Walsingham village sits in the midst of the lush North Norfolk countryside, just four miles in from the glorious North Norfolk coast just four miles south of Wells-next-the-Sea. Historical records of the village go back to Saxon times when the village was first established on the banks of the River Stiffkey and it is listed in the Domesday Book under the name of Walsingham Parva. Today’s village incorporates both Little and Great Walsingham, together representing a population of about 800 people.
Walsingham is very much a rural village, in touch with the natural rhythms of the seasons and is a delightful place to visit and has been welcoming visitors since 1061.
Walsingham holds a unique place in history as the premier place for pilgrimage in England. At its height in medieval times, Walsingham rivalled Canterbury and the great shrines of Europe. Most kings and queens of England made pilgrimages here, from Henry III to Henry VIII. Today, more than 300,000 visitors flock to the village each year to visit the two shrines and experience the deep sense of peace and tranquillity.
But though its fame lies in its religious significance, Walsingham offers other numerous other reasons to visit. There is a stunning collection of rare medieval half-timbered buildings, Georgian facades, an 18th century model prison, a Russian Orthodox church in an old railway station. There is also the award-winning Walsingham Farm Shop, Norfolk Riddle fish and chip restaurant and Chocolate Deli to enjoy along with the renowned pub, The Black Lion and numerous cafes and eateries.
Enjoy horse riding, walk the Holy Mile, or wade through the snowdrops in the Abbey grounds in early Spring. Don’t go home before riding on the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway to visit the beach at Wells-next-the-Sea. It’s the longest 10 ¼” narrow gauge steam railway in the world and a wonderful experience any time of year.