20 things to do in Norfolk this Bank Holiday weekend
PUBLISHED: 16:12 02 May 2014
This weekend sees another Bank Holiday and there are lots of fun ways to get out of the house to have some family fun in the great outdoors.
Simon Parkin picks 20 events, offering something for everyone.
Holkham Hall, May 3-5, ride entries £6.50 (20 mile), £22.50 (50 mile), £32.50 (100 mile), details at pedalnorfolk.co.uk
Get set to pedal through the glorious north Norfolk countryside. After its successful first year, three-day family cycling festival Pedal Norfolk returns with a choice of route for all ages and a abilities – from 20-mile family friendly routes on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, to 50 mile and 100 mile routes to challenge budding Wiggos and Pendletons (250 miles in total if you’re feeling very energetic). The event is based at the Holkham Estate where there will be plenty of two-wheeled fun. Team Extreme’s Zero Gravity display team will provide an amazing show of BMX stunts on Saturday and Sunday. And once you’ve seen the experts, burn off some energy on the BMX, Off-road and Cyclo X trails.
Day Out With Thomas
North Norfolk Railway, Sheringham Station, May 3-5, £16.50 (£15.50 cons), £10.50 children, under-3s free, £47 family, 01263 820800, www.nnrailway.co.uk
“Well, bust my buffers!” That cheeky blue tank engine returns to the North Norfolk Railway and will take over the Poppy Line, along with his friends, under the watchful eye of the Fat Controller. Take part in Thomas themed activities at the station. For full details visit the website.
Bicycle Links, Duke Street, Norwich, May 3, 11am-1pm, free to join, 01603 631199, www.bicyclelinks.org.uk
A new lottery-funded cycling project for all ages, run by the social enterprise Bicycle Links2 and aims to encourage people back onto bikes for health and fitness, launches with this first communal Bank Holiday weekend ride led by national standard cycle instructors.
Sutton Hoo, Melton, Suffolk, May 3-5, 11am-4pm, £7.50, £3.70 children, £18.50 family, 01394 389700, nationaltrust.org.uk
Dare you meet the challenges of the Dragon Quest? Join re-enactors Ealdfaeder for activities for young adventurers throughout the day at the National Trust’s Sutton Hoo burial site. Defeat the evil Inquisitor and gain Pebbles of Power. Knock out the guards and face giants, trolls and goblins as you progress towards the racing dragons!
Minty’s Whizzy Windmills
Bewilderwood, Hoveton, May 3-5, 10am-5.50pm, normal admission rates, 01603 783900, www.bewilderwood.co.uk
Bewilderwood’s special May Bank holiday weekend event centres on Minty, the littlest Crocklebog who loves flowers and just adores things that spin around. Help design a charming garden full of windmills and watch them whirl. There is also storytelling, plus boat rides across Scaaaary Lake, whizzing down Wobbly Wires and getting befuddled in the marvellous Mudlde Maze.
Framlingham Castle, Church Street, Framlingham, Suffolk, May 4-5, 10am-5pm, £7.70 (£6.90 cons), £4.60 children, £20 family, 0870 3331181, www.english-heritage.org.uk
Soak up the sights and sounds of medieval times. Swords will be wielded, archery skills tested and helmets battered as these skilled men are put to the test in each nail-biting round. Who will reign supreme and become champion? Try archery and laugh at the silly jester.
Martham Scarecrow Festival
Martham, May 4-5, 10am-5pm, £1, 01493 740086
Martham’s popular annual scarecrow festival returns for the seventh year. There will be scarecrows on display in gardens throughout the village and lots of stalls and games to enjoy including garage/garden sales, living scarecrow competition, craft stalls, children’s fancy dress, treasure hunt, fair rides, art, village bake-off and flower festival.
Stock Car Racing
Yarmouth Stadium, May 4, 5.30pm, £14 (£10 cons), £6 children, under-5s free, £40 family, 01493 720343, yarmouthstadium.co.uk
Thrills, spills, crashes and smashes mean a trip to Yarmouth Stadium is a must for all young petrolheads. This May Bank Holiday meeting includes national banger racing and stock cars racing around the oval track.
Classic Vehicle Rally And Country Fayre
Earsham Hall, near Bungay, May 4, 10am-5pm, £3, under-16s free, 01986 892902, www.earshamhallevents.co.uk
The grounds of Earsham Hall are again the setting for a Classic Vehicle Rally and Country Fayre. The Bungay Area Lions Club-organised event will boast displays of classic cars, motorcycles, tractors and commercial and military vehicles. There will also be craft stalls, wood turners and family entertainment.
Community Garden Nature
Grapes Hill Community Garden, Grapes Hill, Norwich, May 4, 11am-3pm, free admission, 07729 540482, www.grapeshillcommunitygarden.org
Grapes Hill Community Garden, tucked away behind the St Benedict’s View at the bottom of Grapes Hill in Norwich, hosts an open day with lots of stalls, including a seed swap (bring your spare seeds and swap for others), plant sale, homemade cakes, birds of prey and more.
