Worstead Festival – Celebrating Rural Life

With recommendations from friends, we decided to head to the Worstead Fesitval – a really nice family-focused weekend festival festival celebrating rural life. It had a bit of the same feel as the North Norfolk Country Fair – Weybourne, which they also recommended, minus a few things like rides and car boot, etc but it was nicer in my opinion.

While it was not that far from the city of Norwich (13 miles), it was a lovely small village which felt like in the middle of no where.   We didn’t do much exploring the village (again it is very tiny) but there is a cute, newly renovated pub/restaurant called The White Lady, which we ended up having a drink mid-day.  They had a beer garden in the back with about 10 bands playing from noon until late night, but that was an additional entrance fee and we thought we’d be better off sticking with the festival, the reason we came.  We did talk about returning to this pub in the future for a drink and using the nearby kids playground.

For the first time, we took the train from Cromer.  Once we were at Worstead, we were met by a tractor pulling a cart with benches, which took us to and from the festival – so super easy and completely hassle free.

Once we arrived, there was just so much to do.  The kids immediately wanted to play at the great playground [which is one of the best I’ve found in UK since arriving almost a year ago].  They had a combination of climbing structures, ride-ons, a zip line and some exercise equipment (probably used by the older ladies on the village, but our kids had a go too.

Maebh kept saying she was a big girl and could climb up the dome structure, so as I took photos, I tried not to show how much I was praying she didn’t fall and get hurt.  She did great and was very determined to get to the top on each part of the structure.  It was much like watching Soren with the rock climbing wall climbs recently. (Clearly you can tell who are their parents!)



Of course, a fun go on the bouncy castle was a must  At 3, Maebh is too small for the baby bouncy castle , but almost got creamed by the big kids in the big house. Another UK thing is these giant inflatable bouncy houses with a time limit. 1 pound gets you 5 minutes!! No wonder the kids hate when I tell them its time to get out, they’ve only just started bouncing.



I’ve removed all the details as I guess Nils prefers not to relive it, but the second go on the zip line for Soren was better than the first.

They had a children’s entertainment area with Razz and Aunt something the Clowns.  I call them Mr. & Mrs.ZERO Personality as I think they are really miserable people.  Sure they bring their stuff, which the kids use independently.  We’ve seen them at Sheringham Crab Festival and it was the same thing! I wonder if it’s only me who feels this way?  In that area, the kids played with hula hoops, ring toss, funny feet, pogo sticks, diabolos, hobby horses and so much more.  It was hard getting them out as they had a great time even with no involvement from Mr. & Mrs. ZERO Personality. Well the ONLY involvement I saw is blowing bubbles – no smiles, no talking, just bubbles.  (Loaded with glycerin as they were huge, didn’t dare ask!)









There was a section set up for Parkhour entertainers (if you’d call them that). Which appears to be a huge deal this past year (click on the link if you have never heard of it).  The kids got to have a go once the obstacle course was set up in a kid friendly version. They were to go up and down on balance beams and at the end do a tumble, which both kids love to do.






Like some events in the US, there was a Tractor area and parade and Steam Engine meet area – which is all part of a club here in North Norfolk. My Dad would love this area, so all these photos are really for him to enjoy.  The kids loved the toy tractors, dizzy black smoke and especially the white Ford, which said was the car they drove at Santa’s Village – how funny they remember things from a year ago and more.

















The horse area was very small but had some lovely ENORMOUS horses, which were shown around the ring and prizes awarded for various categories. Funny part of this was as I was taking a few photos of the horses in their areas, my forehead touched the electric fence and thankfully it was not turned on!! Not sure what I was thinking – better yet, clearly I was not thinking.






There was a section with displays from Medieval times.  They were showing how you’d make flour by using a stone wheel to grind it, catapults, battle with swords, blacksmith.  It was essentially life in these times put on by Norwich & Norfolk Medieval Association.  Truthfully our family is just not interested in this at all so that was the section which had our briefest visit. We did see the battle for a few minutes, then we saw one guy, removed from the armor and carried away.  Not sure if was show or real, but not our favorite thing to see men dressed in tin, smashing each other over the head with swords. The kids hated it, I could tolerate it for a short bit as I was interested if it was really a show, but something tells me he was in pain.




When it came time for lunch, we intentionally didn’t pack a picnic as we were taking the train, we thought we’d find something at the festival.  Unlike back in Boston, there were not that many food truck/street food vendors (though it was not a food truck event), but I really wanted to try two things.  Anything from The Duck Truck and a wood fired pizza from The Proper Pizza Co.  – both really great!  The kids loved the duck wrap too, but selfishly I inhaled it. Then again, Nils picked up some cheese fries for him & the kids too. So along with a couple of beers for us and some yummy Ronaldo’s ice cream later, we were all full and broke.




One of the other fun things for kids was to be able to take 5 penalty shots against the villages best footballer, this tall, red cheeked teenager.  Supposedly he is pretty good goalie and per the coach, he’ll play for Norwich some day. Probably say that to all the kids, but we went along with it.

Soren had a few tries and then Maebh had one too.  Finally the guy, suggested a photo at the end, so went along with that too.  Perhaps in a few years, Soren will be the tall boy behind the net at the local festival.



Naturally we had to play the tombola table – but were very unlucky.


Then a bit like the tombola table, there was a game with a lollipop.  Basically, you pick a lollipop, if you get a black stick you win a grand prize.  If you pick a stick with a number, you get an extra prize, which they saw some older kids win.  But unlike our usual bit of luck,we didn’t win here either.  With their lollipops, we waited to see the Sheep Sheering & Herding Dogs, which we really liked.



With their lollipops, we waited to see the Sheep Sheering & Herding Dogs, which we really liked.  The first they were doing was giving a step-by-step demonstration on how to sheer a sheep – was pretty cool and informative and full of laughs. They asked viewers to guess what we thought what a full wool fleece from one sheep go for – many guests a few hundred… but shockingly they only makes 70 PENCE for each fleece!!





After a few demonstrations, they then brought a bunch of ducks from the truck and the hearding dogs.  But instead of showing how the dogs can corall the ducks, they showed how they train the dogs.  They were pretty cool dogs, one older one about 9 and a new one, about 18 months. He was kept on a long leash but when they let him go to show his instincts he joined his mother (I assume) and chased one duck which escaped the pen right near us … it was really funny to watch.



Finally the best part of the sheep & dog part was that when they were in the back of the truck, the six ducks were very close to the sheep so they kept biting the sheep’s fur and even the ears.  But being stupid sheep, they didn’t move away from the ducks, but stayed there, occasionally looking and continued to get nibbled. I went by a couple times, that is why at times they are biting a white one and another time brown.





There was a couple other things like some quirky artists – the love sign was cool but the buggy turned into a keyboard is a bit wacky.


Finally, a tractor ride back to train before heading home Cromer after a fun, family day out.