There is always something going on in Norfolk and in this section you can find out all the latest news. Keep up with the latest Norfolk tourism news - new attractions, events, awards, and information.
Deepdale Bike Hire - new on the Norfolk Coast Norfolk
(28 March 2012)
Deepdale Bike Hire at Burnham Deepdale opens on 31 March. Run by Alyson Roxburgh, the new business supplies bikes for all the family, plus accessories like trailers, tagalongs, child seats and buggies. Alyson has developed a series of self-guided routes and will also be running guided tours.
Bicycles will be available for hire throughout the year. It's easy to link to National Cycle Route 1 riding along the quiet lanes from Burnham Deepdale and explore the surrounding villages. Deepdale Bike Hire will be supplying bicycles to guests staying at the neighbouring Deepdale Backpackers & Camping and in local holiday cottages, hotels and B&Bs, www.deepdalebikehire.co.uk.
Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden - shortlisted for Green Tourism Award
(26 March 2012)
Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden in the Broads has been shortlisted for the Green Tourism Business Scheme GOLDSTAR award for visitor attractions. The award will be presented during Green Tourism Week 21-27 May. Fairhaven is one of the nine highest scoring Gold visitor attractions in the 2011 grading cycle in the UK and Ireland.
There is also a separate People's Choice Award based on the number of ‘likes' that shortlisted visitor attractions receive on the Green Tourism Week Facebook page (deadline 7 May). Vote for Fairhaven at www.facebook.com/greentourismweek
Norfolk's Guide to 440 Open Churches
(19 March 2012)
The Diocese of Norwich's Open Churches 2012 guidebook, the free A-Z guide to 440 historic churches across the county, was launched at Great Yarmouth Minster on Friday 16 March to mark English Tourism Week, www.norfolkopenchurches.com.
This essential guide to churches that are open throughout the year covers the Great Yarmouth area, the Broads and Norwich, the North Norfolk Coast, and market towns like Dereham, Swaffham, and Wymondham, as well as the Norfolk countryside. The number of churches featured in the guide has more than doubled since 2011.
Norfolk has more historic churches (629) per person and per hectare than anywhere in the UK and Europe. Each has a story to tell and increasing numbers of local volunteers are ensuring that churches are open and welcoming visitors throughout the year.
Pictured left to right Jennie Hawks Historic Places of Worship Support Officer, Diocese of Norwich, Revd Chris Terry Team Rector Great Yarmouth, Brandon Lewis MP Great Yarmouth, Revd Andrew Avery Team Vicar Great Yarmouth and Ivan Barnard Open Churches Ambassador.
Join Horatio Herring on Great Yarmouth's Sport Relief Mile
(14 March 2012)
Join Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival mascots, Horatio Herring and Lofty the Lighthouse, and Head of Tourism, Alan Carr, on the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Mile along Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile on Sunday 25 March. Enter now at www.sportrelief.com (entry deadline 23 March).
With the start located between Merrivale Model Village and the Pleasure Beach Gardens on Marine Parade, participants will make their way up the slow lane, usually used by the Great Yarmouth landaus, towards the Marina Fitness and Leisure Centre. Passing between the sports hall and Pirates Cove Adventure Golf, runners will return down the wide, beachside esplanade finishing the one-mile course back at Merrivale Model Village. Runners participating in the three or six-mile course will complete their distance by doing three or six laps of the picturesque seafront course.
The event is being organised by Great Yarmouth Borough Council's Tourism Division. Alan Carr, Head of Tourism said: "The Sport Relief Mile is a great opportunity to run your first ever race in a friendly, fun environment, and what better race for me than the very first Great Yarmouth seafront mile. I'm looking forward to beating Horatio and Lofty to the finish line at the very least! Please raise some sponsorship and help to change the lives of people living on our doorstep in Great Yarmouth, in Norfolk, across the rest of the UK and in some of the world's poorest countries."
Norfolk MPs commit to Broads Quality Pledge
(13 March 2012)
A host of Norfolk MPs have given their support to top quality sustainable tourism in the Broads in an event at Westminster marking the start of English Tourism Week.
Broads businesses Hoseasons, Norfolk Broads Direct, Wroxham Barns and The Waterside Rollesby headed to Parliament on Tuesday, March 13, armed with Broads Tourism's Quality Pledge. The Broads is one of four pathfinder destinations selected by VisitEngland for special promotion to ensure they gain international recognition as great holiday areas.
