Seasonal highlights

Below are some of the most popular annual events in North Norfolk, with links to the organisers website.  All these events are within easy travelling distance of Chapel Cottage.

Spring - March, April & May

Birdwatching highlights

In Spring, watch birds of prey dancing in the sky and at nature reserves you can see wading birds with their colourful breeding plumage pass through on their way to the Arctic. Reedbeds, woods and hedgerows are filled with the songs of the newly-arrived swifts and warblers. Local speciality species seen in Spring include breeding marsh harrier, little egret and avocet. Look out for scarcer birds including osprey, spoonbill, ring ouzel and firecrest, to name a few.

Snowdrop walks in Walsingham

Walsingham Abbey’s beautiful snowdrop walks take place from late January through to early March. Come and explore 18 acres of woodland and river walks carpeted with naturalised snowdrops.  25th January - 8th March 2020

The Abbey Grounds surround the ruins of the medieval Priory and Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham, destroyed at the dissolution of the monasteries.

Visit includes admission to the Shirehall Museum, Walsingham’s unrestored Georgian Courtroom.

Walsingham Farms Shop’s pop up Snowdrop Café will be open at weekends in February and the first weekend of March. 

http://www.walsinghamabbey.com/Snowdrops.html

Rhododendrons at Sheringham Park

15 miles/30 mins

Sheringham Park has a nationally important collection of rhododendrons. During May into early June the display comes to its peak when visitors can stroll down the main drive through the wild garden flanked on either side by flowering plants.  

The display is constantly changing so if you walk here regularly during April and May there is always be something new to see with different varieties coming into flower. 

The earliest plantings here are thought to date back to around 1850, the red-flowered forms of rhododendron arboreum amongst the tallest of the rhododendron species here we believe date back to that period . 

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sheringham-park

Summer - June, July & August

Viewing seals pups at Blakeney Point. 5 miles/11 mins

Blakeney Point is home to two seal colony's - Common & Grey Seals and many summer breeding birds. The best way to get close and personal to the wildlife on Blakeney Point, is to book a trip on one of the locally operated ferry trips departing from Morston Quay.  The Common Seals have their young between June and August and so this is a good time to take a trip.

Holt Festival 10 miles/25 mins 

Holt Festival brings you the best in music, theatre, fine art and the spoken word in a glorious celebration of the arts. Held in July each year.  26 July - 1st August 2020

http://www.holtfestival.org

Wells Carnival, Wells-next-the-Sea.  3 miles/10 mins

Wells-next-the-Sea, in the heart of north Norfolk, enjoys a traditional summer carnival for residents and visitors every year. Enjoy a week of family fun and events including a Carnival Day procession around the town featuring floats, fancy-dress and much more. Traditional seaside activities include a sandcastle competition, town crier competition, gillying (crabbing) on the quay and the crowning of the Carnival Royals. 31st July to 9th August with carnival day Saturday 8th August. Free entry.

North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival Holkham Hall, 5 miles/15 mins 

The festival takes place in the spectacular setting of the Walled Garden at Holkham Hall. 

Stall holders offer their products for sale including fresh meat and game, vegetables, cakes, artisan beer, bread, tarts, juices, cakes and bakes, chocolates and much more. A dazzling array of concessions offer delicious food for eating on site and entertainment ranges from the ever popular cookery theatre to children’s activities and face painting.  This event usually takes place over the August bank holiday weekend.

http://www.northnorfolkfoodfestival.co.uk

The Sandringham Flower Show 37 miles/35 mins 

The Sandringham Flower Show is held in the grounds of the Queen's Norfolk residence and is one of the biggest horticulral events in the East of England, showcasing the best in locally grown vegetable, fruit, flowers and floral art; watch talks and demonstrations and the entertainment in the main arena. 29th July 2020

https://www.sandringhamflowershow.org.uk

Norfolk Superhero 8 miles/15 mins 

The Norfolk Superhero is a quadrathlon event held annually in June when the tides are right, at Burnham Overy Staithe on the beautiful North Norfolk coast. 

Participants take part in teams of 2 over a course that includes a 1 mile swim, a 4 mile kayak through the creeks, a 45 mile circular cycle route and an 8 mile run across the beach finishing with the last mile over the marsh. Teams must stick together and help each other out although there is a good mix of competition on show as well.  

