May Events in Norfolk

by Anisa // 0 Comments
bluebells at blickling in Norfolk

May is one of the best times to be in Norfolk. Not only is the weather starting to get warmer, but you can see the bluebells. It’s also time for the biggest event of the year, the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

In this post, you will find information about May events in Norfolk so that you can make plans for the month.

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May 2023 Norfolk Events

If you are looking for things to do in Norfolk in May, you have come to the right place. Here you will find events happening in May 2023 in Norfolk. It includes some events that are family-friendly and/or free.

Typically, we have two bank holiday weekends in May. For 2023, we have an extra bank holiday in May for the King’s Coronation. It will be similar to the bank holiday weekend in 2022 for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The biggest event is the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, which runs from 12 – 28 May.

Remember there can always be last minute changes, so it’s always a good idea to double-check the details with the organization hosting the event.

*Details for some of the May 2023 events have not been announced. Events with TBC – meaning to be confirmed – next to them means they happened last year but have not been confirmed for this year. I will update the post as the information becomes available.

The Last Voyage of the Gloucester at Norwich Castle

When: 25 February – 10 September

In this major exhibition, you will learn how brothers Julian and Lincoln Barnwell discovered the wreck of the Gloucester which ran aground in heavy seas off the coast of Great Yarmouth more than 300 years ago and see some of the fascinating objects found at the wrecksite.

The exhibition is included with regular admission to Norwich Castle. It is expected to be popular so you are encouraged to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Read our review of The Last Voyage of the Gloucester at Norwich Castle to learn more.

Sean Scully at Houghton Hall – Smaller Than the Sky

When: Select Days 23 April – 29 October

One of the world’s most celebrated artists, Sean Scully, will showcase his sculptures, paintings, and works on paper at Houghton Hall.

Read our reviews of the Chris Levine and Tony Cragg exhibitions to find out what to expect.

Find out more here.

The Bressingham Heritage Steam Gala

When: 29 April – 1 May

Traction engines and narrow gauge railway locomotives will be visiting Bressingham for the gala event. They have a busy few days planned.

Get more information and purchase tickets here.

Living Heritage Food, Craft and Wood Festival at Sandringham

When: 29 April – 1 May

The whole family can enjoy live music, craft demonstrations, along with plenty of food and drink! There will be an extended food market offering a selection of fine foods, wines and spirits from local and national food producers. You can also try out some specialist street food vendors.

Crafters will be doing demonstrations including vintage machinery and chainsaw wood carving. Foodies can watch cookery demonstrations too. There will also be a variety of live music performances including jazz bands and solo artists.

Save on admission by purchasing tickets in advance.

Get more information here.

Martham Scarecrow Festival

When: 30 April – 1 May

Martham will turn into a village full of scarecrows, yarn bombing, and garden/garage Sales. It’s a family friendly event with a treasure hunt, scavenger hunt, and fairground.

Get more information here.

Folk on the Pier Festival

When: 5 – 7 May

Top names from the English folk scene will be performing at the Pavilion Theatre in Cromer. You can get discounted season tickets (until they sell out) or buy tickets for individual concerts.

Get more information here.

Coronation Weekend

When: 6 – 8 May

King Charles III will be crowned at Westminster Abbey in London but there will be plenty of celebrations around Norfolk. Many are still to be confirmed.

Learn more in our post about Coronation events in Norfolk.

Norwich Vegan Parkfest

When: 7 May

The Vegan Parkfest returns to Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich after its hugely successful debut in 2022. You can expect a huge variety of vegan street food vendors, artisan bakers, craft brewers, ethical jewellers, sustainable chandlers, local artists, zero-waste champions, environmental charities and much more.

There is no entry charge and well behaved dogs are allowed at the event.

Get more information here.

Find out about more food festivals in Norfolk.

Norfolk and Norwich Festival

When: 12 – 28 May

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival is the biggest event of the year in Norfolk. It’s the flagship arts festival for the East of England, and includes an exciting programme of music, theatre, literature, visual arts, circus, dance and free outdoor events.

