Preview: Family things to do this week in Norfolk

Grandparents Day at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse

Grandparents Day at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse - Credit: Archant

The popular Holkham Country Fair, held other every other year in the grounds of the North Norfolk stately home, is back this weekend; together with Sandringham Flower Show, Great Yarmouth's beach volleyball weekend and much more to keep families entertained.

EVENT The popular Holkham Country Fair, held other every other year in the grounds of the North Norfolk stately home, is back this weekend with tens of thousands of people set to enjoy its special countryside flavour on both Saturday and Sunday (gates 9am-6.30pm). One of the highlights will be two sections of The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery will be performing their spectacular Musical Drive, one of the greatest displays of military horsemanship in the world, with set pieces including split-second choreography, galloping and gunfire. The maion ring will also see displays from the JCB Dancing Diggers, Tigers Freefall Parachute Team, plus British scurry and trails driving, terrier racing and the hound parade. Overhead there will be Steve Carver's breath-taking solo aerobatic manoeuvres. On the ground gun dog tests, sheep show and a historic car display. Look out for the Fine Food Village showcasing a rich variety of local food with over 30 stalls to sample and buy fresh, local produce. Local food heroes Arthur Howell and Chris Coubrough providing tasty snacks, alongside Bouverie Lodge and the Duck Truck. There will also be more than 200 trade stands and a large variety of showground events complete the mix. Gate prices £15, under-14s free, 01328 821821,

EVENT Beach volleyball was one of the surprise hits of the London Olympics and there is a chance to see some of the best players in action this weekened. The Volleyball England Beach Tour returns to Yarmouth's central beach on both Saturday and Sunday (10am-4pm) offering a chance to watch some of the UK's best male and female players. At least 12 men's teams and seven ladies teams will be playing in the Great Yarmouth Classic. This is the eighth year that the event is taking place behind Joyland next to Britannia Pier. Spectators can watch the games for free on the Central Show Court from a 250 seat grandstand that will be installed on the beach especially for the weekend. The beach tour encompasses five high profile events at popular beach resorts around the country, culminating in a tour finale at Weymouth. Play starts at 10am on both days with the ladies and men's finals between 2 and 3pm on Sunday afternoon. Pop on down and see some of the country's best in action. Alternatively try out the sport for free on the public 'Go Spike' courts. Free admission, 01493 846346,

EVENT The Sandringham Flower Show returns to the royal estate for the 132nd time on Wednesday. This year a special guest will perform an aerial ballet in the skies over Sandringham Flower Show. The Grace Spitfire ML407 – to give the historic aircraft its full name – will roll and loop above the showground with a roar of its Merlin engine. The aircraft will be arriving over Sandringham at around 1pm. Thousands are again expected to flock to the Royal Estate for the show, held in association with the EDP, including newly proud grandfather Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. The park will be packed with a sea of colourful displays on just about every aspect of gardening and outdoor living. Top gardeners compete for the coveted EDP Best in Show trophy in the Show Gardens competition, judged by TV gardener Chris Beardshaw. There will also be talks, a traditional crafts marquee, floral displays from some of the region's top nurseries and a full programme of main ring events.

Gates open at 9am and the show closes at 6pm. Admission £10, children free. Proceeds from each show are donated to local charities. More details on 01485 545400,

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EVENT Grandparents' Day at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse on Sunday (10am-5pm) invites grandparents and their families to join us for a special summer holiday day of activities. Relive those days with lessons in the school room, or call into the Village Shop and discover life before pre-packaged goods. Play traditional games and solve the clues to find some special objects in our 1950s room. Make a family tree to take home in Art Attack! If you're into engineering, seek out the Steam Up Team, Gressenhall's own volunteer engineers who look after the steam boiler. Meanwhile Schools Out! includes special event days throughout the summer with a different theme each fortnight, including Feast of Fun (July 25-August 3), Alice at Gressenhall (August 5-18) and Victorian Apprentice (August 19-September 4).

Admission £9.30 (£8.30 cons), £5 grandparents, £6.30 children, under-4s free, 01362 869251,

EVENT Stuck for something to do during the long summer break? The RSPB Lakenheath Fen Reserve is running a Wildlife Explorers Summer Club every Thursday from today until August 29 (11am-12.30pm). Join in some free family fun in the Fens with a different theme for each week. Each meeting will consist of both inside and outdoors elements. No need to book and all children must be accompanied by an adult. More details on 01842 863400,

EVENT Take the Sea Creatures Trail at Sheringham Park to discover about the life that lives in the sea and on the shoreline of the North Norfolk coast. Follow the self guided trail at the National Trust property in Upper Sheringham to win a prize. The event runs from today until September 4. Drop-in any day between 10am-4.15pm to take part. Places £2 per trail (includes prize). More details on 01263 820550,

