Holkham Hall in north Norfolk is providing events for everyone this May. Whether it’s celebrating the May Bank Holiday weekend, getting creative at one of the workshops, watching talented artisans demonstrate their skills, or getting close to nature with a wildlife walk, this stately home has it all.
‘May Day Celebrations’ on Sunday 6th and Monday 7th May will see the hall’s kitchen brought to life from 12 to 4pm with demonstrations of Victorian cookery led by Julia and Nigel Gant of 4 and 20 Blackbirds. Visitors can watch the preparation of jellies and ice creams, water ices and marzipan fruits while learning about the food and ingredients popular during the Victorian era. In the Bygones Museum, children’s craft activities throughout both days will create a fun atmosphere. In the courtyard, traditional music and dancing and family games will entertain visitors. On Sunday 6th at 1pm and 3pm the Lobster Potties from Sheringham will go ‘potty’ with their traditional north Norfolk style of dancing and with some 'North West' and 'Border' styles thrown in for variety. More displays of Cotswold morris dancing by The King's Morris of King's Lynn will keep visitors amused on Bank Holiday Monday at 11am and 3pm.
Those who want to visit Holkham before May Day can see and meet some of the talented local artisan suppliers whose works are for sale in the Holkham Gift Shop. Liz from Ebenezer Cottage will be offering tastings of her delicious jams, chutneys and cordials on 3rd May from 10am to 3pm and from noon on 6th May artist Stuart Roy will be on hand to show his original paintings of the Norfolk landscape. Or join the ‘Deer Discovery Walk’ on Saturday 5th May from 10am –11.30am when Deer Keeper Glyn Ingram will take visitors on an informal guided walk around Holkham Park, where they will learn some interesting facts about the herd of deer. Discover how the behaviour of the fallow and red deer changes with the seasons and how the management of the parkland has made it the sanctuary for wildlife that it is today.
For those more interested in indulging their design and creative skills there is an opportunity to join the ‘Make a Fascinating Fascinator’ workshop, on Saturday 12th May from 10am to 12.30pm or 2pm to 4.30pm. Led by Suzi Stow the two half-day workshops will teach the basic skills of fascinator design and making. Whether it’s for a special occasion or simply for a love of dressing up, this practical and sociable class will help turn ideas into reality and you will have your own fashionable design to take home.
An informative day is just a click away with an ‘Amazing Abstracts Photography Workshop’ for adults specialising in the photography of spring plants and architecture run by professional natural history and environmental photographer Nigel Downer on Wednesday 16th May from 10am to 4pm. How to get the best from a camera and techniques to produce that perfect image are just two of the subjects Nigel will be covering.
In the evening on Wednesday 16th May, from 6.30pm to 8pm, visitors can go ‘Down Memory Lane’ with a presentation by Juliet Webster who, when moving house found a diary, photographs and poem written by Honor Elwes. Honor was one of three young ladies touring Norfolk in a yellow horse-drawn caravan, camping all the way. Visitors are invited to join Juliet at the Stables Café 100 years on from this memorable tour for an entertaining evening of poetry, pictures and places, reliving the tour in the summer of 1912.
Nearing the end of the month all the family can enjoy learning about the magnificent oak trees of Holkham Park. ‘Tremendous Trees’ family day on Sunday 27th May between 11am and 4pm, is a free drop-in event where visitors can find out the difference between an English Oak and a Holm Oak and take part in activities such as bark rubbing, leaf printing, mask making and mini beast hunting.
For further information and individual admission prices contact 01328 713111 or visit www.holkham.co.uk.