NNR Lights Express

What's on and things to do Christmas 2020 in north norfolk

North Norfolk is home to many magical Christmas events and festive cheer this December. There’s plenty on for all the family with safety top of mind. See our event round up below. With many events due to take place after 2 December 2020 when lockdown is due to lift, we recommend you checking ahead directly with the events organisers and venues to ensure the events are going ahead.

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CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY FUN AT PENSTHORPE

Once the schools break up for Christmas you’ll need to think of something to get the family outdoors into the crisp winter air and keep your little adventurers and explorers busy over the holidays. Visit us for a heart-warming event where children and families can learn enchanting stories about the animals that tuck themselves away for a long winters sleep or decide to migrate to a warmer climate. There will be a nature trail dotted around the reserve. Daily Activities include the Eerie Explorers Trail and Sculpture Trail (around the reserve). Running 19 December 2020 to 3 January 2021.

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Pensthorpe in Winter

CHRISTMAS AS HOLKHAM HALL

The hall will remain open for privately guided tours on selected dates in December, and although not lavishly decorated as normal there will be beautiful festive touches and trees. For the first time this year Holkham will be selling locally-grown trees for you to take away! The Christmas Market will also be running. Visitors will be able to meet the team in the hall, have wild walks on the nature reserve, take tractor trailer tours (with a tipple included!) and join an Audience with Lady Glenconner. Head gardener Mark Morrell, together with librarian and historian Mac Graham, will be hosting a rare event to observe how the art collection relates to the parkland landscape surrounding Holkham. There’s also an opportunity to meet Jake Fiennes, general manager of conservation, and head out on the Holkham National Nature Reserve and learn more about his work and vision. Finally, you can choose from a raft of creative workshops for adults and wild bushcraft for children.

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Holkham Hall at Christmas

FABULOUS FESTIVE SHOWS

There are plenty of fabulous festive shows throughout the Christmas period across north Norfolk. The Strictly Christmas show at Cromer Pier is great entertainment. The Pavilion Theatre is now the only Theatre at the end of a Pier that produces an in-house show every summer and winter season. Hosted by Norfolk funny man Olly Day, you will see an array of the finest variety entertainers in the country fused together in a celebration of variety and the arts. Expect some familiar extremely talented faces that have graced the theatre's famous stage before and also some brand new faces in a 90-minute variety extravaganza. Find out more.

Hunstanton Princess Theatre will be showing a five person cast version of Mother Goose, a mysterious character who befriends a magical goose that provides her with Golden Eggs. She is rich, but there is something she wants more than money - she wants to be young and beautiful. From 19 - 31 December 2020. Find out more.

Sheringham Little Theatre. This socially distanced pantomime means you get the chance to shout "It's Behind You!" to 2020 and expect the usual family festive fun packed with songs, slapstick, effects and hilarity. So let your hair down with Rapunzel and join in with this hair-raising adventure! From 22 to 24 December 2020. Find out more.

Cromer Pier

ENCHANTED JOURNEY OF LIGHT AT THURSFORD

Thursford is famous for Christmas and this year they are runnning an Enchanted Journey of Light with an all new indoor Wonderland Trail and a four-acre Lantern Light Extravaganza: a beautiful, breath-taking festival of luminous sculptures, from a fantasy forest of jungle animals to the wilds of the North Pole. Running 3 December 2020 to 10 January 2021.

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Thursford

SANTA EXPERIENCE AT WROXHAM BARNS

Norfolk’s sell-out Christmas experience is back! Taking place every weekend in December as well as 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th. Norfolk’s favourite Santa has agreed once again to take time out of his busy schedule at the North Pole to come to Junior Farm at Wroxham Barns with his Elves for his hugely popular ‘Santa Experience’ and this year there’s even more fun to be had with the new live animal nativity, new Elf Academy, toy shop and Snow Storm Barn.