Read our guide to the 2022 Norfolk and Norwich Festival for information on last year’s event. Find out more about the 2023 Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

Funderworld at Norfolk Showground

When: 12 May – 4 June

The UK’s largest mobile Theme Park comes to Norfolk. You pay once and get up to 4 hours of unlimited riding. It’s suitable for all ages with over 25 rides and attractions. They have a food court with a huge selection too.

Get more information here.

Eurovision Grand Final

When: 13 May

The Eurovision Grand Final is taking place in Liverpool, but that doesn’t mean you have to travel there to join in the fun.

Check out our list of Eurovision events in Norfolk.

Hunstanton Fun Dog Show

When: 13 May

This is not your typical dog show with some novelty classes and rosettes to 10th place. They will also have trade stalls, refreshments, and more. It takes place at the Glebe House School in Hunstanton.

Get more details here.

The Music of Harry Potter at The Halls

When: May 13

Harry Potters fans should bring their cloaks and wands for this spellbinding concert! It’s the sensational music from the Harry Potter films, performed by the talented International Film Orchestra at The Halls in Norwich.

Get more information here.

Dereham Day

When: 13 May

Dereham Day returns with with loads of activities and entertainment for everyone to enjoy. The Dereham Memorial Hall will be at the heart of the festivities, hosting tons of fun stalls, workshops, and live performances throughout the day. Tim Cara, the chairman of the Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall (FODMH), can’t wait to bring the town together.

Get more information here.

Race for Life at Norwich Showground

When: 13 – 14 May

You can choose to run one (or more) race(s) to raise money for life-saving cancer research. They will be a 3K, 5K, 10K and Pretty Muddy.

Find out more here.

If you want to stay at a hotel close by, we recommend the Premier Inn A47 West.

Mammoth Marathon & Half Marathon

When: 14 May

UPDATE 2 February 2023: Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled for 2023 due to lack of entrants. If you did register, you will be contacted and given a full refund.

The Mammoth Marathon is the county’s first full road race marathon since 1990. The race gets its name because the largest nearly complete mammoth skeleton known in Britain was discovered on Norfolk’s Deep History Coast.

The course starts in Sea Palling and follows the coast road through many scenic villages and finishing in Sheringham. If you would like to run a shorter race, there is also a half marathon on the same day that goes from Mundesley to Sheringham.

Get more information about the marathon here.

Bressingham 1940’s Day

When: 14 May

Get ready for a 1940’s themed event with the Dad’s Army Appreciation Society. It’s a must for lovers of that time period and also a great way for young people to learn more about it by immersing themselves in the memorabilia, vehicles, fashions, music and more of the day. The museum will be open during the event too.

You can buy tickets and get more information here.

Cromer Crab & Lobster Festival

When: 20 – 21 May

This festival celebrates the sea-faring heritage of Cromer. It begins with the Grand Opening Variety Concert at the Pier Pavilion Theatre in Cromer (unfortunately the opening concert has been cancelled for 2023) and also includes heritage demonstrations, a street market, a cookery theatre, live music, street performers, crafts and activities for the kids, and an art trail and the scrumptious seafood trail which includes many local restaurants, cafés, and pubs.

Get more information here.

Stalham Fringe Festival

When: 21 May

Experience the vibrant talent of Stalham and beyond at the upcoming Stalham Fringe Festival – a free event featuring an array of fantastic performers and vendors. Discover an eclectic mix of dancers, singers, bands, instrumentalists, African drummers, shanty singers, choirs, and more, all preparing to bring their best to this exciting festival.

Enjoy performances across three venues and the lively atmosphere of the High Street. With 36 stalls offering everything from delicious hot and cold food to plants, crafts, books, and more, there’s something for everyone.

Get more information here.

City of Ale Launch Party

When: 25 May

The City of Ale party launches a month-long celebration of pub and brewers with over 50 award-winning ales and craft beers available on cask and keg. Local ales and specially brewed guest beers will be available, including unique collaborations between Norfolk and Flanders brewers. The event at the Waterfront in Norwich will have live music, morris dancers, stalls, activities, and food options, making it a celebration of fine ale.

