10 Annual Events Not to Miss in Norwich

17 May 2024

10 Annual Events Not to Miss in Norwich 

There’s plenty that goes into making a city as special as Norwich. Everything from our iconic landmarks, fantastic attractions, wonderful independent businesses, and the people behind them all come together to make every trip to the City of Stories an unforgettable one. But there’s one more element that really helps to take this city to another level – our amazing calendar of annual events. 

From week-long celebrations of wine and month-long celebrations of all things beer, to the festivals championing science and one of the longest-running annual celebrations in the country, Norwich truly has something for everyone to get involved with and enjoy. So, to show you just how much there is and what you can come along to, we’ve pulled together ten annual events you simply cannot miss during a visit to the city. Read on for more information! 


Norwich Science Festival – The Forum and across venues in Norwich & Norfolk 

Starting the year off is the Norwich Science Festival. Every year, this wonderful festival takes over The Forum and a range of venues across Norwich & Norfolk to celebrate everything in the world of science. Their calendar, which already has over 150 events planned for 2025, always features hands-on experiments, demonstrations, talks with industry experts, arts and crafts activities, and so, so much more. It’s a huge hit across the city every year. 

The Norwich Science Festival is held for a week over the February half term, so expect 2025’s edition to take place around Friday, February 14 – Sunday, February 23! Best of all, the calendar of events at the Science Festival is typically full of FREE events to take part in, meaning you and the family can enjoy a day out learning something new about the world without spending a penny! Find out more about the Norwich Science Festival, including how you can take part in volunteering, on their website. 


Norfolk Makers Festival – The Forum 

The Norfolk Makers Festival is a real highlight for all kinds of creatives throughout Norwich. In this free event, local artists, crafters and artisans – both professional and amateur – come together for a celebration of creativity, expression, and art. It’s all about encouraging visitors to get involved in something new to develop new skills and explore their creative selves!  

Throughout the Festival, The Forum is filled with an eclectic mix of artwork and a range of free hands-on activities and demonstrations! From knitting and sewing to painting and more specialist crafts, like upcycling and woodwork, this is the place to be for all things creative. There’s also a programme of paid ticketed talks and focused workshops for those looking to really enhance their experience with certain crafts! So, whether you’re a total newbie or a seasoned hobbyist, if you’re looking for a new creative challenge, this is the festival to look out for. 


Norfolk & Norwich Festival – Multiple venues throughout Norwich & Norfolk 

The Norfolk & Norwich Festival is one of the city’s most popular annual events, and as one of the country’s longest-running arts festivals (and the largest arts festival in the East of England), it’s for good reason. For 17 days each May, the Norfolk & Norwich Festival transforms public spaces of all kinds, be it city streets, performance venues, parks, forests, beaches, and more, all to bring people together so they can experience these brilliant and inspirational events together.  

But what kinds of events can you see during the Norfolk & Norwich Festival? Good question. Across the Festival, you’ll find a world-class programme of music, theatre, literature, visual arts, circus, dance, and free outdoor events. In the past, it has seen a line of 7500 giant dominos stretch across the city, a 230-metre-long journey across a tightrope from Jarrolds to The Forum, and even a 8.5-metre tall puppet walking through the city – and these are just the opening events! 

Every year’s programme is full of wonderful sights, and it’s all truly a must-see. Whatever you enjoy, you’ll find it at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Find out more on their website! 


City of Ale – Multiple venues throughout Norwich 

City of Ale is an annual celebration of beer – particularly local beer! This month-long festival is perfect for those looking to see the city from a different perspective, discover new pubs, or find a new favourite pint. Each year, pubs from across the city come together to make up unique trails for visitors to take part in, which is perfect for locals to try out somewhere new and for visitors to see the best stops in Norwich. 

With every pub you visit, you can receive a stamp towards completing these individual trails. Once you’ve completed the trail and received your stamp from every pub on it, you can claim a free badge! It’s a brilliantly fun way to support local businesses, including the breweries behind some of these delicious beers, and truly a favourite among the locals here in Norwich. So, be sure to get involved, you won’t regret it! 

Late May

Norwich Games Festival  

After a four-year break, the Norwich Games Festival makes its return in 2024, and it’s here to stay! In this fantastic festival, the world of video and board games are opened up to everyone, celebrating games of all kinds and offering advice on how you can make a career in these industries. Beginners, experts, and professionals can all get involved, whether you’re enjoying the retro arcade, showing off your skills, or taking part in talks and workshops on programming! 

