Festive fairs: guide to the best Christmas markets in Norfolk and beyond
PUBLISHED: 09:10 18 November 2016 | UPDATED: 13:23 18 November 2016
Inject some real festive spirit into your Christmas shopping with a whirl around the region’s wonderful seasonal markets. SIMON PARKIN has a guide to the best places for Christmas cheer!
• Sandringham Christmas Fair, Sandringham Park, November 18-20, 10am-5pm, £7 (£6.50 cons), £2 children
This popular Christmas show in Sandringham Park blends arts, crafts, regional food and drink and unusual gifts. Be met at the gate with a warming glass of seasonal punch. Live music, craft demos, food halls and Christmas presents. Santa’s owl show, live reindeer and the chainsaw carving elves. Music includes Bill Bailey Jazz Band, The Clarkson Singers (Sat only) and classical pianist Loc-Mai Yuen-Brooker.
• Christmas Gift & Food Fair, Ely Cathedral, Norwich 18, 10am-9pm/November 19, 9.30am-4.30pm, pre-book 01353 660349
Special gift, distinctive accessories or unique decorations at this fair that includes numerous stalls and an Festive Food Hall. On Saturday there will be plenty of attractions for children including the ever popular traditional carousel plus the reindeer and some very special Christmas elves. A programme of demonstrations and music by the Cathedral Choristers and other local performers.
• Seasonal Spectacular, St Margaret’s Church, Thorpe Market, November 18-20, 11am-4pm, admission free
Following the success of the first Seasonal Spectacular last year, it is being staged once again offering unique, handmade Christmas gifts, cards and decorations from three local artists, Rosalie Osborne, Ian Clifft and glass artists Terrie and Pam. The artists will be on hand throughout the exhibition.
• Norwegian Hand Crafters Christmas Market, Millennium Plain, The Forum, November 19-24, 10am-6pm (10am-4pm/10am-8pm Nov 24)
With ‘Hygge’, the cosy lifestyle that acomes from a Norwegian word meaning “well-being”, being all the rage, this Christmas market are the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in it as Norwich presents its first Scandi style extravaganza. There will be unique and artisan gift ideas nestled in traditional wooden chalets. Enjoy a warming seasonal glass of Glogg and a tasty Norwegian waffle as you celebrate the festive season meandering the winter chalets spilling full of gifts including; nature photography, knitwear, felt, jewellery, wood, glass, ceramics and pottery.
• Christmas Fayre 2016, The Atrium, North Walsham, November 19, 10am-4pm, free admission
The Christmas fayre at the Atrium focuses on local arts and crafts. Festive food, drink and crafts with live entertainment and music, plus Father Christmas.
• Christmas Craft Fayre, Lighthouse, Cromer Road, Sheringham, November 19, 10am-1.30pm, admission free
Christmas fair full of festive activities and stalls including child, family and pet portraits, hand-crafted gifts and jewellery, seasonal sweets and treats, Christmas cakes and puddings as well as Christmas floristry and wreaths.
You can also see Father Christmas.
• Festive Fair, The Courtyard, Elveden Estate, November 19-20, 10am-5pm, admission free
Get festive shopping by browsing over 20 hand-picked stalls selling food, drink, arts and crafts and enjoy some delicious hot food and drink. Late night festive shopping also on November 24. Then on December 14 meet Father Christmas and his elves and receive a traditional present, a Norway Spruce sapling!
• Christmas Switch-On, Burnham Market, November 19, 4pm-6pm, free admission
Burnham Market Christmas lights switch-on includes late evening shopping, festive food delicacies, funfair, ukulele elves and Nelson’s Shantymen and Father Christmas.
• Bury Christmas Fayre, Bury St Edmunds, November 24-27, Thurs 2pm-8pm/Fri-Sat 9am-8pm, Sun 10am-5pm, free admission
Over the past decade Bury St Edmunds’ Christmas Fayre has grown into one of the country’s biggest and this year has over 300 stalls located throughout the town centre and Abbey Gardens, plus live music, street entertainment, a fun fair and much more. It opens from 2pm on November 24 with children’s parade at 5.30pm leaving from the Arc shopping centre before a firework display at 7.45pm in the Abbey Gardens.
