Car-free Christmas in NorfolkNorfolk

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Merry Christmases in Norfolk, the UK’s first Good Journey county, don’t always have to include driving. Here are lots of ideas for places and events that you can reach by train, bus, bike and foot. Leaving the car behind can mean memorable days out as well as helping protect the environment. Some Norfolk attractions also offer money off or other incentives if you arrive without a car so why not have a car-free adventure this winter?

  • County: Norfolk
  • Great for: cathedral | Christmas | historic houses | markets | Shopping | theatre | walking tour |
  • Refreshments: lots of festive fare at markets, cafes, restaurants and pubs.
  • Please note: researched/updated in September 2023. If anything’s changed or you have more tips to share, do get in touch:
  1. 4. King's Lynn

    Lantern parades, markets, gingerbread installations… King’s Lynn has plenty of festive events lined up and is decking the halls in seasonal style. The new flat £1.50 bus fare means cheaper travel this Christmas around King’s Lynn. Any journey that starts and ends within the town zone will be just £1.50.

    • King’s Lynn’s Christmas Lights Switch-on takes place this year on Sunday 21st November 2023. From 1pm onwards, there will be celebratory events including live music, a lantern-lit parade, street entertainers. In a big tent on the Tuesday Market Place, local food and drink sellers will keep visitors fed and warm with suitably festive fare.
    • Life-sized gingerbread people in the town’s Vancouver Quarter are great for seasonal selfies. And there will be other specially-commissioned installations in the town centre too, like a giant, illuminated, walk-through Christmas present on the Tuesday Market Place. And don’t miss the roof angels and stained glass in St Nicholas’ chapel round the corner when it’s open.
    • There’s a Christmas Market on 9th and 10th December. The former Argos building in King’s Lynn’s Vancouver Quarter will given a Christmas makeover and has room for up to 25 creators and stallholders each day. Locally-sourced and -produced gifts make Christmas shopping simple – everything from jam to jewellery, sloe gin to scarves.
    • This year’s classic pantomime at the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange is Dick Whittington. There are morning performances as well as matinees so you can have a full festive day out. And there are other seasonal shows at the Corn Exchange too like the musical Fairytale of New York on 16 November.
    • Get to King’s Lynn by train from Cambridge, Ely and stations in between or even direct from London Kings Cross. Arrive by bus from  Dereham, Swaffham, Hunstanton, Wisbech, Fakenenham and lots of other places.
  1. 5. Great Yarmouth

    With direct trains and buses from all over Norfolk and beyond, Yarmouth is another great December destination.

    • The town’s Christmas lights switch-on takes place on Friday November 24th and Great Yarmouth Christmas Fayre of crafts and food will be help in the Minster from 24th to 26th November. The Minster is a short walk from Yarmouth railway station.
    • Famous far and wide for its lavish production and high octane entertainment, the traditional Hippodrome Circus Christmas Spectacular runs through to early January and offers international circus acts and water with its extraordinary round stage that transforms into a swimming pool.
    • The Hippodrome is easy to get to by train or bus. It’s fifteen minutes walk from Great Yarmouth railway station (two trains an hour from Norwich) and ten minutes from the Market Gates bus station with regular buses from Lowestoft, Caister-on-Sea and lots of other places.

    Discover more car-free adventures and discounts at attractions around Norfolk – the UK’s first Good Journey County.