The meeting with five of the county's MPs (Norman Lamb, Brandon Lewis, Keith Simpson, Richard Bacon and Chloe Smith) was organised by Broads Tourism to promote their drive to improve quality in the area. The MPs were presented with a virtual hamper of experiences at the Broads businesses and demonstrated their commitment to the Broads by signing the Broads Tourism Forum's Quality Pledge. Norwich South MP Simon Wright has also signed, although he was unable to attend the meeting.
With the Broads quality pledge at Westminster left to right are: Belinda Minors The Waterside Rollesby, Barbara Greasely Norfolk Broads Direct, James Berresford Chief Executive VisitEngland, John Dalgleish Hoseasons, Norman Lamb MP, Brandon Lewis MP, Richard Bacon MP, Keith Simpson MP, Chloe Smith MP, Clare Weller Broads Authority and Ian Russell Wroxham Barns.
Steam Power on show at Poppy Line Spring Gala
(06 March 2012)
North Norfolk Railway, The Poppy Line, launches its 2012 season and English Tourism Week in Norfolk with a Spring Gala from 9 to 11 March.
The Poppy Line's flagship, a 1928 engine that used to haul London to Harwich boat trains is back after a £300,000 overhaul. East Anglian engine no.7654, celebrating its centenary this year, appears in the later livery of the old London & North Eastern Railway Company.
Wildlife artist David Shepherd's giant Black Prince, Great Western Railway's Kinlet Hall, its contemporary from the London Midland and Scottish Railway, and an engine from the South Wales coalfields complete an exciting line-up that represents the best of the steam age.
More details and advance bookings can be made through the North Norfolk Railway website or by calling 01263 820 800.
'Alternative Angles' Free Photography Exhibition
(28 February 2012)
A free photography exhibition showcasing local photographers' interpretation of heritage in Norwich will be at The Forum from Monday 5 March to Thursday 15 March 2012. It is the first chance to see all thirty winning and shortlisted photographs from last year's photography competition run by Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART).
The competition was launched to celebrate the city's outstanding heritage and showcase inspiring photographic talent. It is the fourth annual photography competition run by HEART and over 420 entries were received. This year's competition follows the success of HEART's photography competitions on the Norwich 12 buildings, medieval churches and ‘My Heritage, My Norwich' in the last three years.
Entries had to reflect the photographer's own interpretation of heritage in Norwich and the judges looked at photographic content and composition; originality and creativity; the story-telling quality of the image and how it relates to ‘Alternative Angles: A new perspective on Norwich's heritage'.
The exhibition will present the two overall winners: Alan Bennett, who won the over 25s category with his photo ‘Boating Pond at Eaton Park' and Rebecca Croucher who won the under 25s category with her photo of a tree near Cow Tower called ‘Angle of Mystery'. In addition to the winning photographers, visitors to the exhibition will also be able to see photography from the runners up and other short listed entries.
Lindsey Roffe, Partnership Manager at Norwich HEART said: "This year's exhibition presents some very interesting and creative angles on heritage in Norwich from photographers of all ages and abilities. The competition continues to grow year on year, from 280 entries in 2010 to 420 in 2011, it is fantastic that so many people want to engage and share their interpretation on local heritage through photography. The exhibition is free and on for ten days so we hope plenty of people will come along to The Forum to enjoy the exhibition."
The competition ran from September to November 2011. The two overall winners have won a £150 Chapelfield Gift Card, kindly donated by Chapelfield Shopping Centre, a trophy, a heritage goodie bag, and tickets to the launch event of the exhibition.
The judging panel comprised Sonya Duncan, photographer for Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News; Mark Bullimore, Chief Photographer East Anglian Picture Service; and Michael Loveday, Chief Executive at Norwich HEART.
The exhibition images will also be available on Flickr from Tuesday 6 March 2012.
For more information please visit the Norwich Heart website or call 01603 305575.
Chamber Orchestra Anglia at The Assembly House
(20 February 2012)
Chamber Orchestra Anglia (COA) heads to The Assembly House on Friday, March 2 at 1pm, for a lunchtime concert, the fifth in the Norwich 12 series. The event also includes a masterclass at 2.30pm, with young musicians from the region and at the University of East Anglia.
The programme features Beethoven's Septet in E Major, Op.20 and Richard Strauss, Till Eulenspiegel. Tickets for the concert are £10 (£5 for just the masterclass) from Norwich Theatre Royal's box office by telephoning 01603 630000, or via the Chamber Orchestra Anglia website. A tour of The Assembly House is also on offer at 12 noon.