One of the key trademarks of the Norfolk Superhero Challenge is the 'buddy system'. People take part in teams of 2, working together as a unit so they are able to monitor and help each other and share the success of completing the challenge with another person

Named after the village’s Hero Pub, the event has, over the years, grown from a small band of friends to a maximum of 200 competitors, all of whom raise money to support a Norfolk based charity every year. Takes place in June.

http://www.norfolksuperhero.co.uk

Outlaw Half - Holkham 5 miles/15 mins 

Set in the majestic grounds of the historic Holkham Estate, Outlaw Half Holkham is without doubt one of the UK’s most spectacular triathlon events.

The 18th century Holkham Hall provides a truly stunning backdrop to the swim, both transitions and the run course, while the single loop bike course will take participants on an unforgettable journey through some of the most beautiful countryside and coastal roads Norfolk has to offer.

Providing the only opportunity during the year to camp in the glorious Holkham Estate, this is truly a weekend to remember for our participants and spectators. It’s no surprise Outlaw Half Holkham is becoming one of the UK’s most popular triathlons.

https://www.outlawtriathlon.com/?fbclid=IwAR1Hh5bT2V6zNXWcAjr7vPbcDHVbqztw7yyjzggoswnL08ZFHdjKfrwwP04

 

Autumn - September, October & November

Viewing seals pups at Blakeney Point 5 miles/11 mins

Blakeney Point is home to England's largest Grey Seal colony and many summer breeding birds. The best way to get close and personal to the wildlife on Blakeney Point, is to book a trip on one of the locally operated ferry trips departing from Morston Quay.  Blakeney Point is home to England's largest grey seal colony with over 3,000 pups born each winter. The Grey Seals have their pups between November and January with the peak being late November usually. 

Holt's 1940s weekend, 10 miles/25 mins 

First held 21 years ago as a one-off event, the 1940s weekend has since grown beyond all expectation, attracting people from all over the country and spreading its wings to include local pubs, clubs, shops and churches.

Held in conjunction with Sheringham 1940s Weekend, the event celebrates the wartime efforts of allied forces and the remarkable resilience shown by those who dealt with the hardships on the home front. Expect the sights, sounds and style of the ‘40s in the town of Holt. With a packed series of events over the weekend, there’s sure to be something for everyone of all ages at the Holt 1940s Weekend!  The event is held every September.  19th & 20th Sept 2020

https://www.fortiesweekend.com

North Norfolk Triathlon, Wells-next the Sea 3 miles/10 mins 

North Norfolk's popular Triathlon held in Wells-next-the-Sea is staged by the Wells Harbour Maritime Trust. 

The start, transition and finish will all be based on the picturesque quayside at Wells. The 1.5km open water swim will be held in the sea in Wells Harbour followed by a 40km bike route around North Norfolk coastal villages in a loop returning to the quay. The 10km run course will take you along the North Norfolk coastal path and out onto the beach returning back to the quayside for the finish. Competitors will be split into different waves leaving approximately 5 minutes apart. 

Wells is a beautiful and historic seaside resort that provides opportunities for sightseeing, water sports, bird watching, country walks and plenty of family fun, this is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a great excuse to come and spend the weekend in this popular location.

https://register.primoevents.com/ps/event/NorthNorfolkTriathlon20202019

Thursford Christmas Spectacular, 6 miles/15 mins 

An extravaganza of non-stop singing, dancing, music, humour and variety. It’s a fast moving celebration of the festive season featuring an eclectic mix of both seasonal and year round favourites. With a cast of 120 this is the biggest Christmas show of it’s kind in Europe! This event runs from mid-November through to Christmas each year.  Book early to avoid disappointment. 6th Nov - 23 Dec 2020

https://www.thursford.com/christmas-spectacular

Wells Christmas Tide Festival

Wells Christmas Tide Festival is traditionally held over a weekend, the first

week in December each year, but depends on the Tides. 

The festive fun starts with the opening up of the Gordon Barrett

Memorial Hall in Clubbs Lane for the traditional Christmas Tree Festival.  

Locals and visitors alike will be able to admire the decorated trees. Wells

Maltings host a cocktail evening, so keep your eyes out on social media for

further details nearer the time.

Craft and gift stalls will be set up around the town, including

the Quayside, Staithe Street, Wells Health Centre & Staithe Street car

parks, The Maltings and the Gordon Barrett Memorial Hall.

Dave the Scots piper starts off proceedings when he fires up

his bagpipes and parades down Staithe Street.  The town’s main shopping street will then remain the focus of the festive fun as a whole host of acts keep visitors entertained along its length for the remainder of the day.  Staithe Street will be closed to traffic along its entire length for public safety.

