picture from the soldier museum at houghton hall


There are countless miniature battles taking place at Houghton Hall. The Soldier Museum, housed in its own building, is the largest private collection of model soldiers in the world. It was started by the 6th Marquess of Cholmondeley as a school boy, and he continued collecting throughout his life, often commissioning whole scenes to his specification.

The museum shows many reconstructions of battles, such as Waterloo and Omdurman, as well as displaying a selection of paintings and militaria.

To find out more, and to plan a trip to the Soldier Museum, visit Houghton Hall. Find out more about the area, and explore with Visit Norfolk.

To find out more, and to plan a trip to the Soldier Museum, visit Houghton Hall.

Find out more about the area, and explore with Visit Norfolk.

Norwich City of Ale promotional shot, showing people outside a pub


You may know that Norwich is England’s first UNESCO City of Literature, but did you know about Norwich City of Ale?

Every year, for two weeks, Norwich turns its attention to its many pubs, bars and independent brewers to remind people that it is the UK City of Ale.

A number of special limited edition ales are brewed in honour of the event, and are sold in various pubs across the city, and many of the venues across the city collaborate on events, activities and trails.

To find out more, visit Norwich City of Ale.

Are you an ale fan? Plan a trip to the city with Visit Norwich.

Suffolk Walking Festival


Every year in June, Suffolk Walking Festival offers people the chance to explore the Suffolk landscape in a series of specially-planned walks.

Over 75 different walks, for all ability levels, ranging from 1.5 to 20 miles, take in all of the county’s diverse landscapes, from beautiful coastline to picturesque market towns.

2016’s festival kicked off Suffolk’s Year Of Walking which aimed to promote walking-related events and activities across the whole county for the 12 months following the event.

For more information about the festival, visit Suffolk Walking Festival.

Take a walk in Suffolk, and plan the rest of your trip at Visit Suffolk.


Egg Festival Café


Like a bit of entertainment with your breakfast? Throughout every day of Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2016, Norwich Arts Centre was host to the Egg Festival Café.

Throughout the festival, top quality breakfasts were on offer in what proved to be a spontaneous, creative and chaotic environment – (think Basil and Sybil bump into Alan Partridge in Cromer and decide to set up a business together). The breakfast bemusements were served up with a smile, a snarl and a spontaneous surprise or two.

Customers enjoyed the presence of hosts Simon Floyd and Amanda Coleman from The Common Lot (featured in an earlier 365 post), supported by a cast of artists from across the region.

Find out more about Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

Explore Norwich’s other fine restaurants and eateries with the help of Visit Norwich.


National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art


Newmarket is largely regarded as the international home of horseracing, and the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art, which opened in October 2016, offers visitors the opportunity to explore the history of the sport, as well as learn more about a horse’s life after racing.

The National Horseracing Museum and the British Sporting Art Trust’s collections are housed in a completely renovated five acre site in the heart of Newmarket, which includes the remnants of a palace built for Charles II in 1671, alongside a number of new temporary and permanent exhibition galleries.

Outside, there are fully functional paddocks, offering practical demonstrations with retired racing horses, shedding light on what becomes of horses at the end of a racing career.

For more information about the project, visit the National Horseracing Museum.

Plan a trip to Newmarket, and explore the rest of West Suffolk with Visit Suffolk.


castle keep redevelopment


The East received some great news in May 2016, when the Norwich Castle Keep redevelopment was given the go-ahead.

In the medieval period Norwich Castle was one of the most important buildings across the whole of Europe and, architecturally, it was one of the most elaborate of the great Romanesque keeps. The project aims to re-present the historic Keep as it appeared during its heyday under the great Norman kings. As a result of the redevelopment, visitors will be able to engage fully with the building through greater access, exciting new displays and innovative learning and event programmes.

Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of King Henry I’s lavish Castle by exploring the recreated Great Hall, complete with a banqueting table and minstrels’ gallery, King’s chamber and chapel. Newly-exposed Norman archaeology and architecture will tell previously untold stories of the Castle’s fascinating past and a unique battlements experience will offer stunning views of medieval and present-day Norwich.

It’s expected that the key plans will be in place by the end of 2017, with construction beginning in 2018.

We’ve explored the keep in a previous Culture365 post.

Find out more about the vision for the project in this video.

Plan a trip to the city to see the castle keep redevelopment project as it progresses with Visit Norwich.


sculpture trails in the east


We’ve featured a great number of public sculptures across the region in Culture365, and in this post, we’re taking a closer look at a way to join them all together, with sculpture trails in the East.

The Recording Archive for Public Sculpture in Norfolk and Suffolk (RACNS) is a project that aims to make a record of all of the superb sculpture in the East. Started in 2006 with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the archive contains entries by Richard Cocke, with photographs by Sarah Cocke.

The sixteenth edition of the archive was published in 2013, but monuments are regularly re-photographed to keep the content up to date.

Trails that cross the East are downloadable from RACNS, and feature both area-specific and themed routes.

Plan a trip to tackle a few of the routes, and use Visit East Anglia to find out where to eat, where to stay, and what else to do while you’re in the area.


shot of exterior of aldeburgh fish and chips


There’s nothing like fish and chips by the seaside, and Aldeburgh Fish and Chips are arguably “the best fish and chips in the world” (The Times). It’s largely due to their use of locally sourced ingredients. Fried the same way since 1967, they use fresh fish from the East Coast and delicious local potatoes to make their own chips.

It’s not just The Times that are fans. The Guardian heralds it as “the finest chippie in Suffolk, and quite possibly the universe” and the Sunday Mirror has also given it glowing reviews.

Make sure you get there early though, as there are often long queues at the weekend! Find out more information (and those all important opening times) at Aldeburgh Fish and Chips.

After you’ve feasted on the finest fish and chips in the world, why not explore The Suffolk Coast.



In previous 365 posts we’ve looked at Norwich’s strong literary links, including Julian of Norwich and Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, but today we’re taking a closer look at books in Norfolk through the variety of fantastic book shops in the county.

Norfolk Children’s Book Centre (pictured) in Alby has been established for over 30 years, and its team of ex-teachers, librarians and book lovers select the best children’s literature for their customers.

Avid naturalists favour the Crabpot Bookshop in Cley. which stocks a wide range of books about the natural world as well of thousands of secondhand books, including classics and contemporary literature.

Kett’s Books in Wymondham is quite a unique find. It’s a community-ran, not-for-profit bookseller, which was saved from closure by a group of enthusiastic volunteers for the benefit of the whole town. Staff get to know their core customers, and offer recommendations based upon previous purchases.

This is just three highlights in a county that’s a book-lovers paradise! Explore the county to your heart’s content with Visit Norwich.

Aerial shot of Ickworth depicting Spring Cleaning at Ickworth


Every year, as the seasons transition from winter into spring, it’s time for a deep clean to clear away the cobwebs at Ickworth. And to mark the house undertaking this annual task, a wide range of activities are planned to show how they keep the house in peak condition.

In 2016, a new trail for children explored the variety of creepy crawlies that threaten the conservation of National Trust properties across the country. Visitors were able to learn more about the pests which can cause havoc in the care of historic houses, and could follow the children’s trail around the Rotunda while spotting cuddly versions of carpet beetles, moths and woolly bears hidden amongst the decor.

And once the trail is complete, visitors can learn some top tips from the House Team at Ickworth. As they uncover the Rotunda for the spring discover how the routines of housekeeping have evolved over the years. They’ll be comparing how Ickworth was looked after when the Hervey family lived there to how the Conservation Team work today caring for the building and collection.

Find out more about all of the Spring cleaning events at the National Trust.