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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

England's Norfolk Coast: The Traditional Christmas Experience

Continuing my series of the best vacation spots in the UK, we get all Christmasy on the Norfolk Coast.

There are few better places during the festive season than England's North Norfolk Coast. This beautiful part of the world is already famous for its seafood, great pubs, beautiful beaches and shopping. For those in the know, it’s also the best place to get Christmas started.

With a combination of the week long Fakenham Christmas Tree Festival, Holkham’s ‘Victorian Christmas Celebration’, Creake Abbey’s Christmas Farmers’ Market and the Deepdale Christmas Market visitors have a wonderful opportunity to eat, drink and complete your Christmas shopping all in one weekend.

Fakenham Parish Church holds its 11th Christmas Tree Festival from Thursday 1st to Thursday 8th December 2011 between 10am and 8pm daily. This ever popular occasion attracted 25,000 people last year and raised over £18,000 for charities mostly in small coins! This year 78 charities will be taking part and there will be 90 trees! Entrance to the Festival is Free, but please bring a bag of coins to donate to the charity trees of your choice. Inside there will be a Christmas Bazaar selling a wide range of Christmas goods; also refreshments, a Tombola and a Grand Draw. - www.fakenhamparishchurch.org.uk

It will be a truly a wonderful experience for visitors to Holkham Hall on 3 and 4 December for a ‘Victorian Christmas Celebration’, as Queen Victoria arrives to stay for Christmas. Inside the wonderfully decorated hall, musicians will lead for dances and traditional carols will be sung, games played and stories told by the fireside. A daring fire breather will perform, redcoat soldiers will keep guard and in the kitchens, cooks and household staff will be found bustling to get the royal feast prepared. All will be captured for posterity by period photographic camera and techniques. Florence Nightingale will drop by to recruit more nurses and the Holly King, sitting beneath his Christmas Tree, will give out gifts to the children.
- www.holkham.co.uk

Hundreds of ingredients produced and made in Norfolk will be for sale at Creake Abbey’s Christmas Farmers’ Market, North Creake on Saturday 3rd December from 9.30am – 1pm. Over 45 producers are booked to attend. Together with the regulars the market is welcoming Godwick Turkeys and Norfolk Saffron. To inspire you to give this years’ Christmas dishes an interesting Norfolk twist, top local chefs including Richard Bainbridge will be demonstrating some of their favourite recipes. The producers will be offering tastings galore plus all the info you might need to make an informed purchase. Cookery demonstrations in the workshop on the car park start at 10am. - www.creakeabbey.co.uk

The annual Deepdale Christmas Market welcomes over 50 stalls to Burnham Deepdale to join Dalegate Market’s shops & Deepdale Café on both Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December from 10am to 4pm. The stalls & shops offer presents, decorations, food & drink, cheese, clothing, jewellery, cupcakes, photography and you can even buy your Christmas trees. There will be a wonderful selection of refreshments available from Deepdale Café, including paella, mulled wine, paninis and their usual great food & cakes. Entertainment includes the Norwich Ukulele Society, Fakenham Town Band and Hunstanton Concert Band who are joined by carollers. FREE entry. – www.deepdalechristmasmarket.co.uk

A Friday visit to The Jolly Sailors, Brancaster Staithe for their Sausage Fest would be a great addition to a weekend of festive cheer. – www.jollysailors.co.uk

There is a huge choice of accommodation including holiday cottages, hotels, B&Bs, backpackers hostels, tipi, yurts and for the brave hearted you could even camp! For information about accommodation along the coast, visit www.burnhamdeepdale.co.uk