The town’s Christmas lights are also turned on.  Santa will arrive later at the Quay heading for his grotto at Playland amusements in time to welcome the children. This event traditionally happens in late November/Early December dependant on the tides. 

http://www.wellschristmastide.org.uk

Holt Christmas Lights, 10 miles/25 mins

Holt is now established in the collective memory as a town of excellence and uniqueness – never more so than during the festive season when the loveliness of the town is pointed up and framed by thousands of fairy tale lights – along the gables, gutters and roofs of buildings throughout the town, around a myriad enticing windows and in both the live deciduous trees and the spectacular Christmas trees.

Our two churches at either end of the town take on architectural as well as spiritual importance and the whole town is a delight during those short, sometimes dreary winter days.  The lights are turned on each November.

https://www.holtchristmaslights.org

Walking and Cycling Festival

The Norfolk Walking and Cycling Festival returns for its 5th year! Throughout the whole month of October we will be bringing you walking and cycling events all over the county, you can keep up to date with events as they are added right here.

https://www.visitnorfolk.co.uk/things-to-do/walking-and-cycling-festival-2019.aspx

Autumn birdwatching highlights

At this time of the year, birdwatching is dominated by migration with large numbers of geese and ducks returning for the winter and thousands of thrushes and finches migrate, returning from their summer breeding grounds. Robins, starlings and goldcrests arrive for winter and there may be sightings of wryneck.

Norfolk Restaurant Week - various locations

Celebrate Norfolk's vibrant culinary scene, fine food, and the people who produce it. Every restaurant which takes part offers its usual high standard of food, but at an incredibly tempting price. 

https://www.norfolkrestaurantweek.co.uk

Winter - December, January & February

Winter birdwatching highlights

In Winter, North Norfolk is famous for the largest and most varied concentrations of geese in the country. The pink footed geese arrive from their breeding grounds in Iceland and Greenland to spend the winter here. You will also see birds of prey, especially hen harrier, peregrine, merlin and short-eared owl. 

Viewing the Pink-Footed Geese

A not-to-be-missed great winter wildlife spectacle, is the sight of huge skeins of pink-footed geese. Over a third of the world's population of this species spend the winter in Norfolk, peaking in numbers in January and February. At night, the geese roost together on remote parts of the coast. At dawn and dusk, the flights from their coastal roosts, to feed inland, are an amazing, and noisy, wildlife sight. Head to one of the nature reserves including NWT Holme Dunes and NWT Cley Marshes to get the best views.

Viewing Snow Buntings

Visit the shingle ridge between NWT Cley Marshes and NWT Salthouse Marshes to catch sight of these small, special birds with their dark wing tips. Snow buntings breed in the Arctic and come to Norfolk shores each winter.

Snowdrop walks in Walsingham 4 miles/10 mins

Walsingham Abbey’s beautiful snowdrop walks take place from late January through to early March. Come and explore 18 acres of woodland and river walks carpeted with naturalised snowdrops.  25th Jan - 8th March 2020

The Abbey Grounds surround the ruins of the medieval Priory and Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham, destroyed at the dissolution of the monasteries.

Visit includes admission to the Shirehall Museum, Walsingham’s unrestored Georgian Courtroom.

Walsingham Farms Shop’s pop up Snowdrop Café will be open at weekends in February and the first weekend of March. 

http://www.walsinghamabbey.com/Snowdrops.html

Huntstanton Christmas Day Swim,

22 miles/ 40 mins

What better way to spend Christmas morning than frolicking in the sea with over a hundred other people (and many hundred spectators) dressed in a variety of bizarre and outrageous costumes!  The Christmas Swim has been going for over 50 years now and in recent times the event has seen record crowds watching and participating. This event raises much needed funds for Round Table, enabling us to support many local good causes. Why not come along and give it a go - after all it will make you feel less guilty after that huge Christmas lunch!

http://www.roundtable.co.uk/news/take-christmas-dip-round-table

Cromer Boxing Day Dip 19 miles/40 mins

The event of the year and one that you’ve all been waiting for. Organised by North Norfolk Beach Runners this event is firmly fixed in the Christmas Calendar.  

Come and join us to raise funds for such a worthy cause. Fun run along the beach and coast for 20 minutes each way). Traditional countdown to the dip at 11am.  Any clothing is welcome (except wetsuits or drysuits which would definitely be cheating!). Fancy dress, mankinis, bermuda shorts, bikinis, santa hats ... We recommend wearing shoes of some sort to make the run in and out easier. Bring dressing gowns and other warm stuff to put on immediately after you’ve dipped.

http://nnbr.co.uk/events/boxing-day-dip/

More local events can be found here.  

Or visit our facebook page which is regularly updated.