EVENT Once again the Norfolk Wildlife Trust will be Rock Pool Rummaging on West Runton beach on Friday (3pm-5pm). Pop along with sturdy shoes, keen eyes and help to carefully investigate the secrets of the seashore. If you don't know a barnacle from a belemnite the experts will be on hand to identify your finds. Arrive 15 minutes early to sign up. Meet outside the beach café. Places £3.50 per child, accompanying adults free, charge for car park. No need to book. More details on 01603 625540,

EVENT The popular Beatrix Potter Day returns to Melford Hall, the National Trust property in Long Melford on Friday (1pm-4.30pm). Once again the event will see a celebration of The Tales of Beatrix Potter and Beatrix Potter's involvement with Melford Hall. Peter Rabbit asked Emma Thompson to write about his adventures in Scotland. The new book, The Further Tales of Peter Rabbit, will be read in the Banqueting House, so go along and find out what happened in Scotland. Follow the Peter Rabbit garden trail, draw and colour too. Admission £2.50 per child plus normal admission. More details on 01787 379228,

MUSIC They began as a project for the Highland Festival almost 15 years ago, but Blazin' Fiddles have become as one of Scotland's top traditional bands playing remote village halls to the BBC Proms. Bringing passion and sensitivity to Scottish music, fiddles and bows blaze away with guitar and piano. See them on Friday (7.30pm) at King's Lynn Art Centre. Tickets £16, 01553 764864,

EVENT Entertainment will be taking place at Ickworth House in Horringer on Saturday in support of Cancer Research UK, while 30 teams of all ages pace the Relay for Life track for 21 hours in recognition of the ongoing work to beat cancer. There'll be food stalls, bands, a riot of colour and heaps of enthusiasm to enjoy. The Cancer Research UIK Relay for Life takes place from noon-midnight. More details on 01284 735270,

EVENT Whitwell and Reepham Railway hosts its fourth steam rally on Saturday and Sunday. At least 15 full size traction engines will be attending including Bedford Fire Service Shand Mason Steam Fire pump built in 1908, plus nine scaled traction engines. And of course their very own steam engine 'Victory' will be in steam. There will also be a variety of classic cars, commercial vehicles, tractors, living vans and much more. There is also a beer festival, stalls and enetrteinament. Admission £6, £2.50 children, £15 family, free parking, 01603 871694,

EVENT Interested in improving your wildlife photography? The RSPB Titchwell Marsh is running a beginners photography course with professional wildlife photographer Stephen Clark guiding you through the dos and don'ts on Saturday (2pm-5pm). Take along your own digital SLR camera. Tea or coffee and biscuits are included. Places £20, £15 children, £1 discount for RSPB members, pre-book on 01485 210779,

EVENT Take a Strawberries and Steam train ride on the Bure Valley Railway at Aylsham on Saturday and Sunday. There'll be free local strawberries with cream for every fare-paying passenger. The station is open from 9am-5pm and trains run between 10am-3.30pm. Return fares £12.50, £6.50 children, under-5s free. For timetable call 01263 733858,

FAMILY Wander around an Anglo-Saxon Encampment at Sutton Hoo Burial Site on Saturday and Sunday (10.30am-5pm). Meet a merchant trader from afar who imports valuable items bound for the King and discover all about Anglo-Saxon trading and its role in the creation of the Sutton Hoo treasures. Plus see woodcarving, leather and metalwork demonstrations. Normal admission prices, 01394 389700,

EVENT Have you get what it takes to help defend Oxurgh Hall? The 17th century Life and Times re-enactment group will be in action on Saturday and Sunday (11am-4pm) recreating the English Civil War, as Parliamentary Forces enter the National Trust estate near Swaffham, intent on destruction. For those of a sensitive disposition, there will be loud musket and cannon fire so beware! Normal admission applies. More details on 01366 328258,

GARDEN The pleasure grounds and walled garden at Wimpole Hall, bursting with seasonal produce and glorious herbaceous borders, are open in aid of the National Gardens Scheme on Sunday (10.30am-5pm). Entry proceeds from this day will go to this charity which supports National Trust Careership Gardeners and Wardens along with many others. Normal admission. More details on 01223 206000,

EVENT Whitlingham Country Park hosts its Picnic In The Park on Sunday (11am-4pm) to begin National Park Week. There will be music, food, lots of family activities, displays by crafts people, guided walks, boat trips, water based activities and much more. Take a picnic and enjoy a day in the 'gateway to the Broads'. Admission free (charges for some activities). More details on 01603 756094.

