Easter in Norfolk
Chocolate. Lots of it. Stacked so high you’d need a mountaineering certificate to reach the top, or perhaps tantalisingly hidden away across the county’s zoos, attractions, gardens, museums and stately homes. But thankfully, as well as the cocoa-based family fun in Norfolk this Easter, there are plenty of alternative events, not to mention a few seasonal favourites and the splendour spring of springtime.
But let’s begin by unleashing the choco-incentivised hunter gatherer within the children – and no doubt the parents as well – by highlighting some of Norfolk’s Easter Egg hunts, most of them showcasing the resplendent colours of spring and the glorious landscape of Norfolk as a backdrop.
Events and activities abound in and around the Palladian magnificence of Holkham Hall with the field-to-fork tractor trailer trail (until 13th April), kiddy cook in the old kitchen, origami fun time and much else (14th to 17th April). Cedric, the bouncing BeWILDerwood bunny, will be busy in his burrow preparing lots of chocolatey treats for the Boggles and Twiggles (1st to 17th), while Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden hosts a Good Friday trail through glorious garden and glade.
Dinosaur eggs can be hunted at Lenwade’s Dinosaur Adventure Park, Wetney Wetland Centre is appealing for help in its giant duck hunt, while Pensthorpe has activities and outdoors education on offer, as well as chocolate at the end in its Easter Eggstravaganza event (April 1-17). RSPB Strumpshaw offers a similar endorphin-releasing reward after an educational trail through its beautiful Discovery Area (April 8-17), and Norfolk Wildlife Trust also has events at Cley Marshes, Weeting Heath, Ranworth Broad, Hickling Broad and Holme Dunes over the Easter weekend.
Norfolk’s nostalgic railways, as usual, get in on the act, with free eggs on the Bure Valley Easter Eggspress (April 14-17), and entertainers and a chocolate surprise on the Mid-Norfolk Railway Easter Specials (April 15-17).
And Cadbury has also gone and dropped countless eggs and chocolate treats across the grounds of some of Norfolk’s treasured National Trust properties, namely: Blickling Hall’s 55-acre grounds (April 14-17); among the rhododendrons and camellias at Sheringham Park (April 7 -17); and at the fabulous Oxburgh Hall (April 15-17).
Those intent on a less corporate taste to their Easter might want to check out some of Norfolk’s fine chocolatiers – and indeed at any other time of the year for that matter! Digby’s Chocolates has locations in Cromer, Aylsham and Norwich – the latter in the historic Royal Arcade – each offering a tantalising range of world chocolates; The Chocolate Deli in Walsingham proclaims, “We love finding or inventing new ways to use it”, and with chocolate items including lollies and skulls, few could argue. Similarly, Saffire Chocolates boasts chocolate shoes, handbags and pizza alongside its regular items, all hand-crafted, filled and wrapped in the workshop in Taverham. Carousel Chocolates and the Norfolk Truffle Company are also worthy of mention.
Moving away from the Easter theme, the holiday period also heralds the spectacle of the Chinese State Circus performing their Dynasty extravaganza at the Norfolk Showground (April 11-16), while the Hipppodrome Circus is providing a holiday season all-action water show in Great Yarmouth.
With 32 medieval churches and two cathedrals in Norwich alone, the traditions of Easter are of course also well catered for, with the imposing Church of St Peter Mancroft in the city centre and Norwich Cathedral, among others, providing a busy programme of Holy Week services.
If it is all a bit too much, perhaps a flutter on the horses in the special Easter event at Fakenham Racecourse is more to your liking?
And, of course, GoSeeNorfolk.com lists an extensive array of quality accommodation options across the county for those intending to stay!
Photos: National Trust, Holkham Hall