Market Place
River view
Racecourse
River view

Fakenham

Introduction

Fakenham is a market town situated on the A1065 between Norwich and Kings Lynn. It is located on the banks of the river Wensum and was an obvious place for a settlement.

Fakenham is surrounded by gorgeous heath land and dominated by the tower of St Peter & St Pauls Church

HISTORY

 

The early history of Fakenham is unclear. It is generally thought to originate in the Saxon period in approximately the 6th century. The town takes its name from the Saxon period meaning ‘Place on the Fair River’.

 

Fakenham is famous for its lively market and three watermills. The market is known to have traded from as early as 1250. In the 19th century it mainly traded in agricultural produce. The three watermills, Fakenham Mill, Sculthorpe Mill and Hempton Mill, date from around 1620.

 

The industry most associated with the town is printing which has its origins in the 1800’s, when Thomas Miller opened his printing business. The printing industry in Fakenham became very highly regarded well into the 20th century, with many of today’s leading printers having their foundations in the town. Even today evidence of Fakenham’s printing heritage survives with streetlights shaped like pens and seats with wavy lines to represent paper emerging from a printing press.

 

Today the town has a population of 7,000 and is home to Norfolk’s only National Hunt Racecourse.

 

GEOGRAPHY

 

Fakenham is a market town situated on the A1065 between Norwich and Kings Lynn. It is located on the banks of the river Wensum and was an obvious place for a settlement.

 

ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS

 

The Sandringham Estate – The much loved country retreat of the Royal Family, it has been in the family since 1862. Set in 60 acres of stunning gardens, the house is the heart of the 20000 acre estate, 600 acres of which are the country park. The estate is open to the public free of charge every day of the year, however there is a fee for visiting the house.                                

 

RSPB Snettisham Nature Reserve – 4 miles west of Hunstanton, Snettisham is the place to witness two great spectacles. At high tide water covers the vast mudflats and tens of thousands of wading birds can be seen and in the winter months, thousands of pinkfooted geese are visible.

 

RSPB Titchwell Marsh – 5 miles east of Hunstanton, Titchwell Marsh offers a visitor centre from which you can walk down to a sandy beach which takes you past reed beds and shallow lagoons full of birds.

 

Bircham Windmill - Bircham Windmill still looks as it did over 100 years ago. Today, very few windmills are left, it is the only windmill in working order in the area open to the public.


Visitors can climb the five floors up to the fan stage and, on windy days, see the sails and the milling machinery turning. There are tearooms, bakery and grounds to visit.

 

Extreeme Adventure - a high ropes course, built in some of the tallest trees in East England, part of the Weasenham Woods, there are over 20 different elements that come together to make what is thought to be Britain’s highest and longest Woodland Walk. Extreeme Adventure is on the A1065 8 miles North of Swaffham and 8 miles South of Fakenham.

Langham Glass – witness the ancient craft of glass making - a craft that has changed little in the past 300 years. Glass making demonstrations are available and there is also a shop and other craft centres to visit. Langham Glass is on Tattersett Business Park off of the B1454 near King’s Lynn and Fakenham.

 

Pensthorpe Nature Reserve & Gardens – Has seven lakes, nature walks and hundreds of species of wildlife. Here you can go on safari, walk through aviaries and browse the gift shop. Located on the A1067 south of Fakenham.

 

Thursford Collection – A museum full of artefacts from days gone by, you can see mechanical organs, fairground engines and traction engines, amongst other attractions. Open from 12 noon daily until 5pm located north of Fakenham on the A148.

 

Walsingham Abbey – On view are the remains of an Augustinian Priory set in picturesque parkland, visitors can take in the museum and woodland walks. Found in Walsingham on the B1105 between Fakenham and Wells.

  

BEACHES

 

Hunstanton - Known as ‘sunny hunny’ , the beach and cliffs at Hunstanton face west, which means they capture the sunshine and are the perfect spots for viewing some spectacular sunsets.

 

The beach runs for two miles along the coast to Brancaster and when the tide goes out , rock pools appear around the groynes.

 

The seafront is bordered by large Victorian and Edwardian houses and you can walk along the top of the cliffs to the lighthouse.

 

There's plenty to do on rainy days - Hunstanton is very much a family holiday destination and is also popular with older holidaymakers

 

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015


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