For two days each May, Holt Hall transforms to a world where Enid Blyton blends with steampunk to create a modern version of Fairyland.
Free from traffic, dogs and the judgement of people wearing flowery headbands, families picnic wearing fairy wings and learn the arts of making Elf Sticks and Fairy Gardens at the Fairyland Trust‘s Fairy Fair.
If you think dressing up and glitter are silly, this is not for you. However, if you’re a grown man who thinks nothing of donning a tu-tu or a full pirate outfit, or perhaps a Mum who really does believe in fairy magic (I do I do I do!), then this mini-festival is worth the pilgrimage to North Norfolk.
We took the Little Men (6 and 2). Little Man (6) embraces the whole theatre of the occasion, having been coming since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, and happily dressed as a Pirate. Littlest Man (2) point-blank refused to wear his Wizard’s outfit (too cool for school), but that didn’t seem to stop him having a great time anyway.
Lucky with the weather – it was a lovely sunny day, with enough breeze and occasional cloud to tone down the sunshine just enough, we had a picnic beside the Hall, made a ‘secret’ den, caught a bit of a Pirate Pantomime and some storytelling, listening to some ace live music (Ugly Dog and later, Murphy’s Lore), decorated cupcakes and took part in the Elf Training (Level 2) in the woods.
Strolling round we also saw a giant caterpillar (the Metamorphosis Tour), a cycling Victorian Pianist (Rimsky Piano), some silt-walking Pixies and two human-sized Ladybirds. Normally terrified of oversized creatures (justifiable, really) Littlest Man absolutely adored the ladybirds, going so far as to posing for a picture with them. I think he’d have happily stayed chatting with them all day actually.
There’s plenty to do at the Fairy Fair, and you don’t have to spend lots of money while you’re there, although there are plenty of optional activities that you can pay for should you wish to. The setting alone is beautiful and the whole event feels extremely safe and family-friendly. There’s actually so much going on that you almost need two days to cover it all.
The Fairy Fair formula is just perfect, though both days do tend to sell out entirely now, as the good word has spread. We’re hoping The Fairyland Trust stays at the Holt Hall venue, which is ideal in size and style for such an event and if they do keep getting bigger, perhaps extends to three days, rather than moving to a large location, where the intimacy of the occasion may be lost.
We departed, full of cake and clutching a Lucy Loveheart print of ‘Norfolk’ (LOVE Lucy’s stuff!!!) having had another thoroughly enjoyable Fairy Fair. It’s an annual ritual for us now, so we’ll definitely be back next year. If you’d like a little magic in your family life (or perhaps if you need a little magic!), we’d highly recommend you get tickets early and experience the Fairy Fair too.
Tickets and info about upcoming Fairyland Trust events: www.fairylandtrust.org