An Insider Norfolk Guide to What's on 2020
Snettisham Nature ReserveSun01Nov2020Sun31Jan2021
The dawn flight of up to 40,000 pink-footed geese that make their way from Iceland and Greenland to gather on the The Wash in one of the best nature spectacles in Europe..
The arrival of the Pink-footed Geese in Snettisham has come to herald the start of the Autumn and Winter season for many bird-watchers and nature lovers.
Every year this unique bird visits our shores in greater numbers with thousand blackening the winter sky as they head to their night roost. Their numbers increase steadily throughout October, and by the end of November most of the geese will have arrived. The Pink-footed Goose is not only attracted to Norfolk for the Brancaster mussels or Cromer crabs, but for a rather less well known delicacy - the sugar beet. By February most will be returning home to their breeding ground in Spitsbergen, Iceland and Greenland. The sight of tens of thousands of geese taking off and landing en-masse at the Snettisham reserve is one of Norfolk's natural wonders.
Walsingham Abbey, NorfolkSat02Jan2021Sun28Feb2021
For an evocative winter walk head to Walsingham Abbey in Norfolk from the 2nd January 2021, where snowdrops cast a new light upon the crumbling stone of the old abbey. This is a perfect spot, tucked away with a beautiful stream which can run fast and high. Glorious hellebores and aconites as well as the carpets and carpets of snow drops.
A Saxon noblewoman, Richeldis de Faverches had a vision of the Virgin Mary in 1061. de Faverches was instructed to build a replica of the house in Nazareth where Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary to announce the birth of Jesus. It was to contain a statue of the enthroned Virgin with the child Jesus on her lap.
It was a simple wooden structure, but her son Geoffrey left instructions for the building of a Priory in Walsingham which passed into the care of Augustinian canons sometime between 1146-1174. Over the next four centuries Walsingham became a major centre of pilgrimage, rivalling Rome and Santiago del Compostela, and was visited by every reigning monarch from Henry III in 1226 to Henry VIII. A few years later in 1538 he ordered the destruction of the entire monastery as part of the Great Dissolution. The Prior and canons were pensioned off. The site was sold to Thomas Sidney for £90 pounds and he built a mansion on it, which was, and still is, referred to as ‘The Abbey’.
Walsingham Abbey is famous for the beautiful ruins of the Priory of our Lady of Walsingham, and nowadays it's spring snowdrop walk around the ruins that stand among the lawns, with woodland and river walks extending to 18 acres.
Afternoon and EveningsTuesday Market Place, Kings Lynn, PE30 1AXSat13Feb2021Sun21Feb2021
Traditionally the opening to the travelling season, King's Lynn Mart has a special place in the hearts of the travelling showpeople. During the later half of the nineteenth century the King's Lynn Mart was a spectacular event in which Frederick Savage of King's Lynn displayed his latest roundabouts and fairground attractions to the showmen. This display of new machines and amusements continues today with the showmen vying to display the latest amusements. Traditionally, this is the first funfair in the Showmen’s calendar where new rides are tried out and old favourites brought out from winter storage.
The 817th Kings Lynn Mart which opens on the 13th February 2021 includes the same traditional rides and stalls as well as new rides called the Tornado, Over the Falls and the Fighter, which is a smaller version of the popular ride, Extreme. The 'Booster' pendulum ride will be back, as will the ride he calls the 'Crazy Shake' after it was introduced 'with success last year'. For two whole weeks from Valentines day, the town will see thousands of people come and experience all the fun of the showman's travelling fair. The mart is still due to be held at the Tuesday Market place.
Children's Day, in which all rides are reduced to £1 except for the Booster, dodgems and cars, will be taking place on Monday, February 18 of half-term.
09;30Magazine Wood PE36 5LWSun21Feb2021
Magazine 2 Massingham Fun Run -
Sunday February 21st 2021
RUN, WALK or CYCLE 10 miles along the Peddars Way on this great family day out.
