Monday, 17 January 2011

Raveningham Gardens Snowdrop Spectacular

Raveningham Gardens opens for the snowdrop season from Sunday, February 13 to Friday, March 4. Drifts of snowdrops in the main garden will be on display daily from 11am to 4pm (weekdays) and 2pm to 4pm on Sundays (dusk if earlier) – closed Saturdays.

Admission is adults £4, concessions £3.50 and children under 16 free; proceeds go to Priscilla Bacon Lodge, a centre for specialist palliative care services in Norwich. Tea and home made cakes served on Sundays and sunny days.

Raveningham Hall is the home of Sir Nicholas and Lady Bacon. It was Sir Nicholas’ mother, Priscilla Bacon, who added snowdrops to the garden.

The 18th century Walled Kitchen Garden with its large glasshouses will be open and visitors will also be able to enjoy views across the new lake established at the turn of the Millennium and the contemporary sculpture in the gardens.

Raveningham Gardens (NR14 6NS) is 10 miles south east of Norwich, signposted off the A146 at Hales, then B1136, tel. 01508 548152,

Fairhaven Garden – RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, Saturday, January 29

Take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham on Saturday, January 29, 10am to 4pm.

More than 95 bird species have been recorded at Fairhaven. Identification sheets will be provided to help birdwatchers. A free packet of wildflower seeds will be given away with every completed record sheet. Normal admission charges on the day – adult £5.50, concessions £5, child £3.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham, nine miles east of Norwich, signposted off A47 at B1140 junction, tel. 01603 270449, The garden is open daily all year, 10am to 5pm (closed Christmas Day and closes 4pm December to February), also open Wednesday and Thursday until 9pm from May to the end of August, free parking and free admission to tearoom, gift shop and plant sales.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Record Year for Poppy Line

North Norfolk’s Poppy Line heritage railway is celebrating a record 2010. Figures just released show that a total of 143,991 passengers took a trip on the railway, a rise of over 13% on the 2009 total.

The Poppy Line, originally built as part of the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway 124 years ago, keeps on developing as one of North Norfolk’s most vibrant attractions.
General manager Trevor Eady puts last year’s success down to three key factors: “The reopening of Sheringham level crossing, doubling the number of trains run in May and June, and introducing new events like the visit of Ivor the Engine.”

With fares for this year held at the level of three years ago, and a full programme of special events, the Poppy Line aims to continue growing its rich nostalgic appeal.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Norfolk Tourism on the Road

Norfolk Tourism with partners Broadland District Council,, and Norfolk Country Cottages will be on stand OU150 at The Outdoors Show, ExCel, London from Thursday 13 January to Sunday 16 January. Visitors to the stand will be invited to enter a prize draw for a £350 holiday with Norfolk Country Cottages.

Norfolk with its endless skies is the place to enjoy the great outdoors. Norfolk Tourism has developed the ‘Outdoor Norfolk’ activity map and guide, which can be downloaded from, featuring more than 100 sites in the county and promoting the county’s world class outdoor activities – boating, birdwatching, canoeing, cycling, fishing, horseriding and walking.

On Saturday 15 January, Norfolk Tourism, with partners Norfolk Lavender, and Premier Inns Norwich, will be launching the 12th edition of the Norfolk Travel Trade Manual 2011 at Excursions group travel exhibition, Alexandra Place, London. The travel trade manual is the essential guide to Norfolk for coach operators and group operators, packed with information on places to visit and stay, meal stops, guided tours and special events.

Pick up a copy of the travel trade manual at Norfolk Tourism’s stand no. E11 or download a pdf or order a printed copy at Visitors to the Norfolk Tourism stand will be invited to enter a free prize draw for a Norfolk Lavender Hamper.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Norfolk Tourism Annual Review Meeting - 19 January

Norfolk Tourism is staging its Annual Review Meeting on Wednesday, January 19, at Marriott Sprowston Manor Hotel, 9am to 1pm.

The meeting will take the temperature of the county’s £2.6 billion tourism industry, assessing the continuing impact of the ‘staycation’ phenomenon and will look forward to the industry plans for London 2012.

Richard Ellis, the new Norfolk Tourism Chairman, will give his views on the future of tourism in the county. Clare Millar of VisitNorfolk’s 2012 tourism task group will outline how businesses can get involved in this exceptional opportunity to promote the county to a global audience and Chris Starkie, Chief Executive of Shaping Norfolk’s Future, will talk about the way forward for the New Anglia Local Economic Partnership. Lydia Smith, Norfolk Tourism Director, will present a review of activities and achievements carried out in 2010.

There will also be presentations on the new website, now with online bookability, and business opportunities using the Guestlink tool, which links to the regional Destination Management System.

Attendance is free to local tourism businesses, but they need to register in advance by emailing Michelle Bull Stay on for a networking buffet lunch at £9.95 (pre-booked only).

Lydia Smith, Director, Norfolk Tourism said: “A successful tourism industry, working together, is vital to Norfolk’s economic well-being. Just over 49,600 people are employed in tourism, which contributes £2.6 billion to the county’s economy. I urge tourism business owners to join us on January 19, so that they can hear at first hand how they can continue to benefit from the ‘staycation’ phenomenon and also capitalise on London 2012.”

Norfolk Tourism is the county's established public and private industry partnership. Funded by its 55 partner organisations, the partnership is designed to act as a forum for all Norfolk's tourism businesses and local authorities,, tel. 01603 222846. See our free to use image library at

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Fairhaven Garden Tearoom Refurbishment

The tearoom at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham will be closed for refurbishment between Monday, January 10 and Friday, January 14. The garden, gift shop and plant sales will be open as usual.

A new Knit & Natter Club launches in the tearoom on Wednesday, January 19, 10am to 12noon. Just bring your knitting and make new friends – no charge.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham, nine miles east of Norwich, signposted off A47 at B1140 junction, tel. 01603 270449, The garden is open daily all year, 10am to 5pm (closed Christmas Day), also open Wednesday and Thursday until 9pm from May to the end of August.