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Not-so-normal for Norfolk...

This Friday, Norfolk Day finally lands on our doorstep, and throws open the county to locals and visitors alike.

The day was born from a mission to make the county more accessible, and celebrate everything Norfolk has to offer. Admit it – how many times have you been talking about somewhere not but 10 miles away from where you live, and said “you know what? I’ve never actually been”

Barton Broad in Norfolk
Barton Broad in Norfolk

Well, no longer.

This Friday (27th July) is a day to visit, experience, eat, try and see the very best of the spectacular county that we live in. Yes, it’s impossible to walk through historic, cobbled Norwich in a rush and possession of a wheeled suitcase; yes, the mafia of geese that cruise the Broads will eye up your ice cream for the entire duration of its delicious lifetime, and yes, sometimes it’s hard to say ‘Clenchwarton’ with a straight face. But what a place to live.

In the words of beloved Norfolk son Stephen Fry, “You either get Norfolk, with its wild roughness and uncultivated oddities, or you don't. It's not all soft and lovely. It doesn't ask to be loved.”. It truly is a place that offers so much: not just its iconic, expansive sky and coastlines, but also a rich and innovative creative community; pioneers in literature, art, visual effects and coffee roasting.

So this Friday, City of Stories is proud to join up with a spectrum of Norfolk businesses who are celebrating Norfolk Day, and are putting on special activities. A massive response to the Norfolk Day campaign means that there are over 200 events happening all over the country, so we picked some of our favourites. Enjoy.

The Triorca Orchestra at OPEN

Young musicians from around the world – including those from Norfolk – come together in an orchestral display of classic music, in one of the most majestic venues in the city. Bringing together young musicians from Norfolk, England; Vojvodina, Serbia and Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, this is a very special occasion, and will be something really magical to hear.

Meet Horatio Nelson!

At Herbert Woods in Potter Heigham, travel back to a different era, and take a trip on board the boatyard’s beautiful 1920’s cruiser, ‘Spark of Light’. 20 minute boat trips will be available from 10 until 4pm; we recommend you don’t miss your chance to not only see the Broads in what will surely be glorious sunshine, but also on board a truly spectacular vessel. Norfolk-born Horatio Nelson will he there too, handing out sweets and collecting donations for Norfolk Charity Nelson’s Journey!

If you go down to the woods (on Friday)…

You’ll get a free slice of cake! On Norfolk Day, Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden are offering free entry for children, and some special family activities. Not only that, but they will be serving up a specially decorated Norfolk Day cake, and in their tearoom you’ll find a specially themed Norfolk Day menu. Take sun cream and an appetite!

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden footpath
Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden footpath

Dinosaurs! Adventure! At Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure!

It’s not just dinosaurs who roam the park… alongside your good friends Brachiosaurus, Stegosaurus and Pterodactyl, you’ll also find familiar faces Sabre-toothed tiger and the Woolly Mammoth! As it’s Norfolk Day, on Friday Roarr!  are celebrating the extinct animal who once roamed the Norfolk Coast: the Mammoth. Expect all kinds of prehistoric-themed activities, in addition to all the regular high-ropes, splash zones and farmyard animals at this incredible Norfolk Attraction, perfect for families.

Predator High Ropes at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure
Predator High Ropes at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure

Porkstock Pop-up at intu Chapelfield

The Norwich Shopping Centre will be holding a festival of locally-produced food, including pop-up presences from locally produced gins, bread, beer, coffee and cured meats. Iconic Norfolk event ‘Porkstock’ have worked with Chapelfield  to create a one-of-a-kind Food Hall experience, which will celebrate the very best of Norfolk grown and made food and drink. This exciting retail mix will bring together high street labels with small independents, in something truly unique for Norfolk Day.

Free entry to Holkham Hall

Out of Norwich, and towards the famous north-Norfolk coast, is Holkham Hall. This majestic, stately home is not only beautiful, but also made for a day out with the kids. This Friday, the hall will be celebrating all things quintessentially Norfolk: think sports day races in the garden, face painting, walled garden plant sale, games, crafts, and a big Norfolk Quiz! Entry to Holkham Hall will be free on the day, and visitors can also take advantage of 50% off entry to the Field to Fork experience and the Walled Garden.


Holkham Hall
Holkham Hall

Taste Norfolk...

Woodforde's Brewery is not only one of the sponsors of Norfolk Day, but has also produced a special Norfolk Day beer, which they unveiled at the Royal Norfolk Show a few weeks ago. The Break Birthday Brew is available to buy from the Woodforde's Brewery Tap, and is made in support of East Anglian children’s charity, Break. Woodforde's Brewery will also be open on Norfolk Day, and holding a family fun day for everyone (even those younger than 18) to enjoy! As well as magic shows and entertainment for the kids, there will also be plenty of chances to taste-test Woodforde's finest for the adults! Free brewery tours, too...

Raveningham Gardens

The beautiful gardens of Raveningham are always a delight but currently it’s Agapanthus season. Agapanthus Tours are taking place in the garden on Friday, July 27 at 11.30am, 12.30pm and 2pm and 3.30pm, and to celebrate Norfolk Day they are free with garden entry. All they ask is that you call ahead to book. We visited the gardens earlier this year and were blown away by their wild, gladed arboretum, and the manicured Edwardian terraced gardens – read about it here.

And a special mention…

A lot of places around Norwich have put on special activities for Norfolk Day, and seen them sell out in no time. We’d like to doff our hats to the Theatre Royal for their Backstage Tours, City Sightseeing  for their open-top double decker bus rides around the city, The Maid’s Head Hotel  for fascinating costumed tour ‘Edmund Paston’s Tombland Tales’ and the Briton’s Arms  for an exclusive look around their fascinating, medieval coffee house.


Greater Anglia has Advance fares from £10 one way between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Trains run every 30 minutes. Greater Anglia also serves Colchester, Ipswich and Diss on the Norwich line. Direct trains also run from Cambridge.

East Midlands Trains runs services from Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham. Flights into Norwich served from Edinburgh, Manchester, Exeter, Aberdeen and Amsterdam, and seasonally from Guernsey and Jersey.

To plan a trip to Norwich check out our website