Roll Up! Bank Holiday fun for the family in Norfolk

The gymnasts from the Chermond School taking part in the Russell Vince National Circus at Taverham.

The gymnasts from the Chermond School taking part in the Russell Vince National Circus at Taverham. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

The sun is out just in time for another Bank Holiday and there are plenty of things to do and family fun to be had over the next few days. SIMON PARKIN has a guide to things not to miss for all the family.


Garden Nursery, Taverham, May 4, 5pm/7.30pm/ May 5-6, 3pm/6pm, May 7, 2pm, £16-£14 (£16-£12 cons),

Russells International Circus has again pitched its big top in Taverham. The 2013 show features aerial acrobat Miss Amanda, who is the third generation of the Russell circus family dynasty to perform, Alex the Clown, who returns for thre 2013 show, Romanian airborne acrobats Cretu Troupe, he famous Russian bar act from Troupe Corina, The Slinky, which stars Richard Virgo as an amazing human slinky, Lucia who will perform a number of head-spinning skills including the German Wheel Eva Malevolti with her quick-changing act and Antonio Candela and The Pirates. Young gymnasts from the Chermond School will also be performing their bike routine.


North Norfolk Railway, Sheringham Station, May 4-6, £16 (£15 cons), £10 children, under-3s free, 01263 820800,

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Enjoy a Day Out With Thomas the Tank Engine over the bank holiday weekend. That cheeky blue engine returns to the North Norfolk Railway and will take over the Poppy Line, along with his friends, under the watchful eye of the Fat Controller. Take part in Thomas themed activities at the station. For train times contact the box office or visit the web site.


Holkham Hall, May 4-6, one day ride £40, three one day rides £110, spectators free admission, 01485 500231,

The inaugural Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival is hosted by Holkham Hall. The main cycling events will be three sportives, on consecutive days, criss-crossing the Norfolk countryside and totalling 250miles. For those wanting to ride fewer miles, there will be shorter signposted routes each day around North Norfolk and within the safety of Holkham Park. Victoria Williamson, Norfolk's own 2013 UCI World Bronze Track Champion, will open the event. There will be a complete programme of children's events that will teach and test their handling, safety and mechanical skills too.


Stradsett Park, near Downham Market, May 5-6, 10am-5pm, £5, children free,

The annual Stradsett Park Vintage Rally is back for its 37th year. The rally will feature more than 500 exhibits including vintage tractors, cars, commercials, motorcycles and engines. They will be supported by ring displays, trade and craft stands, bygones and refreshments. The event will be raising money for BREAK.


Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, May 6, 10am-6pm, £9.30 (£8.30 cons), £6.30 children, under-4s free, 01362 860563,

What was it really like in the days of the dreaded Victorian workhouse? The event will give you the chance to step back in time. Was it a paupers' palace with good regular meals, hygienically clean conditions and the opportunity to learn and improve oneself – or was it a cruel system of punishment, which divided families and gave them harsh labours, designed to grind the poor into obedience? Meet the Workhouse Master and learn his rules, visit the laundry and find one of the inhabitants of the workhouse carrying out her chores. You can meet the workhouse cook (and taste the daily gruel) and learn the 'three Rs' with the schoolmaster. There are also chances to go Behind The Scenes on guided tours (book your free place on arrival), and research your family tree.


Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, May 4-6, 10.30am-5pm, normal admission prices, 01394 389700,

There will be an Anglo-Saxon Encampment at the National Trust's Sutton Hoo burial site with a Bread, Ale and Mead theme. Drop-in any time to make dough from flour you've milled with quern stones, mark it with a rune and then watch it cook on a campfire. Plus there are foraging, leechcraft and food talks and demonstrations, and stories about food and drink. Also included is a moot trial — rough justice for those who steal!


Mid-Norfolk Railway, Dereham-Wymondham, May 4-6, one-day rover tickets £18, £9 children, 01362 690633,

Get those shoulder pads out, the Mid-Norfolk Railway goes back to the 1980s for the weekend. Building on the success of many of its other Modern Heritage events, the railway will host various train types which ran in the 1980s, as well as authentic liveries on the trains. An intensive service will operate throughout the weekend, with stations and trains decorated in a 1980s Theme. The railway is inviting a number of 1980s vintage vehicles and buses to attend over the weekend too.


Oxburgh Hall, May 4-5, 11am-5pm, normal admission prices, 01366 327242,

To celebrate National Volunteers' Week, some of Oxburgh Hall's volunteers will be dressed in Tudor costume thuis weekdn and offer you the chance to learn more about Tudor activities. Aquila the Jester will also be there to entertain you. Normal admission applies to the National Trust property near Swaffham.


Cromer Museum, May 5, 2pm-4pm, £4, pre-book on 01263 513543,

During this special walk around Cromer, organised by Cromer Museum, Del Styan will reveal the town's wartime past. Visit the sites of bomb damage in the town and find out how Cromer was affected during the Second World War. The one and a half mile walk, which starts from Cromer Museum in Tucker Street, is suitable for adults and older children.


