On the Monday of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee super-weekend, we visited Felbrigg Hall for a day of celebration and… Wallace and Gromit.
Found just south of Cromer, Felbrigg Hall was built around the same time and by some of the same craftsmen as nearby Blickling Hall. A stunning country house, the Hall is also surrounded by amazing gardens, woodland and parkland.
On Monday 4th June, there was a big outdoor screen, showing Wallace & Gromit films, including the brand new short that was especially commissioned by the National Trust for the Jubilee celebrations. Along with this, there was a Wallace & Gromit-themed Children’s fancy dress competition, a Wallace & Gromit trail and model making with one of the actual model making types from Aardman. After a day that celebrated this uniquely British institution, now beloved worldwide (Aardman Animation and Wallace & Gromit, that is), the big screen was showing the Jubilee Concert.
Armed with picnic-ing apparatus (though not as well-equipped as some there – those über outdoor event specialists who bring real dinnerware, a gazebo and copious amounts of wine – bottles, not boxes. One group looked like they were in it for the week!), we thoroughly enjoyed watching W&G favourites including ‘A Close Shave’ and ‘A Matter of Loaf and Death’. The weather, being true to British form, couldn’t make its mind up and was sunny one minute then showering over us the next. This did not put us off.
After watching for a while, we decided to embark on a walk around the gardens. Stunningly kept and looking absolutely gorgeous in the June sunshine (by the afternoon, it was almost solidly sunny – great!), the gardens at Felbrigg are a highlight in their own right. The walled garden, with its many fragrant herbs was a favourite of mine. Throw in a dovecote, a pond with newts swimming around in it, roving guinea fowl and some buzzing bee hives (roped off from the public today but still within view), and you’ve practically got a nature walk for any little ones in your group. Little Man loved it.
Having two infants under 5, we made an executive decision to leave before the concert (though I bet it was great fun), finishing off the afternoon with scrumptious cake and tea in the cafe before heading up to East Runton Fish & Chip Shop to get Fish & Chips. We drove along the coast to Cromer (looking stunning in the late sunshine – the weather there seemed better than inland!) and ate our chips in the car, overlooking the sea. How quintessentially British.
We had a wonderful day out at Felbrigg Hall. The venue itself is immaculate and exceptionally well operated. I love the idea of combining these stately places with modern attractions such as the big screen and also plenty of stuff for the kids. I for one, would like to see it replicated every weekend throughout the summer. Certainly a marvellous way to introduce new generations, or simply folk who still might think visiting such properties is for older generations only, to another wonderful British institution, the National Trust. A Grand Day Out, in unsurpassed surroundings. Bravo NT.
Felbrigg, Norwich, Norfolk, NR11 8PR
The Big Screen event etc was free of charge. There is a fee for non-NT members to visit the hall and gardens.
All images taken on the day, on a n iPhone. No post-editing.