This post is written in collaboration
We are lucky enough to have a cottage in Brancaster, on the North Norfolk coast, and we spend every Christmas here. For those who don’t know the area, it’s just stunning and winter breaks mean blowing the cobwebs out on beach walks, but also cosy pubs and log fires. I thought I would share with you what we will be up to this festive season in North Norfolk.
First and foremost, the house will be decorated. We always get our tree from Drove Orchards, and get it delivered for when we arrive. We keep a stash of Christmas decorations up there, so out comes the wreath and all the decorations, and our house becomes a Christmas wonderland.
One of our favourite places to head to over at any time of the year is Holkham Hall, but it is particularly magical at Christmas time. The hall and grounds are decorated beautifully, a true festive treat. Although my kids are a little old for it now, the audience with Father Christmas is utterly charming, and this year we thought we might go to the beautiful Chapel in Holkham Hall between Christmas and New Year for a Candlelight Experience with ‘Nativity’: a moving-image artwork by Martha Fiennes.
We’re hoping my young nephews might visit before Christmas, so we can take them on The Wells and Walsingham light railway. The railway is wonderful anyway, 10 1⁄4 in (260 mm) gauge heritage railway takes you from Wells to Walsingham through the lovely Norfolk countryside. At the Walsingham end you meet the Big Man himself, and I quite fancy the idea of snuggling up in a railway carriage with a blanket and a mulled wine. Sounds entirely festive to me.
I never like my children to think Christmas is just about the presents and food, it has to have a religious aspect too, therefore each Christmas Eve, we visit Titchwell Church for their Christingle Service. I used to go to a Christingle service as a child, and I have to say, since I lost my Mum, this is a traditional I want to keep going, but also one that evokes happy memories, albeit a touch emotional too.
We tend to see a show in London just before Christmas, but we are planning on catching a Christmas film at the newly renovated Wells Maltings. The Maltings is an arts, heritage and cultural centre in Wells Next the Sea. It houses a Heritage Centre with four galleries, a theatre/cinema, Visitor Information Centre, attractive, a cafe, galleries and community spaces and a small retail area. In December, there are special showing of festive favourites such as Miracle on 34th Street and Twas the Night before Christmas, there is also a screening of the Bolshoi Ballet’s Nutcracker.
Ahead of hunkering down on Christmas Day, we tend to eat out on Christmas Eve, and the choices along the coast are endless. We’ve yet to decide where we will be going, but the children always love Eric’s fish and chips in Thornham, a finalist in the National Fish and Chip awards no less! And quite frankly, fish and chips with a glass of fizz on Christmas Eve sounds pretty darn perfect to me.
Where are you spending Christmas this year? Have you got any top tips for a North Norfolk Christmas?