£20 an adult and £10 a child donation asked for ~
Starting at 9.30am at Magazine Wood, heading south along the Peddars Way to the finish at the Massingham Dabbling Duck pub, who will be providing a bacon butty and hot drink on your arrival!
In 2020 raised money for EAAA in memory of Caroline Sanderson
10:00 amBurnham Deepdale, Norfolk CoastSat27Mar2021Mon29Mar2021
Over 60 pop-up shops, artisan and craft stall and loads of food exhibitors to tempt your taste buds! Market runs from the 27th to the 29th March 2020. This is a great opportunity to stock up on great food, find a special gift or just enjoy a great day out.
Deepdale Spring Market is part of the Deepdale Hygge, our celebration of the beautiful North Norfolk Coast, with live music (Friday & Saturday), the North Norfolk Coast Hygge Fair (Saturday) and activities throughout the weekend.
17.00 - 20.30Blickling Estate, Norfolk NR11 6NFSat27Mar2021
A very different way to enjoy the dramatic Blickling Estate. The Night run goes through the ancient woodlands that surround the house that some say is still haunted by Anne Boleyn. Choose from two routes, a 3km and 7km traffic free exploration. Head torches are essential and you could still have time for supper after if you get a move on!
10:00 amPensthorpe Natural Park Fakenham NR21 0LNSat15May2021Sun16May2021
Pensthorpe has for many years been home to the very popular SpringWatch series on the BBC.
The Bird and Wildlife Fair, which will run at Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham, on May 16 and 17, was previously known as the Norfolk Bird and Wildlife Fair. Pensthorpe Bird & Wildlife Fair will feature guest speakers, demonstrations, walks and talks, and book signings. The event is a celebration of nature-spotting in Norfolk and will bring together experts in the fields of optic equipment, wildlife-inspired art and crafts, books and wildlife and nature holidays.
from 10amCromer & Sheringham NorfolkSat15May2021Sun16May2021
Historically, it’s been pincers at dawn between neighbouring fishing towns Cromer and Sheringham. For the past eleven years, Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival has brought the two towns together to celebrate the bounty of the North Sea and the world-famous seafood produced by both coastal resorts. Recently hailed by Condé Nast Traveller as one of the best food festivals in the UK, the seafood spectacular stars local delicacies from the deep and attracts more than 20,000 people to north Norfolk every year.
2021 festival runs from May 15 until May 16 2021, starting with the Grand Opening Variety Concert at the Pier Pavilion Theatre in Cromer. There’s a host of events, including heritage demonstrations, a cookery theatre, the “Bootiful” Boat Art Trail and the Scrumptious Seafood Trail which includes more than 35 local restaurants, cafés, pubs and snack bars.
There’s also a street market packed with local produce, live music during the day and at night, street performers, heritage and seafaring crafts and children’s activities.
10:00 amHoughton Hall, NorfolkThu20May2021Sun23May2021
The Houghton International Horse Trials from Thursday 20 May through to Sunday 23 May 2021 incorporating the FEI Nations Cup has it all; exhilarating sporting action, a spectacular setting, entertainment for young and old, plus shopping at over 70 trade stands.
Past contenders include Badminton Horse Trials winner Piggy French, Gemma Tattersall, Ingrid Klimke, Pippa Funnell, Zara Philips and Lucinda Green.
Set in the magnificent grounds of Houghton Hall, Norfolk, this truly is one of the most outstanding venues within the sport of eventing
All DayNorfolk Coast and CountySat22May2021Sun06Jun2021
One of the most successful open studios’ schemes in the country, the Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios, is celebrating its 25th year this year with 430 artists taking part across 250 venues.
The 16-day celebration of Norfolk’s artistic community runs from Saturday 22 May to Sunday 6 June 2021. This free event will see artists throughout the county opening their doors to the public to exhibit, sell and talk about their work and practice. Now established as one of the largest open studios’ schemes in the country, visitors will have the opportunity to see new art, meet artists, and - with many of the works on display being for sale - buy original artworks directly from their creators. It’s a great opportunity for the artists to meet with the public and talk about their work and for people to have the chance to see artists at work first hand.