Get more information here.

Great Yarmouth Beer and Circus Festival

When: 25 – 28 May

The Beer and Circus Festival is back at the Drill House on York Road in Great Yarmouth. There will be a range of beers and ciders from breweries across the region including casks from Lacons along with a special international selection!

The festival will have live entertainment included in the entry fee which is only £3.

Get more information here.

Read about more beer festivals in Norfolk.

Wildfest ‘ 23

When: 26 – 28 May

Get ready for an exciting and enjoyable weekend that includes live music, camping, a craft bar, real ales, local spirits and cider, food stalls, a bouncy castle and entertainment for the little ones, as well as a chill-out area and a yoga/healing field.

Get more information here.

Acle Gin Festival

When: 26 – 28 May

Calling all gin lovers. The Acle Gin Festival is back at the Acle Recreation Centre. Stay tuned for details.

Get more information here.

Earworm Festival

When: 26 – 28 May

Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of the Earworm Festival, where soulful melodies and joyous laughter blend together in perfect harmony. Join us for a celebration of music, dance, and playful moments amidst the captivating backdrop of the Norfolk Broads. Get ready to dance, laugh, and create unforgettable memories with us at this truly magical event.

Get more information here.

The Breakin’ Convention

When: 27 May

The Breakin’ Convention, a huge Hip-Hop festival, is coming to Norwich Theatre Royal featuring international acts and local crews from around the region. The festival includes free events and activities for all ages, such as a showcase painting session, stencil workshop, and localism exhibition. There will also be a live hip-hop DJ, a cypher, and a BBQ serving burgers and sausages.

Get more information here.

Billy Ocean at Sandringham

When: 27 May

Billy Ocean, the award-winning recording artist best known for a string of pop and soul anthems in the ’70s and ’80s, will be performing at Sandringham. This is a ticketed event.

Get more information here.

Mad Market

When: 27 May

Expect games, wide-ranging items for sale, music, food & drink, and of course, dragons in St. John’s Alley in Norwich all to raise money for vital renovation of the Maddermarket Theatre.

Get details here.

Hanseatic Festival of Watersports

When: 27 – 28 May

Get ready for an exhilarating weekend as the Hanseatic Festival of Watersports returns to the River Great Ouse in King’s Lynn. Spectators can enjoy the thrilling action of Formula 1, 2, and 3 water-ski racing, jet ski demonstrations, and offshore power boats.

This free event draws inspiration from the famous Diamond Race in Antwerp, Belgium. Alongside the races, there will be family activities, live music, a firework display, and special flypasts by iconic aircraft.

Get more information here.

Mulbarton Festival

When: 27 – 28 May

Mulbarton Festival has a spectacular lineup of live music, delectable food, refreshing drinks, and an array of activities for all ages! Get ready to bounce and play on giant inflatables, immerse yourself in captivating storytime sessions, enjoy thrilling fun fair rides, and even adorn yourself with beautiful henna tattoos.

To secure your spot, we recommend purchasing tickets in advance, as capacity is limited. The festivities will take place at Mulberry Park, creating the perfect setting for a day of fun for everyone.

Get more information here.

Strumpshaw Steam Rally

When: 27 – 29 May

The Strumpshaw Steam Museum is hosting a Steam Rally. It will be a fun family day out with steam engines, stationary engines, classic cars, tractors, working demonstrations, craft and trade stands, ring events, and Harveys Shires Horse displays.

Get more information here.

Beer & Cheese Festival at the Brickmakers

When: 27 – 31 May

Get ready for an exciting new addition to the Norwich City of Ale 2023 lineup – the first ever beer and cheese festival at the Brickmakers in Norwich! With five days of festivities and a mouth-watering selection of ales and cheeses, this is an event you won’t want to miss.

The Brickmakers will have none other than Cheryl Cade – a world-renowned beer judge and cheese sommelier who knows a thing or two about pairing these delectable treats. So whether you’re a die-hard ale aficionado or a cheese-loving connoisseur (or both!), join in for an unforgettable celebration of all things beer and cheese.

