Norwich is a city that delights visitors with its festive Norwich Christmas Market at Winter Wonderland, blending the traditional charm of Christmas stalls with ice skating, Santa’s Grotto, rides and entertainment.
In this article, I’ll share essential details for your visit, such as the confirmed 2023 dates, opening times and local specialties to look out for at the market.
Christmas in Norwich is a mix of modern celebrations and traditional festivities. City streets hum with the energy of shoppers, and performances of Christmas carols can be heard from Norwich Cathedral.
Norwich Christmas Market 2023
Winter Wonderland, located at the Norfolk Showground, is a standout event during Norwich’s festive season. The Norwich Christmas Market at this venue is unique for its extensive collection of locally produced goods and handmade crafts.
One distinctive feature of Winter Wonderland is the ice rink, which adds an element of fun and recreation to your visit. Also, a visit to Santa’s Grotto provides a magical experience, particularly for younger guests.
Dates and Location
Norwich Christmas Market dates: 17th November 2023 to 3rd January 2024.
Location: Norfolk Showground.
Opening times: Monday to Thursday: 4pm to 9pm. Friday: 4pm to 10pm. Saturday: 11am to 10pm. Sunday: 11am to 9pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Admission: £4 online or £5 at the event. Children 3 and under enter free. Or purchase online ice skating tickets which include admission to Winter Wonderland. Book online.
Payment: Contactless is preferred.
Christmas lights: Yes, switch on date: 17th November 2023. Includes the Tunnel of Light.
Santa: Yes, at Santa’s Grotto.
Ice skating: Yes. Purchase ice skating tickets online to get free admission to Winter Wonderland.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten-free: Yes, but limited.
Accessible: Yes, but not all rides are accessible.
Pet-friendly: No. Assistance dogs only.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: Great range of rides and entertainment.
Specialities: Norfolk cheese, locally brewed ales, regional baked goods, luxury hot cholocate.
Where to stay: Kings Head Bawburgh is a popular hotel, a short drive from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Norwich Christmas Market
To be near the Norfolk Showground, where Winter Wonderland takes place, consider Bawburgh as your base. This cosy village, only a short drive from the Showground, houses the Kings Head Bawburgh, a popular and convenient place to stay.
Alternatively, I suggest you consider Assembly House in Norwich city centre, a good fit for those keen on having the city’s historical and cultural sights within easy reach.
Location of Norwich Christmas Market
Festive Fair at the Forum
In the heart of Norwich city centre, the Festive Fair at the Forum provides an engaging experience for all visitors. I recommend visiting the stalls for the diversity of high-quality crafts and available local products. It’s the perfect opportunity to find unique gifts or souvenirs.
You’ll also appreciate the range of food and drink stalls offering local and seasonal specialties to satisfy your palate. The atmosphere is lively and festive, with live entertainment frequently on the agenda.
The Festive Fair is integral to Norwich’s Christmas celebrations and events. It’s well worth visiting when in Norwich this winter.
Festive Fair at the Forum dates: Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th November 2023.
Location: The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich.
Opening times: Thursday: 11am to 7pm. Friday and Saturday: 10am to 6pm. Sunday: 10am to 4pm.
Christmas in Norwich
The linked video vividly depicts the Norwich Christmas Market at Winter Wonderland. Through the footage, you can observe the bustling stalls, the vibrant festive decorations, and the overall lively atmosphere of the event.
For a comprehensive overview of the top UK Christmas markets, you’ll find my detailed guide to UK Christmas markets 2023 to be a valuable resource for your festive travel planning.
Food at the Christmas Market
Norfolk Cheese Selection: Originating from Norfolk’s rich dairy farms, you’ll discover an impressive range of local cheeses. I recommend sampling the Binham Blue, a creamy and full-flavoured cheese, or the tangy, mature Norfolk Dapple. These local cheeses are delicious as a snack or as an accompaniment to a festive platter.
Luxury Hot Chocolates: Indulge in the richness of luxury hot chocolates on offer at the Christmas stalls. You’ll enjoy the high-quality cocoa used in these deliciously smooth drinks, making them the perfect warm treat as you explore the market.
Cocktail and Spirits Selection: You’ll also find a great selection of cocktails and spirits at Norwich Christmas Market. From classics like gin and tonics to unique Christmas-themed cocktails, there’s a drink to suit every taste.
Mulled Wine: Nothing quite screams ‘Christmas market’ like a hot cup of mulled wine. Infused with traditional festive spices, this drink is a popular choice to keep you warm and merry as you browse the stalls.
Specialty Coffees: Turn to the specialty coffee stalls for a caffeinated pick-me-up. You’ll find handcrafted espressos, lattes and more, all made from high-quality, ethically sourced beans.
Draft Beers and Lagers: At the Wild Boar Bavarian bar, you can get your fill of draft beers and lagers. Served in traditional steins, this is a chance to embrace the festive spirit with a pint of your favourite brew.