11:00 amFakenham Racecourse, Norfolk NR21 7NYSun30May2021
Fashion, food and having a flutter – it has to be the annual Fakenham Races Ladies Day on the 30th May 2021. A key date in the Norfolk calendar, thousands of people stream through the gates to witness the thunder of steeds bearing down on the finish line and the roar of the crowds interspersed with the popping of corks and the rumble of conversation as visitors enjoy the day. One of the most exciting horse racing fixtures, the all-important Ladies Day fashion at Fakenham is as dramatic as the live horse racing. Chic outfits and beautiful Ladies Day hats will be in abundance as thousands of racegoers put their best Jimmy Choo forward to impress the judges of the striking Style Competition; with the winning Ladies Day outfit taking home a prize, plus other treats.
If you're new to watching live horse racing or if you've been to many horse racing fixtures before, the atmosphere can't be beaten; soak it up as your horse thunders down the home straight and join in with thousands of racegoers cheering on their horses in each of the six thrilling horse races. As well as exciting races and fabulous Ladies Day fashion, there will be plenty of delicious food and drink available to purchase. Enjoy glasses of summer Pimm's, sparkling prosecco and of course glasses of smooth Champagne. To tempt your taste buds, they'll be delicious artisan food served and various other street food-style vendors. A great day out.
10.30am High TideBurnham Overy Staithe & North Norfolk CoastSat26Jun2021
The Norfolk Superhero Challenge on the 26th June 2021 is a unique quadrathlon event that has raised huge sums for local charities. The Norfolk Superhero Challenge combined courses across land and sea, centred around the coastal village of Burnham Overy Staithe. More than 130 resilient racers take on the best of Norfolk’s scenery – and the worst of its weather – before crossing the line in a gruelling quadrathlon
The quadrathlon consists of swimming 1 mile from Gun Hill to the quay at Burnham Overy Staithe with the incoming tide. Kayak a 4 mile course through the creeks of Burnham Overy Staithe. Cycle a 45 mile circular route on North Norfolk’s most scenic roads. Finally run -8 miles across tracks, sand, mud and marsh. Come and cheer on the returners from around 2 hours after the start. It restores your faith in the human spirit!
Holkham Hall, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1ABSun18Jul2021Tue20Jul2021
Organisers of Holkham Country Fair, which sees around 40,000 visitors, have released a statement confirming 2019’s fair was the last under the current arrangement.
Celia Deeley, Holkham enterprises manager, said: “As an estate, we have greatly enjoyed hosting the Holkham Country Fair over the last 42 years, and during that time thousands of visitors have relished the entertaining day out it provided.
“However, recent years have shown that we can no longer continue with the country fair in its current format, and so after much contemplation we have agreed not to renew our working arrangement with the organiser for 2021.”
The two-day fair is well known in the Norfolk events calendar for its high-octane entertainment in the grand ring, hundreds of trade stands, a food village and a cookery demonstration theatre showcasing local Norfolk talents.
Holt, Norfolk & Surrounding Coastal VillagesSun25Jul2021Sat31Jul2021
The Holt Festival will return in 2021 from Sunday 25 to Saturday 31 July 2021. The festival is an annual arts festival, which comprises a range of events, from food and theatre to music, fine art and more
“A visit to Holt Festival begins with the visual impact of a lovely Georgian town with special character. From comedy to cuisine, politics to pop Holt Festival brings you the best in music, theatre, fine art and the spoken word in a glorious celebration of the arts.
During festival week, briefly and dazzlingly, it is home to musicians, poets, actors, dancers, artists and comedians.
There are venues all over town, in pubs and hotels, in tents and school halls. There are performances at the church, the Auden Theatre, in the bookshop, and the magnificent open-air Theatre in the Woods.
If you are looking for a quiet time in the countryside, this is not it. If you're looking for cultural nourishment, some belly laughs, and the pleasure of seeing some top-flight internationally recognised performers, you're in the right place.
