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Downham Market wildlife & rural trails, Hunstanton Observatory, West Acre tourist appeal, King’s Lynn Festival Too: borough council Love West Norfolk column

Phil Eke, borough council senior tourism officer, writes this month's Love West Norfolk column

This year is, of course, the first year without any major business-facing Covid-19 restrictions for three long years. Despite some serious challenges ahead, there is a great deal of anticipation in having some sense of normality (whatever that is!) returning to our local tourism industry’s full calendar year of openings and events for 2023.

For starters, the King’s Lynn Town Guides continue to go from strength to strength and have just released this year’s superb programme of guided walks – with a good deal of very enthusiastic newly-recruited guides ready to give our town’s visitors a very warm welcome indeed.

Festival Too King's Lynn. Photo credit: Jon Seymour
Festival Too King's Lynn. Photo credit: Jon Seymour

King’s Lynn truly excels at festivals, and I think we’re all looking forward to getting out there to attend the 2023 King’s Lynn Festival, experience the range of in-town entertainment for this year, and groove along to the raucous Festival Too (pictured is last year) line-up!

There is so much happening in Hunstanton this year that it is difficult to pick just one tourism-related personal highlight, but I do look forward to the imminent opening of the brand new Hunstanton Observatory.

A modest, yet superb facility in a great spot on the Hunstanton clifftop, this observatory will be for astronomy organisations, wildlife groups and more to book and hold fascinating educational experiences there, all year round, for visitors and local people alike.

Phil Eke, senior tourism officer at the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk. Love West Norfolk column
Phil Eke, senior tourism officer at the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk. Love West Norfolk column

With every chance that West Norfolk could become a leader in the off-season Dark Skies events calendar for East Anglia, the Hunstanton Observatory will help support our all-year-round tourism economy.

Downham Market, the tranquil ‘gingerbread town’, is perfectly situated as a hub for visitors to explore the fens and high quality local wildlife events this year, with a wealth of rural trails on offer too. Do look for our Explore West Norfolk website and free apps, all dedicated to such local trails.

Finally, continuing my focus on more rural areas West Acre is, in my view, a village that is fast becoming a charming location with great “must visit” tourist appeal.

With a lengthy and varied programme of events for this year combining theatre, brewery experiences, gallery shows and festivals such as Folk in a Field 2023, it is difficult to ignore the diligent vision for economic growth, visitor experiences and sheer hard work going on in that area.

Find out more about places to see in our area at visitwestnorfolk.com

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