Monthly concerts are taking place in each of the Norwich 12 buildings to celebrate Chamber Orchestra Anglia's 10th birthday, and are being organised in collaboration with Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART).
Further concerts are scheduled for April 24 (St James Mill) and June 22 (Roman Catholic Cathedral). For up-to-date information on the programme visit the Chamber Orchestra Anglia website.
Sharon Andrea Choa, COA founder and Artistic Director said: "Each Norwich 12 concert has a different theme. Our last event at St Andrews Hall featured the wit of Griff Rhys Jones. At The Assembly House, we are looking forward not only to performing in the concert but to be working with young musicians in a chamber-music masterclass. One of COA's missions is to help raise musical aspirations of young people in this region."
Michael Loveday, Chief Executive of Norwich HEART, said: "Norwich HEART and the Norwich 12 are enjoying the collaboration with Chamber Orchestra Anglia and we are looking forward to the fifth concert in the series at The Assembly House. Each event features exceptional performance that perfectly complements our wonderful Norwich 12 buildings."
Chamber Orchestra Anglia's key aims are to forge new links and relationships with other art forms and scientific disciplines and present inspiring and accessible classical concerts. The orchestra's artistic director and principal conductor, Sharon Andrea Choa is Director of Music at UEA and conductor of the UEA Symphony Orchestra. The leader of the orchestra is Simon Smith, an outstanding violinist who has performed extensively as a soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
This event forms part of HEART's SHAPING 24 project, a cultural heritage and tourism initiative which takes forward the Norwich 12 project with 12 heritage sites in the Belgian city of Ghent. The project seeks to maximise the access and enjoyment of the 24 sites, raise the profile of Norwich and Ghent as significant cultural heritage cities and increase awareness of the longstanding historical links between this part of England and the Low Countries. SHAPING 24 is funded by the European Union's European Regional Development Fund (INTERREG IVA 2 Seas Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013).
Great Days Out in Norfolk 2012
(09 February 2012)
Norfolk Tourist Attractions Association's (NTAA) Great Days Out in Norfolk leaflet 2012 was launched in the ball pool at Dinomite, Dinosaur Adventure Park on Thursday 9 February, pictured left to right are Peter Williamson Merrivale Model Village, Lydia Smith Director Norfolk Tourism and Martin Dupée Operations Director Dinosaur Adventure Park.
Some 500,000 NTAA brochures promoting the county's top attractions will be distributed to more than 3,500 outlets throughout the East of England. Now in its 21st year, NTAA currently represents more than 100 attractions in Norfolk and North Suffolk.
NTAA Chairman, Peter Williamson of Merrivale Model Village Great Yarmouth said: "Norfolk's attractions are looking forward to a successful 2012. The Diamond Jubilee, Torch Relay and the 2012 Games make this a year of celebration, when we can expect a great boost for English tourism."
National Farm Attractions Conference
(08 February 2012)
Ian Russell, Director Wroxham BarnsRussell talked about the development of the catering business at Wroxham Barns over the last five years and raising the barns' profile as a local food destination.
Ian Russell (right) is pictured with Adam Henson (centre) and Matt Heast, Conference Chairman.
Incleborough House goes self catering!
(31 January 2012)
The award-winning Incleborough House is changing - from mid March expect luxury 5 star (currently awaiting re-grading) self catering accommodation. Incleborough House is currently being converted into what is thought to be North Norfolk's newest and most exiting large and big self catering venue, for up to 14 people, with 7 bedrooms.
The current Drawing room and new Library will be of a classical design and will be festooned with luxuries such as remote real flame fires, leather sofas, WiFi and top of the range 42" ‘smart 3D TV and Blu ray DVD package' plus the Grundig stereo system. To further entertain the whole family and friends there will be a stunning 'state of the art' hot tub, full size Pool and Ping Pong tables, Sony PS3 and Nintendo Wii, plus oodles of traditional board games.
Incleborough is a family run classical large and big self catering country house in Norfolk offering families and friends every 5 Star luxury for a memory making holiday or short break. With its fabulous and unique location, wonderful architecture and modern touches, it is the perfect ‘home from home' and ultimate coastal retreat ideal for that extra special occasion.
For more information see www.incleboroughhouse.co.uk
Olympic Tourism Summit in Norwich
(23 January 2012)
Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, was in Norwich on Friday 20 January for an Olympics tourism summit at Open attended by 250 businesses from across the East of England.
