Preview: Great family things to do this weekend

Cromer and Sheringham's seafood celebrations, going wild about nature at Pensthorpe and the Norwich Race for Life. SIMON PARKIN picks out some events not to miss this weekend.


Cromer/Sheringham, May 18-20, 11am-5.30pm, free admission, 01263 512495

Cromer's seafood celebrations return for another weekend feast of fun, food, art, music, heritage and entertainment, plus delicious locally-caught crabs and lobsters. Planned for this year's event is an opening concert and fundraiser, giant cut-out postcards, Yummy Cookery Theatre with celebrity and top local chefs, a seafood sandwich competition for local eateries, an art trail, world pier crabbing competition, charity auction, real ale and cider festival, barmy beach Olympics, Cromer's 750th anniversary celebrations and more.

Tonight there's a free Festival Variety Show at Cromer Pier Pavilion Theatre, compered by Olly Day and featuring The Castaways and magician Roy Davenport. Tomorrow's events will include the World Pier Crabbing Championship, while Sunday sees the fun centre on Sheringham. Check out the website for the full programme.

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Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, May 19, 10am-5pm, free admission, 01328 851465

Go Wild about conservation, habitat and the creatures of the river and river bank at Wild About the Wensum at Pensthorpe. Activities during the day are based around the Wensum Valley and especially the reserve's nominated species for this year — the dragonfly.

Popular TV presenter and passionate conservationist Bill Oddie will also be back at the reserve to meet visitors and launch his new online TV show aimed at children, 'Bill and Daisy's Wild World' — which shares the event's values of bringing families closer to animals, plants and insects.

The event will also feature many local nature and conversation organisations, including the RSPB, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the Hawk and Owl Trust.

Entry is free, though parking is �4 a car to help make the event self-funding. Alternatively take the X29 bus from



Norfolk Showground, May 19-20, 10am-2pm, 0871 6411111

The Norfolk Showground once again hosts the Race for Life Norwich. The female-only Cancer Research UK event has three non-competitive events: a 10k race at 10am on Saturday, a 5k event at 2pm on the same day, and on the Sunday (11am) another 5k.

Women and girls of all ages, shapes and sizes are needed to join forces for the event, which is part of a series of women-only events across the country which raises millions of pounds every year for life-saving research into 200 types of cancer.

Women can choose whether to walk, jog or run the route. Last year, 9,456 women took part in Race for Life in Norwich and raised �580,480. This year, organisers hope 9,800 will put their best foot forward and help raise more than �600,000. Enter at or call 0871 6411111.



Blickling Hall, May 18-20, bookings and details on 01263 738030,

In celebration of Anne Boleyn's Norfolk roots, Blickling continues its festival all about Anne Boleyn, the first of Henry VIII's wives to lose her head. Tomorrow (the anniversary of Anne Boleyn's execution) sees the traditional midnight vigil to see if Anne's headless ghost turns up Earlier in the evening there'll be ghost stories and more talks.


Whitlingham Broad, until May 20, 11am, 1pm, 12pm, 3pm, �6, �5 children, 01603 756094

Last chance to take a 50-minute trip on the Broads Authority's solar boat Ra to experience the watery wildlife right on the city's doorstep at Whitlingham Country Park. The boat has been moved to Whitlingham as part of the Broads Outdoor Festival.