With huge crowds expected for this week's long-awaited return of the Royal Norfolk Show, visitors have been urged to plan ahead to enjoy the "best show for a generation".

The Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA) promises a spectacular revival of its flagship summer event on June 29 and 30 at the Norfolk Showground.

And a massive turnout is expected after the loss of the last two annual shows during the Covid pandemic created a pent-up enthusiasm for this year's comeback.

Highlights include a royal visit from Princess Anne and musical showstoppers such as vocal group Blake and 1,000 Norfolk voices in the Royal Salute to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

Grand Ring entertainment ranges from dizzying parachute and motorcycle displays to showjumping competitions and the Shetland Pony Derby.

Meanwhile hundreds of trade stands will promote businesses and organisations of all kinds, including the county's bounty of fine food and drink.

The agricultural heartbeat of the show will celebrate everything from displays of the latest farming technologies to the traditional livestock and equine competitions, featuring more than 3,000 animals.

RNAA managing director Mark Nicholas said: "There is an enormous amount of pride amongst the team to be bringing back the Royal Norfolk Show.

"It has been a mammoth task for all the reasons we know, all the disruptions of Covid and the uncertainty, but our view is that we stand on the cusp of the best show for a generation.

"The ticket sales are as strong as they have been for 10 years.

"We know that a lot of our showgoers will come every three years, so what we are seeing signs of is a lot of those people wanting to come back and support the Royal Norfolk Show this year, which is just tremendous.

"It is going to be a very busy show. There are going to be many, many visitors - and not just from Norfolk. The ticket sales come from right across the country and abroad."

With a favourable weather forecast and a large crowd expected, Mr Nicholas advised visitors to plan their journey to the showground, and consider arriving early, sharing vehicles or using public transport options to cut down congestion.

"The first key message is that there is plenty of space for everyone," he said. "We have put in place additional car parking capacity this year.

"The second point is to plan your day carefully. We know there are roadworks on the A11 and within the city, but all of the routes will be well signposted and we have worked incredibly hard with our travel management company to make sure that the inflow to the show will be as smooth as possible.

"Where people can car-share it is a great thing to do, and there is also a fantastic bus service being run from Norwich city centre which will bring them right to the doorstep of the showground, with a drop-off point at the King George VI gate.

"And if people buy their tickets through the bus company there is a discount to entering the Royal Norfolk Show.

"So we are encouraging people to think about planning their day, and they can really help us by having their passes ready in their windscreens."

Among a packed schedule of attractions, Mr Nicholas said the highlights included a "brilliant" Grand Ring programme which "people certainly won't want to miss".

"What is new includes the massive Royal Salute to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, with over 1,000 people and a 60-piece orchestra performing in the Grand Ring on both days of the show, and for some light-hearted entertainment we have also introduced the Shetland Pony Derby, which is going to be lots of fun," he said.

"More widely I am looking forward to seeing the new Jubilee Square, that's a very large street food area that we have put in just adjacent to the Grand Ring to give the whole show a bit more of a festival feel.

"There is a special appearance by Blake on Wednesday lunchtime, but beyond that there is a lot of music at this year's show. We have got three separate band stand locations and hundreds of youngsters from schools across the county coming in to perform, sing and play.

"It is going to be a great spectacle, and of course we have a royal visit on the Wednesday.

"Whenever there is a member of the Royal Family at the Royal Norfolk Show it just makes it a super-special occasion. It is the icing on the cake."

For more information and to buy tickets, see www.royalnorfolkshow.co.uk

Grand Ring highlights

The Grand Ring programme at the Royal Norfolk show features displays, competitions and entertainment ranging from local characters to internationally-known performers. Highlights include:

  • A Royal Salute - featuring 1,000 Norfolk singers including schoolchildren and adult community choirs, backed by a 60-piece orchestra, to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
  • Military Band, with a special appearance by Brit Award-winning classical vocal group Blake on Wednesday
  • Shetland Pony Derby
  • RAF Falcons Parachute Display team
  • Bolddog Lings Motorcycle Display Team
  • Scurry driving
  • Showjumping competitions
  • Grand Parade of Cattle and Shire Horses

For full schedule and timings, see www.royalnorfolkshow.co.uk

The Best of Norfolk at the EDP marquee

The EDP is taking a break from tea and cake to bring you the "Best of Norfolk" at the Royal Norfolk Show.

Our main marquee, situated at stand 220 next to the Grand Ring, will invite children to have their face painted for free, and to put their design skills to the test to create a front page for the EDP - with the best to be shown in the newspaper and win a family bowling experience courtesy of Richardsons Leisure.

Meanwhile, adults can explore the rest of the marquee, following the many facts, stories and histories of Norfolk along our presentation boards.

These detail what’s "Normal for Norfolk", quintessential Norfolkisms, nature, food, history and even facts about the EDP.

Visitors will also have a chance to meet our editor David Powles at selected times throughout the two days.

Other attractions include a "virtual reality" experience transporting people to famous and beautiful scenes from across Norfolk, including Salhouse Broad, Sheringham Coastguard, King's Lynn Custom House or Thetford Forest - all without leaving the marquee.

Our guests can test their local knowledge in a quiz that could win them a seven-night October half-term holiday at Richardsons' Hemsby Beach Holiday Park.

Richardsons Leisure will also be hosting a stand within our marquee promoting family holidays and days out on the Norfolk coast and the Broads.

And our shop will be selling Norfolk wares in the form of Norfolk Day bunting, flags, GoGo Dinosaurs products supporting Break Charity, and publications including our special magazine on the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.