Doubles from £115

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Bank House – King’s Lynn, Norfolk
East Anglia

Overlooking King’s Staithe Square and the Great Ouse River in the fascinating historic centre of King’s Lynn, Bank House is a glorious Georgian townhouse. It was here in the 1780s that Joseph Gurney, later a founder of Barclays, set up his first bank; converted into a stylish, relaxed and exceptionally good value hotel in 2008, it is now run by Michael Baldwin of South Quay Hotels. Upstairs, 12 chic, individually decorated bedrooms comfortably blend old and new with antique furniture and modern art. Downstairs, the brasserie restaurant occupies Gurney’s purpose-built Counting House, now a buzzing local favourite serving highly recommended food. The adjacent bar, once the bank manager’s office, is open all day for tea, coffee and cakes, as well as drinks and cocktails. There’s also a large sunny room with sofas and comfy seating, as well as the Billiards Room and the Boardroom, ideal for private parties. If it’s warm, the riverside terrace offers the chance for al fresco drinks.

Nota Bene

Bank House was built by a Georgian wine merchant importing wine to ship down river to the Cambridge Colleges and Bishops of Ely. The house later became one of the first branches of what went on to become Barclays Bank. The bar is in what was once the Bank Managers office!


King’s Lynn is a fascinating old town with more listed buildings than York; cobbled streets, magnificent churches and Georgian townhouses, and iconic Custom House are all a relic of the town’s past as a key member of the Hanseatic League and one of Britain’s foremost ports. The town is the backdrop to Armando Iannucci’s new film The Young David Copperfield, due for release in December 2019.


The hugely popular Bank House afternoon tea, scones, cakes, tiny sandwiches and delicious extra surprises. Add a glass of champagne for a proper celebration.


Groundwork Art Gallery, just round the corner, a small contemporary gallery with very interesting exhibitions exploring how art enables us to respond to the changing environment and imagine how we can shape its future.  Well worth a visit, an experience rivalling any high end gallery in the UK, and beautiful things for sale.