Get more information here.

Mini Feast in the Park

When: 27 May – 4 June

Sample fare from some of Norfolk’s favourite food vendors at Holkham Park.

Get the details on which vendors will be on site each day here.

“Tornado” Steams In

When: 27 May – 4 June

The famous steam locomotive No 60163 Tornado will be visiting North Norfolk Railway. Tornado is a 21st century steam locomotive that made headlines in 2008 and has since appeared in movies and TV shows, as well as hauling Royal Trains. It is also the fastest steam engine to run since the 1960s.

The locomotive will be running at a speed of 25 miles per hour through the North Norfolk countryside, giving passengers a chance to ride behind one of Britain’s most famous locomotives. This appearance follows an overhaul that has kept the engine out of service for 15 months, so tickets are expected to sell fast.

Each ticket includes a reserved seat for a round trip from Sheringham to Holt, with time at Holt Station to take photographs of the locomotive.

Get more information here.

Gray Brothers Fun Fair at Eaton Park

When: 27 May – 4 June

Prepare yourself for an exhilarating adventure filled with thrilling rides, delectable candy floss and popcorn, the anticipation of winning exciting prizes, and an electric atmosphere buzzing with excitement in Eaton Park. The Gray Brothers Fun Fair will help keep the kids entertained during half-term.

Get more information along with discount coupons here.

Reepham Food Festival

When: 28 May

The Fifth Reepham Food Festival will take place in the Market Square and the Secret Garden with a wide range of local food and drink producers. You will be able to try new food and get ideas and tips from experts.

They expect to have more than 30 stalls, so there will be something for all tastes and budgets.  Plus, schools, farms and other organisations will be joining in so there will be lots to do and see for all the family.

Profits from the festival will support the new Sunshine Cafe for people with memory loss, work with Rotary Clubs in Ukraine and other Rotary charities.

Get more information here.

Sandringham Pageant of Motoring

When: 28 May

The Pageant of Motoring is back in the Royal Parkland, following a successful debut for the Platinum Jubilee. This year’s event promises to showcase the evolution of motoring over the decades with spectacular live music performances, thrilling aerial displays, culinary delights, and a craft and vintage fair for all to enjoy.

Get more information here.

Fairy Fair at Bradmoor Woods

When: 28 – 29 May

Celebrate the magic of spring with the whole family. There will be lots of activities to make learning about nature fun, plus local food and drink stalls on site, as well as the Corncockle Cafe and pub, The Good Elf with its unique magical decor. Local crafts, pre-loved clothing and eco supplies will be available at the Fairy Market.

You will need to book a ticket in advance. The event benefits the conservation charity, the Fairyland Trust.

Get more information here.

Young Frankenstein at Norwich Playhouse

When: 30 May – 3 June

Threshold Theatre Company brings “Young Frankenstein” to the stage at Norwich Playhouse. It’s a musical comedy that shares the quirky tale of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein and his wild adventures.

Read our review of Young Frankenstein to learn more.

Something to Look Forward to Next May

Norfolk Fake Festival at Eaton Park

When: Not happening in 2023, hoping it will come back in 2024

Norwich Fake Festival is a tribute-based music event with six ‘fake bands’ – professional ‘touring-grade’ tribute bands that put on a superb performance. They look, sound and move like the real rock-stars – you have to see them to believe it! There will also be a licensed bar and food traders.

Get more information here.

Read about more music festivals in Norfolk here.

The Big Norfolk Sausage Bash

When: Not happening in 2023, hopeful it will come back in 2024

Head to Aylsham for sausages, more Norfolk food and drinks stalls, and live music.

Find out more here.

Hanse Festival in King’s Lynn

When: Not happening in 2023, hopeful it will be back in 2024

The Hanse Festival includes events and activities around King’s Lynn to celebrate the town’s membership of the new Hanse. You can see the Hanse Festival Regatta which features boats from all over the country and has been organised by the Wells and King’s Lynn Coastal Rowing Club

Get more information here.

Looking Ahead

June Events in Norfolk

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