NATURE Following on from the adult moth event at Strumpshaw Fen, Marvellous Moths morning just for children takes place on Sunday (9am-10.30am) at the RSPB reserve. Inspect the previous night's light traps to see what amazing moths have turned up and then take part in moth-related art activities. Places £4 per child, up to two accompanying adults free, pre-book on 01603 715191,

EVENT An Open Day at AzSu Alpacas, Low Farm, Hook Lane, Cranworth, near Shipdham, on Sunday (11am-4pm) offers a great chance to interact with and learn more about these endearing animals. The centre's herd has been carefully nurtured. There will be alpaca walks and obstacle course, craft demonstrations, refreshments and the Alpaca Barn shop. Dogs on leads permitted. Admission £3, £2 under-10s, 01362 820097,

HISTORY Thurne Windpump, The Staithe, Thurne, will be open to the public on Sunday (2pm-4pm). You can learn about the history of the mill and wind permitting, see it turning. Free admission, donations welcome. There will be future opne days on August 11 and 25 and September 8. More details on 07796407864,

EVENT It is Spitfires, Merlins and Motors day at the Imperial War Museum Duxford on Sunday (gates 10.30am-6pm). Join in a nostalgic celebration of the legendary Supermarine Spitfire and the unmistakable Merlin engine. There'll be a number of Spitfires on static display so that you can have a closer look at this iconic aircraft before seeing them take to the skies to perform short displays. Adding to the vintage feel will be living history groups bringing the 1940s to life. Hear the instantly-recognisable Merlin engine roar into life and see a number of classic and contemporary cars on display. Enjoy a fun and nostalgic day at IWM Duxford, the spiritual home of the Spitfire. Admission £18.50-£13.85, children under-16 free, 01223 499353,

EVENT Take the Long Walk around Lakenheath Fen, near Brandon, on Sunday (9.30am-3pm). The RSPB has an extended 10km walk around the reserve. This is a rare opportunity to visit Botany Bay SSSI, which is not normally open to the public, at the west end of the reserve on the way round. Take sun cream, a packed lunch and plenty of water. Places £10, £5 children, RSPB members half price, pre-book on 01842 863400,

EVENT There's going to be some Marvellous Machines created at Great Yarmouth's Time and Tide Museum from Monday to August 2 (10.30am-4pm). Make awesome automata! Turn aviator in a flight of fantasy as a replica aeroplane is re-created. Join the 'working drawing' workshop to learn how to design your own mechanical marvel in this week of celebrating invention and innovation through time. Normal admission. More details on 01493 743930,

GARDEN Raveningham Gardens, at Raveningham near Loddon (signed off the A146 at Hales) are open for the first of two Agapanthus Weeks from Monday to August 2 (11am-4pm). See white, blue and dark purple flowers with different sizes and contrasting colours including striped blue and white. The agapanthus varieties are one of Priscilla Bacon's legacies in the garden; she was a keen agapanthus breeder. The second week is August 5-9. Admission £4 (£3.50 cons), under 16s free), 01508 548152,

EVENT The Look Out Archery event at Ickworth House, near Bury St Edmunds, on Tuesday (11am-4pm) promises to be fun for all the family. Can you master this this traditional sport, whatever your age or experience, the instructors will help you along. Cost £3 for seven arrows. While you are at Ickworth, why not also take part in the Living History Celebration of Summer activities (11am-4pm), included in house admission. More details on 01284 735270,

EVENT Listen to legends and ghostly tales of old Cromer and discover some atmospheric sights on a guided evening Ghost Walk with Kate Banks on Tuesday (7pm-8.30pm). The walk is suitable for adults and older children. Meet at Cromer Museum in Tucker Street 15 minutes before start. Make sure you wear suitable footwear. Places £4, £3 museum passholders, pre-book on 01263 513543,

NATURE Here's one for all you Wildlife Explorers out there. Children's wildlife activities will be taking place in the glade at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden on Wednesday (11am-3pm). Free with normal garden admission prices. No need to book. More details on 01603 270449,

EVENT Drop in for a pond dip session on Wednesday at Anglesey Abbey, near Cambridge. See if you can catch a fish while you discover what's in the pond any time between 11am-1pm and 2-4pm. Normal admission. More details on 01223 810080,

NATURE Throughout the summer holidays, every Wednesday from next week until September 4 is a family day at RSPB Titchwell Marsh nature reserve, There will be a great variety of children's activities and fun for the whole family, including pond dipping. Prices will vary depending on activities. Booking is essential. Full details on 01485 210779,

HISTORY The first of two special summer walks to explore Great Yarmouth this summer, South Quay and St George's Walk on Wednesday (2pm) starts from the Fisherman's Hospital Gates in the Market Place and looks the stunning architecture and stories of South Quay, once described as the finest quay in all of Europe, along with tales of the Tolhouse, the country's oldest gaol and St George's Theatre. Places £6.50, £4.50 children, under-7s free, price includes refreshments, pre-book on 01493 846346,