Over half of 2024’s programme is completely FREE to take part in, with paid ticketed events available for those wanting to join gameshows, specialist discussions, and more. So, no matter how experienced you are with games, come along and get involved, you might just discover the creative outlet for you! Find out more, including 2024’s entire calendar of events, on the Norwich Games Festival website. 


Norwich Wine Week 

Did you know? Norfolk’s wine heritage goes all the way back to the Roman era… it’s no wonder that it’s still thriving to this day! So, forget the exotic climes of Italy, France, and Argentina, instead, join Norwich Wine Week as they celebrate local tipples!  

The celebrations start with Norwich Wine Week: The Festival in Chapelfield Gardens, where, for three days, this will be the place to go for all things wine. General admission costs just £15 and gives you the chance to try up to ten samples of the finest wines from the region, buy tasty dishes from specially selected caterers, and talk to local experts, vineyards, and merchants! Plus, all tickets include a Norwich Wine Week tote bag filled with goodies, including the chance to win golden ticket prizes! Find out more about Norwich Wine Week: The Festival here. 

Then, once the Festival is all said and done, the celebrations move city-wide with Norwich Wine Week: The Showcase. During this time, different businesses across the city will hold exclusively designed events, tastings, and offers to commemorate wine for all tastes. It doesn’t matter if you’re completely new to the world of wine or an afficionado, these events will teach you all you need to know! Find out more about Norwich Wine Week: The Showcase here. 

July – August

Norwich Summer Sessions 

While out and about in Norwich on Thursday evenings in July (4pm – 8pm) and Sunday afternoons in August (12:30pm – 4:30pm), you might just catch some pretty special performances across the city… And it’s all thanks to Norwich Summer Sessions! 

Formerly known as ‘Head Out, Not Home’, Norwich Summer Sessions brings a calendar of FREE summer street entertainment to the City of Stories, including open-air music and street performances – expect to find a variety of musical genres, comedy, dance, theatre, and much more! There are five stages to look out for, which can be found at: Hay Hill, Westlegate, London Street, Gentleman’s Walk, and St Gregory’s Green. These performances aren’t to be missed and are best enjoyed at your own leisure with a visit to a nearby café, bar, or restaurant to really soak in the festival atmosphere across the city. Find out more about Norwich Summer Sessions here! 


Lord Mayor’s Weekend 

The Lord Mayor’s Weekend is a special tradition here in Norwich – it’s the biggest street party in the city, it’s been going since the medieval days… and it’s FREE! This popular summer celebration includes a huge programme of events across just one weekend, like the mayoral procession, which is a colourful parade through the city with musical bands, dancers, acrobats, giant puppets, walking floats, costumed groups, and more.  

While the calendar of events changes every year, it’s worth keeping an eye out for any news, there’s never a shortage of activities, events, and food and drink! For locals and visitors alike, it’s a huge highlight here in the City of Stories, and certainly one to join if you’re nearby! 

Late July

Norwich Pride 

A vitally important calendar highlight to the city, Norwich Pride is a day celebrating all of those who identify as part of the LGTBQIA+ community. Their mission is to ensure everyone in the city can feel safe and proud of themselves. The day itself is incredible and creates a seriously infectious atmosphere throughout the city, with activities, performances, and the main event – the Pride March.  

On top of that, they also have over 120 stalls and a makers market in six locations offering support and information, glitter bars, artisan crafts, food, and much more. These stalls alone are worth visiting on the day – you might just find yourself a few goodies to take home with you! The full 2024 event pack can be found on the Norwich Pride website here. 


Heritage Open Days 

Heritage Open Days (HODs) is England’s largest festival of history and culture. Each year, thousands of venues, organisations, and private homes and gardens across the country open their doors for FREE for just one week to show and educate on lesser-seen parts of their respective town and city! And we’re lucky enough that Norfolk has the largest programme outside of London, which means there is a lot to see. 

Each year, the programme of Norfolk Heritage Open Days is full of hundreds of tours across our gorgeous city and county – it’s just up to you to decide what you see! But be quick and be sure to see as much as you can, there’s no guarantee that some of these venues will open their doors again for years to come! You can find the full Heritage Open Days programme on their website here.