The festive season is a fantastic time of year to visit Norfolk, with Christmas bringing a touch of magic to the area. There is plenty going on to keep the whole family entertained: explore the local Christmas markets filled with handcrafted goods, visit Santa at one of his grottos and see the stunning light displays.
Whether you’re coming to stay in early December or for Christmas week itself, let us help you to plan the best Christmas yet…
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Where to stay in Norfolk for Christmas
If you’re travelling as a couple, as a large family or with dogs, we’ve got plenty of options for you to choose from for your Christmas break in Norfolk. Take a look at our selection below to find inspiration on where to stay this season, and then read on to find out about all of the magical events and activities for your itinerary.
For couples: Carpenters Cottage, Holt, sleeps 2 + 1 dog
Browse our full collection of romantic cottages.
For small families: Brimstone Cottage, East Ruston, sleeps 4
Browse our full collection of family-friendly cottages.
For families with dogs: River Cottage, Great Ryburgh, sleeps 5 + 2 dogs
Browse our full collection of dog-friendly cottages.
Browse our full collection of family-friendly cottages.
For large groups: Home Farm House, Aylsham, sleeps 10
Browse our full collection of large cottages.
Norfolk Christmas Markets
Christmas markets not only help to get you in the festive spirit but are also a fantastic opportunity to seek out unique gifts for your loved ones and fine foods to present as part of a festive feast. There are plenty of different markets taking place in Norfolk between November and December, but these are just a handful of our favourites.
What to expect: Operating on a regular basis, The Global Village Christmas Market is a celebration of local producers that have taken inspiration from all over the world to share with all who visit. Here you’ll find beautiful crafts, flavourful foods and a lovely community feel. The Christmas market is an extra special event, which is often its most popular of the year with more than 35 hand-selected stalls as well as Christmas carols and brass bands!
Where: The Forum, Norwich
When: 29th - 1st December 2019
What to expect: This annual fair is filled with stands selling unique and unusual gifts primarily from Norfolk and Suffolk, but also from elsewhere in the UK. The food hall is one of the main highlights, where you’ll be able to sample and buy from local producers throughout the weekend, which is a real treat for the taste buds. As this fair is situated in the grand setting of Sandringham Estate, the event is also a wonderful chance to visit the grounds and learn of its rich history.
Where: Sandringham Estate
When: 15th - 17th November 2019
What to expect: Now in its 11th year, Deepdale Christmas Market is a firm favourite with the locals for its village feel and selection of food stalls and gifts from over 120 artisans and producers. Visiting this event, you’ll be overwhelmed by a real sense of community, village spirit and each businesses' passion for its individual offerings.
Where: Dalegate Market
When: 29th Nov - 1st December 2019
What to expect: Located in the beautiful setting of Norwich Cathedral, this is a Christmas fayre not to miss! Spend your day getting to know the local producers, sampling their goods and making the most of the festive spirit all around, whilst ticking plenty off your shopping list. It’s also a great chance to see the stunning light displays at the cathedral, which are truly magical.
Where: Norwich Cathedral
When: 6th - 7th December
What to expect: Great Yarmouth is where this unique market boasts a mixture of Christmas-themed wooden chalets and gazebos, creating a magical festive feel with quirky gifts, handmade crafts and tasty seasonal treats. There’s a Santa's Grotto for the kids too!
Where: Great Yarmouth Market Place
When: 29th November - 1st December 2019
Where to visit this Christmas
Aside from spending your days browsing through quaint market stalls for hidden gems, there are a number of other enticing events for you to visit, from dazzling lights and enchanted forests to beautiful winter walks. Whether you’re staying for a long weekend in Norfolk or for a full week in one of our family-friendly cottages, there is plenty going on at this time of year to make this a trip to remember!
What to expect: A spectacle to behold; be sure to visit Jarrolds department store not only for a spot of Christmas shopping, but also to see its illuminated display. Plus, keep an eye on its Facebook page to see which special events will be taking place during your stay in Norwich.
When: Between November and December 2019
What to expect: See more than 50 performers at one of Europe’s largest Christmas shows, with everything from circus artistes to aerialists, and from synchronised swimmers to comedy acts. The whole family will be wide-eyed and entertained throughout the four-hour show, which is now in its 18th year!
When: 7th December 2019 - 5th January 2020
What to expect: The outdoor experience at Felbrigg is a fantastic way to get the whole family into the spirit of the season. Take a wander through the Walled Garden and get lost in the lights, sights and sounds of the forest cloaked in folklore and legend. The story of Enchanted Felbrigg is added to each year, making it a wonderful annual tradition, but if it’s your first time visiting, you’ll have plenty of time to catch up on the story so far.
When: 6th - 8th December and 13th - 15th December 2019
What to expect: Throughout December, Blickling Estate opens late until 7pm so that visitors can make the most of the light displays between the garden and the house. Celebrating 400 years of history in 2019, this year promises to be extra special, with shopping and seasonal treats for all. Plus, there are plenty of wonderful winter walks to be enjoyed on the National Trust grounds.
When: 30th November - 20th December
What to expect: This is the must-visit Christmas event in Norfolk filled with singing, dancing, laughter and pure joy. It promises ‘a show like you have never seen before’ and with a cast of 120 members - many of which have come straight from the West End - it's Europe’s biggest Christmas show!
When: 9th November - 23rd December 2019
Where to see Santa
What to expect: If Lapland isn't on your to-do list this year, you're in luck! Santa has taken a quick break out of his busy schedule at the North Pole to meet the children of Norfolk. Little ones will enjoy a magical experience as they play games and, if they’re good, graduate from Elf Academy with an Elf School Diploma (complete with graduation hat) before meeting Santa himself. There’s also a chance to collect a Magic Key to see the real reindeer and donkeys at the Animal Nativity Barn.
When: 30th November - 23rd December 2019
Price: From £10.25 per child
What to expect: Take the Christmas trail on the stunning National Trust grounds, then head to see Santa and his elves in their festive saloon where children will receive a special gift! It’s the perfect place to visit for lovers of the great outdoors; keep your eyes peeled to see if there are any winter wildlife roaming the gardens.
When: 7th - 8th, 14th - 15th, 21st - 22nd December 2019
Price: £8 per child
What to expect: Unlike a traditional Santa's Grotto experience, on a Santa Cruise you’ll be served festive cookies and drinks by his pixies as well as getting the chance to take part in a Christmas quiz and colouring competition! Then, the sleigh will land upon the deck of the boat and Santa himself will dish out his gifts to the children as a little extra treat.
When: 30th November - 24th December 2019
Price: £13.00 per person
Ready to book your cottage in Norfolk for Christmas? Let us play our part in your seasonal getaway and pick a property from our fantastic selection.