem at Orford Church.

The Requiems of Fauré and Duruflé share a common thread: there is the beauty and poignancy of commemoration and remembrance with little of the cataclysmic savagery of the Day of Judgement. Fauré weaves a chamberlike intimacy into this most gentle of Requiems, beautifully captured in the composer’s own reduction for organ and solo violin. The emotional impact of Duruflé’s work comes in cumulative waves and sumptuous post-Wagnerian harmony.

For more information, and to book tickets, visit Aldeburgh Music.

Plan a trip to Aldeburgh Music, and explore the rest of The Suffolk Coast whilst you’re there.



In the first of two posts about very special events taking place across Aldeburgh Music’s Easter programme, we’re taking a look at today’s Sacred and Profane, which is at Blythburgh Church (pictured here).

Audiences will be treated to a trio of choral pieces in the beautiful Blythburgh Church, starting with Britten’s Sacred and Profane.

The evening ends with Lennox Berkeley’s stark and affecting Stabat Mater – the setting of the medieval poem reflecting on the suffering of Christ’s mother by the Cross – was commissioned by (and dedicated to) Britten, who conducted its UK premiere in this church nearly 70 years ago.

It’s partnered with Berkeley’s a cappella Mass, Britten’s own settings of medieval poetry, the quicksilver exuberance of his youthful Sinfonietta, and an exquisite meditation on Monteverdi and Purcell by Lennox’s son, Michael.

For more information, and to book tickets, visit Aldeburgh Music.

Why not stay for the weekend? The Suffolk Coast has lots of great food, drink and accommodation recommendations.



In previous 365 posts we’ve looked at Norwich’s strong literary links, including Julian of Norwich and Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, but today we’re taking a closer look at books in Norfolk through the variety of fantastic book shops in the county.

Norfolk Children’s Book Centre (pictured) in Alby has been established for over 30 years, and its team of ex-teachers, librarians and book lovers select the best children’s literature for their customers.

Avid naturalists favour the Crabpot Bookshop in Cley. which stocks a wide range of books about the natural world as well of thousands of secondhand books, including classics and contemporary literature.

Kett’s Books in Wymondham is quite a unique find. It’s a community-ran, not-for-profit bookseller, which was saved from closure by a group of enthusiastic volunteers for the benefit of the whole town. Staff get to know their core customers, and offer recommendations based upon previous purchases.

This is just three highlights in a county that’s a book-lovers paradise! Explore the county to your heart’s content with Visit Norwich.

tortoise and the hare image


23rd March 2016 saw the Northern Ballet’s Tortoise & the Hare come to DanceEast!

Following sell-out tours of Ugly Duckling, Three Little Pigs and Elves & The Shoemaker and TV adaptations for CBeebies, Northern Ballet brought their magic to Tortoise & the Hare.

Once upon a time there was a speedy Hare who never stopped talking about how fast he could run. Tired of being teased for his slowness, Tortoise challenged him to a race. No one thought he could win, but life is full of surprises!

Bringing this much-loved Aesop’s fable to life, Tortoise & the Hare was the perfect opportunity for little ones to enjoy live ballet, music and theatre.

Year-round, DanceEast hosts performances which cater for all ages. Book tickets at DanceEast.

There’s no need to rush! Why not stay in Ipswich overnight? All About Ipswich is the best place to find out what else is going on in the town.


Aerial shot of Ickworth depicting Spring Cleaning at Ickworth


Every year, as the seasons transition from winter into spring, it’s time for a deep clean to clear away the cobwebs at Ickworth. And to mark the house undertaking this annual task, a wide range of activities are planned to show how they keep the house in peak condition.

In 2016, a new trail for children explored the variety of creepy crawlies that threaten the conservation of National Trust properties across the country. Visitors were able to learn more about the pests which can cause havoc in the care of historic houses, and could follow the children’s trail around the Rotunda while spotting cuddly versions of carpet beetles, moths and woolly bears hidden amongst the decor.

And once the trail is complete, visitors can learn some top tips from the House Team at Ickworth. As they uncover the Rotunda for the spring discover how the routines of housekeeping have evolved over the years. They’ll be comparing how Ickworth was looked after when the Hervey family lived there to how the Conservation Team work today caring for the building and collection.

Find out more about all of the Spring cleaning events at the National Trust.