12 things to do in Norfolk this May Day Bank Holiday Monday

Maypole dancing, a traditional favourite, will feature at many events this May Day holiday weekend.

Maypole dancing, a traditional favourite, will feature at many events this May Day holiday weekend. Picture: Thomas Sarradet - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

From seeing in the May Day dawn to taking a ride on Thomas the Tank Engine, going to the circus, or taking to the water, there is no shortage of family things to do this holiday weekend.

The vintage vehicle rally at Stradsett Park is always a popular May Day weekend attraction. Picture:

The vintage vehicle rally at Stradsett Park is always a popular May Day weekend attraction. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Heritage Steam Gala

Bressingham Steam Museumm, near Diss, April 29-May 1, day tickets £12.95 (£11.81 cons), £8.63 children, under-3s free, bressingham.co.uk

Two of the oldest locomotives in England will be back at this popular annual May Bank Holiday weekend celebrating steam. The Port class quarry Hunslet 316 'Gwynedd' of 1883 and A1X class standard gauge loco 'Martello' built in 1875 are amongst the attractions that also includes guest 2ft narrow gauge engines visiting Bressingham, a traction engine rally and numerous other attractions.


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Russell's International Circus

Hunstanton, Norfolk, until May 1, full times/prices at 07752218805, russellscircus.co.uk

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Norfolk's favourite circus is back in Hunstanton for the Bank Holiday with the biggest most lavish show they have ever produced. The 2017 show, Cabaret, will be full off breathtaking acts hilarious clowns and beautiful showgirls, witness triple somersaults from the amazing springboard troupe, the sensational wheel of death and the amazing Thunderdome Riders in the steel dome, direct from the world famous Cirque Berserk.

Thomas the Tank Engine and friends come to North Norfolk Railway for a special weekend. Picture: Sup

Thomas the Tank Engine and friends come to North Norfolk Railway for a special weekend. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant

Wighton Scarecrow Fest

Wighton, between Wells and Little Walsingham, April 29-May 1, 01328 820511

Village scarecrow festival returns with scarecrows all around the village plus various other events with children's activities, including the popular scarecrow making competition, storytelling and crafts. Live scarecrows and paper crow making. Tractor rides, refreshments plus a children's competition with free entry at 2pm on Sunday.

Day Out with Thomas

North Norfolk Railway, April 29-May1, 10am-4pm, £18 (£17 cons), £12 children, under-2s free, £52 family, 01263 820800, nnrailway.co.uk

Well, bust my buffers! That ever popular cheeky engine will be back on the tracks at North Norfolk Railway this Bank Holiday weekend. Thomas and other really useful engines will be full of family fun for this special event. Tickets includes the train ride with Thomas as well as a variety of Thomas & Friends themed entertainment. You will also have the opportunity to meet The Fat Controller from the Island of Sodor.

Beccles Rose May Fete at Ringsfield Village Hall.
Bonny and Morris enjoying a ride on the swings.

Beccles Rose May Fete at Ringsfield Village Hall. Bonny and Morris enjoying a ride on the swings. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Drop in... for Droppings!

Banham Zoo, April 29-May 1, £19 (£17.20 cons), £13.55 children, under-3s free, banhamzoo.co.uk

Love it or hate it, we all do it! Join Banham zoo staff this bank holiday weekend to dive into the stinky world of dung! Throughout the day there are plenty of activities to thrill and entertain families, including daily animal feeding talks, 'Amazing Animals!' presentations and exciting 'Birds of Prey' displays. Children can also enjoy the indoor and outdoor play areas.

Annual Arts & Crafts

St Catherine's Chruch, Norwich Road, Ludham, April 29-May 1, 10am-5pm, admission free, 01692 678060, northnorfolkfestivals.org/ludhamfestival

Local artists and craftsmen displaying and selling a great diversity of their work in the beautiful medieval church of St Catherine's. The Norfolk Guild of Spinners and Weavers will be taking part and there'll be a sheep-shearing demonstrations, as well as Morris dancing, choirs and music groups. This is the 12th event, having been running every year since 2006, and each year attracts well over 1,000 visitors.