• Great Yarmouth Christmas Fayre, Great Yarmouth Market Place, November 25-27, 10am-5pm, admission free
Traditional festive entertainment at the extended Christmas craft and gifts market at Great Yarmouth Market Place and Yarmouth Minster. There will be 25 stalls in the Minster too selling unique hand made crafts and food. School choir festive songs on Friday and the Norwegian Choir on Saturday evening. In the Market Place live performances from Great Yarmouth Brass and Paul Amer singing the Michael Buble Christmas songbook. There is also fun to be had with our walk around characters including the Princesses, Father Christmas and the Elves. The town’s lights switch-on is on November 25 at 7pm followed by a rooftop firework display.
• Winter Gift Fair, Thornham Village Hall, November 26, 10am-4pm, admission free
Village fair of unique gifts and seasonal produce from selected makers with 25 stalls including Bag Ladies of Thornham, jewellers, potters, woodworkers, willow and textile weavers and glass makers.
• Christmas Gift Fair, Creake Abbey, November 26, 10am-3pm, admission free
Discover a treasure trove of Norfolk-inspired Christmas gifts at Creake Abbey, near Burnham Market, with over 45 stands offering high quality and fun Christmas gifts, beautiful decorations as well as delicious food and drink. Christmas present ideas include children’s clothing by Poppy & Hester, home furnishings by Polly Baker Textiles and stoneware ceramics by the Swaffham Potter. There are some ‘foodie’ stocking fillers too.
• Christmas Market, Ormiston Victory Academy, November 26, 10am-3pm, free admission
Annual indoor Christmas Market that is a family day out with lots of activities for children, as well as some 50 stalls with a high calibre of crafters and artists. Kids face painting, interactive craft table, watch amazing magic tricks, carol singers and visit the Santa’s grotto.
• Christmas Crafts 2016, St Catherine’s Church, Norwich Road, Ludham, November 26, 10am-4pm, admission free
Buy unusual and inexpensive hand crafted Christmas gifts. This annual event will be larger than ever this year with over 40 stalls selling a huge variety of arts and crafts, with new and returning stall holders. Live music and seasonal entertainment.
• Christmas Fair, Assembly House, Norwich, November 26-27, 10am-5pm, admission free
This is the eighth year that this popular event and it promises to be bigger and better than ever, with over 60 stands selling an array of fabulous festive goods, everything from jewellery and knitwear to hand-made beads and baubles, toys, puzzles, photographs and prints. Live Christmas carols from The Pavilion Quintet in the courtyard.
• Christmas Fair, Holt Hall, November 26-27, 10am-4pm, £2, under-16s free
Suitably decorated Holt Hall hosts this large Christmas fair with 60 stalls showcasing an inspiring array of locally produced, innovative and quality Christmas gifts, everything from clothing to crafts, paintings, children’s books, Christmas wreathes and decorations. Refreshments from a wood burning oven and traditional shepherd’s hut.
• Christmas Carnival, Attleborough, November 27, 1pm-6pm, free admission
Attleborough gets into the festive spirit with its lights switch-on and Christmas Carnival. Craft stalls, music and funfair rides with children’s entertainers and, of course, Santa’s parade and grotto. Light switch-on at 4.15pm. Vintage vehicles, carol singing and craft stalls at the church hall, town hall and sports hall. The reindeer will be in Queen’s Square.
• Christmas Evenings, Blickling Hall, November 28-December 1, 5.30pm-9pm, £26, £20 children
Enjoy an evening in beautiful surroundings of Blickling. Have a walk around the lit garden and a spot of Christmas shopping. Explore the house, then relax with a glass of fizz and canapes in the Long Gallery to the barbershop sounds of the Sam Smith Singers.
• Christmas Market, Burnham Deepdale, December 2, 12pm-7pm/December 3-4, 10am-4pm, free admission
The eighth annual massive festive market at Burnham Deepdale with over 90 stalls in three marquees, plus at nearby St Mary’s Church, with festive activities and entertainment throughout the weekend. Over 100 local artisans and producers.
• Wynterfest, Wymondham, December 3, 2pm-6pm, admission free
This year Wymondham’s seasonal event is renamed Wynterfest. Loads to see and do with street fairs, carols, a candle-lit procession, reindeer, music, entertainment and of course Father Christmas will be making a guest appearance!
• Festive Cheer, Woodforde’s, Woodbastwick, December 3, 9am-5pm/December 4, 10am-4pm, admission free
Christmas cheer as Woodforde’s Norfolk Ales opens its doors on for a weekend of beer and wine tastings, brewery tours and Christmas gift inspiration from local food and drink producers. Sample the festive brew Tinsel Toes and its famous NOG Christmas puddings. Market stalls and music.