9:00 amSandringham Estate Sandringham Norfolk PE31 6AZWed28Jul2021
The 140th Sandringham Flower Show will be held on Wednesday 28th July 2021. The Sandringham Flower Show is one of the most prestigious horticultural events in the East of England. The show attracts around 20,000 visitors each year including a visit from the royals, so if you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. The attendance of royalty at the Sandringham Flower Show is definitely one of the main draws for this event, but the origins of the show go right back to 1881. The display gardens are always a very popular attraction, built as they are to a standard which can rival any of the major horticultural shows. There is a large catering marquee with seating, and in addition there are numerous catering stands on the showground providing a wide range of hot and cold food and drinks.
The show has around 200 trade stands around the grounds or in marquees, along with some of the leading nurseries and horticulture specialists exhibiting their plants. You can also see steam engines, displays of old farm machinery, dog displays and much, much more. A wonder around the grounds of Sandringham House, gardens and church is also a must and is included in the entrance fee.
Parking is free of charge and dogs are welcome. Entry is £12 for adults and children under 16 are free. Entrance is on the gate and is cash only.
Wells-Next-Sea, Norfolk CoastFri30Jul2021Sun08Aug2021
Wells-next-the-Sea in the heart of North Norfolk has for over a 100 years enjoyed a traditional summer Carnival for residents and visitors. A week of family fun and events including a Carnival Day procession around the town featuring floats, fancy-dress, pull-and push-along vehicles and much more. The carnival will run from the Friday 30th July through to Sunday 8th August 2021. Traditional seaside activities include a sand-castle competition, town crier competition, gillying on the Wells-next-sea quay and the crowning of the Carnival Royals. In addition you will find stalls selling everything from local delicacies to exotic street food.
6pm Gates OpenBlickling Hall Norwich Norfolk NR11 6NFSat07Aug2021
The Urban Soul Orchestra conducted by Stephen Hussey 2020 return for another sell-out performance of classic Ibiza anthems has been postponed to Saturday 7th August 2021. The event will once again take place under the stars, with live DJ and vocalists.
This will be Norfolk’s biggest dance party of the Summer full of iconic Ibiza anthems. A chill-out set in the first half will be followed by a half hour interval with the DJ playing the latest Ibiza tunes.
As dusk falls, the lasers will hit the Blickling skyline as the Urban Soul Orchestra return to bring some of the best of the White Island’s dance tunes to orchestral life. The track-list packed full of some of dance music’s most iconic anthems. Performed by The Urban Soul Orchestra, DJ Goldierocks and a host of live vocalists, the gig is split into two halves - starting with a chill-out set followed by a series of dance-floor fillers. The first set starts at 8pm followed by an interval with DJ Goldierocks at 9pm before the second set at 9.30pm. The concert is expected to finish at around 10.45pm.
Classic Ibiza is a heady mix of iconic dance tunes, a classical orchestra and a music festival in a stunning setting. Whether you want to sit back and relax with a glass of bubbly over a picnic in the evening sun, or get up and dance the night away, everyone is guaranteed a great time.
South Creake, NorfolkWed11Aug2021Sat21Aug2021
The North Norfolk Music Festival has been established for 17 years bringing internationally known musicians as well as introducing new talent at the beginning of their careers. With 17 concerts, a film, talks and an array of pianists, singers, a choir, even a consort of viols and no less than three quartets.
The festival for 2021 will go ahead with a revised programme running from Wednesday 11th through to Saturday 21st August. An impressive programme of classical music with renowned performers and up-and-coming talent. it’s no wonder the audience returns to North Norfolk each summer.
Houghton Hall Norfolk PE31 6TYThu12Aug2021Sun15Aug2021
After Houghton made the sad announcement that it was impossible for the festival to go ahead in 2020 , new dates of the 12th -15th August 2021 have been announced.