St Benet’s Abbey Tours
Ludham, May 4, 3pm, May 7/10, 2pm, May 11, 3pm, free admission, 01603 462987, www.norfarchtrust.org.uk
Free tours led by St Benet’s Abbey guides begin this Bank Holiday weekend organised by Norfolk Archaeological Trust. Find out about the dramatic rise and fall of this icon of the Broads - from a powerhouse that helped make the Broads landscape, to a romantic ruin with a windmill built on top of it. Tours last about 45 minutes. Livestock means dogs must be kept on a lead.
Fritton 5K Fun Run
Fritton Lake Outdoor Activity Park, Fritton, May 4, registration 9.30am, races from 11am, www.frittonlake.info
Get jogging for the Sporting Light Appeal with this new for 2014 family fun run. With four different races to choose from (adult elite, adult mass participation, kids 11-15 and under-10s) the run caters for all ages and abilities. Located between Beccles and Great Yarmouth, the run route takes in spectacular views of Fritton Lake and surrounding countryside.
Railway and Wherries
Barton House Railway, Hartwell Road, The Avenue, Wroxham, May 4, 2.30pm-5.30pm, £3, £1.50 children, www.bartonhouserailway.org.uk
All railway attractions will be open and running as normal. A one-off chance to visit both the Barton House Railway - offering the chance to ride on two miniature railways in the garden of Barton House, operating both steam and electric locomotives - and the Wherry Yacht Charter Trust to have a close look around the surviving fleet of four Norfolk Wherries, Hathor, Olive, Norada and White Moth. Tickets issued are authentic and unique M & GN style. Go by road or by our free boat from Wroxham Bridge.
The Story Walks Cycle
Swanton Novers, near Thursford, May 4, 1.30pm, £12, pre-book www.theclearing.ticketsource.co.uk
Seasonal series of journeys through story, sculpture and landscape is a collaboration between master storyteller Hugh Lupton, artist Tim Sanderson and the living landscape of a Norfolk Wood. This weekend’s, entitled Taliesin And Tales Of Strange And Miraculous Births, is a walk through the wood in the full interspersed with sculptures and stories of strange and miraculous births, including the Welsh bardic legend of Taliesin, the divine poet. Book online.
Stradsett Park, near Downham Market, May 4-5, 10am-5pm, £5, children free, www.nvtec-ea.org.uk
The annual Stradsett Park Vintage Rally is back for its 38th year, organised by the East Anglian branch of the National Vintage Tractor & Engine Club. More than 500 exhibits including vintage tractors, cars, commercials, motorcycles and engines. Main ring displays, trade and craft stands. Proceeds to Norfolk Hospice Tapping House.
East of England Showground, Alwalton, near Peterborough, May 4-5, 9am-5.30pm, day tickets £15, £6 children, under-5s free, £36 family, 0844 854 0064, truckfest.co.uk
The road haulage and trucking event returns to the East of England Showground. There will be the usual action-packed programme, plus celeb visits, live bands, family fun, and hundreds of trucks on show.
Shine A Light
Happisburgh Lighthouse, May 4-5, 11am-4pm, £3, £1 children (8-16), www.happisburgh.org/lighthouse
Your first chances to climb one of Norfolk’s most famous landmarks are on offer this weekend. As always, for safety reasons children must be at least 1m tall.
Gressenhall Goes Wild
Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse, May 5, 10am-5pm, £9.90 (£8.60 cons), £6.50 children, £29 family (2 adults), 01362 860563, www.museum.norfolk.gov.uk
Become a nature detective and search for Gressenhall’s wild side from the woods to the river this Bank Holiday Monday. Discover the hidden side of the farm with the help of nature watch cameras. Find out what delicious things can be found growing wild in gardens and hedgerows with Debby from Pickled Lilly. There will also be nature inpsired art and children’s activities.
1970s May Day
Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket, May 5, 10am-5pm, £6.90 (£5.90 cons), £3.90 children, £19 family (2 adults), 01449 612229, eastanglianlife.org.uk
The Museum of East Anglian Life is celebrating May Day with a trip back to the1970s style. Why not go colour crazy with DIY tie dye socks, knot some nifty bracelets or give yourself a far-out make over? If games are more your thing you can bounce to victory in the Space Hopper race or take on the champion in the Giant Connect 4 challenge. Craft fair, vintage clothing, 70s classics in the pop-up cinema.
The Plantation Garden, Earlham Road, Norwich, May 5, 11am-4pm, £2 admission, www.plantationgarden.co.uk The hidden gem that is Norwich’s Plantation Garden hosts its third vintage fair with unusual and eclectic stalls, plant and souvenir sales, plus the Terrific Tea Team! The Victorian gardens are well worth a visit in their own right.