Where to see those Christmas Lights in Norfolk this festive season.
Norfolk has no shortage of sparkly, twinkly experiences to light up these short, dark days this season.
First of all, there are the annual Christmas Lights switch-ons, making our already pretty places all festive and shimmery. With no exceptions that we can recall, these events didn’t take place last year (for one obvious reason), but in 2021, it seems that many places have reinstated the annual tradition.
At time of writing, the dates and times for some of these are as follows (in chronological order):
Holt Christmas Lights switch-on – Friday, 19th November 2021. 7pm.
King’s Lynn – Sunday, November 21st.
Aylsham – Friday, November 26th, 6.30pm.
Burnham Market Christmas Market and lights switch on – Saturday, 27th November.
Gorleston – Sunday, November 28th, 5pm.
Cromer – Saturday December 4th, 5.45pm
Wells-next-the-Sea Christmas lights switch on (part of their annual Christmas Tide celebration) – Saturday 4th December, 4.45pm. This is followed by Santa arriving on the Quay at around 6.15pm.
Swaffham – Sunday, December 5th, 5pm.
Norwich will not have a big Christmas lights switch-on this year. Instead, look out for a series of events taking place as part of a ‘Countdown to Christmas’. City centre illuminations, including the popular ‘Tunnel of Light’, will appear from Friday, November 12th.
There will be no lights switch-on Sheringham this year either.
We’d also recommend you double check any events before heading out, as things can change quite quickly, depending on the local Covid situation.
As well as the switching on of Christmas lights, there are some really lovely festive experiences involving lights taking place. They’re a fantastic and memorable day/evening out and if your family is getting too old to visit Santa in his grotto (as ours sadly are now – just!), then a nice seasonal alternative that will still make everyone feel warm, fuzzy and festive.
Here are some of the events on our radar:
Fire on Water, Great Yarmouth (21 October – 6 November)
Fire on Water is an immersive experience with dramatic outdoor arts, hypnotic water projections and shining installations. Glowing embers leap and twirl in the night, warming the hearts of all who spectate. As the chosen location of the immense and mesmerising event, the Venetian Waterways will be transformed into a spectacular scene that will provide amazing cross-site visibility and offer plenty of car parking space, wheelchair accessibility and suitable space for visitors to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Finishing this weekend, you might just catch this if you’re quick!
Chris Levine at Houghton Hall, Houghton (22 October – 23 December)
Houghton Hall in Norfolk has been transformed by a major solo exhibition of contemporary British artist, Chris Levine, 528 Hz Love Frequency. Marking the inaugural winter show in the historic grounds of this now renowned art venue, this exhibition runs until 23 December 2021 and features a series of new holographic artworks, print works and large immersive laser and LED installations. This is a body of new work created specifically for the unique surroundings of the house and grounds. Each distinctive work is characteristic of Levine’s unique and cutting-edge work with the meditative and immersive properties of light and sound.
We love visiting Houghton and can’t wait to see this soon. It looks absolutely amazing.
Sandringham Winter Light Trail, Sandringham (12 November – 19 December)
Nestled deep within Her Majesty’s private Estate, awaits a spectacular, illuminated trail, full of wonder and intrigue, to delight and enthral your senses. As darkness descends, take an enchanting journey on a captivating mile-long light trail through the Country Park at Sandringham, the much-loved rural retreat of Her Majesty. Immerse yourself with stunning lighting elements and fabulous light play, all set to ambient music.
We’ve already booked our tickets!
Garden of Lights at Blickling (29 November – 19 December)
Enjoy the colours, smells and sounds of Christmas at Blickling. Begin your visit through the magically lit walled garden, before discovering our garden of lights and lit acorns on the Parterre. Warm up with mulled wine and a mince pie as you soak up the magical atmosphere at night.
We’ve been to Blickling at Christmas before in previous years and this is a lovely festive, atmospheric event.
Tickets must be pre-booked.
Love Light Norwich (17 – 19 February 2022)
One to look forward to! Love Light Norwich returns in the early New Year with stunning new installations, projections, and performances all designed to amaze and delight. This free light festival makes Norwich shine (even brighter than usual) with three days of enchanting experiences that will appeal to everybody. See Fine City landmarks transformed into vibrant artworks, enjoy fantastic performances from renowned artists, join in with the city centre procession, and become part of the festival with interactive installations. Themed around love and belonging, Love Light Norwich takes the dark February nights and conjures a beautiful experience for residents and visitors alike.