An Insider Norfolk Guide to What's on 2021
Snettisham Nature ReserveSun31Oct2021Mon31Jan2022
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.
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 1AXSat12Feb2022Sun20Feb2022
The mart returns after a year's of absence. Traditionally the opening to the travelling season, King's Lynn Mart has a special place in the hearts of the travelling show people.
In 2021 West Norfolk's borough mayor, Geoff Hipperson read out the Royal Charter which traditionally proclaims the opening of the Mart on the Tuesday Market Place in a recorded version from his home.
This continued a tradition from the later half of the nineteenth century when 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 12th February 2022 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 14 of half-term.
10:00 amBurnham Deepdale, Norfolk CoastSat26Mar2022Mon28Mar2022
Over 60 pop-up shops, artisan and craft stall and loads of food exhibitors to tempt your taste buds! Market runs from the 26th to the 28th March 2022. 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.
10:00 amPensthorpe Natural Park Fakenham NR21 0LNSat14May2022Sun15May2022
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 15 and 16 2022, 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 NorfolkSun15May2022Mon16May2022
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.
2022 festival runs from May 15 until May 16 2022, 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.
10.30am High TideBurnham Overy Staithe & North Norfolk CoastSat25Jun2022
The Norfolk Superhero Challenge will now not take place on the 26th June 2021, The event 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!
Check back here for the 2022 dates.
9:00 amSandringham Estate Sandringham Norfolk PE31 6AZWed27Jul2022
The 139th Sandringham Flower Show will be held on Wednesday 27th July 2022. The Sandringham Flower Show is one of the most prestigious horticultural events in the East of England and sadly cancelled in 2020 and 2021. 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 CoastFri29Jul2022Sat30Jul2022
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 next run from the Friday 29 July through to Sunday 7th August 2022. 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.
Houghton Hall Norfolk PE31 6TYThu11Aug2022Sun14Aug2022
After Houghton made the sad announcement that it was impossible for the festival to go ahead in 2021, new dates of the 11th-14th August 2022 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 NorfolkSun14Aug2022Sat20Aug2022
Following cancellation in 2020 and 2021 the 101st week-long Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament commences on the 14th August 2022 and is said to be Britain's largest event of its kind after Wimbledon, taking place on 38 grass courts. 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 2022, a year after the actual date due to the Coronavirus epidemic.
Entries for the 2021 Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament open on March 1st 2022.