Gressenhall Spring Fair is a celebration of the season taking place on May Day. Picture: Supplied

Gressenhall Spring Fair is a celebration of the season taking place on May Day. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant

Stradsett Park Vintage Rally

Stradsett Park, near Downham Market, Norfolk, April 30-May 1, 10am-5pm, £7.50, children free, 01945 880091, stradsett@nvtec-ea.org.uk

Always a great family day out with over 500 exhibits comprising of vintage tractors, cars, motorcycles, heavy horses, steam engines, lorries, stationary engines and other bygones. For 2017 the theme is 'spreaders, sprayers and 100 year old tractors'. Main ring attractions also include mini tractor pulling, plus trade stands, parades and much more.

Scarecrow Festival

Martham, Norfolk, April 30-May 1, 10am-5pm, admission free, 01493 748547

Martham's popular annual village scarecrow festival and May Fair with activities centred around the village green. All manner of scarecrows are on display in gardens throughout the village and lots of stalls and games to enjoy including decorated wheelbarrows, decorated prams and bikes, living scarecrow competition, craft and charity stalls, treasure hunt, competitions, fair rides, art exhibition and flower festival. Yarnbombing will be featuring this year again too.

A traditional welcome to the first day of May at sunrise on the top of Knight's Hill where member

A traditional welcome to the first day of May at sunrise on the top of Knight's Hill where members of the King's Morris carry the May Garland. Picture: John Hocknell - Credit: Eastern Daily Press, Archant

Flintspiration

The Forum, Norwich, April 30-May 1, full list of events at flintspiration.org

Festival that features events celebrating Norwich's outstanding collection of medieval churches including performances, family activities, church walks, open buildings and exhibitions. At The Forum there are re-enactments of traditional skills and medieval crafts (10-4pm), kids painting, writing, games and fun muster rolls for the 'local militia'. There is also Stonemason Storytelling (May 1, 11am, 1pm, 3pm) with Dave Tonge performing Perfection in an Imperfect World, stories of stonemasons and their ancient craft.

May Garland Procession

Town Centre, King's Lynn, May 1, 5.20am/12pm, admission free, kingsmorris.co.uk

The King's Morris' most important day of the year is the First of May (the real May Day). The team begins it by 'Dancing the Dawn Up' — a ceremonial dance to celebrate the coming of summer, at 5.20am on the roundabout at Knights Hill, the highest point in the Borough of King's Lynn. The garland procession starts at noon from the Saturday Market Place, and goes around the town for a couple of hours. There are also displays of morris dancing.

Flintspiration, festival that features events celebrating Norwich�s medieval churches, has events ov

Flintspiration, festival that features events celebrating Norwich�s medieval churches, has events over the weekend. Picture: David Kirkham - Credit: Photography by David Kirkham,

Rose May Fete

Ringsfield Village Hall, Beccles, May 1, 10am-4pm, admission free, 01502 217324, becclesmaydayfete@hotmail.co.uk

Arena displays, musical performances and a fun dog show feature in another packed line-up as the Beccles Rose May Fete returns. Performances include Lowestoft Longshore Men, the cast of Bungay youth theatre group who will be performing songs from their next production Les Mis, Bungay's Florido School of Dance, live music from Abby Bourke and Bella Tonic from Beccles. Over 30 craft and charity stalls, children's fun, and the popular dog show (£1 to enter).

May Day Celebration

Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse, Norfolk, May 1, 10am-5pm, £15 (£14.25 cons), £12 children, under-4s free, £51-£38.25 family, 01362 860563, gressenhall.museum@norfolk.gov.uk

Celebrate May Day and its origins in ancient times at this a day of fun and festivities. Discover the origins of dancing around the May Pole and have a go yourself. Get crafty to create a May Day crown show off in the Grand Gressenhall Parade. Step in time to the tunes of the Smokehouse Blue Marching Jazz Band. Be entertained by the lively Morris dancers. See an original play Keeping the Balance - 300:8 about the life and daily routines of a Workhouse inmate, performed for the first time by UEA drama students.

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