Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Spring Fair 2014 Review

21st April 2014
Gressenhall Farm and workhouse,
Dereham, Norfolk.

I was delighted to find a flyer for the annual spring fair at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse in my local paper. Being familiar with this popular tourist attraction and school trip favourite, having been as a child and an adult I knew it would be a great day out.

I attended the Festival on the Farm last year which celebrates the best of Norfolk with children’s activities, local musicians and local food producers within the beautiful setting. The Spring Fair was a similar event, with local food producers such as Brays Cottage pork pies who also supply pies to the Fairy Fair events, the brilliant Foolhardy Circus, Smokehouse Blue Marching Jazz band, Golden Star Morris dancers and one of the most popular features was Archie’s Attic Fancy Dress, a local shop who had characters such as Peppa Pig, Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Iggle Piggle, the children absolutely loved them and it was certainly good promotion for the business.

The characters also took part in the Grand Gressenhall Parade which was in the afternoon, children also had an opportunity to make a green man mask to show off in the parade.

When we first arrived it was straight to the outdoor play area which has an under 5s area for younger visitors to enjoy. This is a well designed and exciting area and was constantly busy through out the day. We were also able to go inside the school house, the chapel and the shop and the workhouse was open to visitors.

One of the highlights (apart from my daughter meeting Iggle Piggle which she says was her best part of the day) was seeing the heavy horses working in the fields using traditional ploughs, I found it really interesting and I love visiting the farm and walking near the river as it’s so serene down there.

There is so much to do here, and I love that Gressenhall has these events to open up people’s minds to what here, there are several other events booked for this year.

It’s a wonderful setting with so much to see and do and fun for all ages. The facilities re good with a cafe where you can buy meals and light snacks, a self service coffee machine in a cabin in the play area, and a small cafeteria within the learning area, there was a hog roast and the aforementioned pork pies. My only criticism would be that it would be good for them to invest in a few portable toilets to help with the volume of visitors as there were queues for the convenience. But this is common at any event of this scale.

As always I experienced the easy going and friendly vibe of the place, the staff and volunteers seem to genuinely love being there and everyone seemed to be having fun.

Next year I will be considering a museums pass because this is 9 miles from us and a lovely place to visit. Gressenhall have a number of events on throughout the year as well as paying host to Festival On the Farm.

Murder Most Grave- Museums at Night 16th-17th May – Edwardian Whodunit. booking essential no under 13s.

History Alive- Bank Holiday Monday May 26th Find out what life was like in the Victorian Workhouse.

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