Sheringham Park, May 5, 5am, £7.50, pre-book on 0844 249 1895,

Set the alarm clock to join Learning Officer Rob and Warden Mark at Sheringham Park in Upper Sheringham for an early morning stroll (5am) to hear the park's birds in full song in the varied habitats of the National Trust parkland. Getting up is tough but it's the best time of the day to be walking in the countryside. A hot drink is included at the end of the walk.


Yarmouth Stadium, May 5, 5.30pm, £14 (£10 cons), £6 children, under-4s free, £39 family, 01493 720343,

Thrills, spills, crashes and smashes mean a trip to Yarmouth Stadium is a must for all young petrolheads. This May Bank Holiday meeting includes national banger racing, 1,300cc stock cars, hot rods and rookie rods all racing around the oval track.


South Denes, Yarmouth, May 5, 10am-3pm, £6, 01493 850698,

During 2013 this Grade I listed monument will only be open again this Sunday for pre-booked tours. Climb all 217 steps to experience the breathtaking views — Norwich Cathedral can be seen on a clear day — and to learn more about the Monument.


Earsham Hall, near Bungay, May 5, 10am-5pm, £3, under-16s free, 01986 892902

The grounds of Earsham Hall are the setting for a Classic Vehicle Rally and Country Fayre. The Bungay Area Lions Club-organised event will boast displays of classic cars, motorcycles, tractors and commercial and military vehicles. If auto jumble stalls and trade stands aren't your thing, there will also be craft stalls, wood turners and entertainment provided by the Loddon Brass Band, the Lowestoft Signing Choir and Razz the Clown. The event will be officially opened at 11am by Norwich City legend Jeremy Goss.


East of England Showground, Alwalton, near Peterbrough, May 5-6, 9am-5.30pm, daty tickets £14, £6 children, £35 family, 0844 854 0064,

Truckfest, the original road haulage and trucking event in the UK, returns to Peterborough Arena at the East of England Showground. There will be the usual action-packed programme, plus celeb visits, hundreds of the best trucks in the country on show, trade stands, main arena auction and more.


St Peter's Church, Spixworth/Grange Farm Woods, May 5, 11am-4.30pm, £2.50, children free,

Enjoy Bluebell Walks on Sunday at St Peter's Church, Spixworth, and Grange Farm Woods. The event – which runs from 11am-4.30pm will also feature refreshments, cakes and plant stalls, with Children's Nature Trail and Bluebells, Bears and Bunny Hunts.


Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, May 5, 12pm-4pm, free admission,

Norwich Trades Union Council celebrates Inaternational Workers Day with a family event in Chapelfield Gardens including music, circus workshops, children's activities, jive dancing demos by Swing City stalls and speakers. There will also be live poetry featuring Norwich's Luke Wright, Russell J Turner and Andy Bennett.


Happisburgh Lighthouse, May 5/6, 11am-4pm, £3, £1 children (8-16),

Your first chances to climb one of Norfolk's most famous landmarks are on offer this weekend. Happisburgh Lighthouse will be open on Easter Sunday and Monday. As always, for safety reasons children must be at least a metre tall and capable of climbing up and down the steps unassisted.


Martham, May 5/6, 10am-5pm, free admission, 01493 740086

Martham's popular annual scarecrow festival and Mayfair includes activities centred on the village's green. There will be scarecrows on display in gardens throughout the village and lots of stalls and games to enjoy including garage/garden sales, decorated wheelbarrows, decorated prams and bikes, living scarecrow competition, craft and charity stalls, treasure hunt, competitions, fair rides, refreshments, art exhibition and flower festival.


Norfolk Showground, May 6, 3pm/May 7, 7.30pm/Great Yarmouth Racecourse, May 8, 7.30pm, £12 (£6 cons), £6 children, under-3s free, £30 family,

The Extreme Stunt Show returns to the Norfolk Showground for two shows on Monday afternoon and Tuesday evening, followed by a date in Great Yarmouth on Wednesday. The show features a variety of acts, including monster trucks, motocross, BMX, quads, car stunts and more. See the Extreme and Lil' Devil trucks with their 510 cu in v8 Chevrolet methanol fuel-injected engines (12 gallons per mile!), a blazing human torch and firewall to the only Honda pilot in the UK jumping a six-car gap. The event is held in an all-standing arena. You can pay on the gate.


Time and Tide Museum, Blackfriars Road, Great Yarmouth, May 7, 10.30am-12.30pm, normal admission prices, 01493 743930,

Find out about Taking the Biscuit... in the latest event at the Time and Tide Museum. See a real ship's biscuit, look at how the biscuit has been celebrated through packaging, advertising and art, and meet an expert in the subject.