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Wroxham Barns

WREATH MAKING AT FAIRHAVEN

Get crafty at Fairhaven Woodland & Water Garden at their Christmas Wreath making two-hour workshops. Using fresh foliage and natural materials from Fairhaven's woodland garden, you can make a wonderful wreath for your front door. All materials are supplied; just bring secateurs and an apron. No previous experience necessary. Social distancing followed and masks to be worn during the workshop.

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Holkham Christmas Wreath Workshop

NORFOLK LIGHTS EXPRESS

The Norfolk Lights Express is a fantastic wintertime experience returning to the North Norfolk Railway for 2020. Join us on this extravagant evening train ride through the beautiful North Norfolk countryside from the original Railway station building in the Seaside town of Sheringham up to Holt, which for this year will be turned in to a picturesque winter wonderland. Whilst on your journey, you will see beautifully lit line-side displays which are sure to dazzle everyone of all ages. Your journey will be accompanied by an atmospheric soundtrack tailored specifically for the experience.

There will be plenty of food and drinks available on your journey too, from mulled wine and hot chocolate to warm chestnuts, along with much more. There is something for the whole family!

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At Wroxham, you can hop aboard the Bure Valley Railway Santa train, Norfolk’s longest narrow-gauge railway, all the way to Aylsham where children can visit Santa in his grotto. Running on set days between 30 November and 24 December. 

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BURE VALLEY RAILWAY FESTIVE EXPRESS

Hop on board one of Bure Valley Raiway's Festive Express steam trains this December. Enjoy a one-hour experience from Aylsham Station including festive treats, a 30 minute steam train ride and a guest appearance from Santa. Each child will receive a personalised present from Santa himself. Running 5 & 6 Dec, 12 & 13 Dec and 19-24 Dec 2020.

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Bure Valley Railway

DIPPY'S CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION AT ROARR! DINOSAUR ADVENTURE

Head to Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure and experience Dippy’s Christmas Celebration – a magical festive event. This year, families can experience the grotto – with exclusive passport time slots. You will be transported to the North Pole, make friends with Mrs Christmas and venture into rooms normally only allowed for the eyes of Elves! Then head in to meet Father Christmas himself! Your experience will also include a free digital download photograph and present – which you can pick from our toy shop inside the grotto. 

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Christmas at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure

LUMINATE LIGHT TRAIL AT SANDRINGHAM

As darkness descends, take an enchanted journey along a captivating light trail weaving through the Country Park. Immerse yourself in a mesmerising mile long trail, with interactive stunning lighting elements and fabulous light play, all set to ambient music. Entry to the light trail from 4.30-9pm. Running 17 December 2020 to 17 January 2021. 

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Enjoy Christmas with the Royal family at Sandringham! The Queen and her family spends the festive period on the Sandringham Estate. Sandringham itself isn't open while the Queen is in residence, but you can join the Royal family outside St Mary Magdalene Church on Christmas Day, where they go traditionally for the 11 o'clock service (check ahead before attending).

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Christmas at Sandringham

Winter is a wonderful time to see Norfolk's wildlife. From the migrating geese at Norfolk Wildlife Trust and RSPB reserves on the north Norfolk coast, to the largest seal colony in England at Blakeney Point, it really is a wonderful winter safari.

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Grey Seal & Pup

North Norfolk is great for Christmas shopping. Visit the shops in pretty market towns or head to the Christmas markets and fairs (check ahead if they are running). With unique gifts, artisan crafts and local produce in abundance, it’s a great opportunity to pick up gifts you can’t find on the high street. You can also enjoy some local seasonal produce, while getting in the festive spirit.

SHOPPING IN NORTH NORFOLK

Christmas Shopping

If you fancy getting away this Christmas, there is a great choice of accommodation in north Norfolk. Take your pick from country inns with roaring fires, guest houses or boutique hotels. Or stay at a self-catering cottage at the coast or in the countryside. 

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The Grove Cromer

If you plan to eat out over Christmas or New Year, there are plenty of restaurants, gastro pubs, cafes and bars to enjoy a festive feast. Many have special Christmas menus and it's a great opportunity to take a break from the kitchen.

FIND PLACES TO EAT

The Chequers Inn