Mr Hunt urged East of England's tourism industry to seize the opportunities presented by the Olympics, the Torch Relay and the Cultural Olympiad. The Government is backing the GREAT promotion, encouraging UK residents to holiday at home this year. An associated multi million pound TV advertising campaign launches on 8 March, and tourism businesses are invited to get involved at www.visitengland.org/2012offers.
Norfolk is well placed with its direct rail link from Norwich to the Olympic Park at Stratford to be a London2012 destination. But it can also offer an escape for London residents wanting a break from the Olympics.
Click here to read the Eastern Daily Press report on the summit
Pictured at the tourism summit promoting Norfolk as an Olympics destination are left to right: James Berresford Chief Executive VisitEngland, Caroline Jarrold Chair VisitNorwich, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Councillor Brenda Arthur Leader Norwich City Council, Nick Bond Head of Tourism VisitNorwich and Richard Ellis Chairman Norfolk Tourism
2012 Tourism Business Toolkit
Flock to Pensthorpe for half term family fun!
(17 January 2012)
Pensthorpe Nature Reserve invites the whole family to take part in a range of activities to get everyone thinking about the great outdoors! Pensthorpe is hosting Half Term Fun - Migrate to Pensthorpe (11-19th February, 10-4), for a fun and educational look at the lives of the birds who call Pensthorpe home.
Find out more about the stunning species including the European Green Winged Teal or Tufted Ducks who migrate to Pensthorpe over the winter or peer high into the tree-tops to see if you can spot a Tawny Owl.
Nature lovers can weave through the Reserve on a self-led trail, exploring and discovering wildlife as they go. Visitors should keep their eyes peeled for communities of Long-tailed Tits swooping through the treetops or majestic Buzzards soaring overhead. Plus children can have a go at building their own nests! Inquisitive adventurers can even become a bug detective for the day and look-out for creepy crawlies on the Bug Walk (pictured).
The event also ties in with National Nest Box week, which runs annually from Tuesday 14th February until Tuesday 21st February 2012 and raises awareness for bird welfare. For more information about the Reserve visit www.pensthorpe.com or call 01328 851465.
Poppy Line - Record Passenger Numbers in 2011
(09 January 2012)
North Norfolk Railway, The Poppy Line, carried more than 150,000 passengers for the first time ever in 2011. Figures released by the railway show a rise of just under 5% to a total of 150,497.
Director of marketing Colin Borg said: "Coming on top of a 13% increase in 2010, the record result is a tribute to our volunteers who operated an intensive programme of services and special events throughout the year. It emphasises the importance of the Poppy Line to the tourist economy of North Norfolk."
The Poppy Line's 2012 services begin at February half-term. Fares have again been held to 2009 levels. Events include Titfield Thunderbolt Live! set to be a major attraction over three days in June, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the classic Ealing comedy film. For more information on all events, see www.nnrailway.co.uk.
The First Sign of Spring - Snowdrop Walks
(03 January 2012)
A clear sign that winter is coming to an end is the welcome sight of a carpet of snowdrops. One of toughest and most reliable of garden plants it is guaranteed to lift the spirits. The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) in Norfolk has four gardens opening in February and early March where you can see snowdrops at their best.
Lexham Hall (12th February), near Litcham, has meandering walks through several acres of snowdrops and an extensive collection of unusual winter flowering and scented shrubs with a wonderful "crinkle crankle" wall.
On 18th February, Horstead House (pictured), has lovely woodland edge walks with millions of snowdrops to see and the river Bure flows through the garden with an island of brilliant red stemmed dogwoods on show.
Bagthorpe Hall (19th February) has a marvellous woodland walk carpeted with snowdrops, whilst at Chestnut Farm (1st and 4th March), West Beckham, Holt, there is the opportunity to view over 70 varieties of snowdrops close up through walks and borders. Many other early spring flowers will also be on show including hellebores and some wonderfully scented shrubs
At each garden warming refreshments will be available to ward off the winter chill and the chance to buy plants to get your garden off to a flying start in 2012. So why not shake off the winter cobwebs, wrap up warm and follow the NGS snowdrop trail, starting with Lexham Hall 12th February. Pick up a copy of the Norfolk NGS 2011 Guide at your local Tourist Information Centre, Garden Centre and Nursery or visit www.ngs.org.uk.