It took 20 years for a pub to get me to make a pilgrimage to Little Walsingham.


Little Walsingham.PNG

That was the Black Lion last November. If only I’d known then the other village pub would be joining it in the Good Book a year later I’m sure I would have persuaded Mrs RM into the Bull back then.

If the Black Lion is an upmarket dining pub for Old Boys in Pringle jumpers (nowt wrong with that, says my Dad), the Bull is an altogether more down-to-earth affair.

Walsingham is a scarily quiet village of 800,

Typical window twitchers

bolstered by a steady influx of coach parties from Grimsby and Gorleston to the Priory.

Walsingham (1)
Walsingham (2)

Actually, they’re on their way to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular, an annual event that sees the OAP population of the Fens travel en masse to a Garden Centre in the middle of nowhere to hear a Christmassy version of the Black & White Minstrel Show.

As we arrived the peace was rudely interrupted by what sounded like a call to prayer booming from a loudspeaker weaving through the streets, but which I now suspect was a mobile fish and chip van.


Set against the serenity of the tiny streets, the pirate flag and lobsters at the Bull are a little jarring,

Lobster coup

but the beer range is a little shrine to Boring Brown Bitter.

BBB alert

Just two local lads at the bar discussing the many faults of Dereham.


What’s wrong with Dereham ! ”   I pipe up, hoping for some human conversation.

That weird Scottish bloke who lives there and survives on curry”   (private joke)

I return to my Ghost Ship, which is so unexpectedly good (NBSS 3.5+) that I tell the landlady, who seems pleased.


One lad gives me an insight into the many student performers at Thursford who get drunk post-show at the Bull, showing me a video of youthful high jinks that wouldn’t have looked out of place on Newmarket Race Course. I urged him to upload it to YouTube, but I don’t think YouTube has reached Walsingham yet.

It’s the sort of North Norfolk pub you hope to find for lunch, but more often find overrun by North Londoners without a clue how to behave in a pub. Not here.

Fire, beermats, trash TV

No diners at all on Saturday lunchtime, the pilgrims instead eating pasty and chips at the other village ale outlet. That’s the café bar for the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, which welcomes pilgrims, whether Beer Guide carrying or not.

Future Guide entry

I wager I’m back there next November.











  1. “As we arrived the peace was rudely interrupted by what sounded like a call to prayer”

    You sure that wasn’t just certain loud noises coming from Great Snoring? 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

      1. Turkey, don’t remind me. Worked in a small town called İliç for the last two months of 2008. It was so small you could hear the call to prayer five times a day from the one minaret anywhere in town (done by a recording for maximum distance of course). I never knew the early morning one changes basically with the rising of the sun. I was never happier to fall sick and have to go home. 🙂


        PS – The only beer available was a Turkish lager (Efes?) that had to be bought almost surreptitiously from one seedy store and drank out of sight in my room. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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