• Christmas Street Fair, Town Centre, Bungay, December 4, 9am-3.30pm, free admission
Popular annual Christmas market in the streets. Up to 80 traders will be selling a wide selection of goods make this a great place to pick up gifts. Father Christmas in his grotto, seasonal music, entertainment and food and drink for all tastes.
• NNUH Festive Fayre, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, December 8, 4pm-8pm, free admission, free parking
Lego trains and a Father Christmas in his grotto will be among the main attractions at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital as it opens its doors for the annual festive fayre. For the more grown-up visitors, there was the chance to see Richard Hughes, head chef at The Lavender House, cooking some of his favourite Christmas treats, plus stalls to purchase books, toys, gifts, clothes and jewellery. Entertainment from Busybodies Stage School, the NNUH choir, Norwich Rock Choir and the Norwich Hospital Radio.
• Lions Winter Street Fayre, Halesworth, December 11, free admission
Hugely popular town event when many of the town shops will be open for Christmas shopping, plus various outdoor stalls, Father Christmas in his grotto, Christmas light switch-on, live music, entertainment and much more.
• Christmas Extravaganza, Wisbech, December 11, 3pm-6pm, free
Wisbech Christmas Fayre attracts thousands with all things festive; from roasted chestnuts to real reindeer and live music from a live brass band. Stalls with quality gifts, crafts and plenty of seasonal produce; you might even spot Santa and his reindeers.
• Christmas Bazaar, White Horse, Parish Hall and Methodist Church, Overstrand, November 19, 10am-4pm
Organised by Overstrand Together the Xmas bazaar has over 25 stalls selling a wide range of arts and crafts, festive gifts, ceramics, candles, prints and cards, knitted items, Poppyland Brewery, woodturning, glass, quilting, confectionery and more.
• Christmas Craft Fayre, Oddfellows Hall, Sheringham, November 19-20, 10am-4pm, admission free
Christmas crafts at the Oddfellows Hall (behind The Crown pub) in Sheringham with some two floors (lift available) of handmade crafts. Refreshments available.
• Christmas Market, Hunny Bell, Hunworth, November 26, 10am-4pm, admission free
Christmas food and craft market to raise money for the Hunny Bell “Heart of the Community” defibrillator fund. A variety of local food and craft stalls plus a raffle.
• Christmas Fayre, Memorial Hall, Dereham, November 26, admission free
1st Dereham Scout Group host this Christmas fair. Stalls with a Christmas flavour, a tombola, games and activities for children, refreshments.
• Christmas Craft Fayre, Sheringham Woodfields School, November 26, 10am-2pm
Some 30 stalls of Christmas crafts, cake stall, raffle, tombola, Santa’s grotto, games and much more. Happisburgh Owls will also be attending, plus hot refreshments throughout the event.
• Village Christmas, Skeyton Village Hall, November 26, 10am-4pm
A village Christmas offering the chance to guy gifts from a variety of stalls showing the works of local crafters and artists. There will also be home made cakes, plus very importantly Father Christmas will be calling. See if you can find the Elf on the Shelf too!
• Christmas Fair, Hickling Methodist Church, November 26, 10am-4pm
Christmas tree festival and festive craft fair including stalls with cards,gifts,jewellery,wreaths,plants,display of decorated trees, light refreshments all day.
• Festival of Christmas, Weybread Hall Farm Barn, Church Road, Weybread, Diss, November 26-27, 10am-4pm, £10
A display of Christmas customs and traditions, with craft stalls, including pocket money priced gifts, and refreshments in the Barn.
• Christmas Market, St Nicholas Church, Blakeney, November 29, 10am-4pm, admission free
Christmas market with local stalls selling a range of products. Also raffle, tombola, stalls, teas, coffees and refreshments. All money raised to Blakeney St Nicholas Church.
• Country Christmas Fayre, Suffield Village Hall, December 3-4, 10am-4pm, admission free
Suffield Country Christmas Fayre includes Christmas wreaths, decorations, gifts, crafts, preserves and more for sale, handmade in Suffield. Funds for Suffield village hall and St Margaret’s Church.
• Christmas Craft Market, Hindolveston Village Hall, December 3-4, until 6.30pm Sat/4pm Sun, admission free
Locally made crafts for sale all made by the stallholders. Live music, mince pies and mulled wine on Saturday evening. Delicious home made cakes and Bray’s pork pies on Sunday.