This will be the first time this great event will be restaged since since 2018. Despite this Houghton Music & Arts Festival has gained a reputation as one of the must-go-to electronic festivals. Curated by British electronic wizard Craig Richards who also produces the much loved Gottwood, Houghton has won praise on basically all counts – lineup, scheduling, sound quality, location, atmosphere.
With extended set times and an enthusiastic crowd, artists can dare to be different and this is where some very special sets can be created.
Craig Richards created this utopic festival in 2017 and it's been all the rage every since. This festival is unique in that the venue has a 24 hour license so the party truly never stops and the sets are extremely long. In conjunction with the wild energy of the festival, there are also sculptures and art to look through in the gardens of the estate that the festival takes place. Gates open at midday on Thursday, August 6, and music begins at 5pm. Entry on the first night stops at 1am, and the music ends at 2am, and gates open on Friday at 9am. After music begins at 10am, it continues to 3am on Monday morning, with all campsites finally closing at 2pm the same day.
9:00 amHunstanton NorfolkSun15Aug2021Sat21Aug2021
The 101st week-long Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament commences on the 15th August 2021 and is said to be Britain's largest event of its kind after Wimbledon, taking place on 38 grass courts. Sadly the 2020 centenary was cancelled following the Coronavirus pandemic. Starting at the Hunstanton Recreation Ground on Sunday, play will continue each day, through to all the finals on Saturday.
The competition has attracted just short of 1,000 individual players, competing in 40 different events.This will be boosted by around another 150 juniors with the mini Gresham’s round-robin event for under-12s and under-10s commencing on the Wednesday. Hunstanton's tournament has attracted players from eight-years-old through to some senior veterans, with some competitors in their 80s, from all over the country and also from abroad.The standard ranges from those entering their first competition to very good county players. South Wales-based Three Castles Cover has signed a three-year deal to support the tournament.
Established in 1920, the tournament takes place on 38 tennis courts on the towns recreation ground, over seven days from Sunday 15th to Saturday 21st August. The tennis tournament is open to players of all ages and ability from six-year olds to sixty-year olds. It is second only to Wimbledon in size, attracting thousands of competitors every August. The tournament will be celebrating its centenary in 2021, a year after the actual date due to the Coronavirus epidemic.
Entries for the 2021 Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament open on March 1st 2021.
10:00 amHolkham Hall, Norfolk CoastSat04Sep2021Sun05Sep2021
The North Norfolk food festival takes place in the spectacular setting of the Walled Garden at Holkham Hall on the 4th and 5th September 2021. Historically filled with vegetables and flowers grown for the Hall, nestled within huge brick and flint walls that offer protection from the elements, this is an ideal setting to celebrate the abundance of Norfolk produce and culinary skill.
What can you expect? Well a lot of local artisan businesses showcasing their products including fresh meat and game, vegetables, cakes, local brewery beer, exotic burgers, international food and local treats including speciality bread, tarts, juices, cakes and bakes, chocolates and much more. This is the place to find all the ingredients for speciality ingredients that you can cook later at home. A dazzling array of concessions also offer delicious food for eating on the day and entertainment ranges from the ever popular cookery theatre to children’s activities and face painting.
2pm & 7pmThursford NorfolkFri05Nov2021Thu23Dec2021
The Thursford Christmas Spectacular returns on the 5th November 2021 and has become one of the most anticipated festive events in East Anglia, having attracted audiences from across the country since opening on Christmas Eve 1977. This year alone has seen more than 112,000 visitors from across the world entertained by 65 musical numbers. Fantastic sets and colour, the choreography, the singing and dancing, and a very special ‘Christmassy’ atmosphere. The show has a 130-strong cast and has a budget of £1.8m, and there is so much happening on the huge stage that it is hard to decide what to focus on. The overall effect is quite breath-taking.
From rock ‘n’ roll, showtunes, the can can and carols, the Vegas-style variety show is Europe’s biggest Christmas performance, with a budget of £1.8m. Each year the family-run Thursford Collection serves up 35,000 mince pies, almost 19,000 mulled wines and 24,000 tubs of ice cream. Tickets on sale now.