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Originally published 2018
It’s an odd time. The romance and intrigue of a Christmas Day not-yet-happened is gone, and in its place is stray gift wrap, two segments of chocolate orange and the hollow ghost of Mariah Carey.
So what do you do? Is there anything to do? And will you have to do it all existing solely on different iterations of turkey?
No. Because you can freeze turkey and there are loads of things happening in Norfolk that will get you out of the house. Get your big shoes on: we’re going for a walk and we’re not touching anything with even the merest hint of Mariah.
The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is set within the 350 acres of the University of East Anglia’s rugged parkland, within which you’ll find the Sculpture Park, and a lovely walk!
Inside the gallery at the moment, you’ll find two exhibitions that really dig deep into what it means to be human: Elisabeth Frink: Humans and Other Animals is a darkly constructed journey through themes such as human vulnerability, violence and mortality. Ken Kiff: The Sequence takes the viewer through emotion, fantasy and response, and is the first museum exhibition of Kiff’s colourful and fantastic work in almost 25 years. Out of the gallery and into the sculpture park, keep your eyes open for works by artists such as Lynn Chadwick, Henry Moore and Anthony Gormley.
Couple this with a coffee and cake at the fantastic Kofra Coffee, and a walk around UEA broad, then you’re onto a winter winner.
The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts will be open from Thursday 27 – Sunday 30 December 2018.
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art
Our good friends at Norwich Tourist Information Centre are running special, Christmas guided tours of the city on the 28th, 29th and 31st of December. These guys know their Norwich history, so for a stretch of your legs and your mind, this is the one. The walk lasts about an hour, and afterwards, why make the most of being in the city, and visit one of Norwich’s many pubs?
Each walk starts at 11am, and tickets can be booked in advance until 2pm on Christmas Eve. After that, any remaining tickets will be available on the day from 10am at the Tourist Information Centre. Tickets are £5.
As always, Norwich Puppet Theatre is on hand to keep children (and adults) entertained with their wonderful, all-materials-provided workshops. The star of the show during the Christmas break is their performance of ‘The Frog and the Princess’, which will see the classic Brother’s Grimm tale about friendship, and first appearances. This sweet, humorous take on the story is accompanied by a family workshop on Saturday 29th of December, where older family members will be able to work alongside younger ones as they create their own puppets. There are other puppet making workshops on from the 27th to the 31st too; see website for full details.
If leaving the house at Christmas is too much of a shock to the system, then soften the blow by taking the mince pies outside with you! Enjoy a 9 mile ride through the Bure Valley Countryside on a steam train, taking in the scenes of Norfolk during wintertime. There’s a free mince pie included for every fare paying passenger, at the Whistlestop café in Aylsham. Plus, you can walk alongside the train for a bit in between some of the intermediate stations, if you fancy taking things more at your own pace.
Tickets: Adults £13.50, Children £6.50
Join one of the wardens at Holkham on a guided walk around the Holkham National Nature Reserve, to blow away the Christmas cobwebs. The rich variety of wildlife at Holkham means that there is always something of interest to see throughout the year, so why not enjoy the stunning beach in the drama of winter?
Well behaved, sociable dogs on leads welcome. Each walk will begin at 10am and last approximately 2 hours, meeting at the car parking hut at the Lady Anne’s Drive Visitor facilities.
Bure Valley Railway, Mince Pie Specials