Cranberry and Brie Tartlets: These delicious pastries, filled with creamy brie cheese and tart cranberry sauce, are vegetarian-friendly. Perfectly portioned, they’re a great choice for a light snack.
Pretzels: Pretzels are a classic Christmas market snack. The ones at Norwich are prepared in the traditional way and are perfect for a quick bite.
Roasted Chestnuts: A timeless festive treat, roasted chestnuts are a must-try. Warm and nutty, they’re a comforting snack that captures the essence of the season.
Bratwurst Sausages: A nod to international Christmas market fare, bratwurst sausages are a crowd favourite. Grilled to perfection and served in a bun, they’re a hearty meal that will keep you satisfied while you explore.
Christmas Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Norfolk Lavender Products: Famous for its lush lavender fields, Norfolk is home to a variety of lavender-based products. At the Christmas markets in Norwich, you can find these in the form of essential oils, sachets, and even edible treats. They make for a fragrant and unique gift for loved ones.
Local Craft Beers and Ales: For the beer enthusiast, the Christmas market showcases a selection of local craft beers and ales from Norwich’s renowned breweries. These can be bought individually or in gift sets, allowing you to take home a taste of the region.
Handcrafted Jewellery: Local artisans bring their talents to the market with beautifully handcrafted jewellery. From traditional designs to more modern takes, a piece suits every taste. Supporting these small businesses is a great way to find one-of-a-kind gifts.
Norwich City FC Merchandise: Norwich City FC merchandise can be found at the market if you’re shopping for a football fan. From scarves to keychains, these items are perfect for showing team pride.
Traditional Christmas Decorations: Classic Christmas decorations are aplenty at the Norwich market. These range from hand-painted ornaments to festive wreaths. These timeless pieces will add a touch of warmth to any holiday display.
Books by Local Authors: Norwich, a UNESCO City of Literature, offers an opportunity to explore works by local authors. You’ll find novels, poetry, and more that can provide hours of reading pleasure. These literary finds are perfect for book lovers on your list.
Norfolk Straw Work: An age-old tradition in Norfolk is straw work; you can find these intricate creations at the market. From miniature hats to decorative boxes, these pieces showcase a delicate craft that’s unique to the region.
Handmade Pottery: Talented potters from the area bring their creations to the market, ranging from functional dinnerware to decorative vases. Every piece is crafted with care, and you can even find potters at work, shaping their next masterpiece.
Fine Art Prints: Local artists display their work through fine art prints available for purchase. Whether it’s a landscape capturing the beauty of Norwich or an abstract piece, these prints can add a touch of elegance to any home.
Local Cheeses: As a complement to your Norfolk cheese-tasting experience, you can also purchase these delicious products to take home. Presented in elegant gift boxes, they’re a gourmet treat that embodies the flavours of the region.
Children’s Toys: Traditional wooden toys and hand-knitted dolls are available for the little ones. These toys are crafted with attention to detail and provide a nostalgic charm.
Vintage Collectables: For those interested in antiques and vintage items, certain vendors specialize in these treasures. You may find that perfect piece of history to gift or keep from old books to vintage clothing.
For insights and handy tips to enhance your Norwich visit, I recommend checking out Visit Norwsih, a comprehensive online platform tailored for visitors to the city. The What’s On list is a great place to start if you’re looking for the latest events.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here are a few tips on how we can travel more responsibly in Norwich at Christmas.
Reduce Food Waste: Try to only purchase food you know you’ll eat at the Christmas market and take home leftovers to have later.
Ethical Shopping: Make a conscious choice to buy from local artisans at the Christmas market in Norwich, which helps support the local economy and reduces the carbon footprint associated with shipping goods from afar.
Sustainable Diets: Opt for plant-based options at the Christmas stalls to reduce your carbon footprint. Norwich has several vegetarian and vegan-friendly establishments like the Tipsy Vegan or the River Green Cafe, which are good options when eating in town.
Sustainable Transport: Consider using public transportation or cycling to get around Norwich. The city has an extensive bus network and a bicycle-sharing scheme called Beryl Bikes. Norwich is compact and pedestrian-friendly, making walking an enjoyable and eco-friendly option.
The Norwich Christmas Market dates are 17th November 2023 and 3rd January 2024.
The Christmas market is part of the Winter Wonderland event and is located at Norfolk Showground, Dereham Road, Norwich. However, several festive fairs, such as the Festive Fair at The Forum, also take place across the city.
Winter Wonderland and the Christmas market open Monday to Thursday: 4pm to 9pm. Friday: 4pm to 10pm. Saturday: 11am to 10pm. Sunday: 11am to 9pm. The event is closed on Christmas Day.
Staying in Norwich city centre provides easy access to the Christmas Market. I recommend Kings Head Bawburgh, a highly-rated hotel near the Christmas Market, for a comfortable and convenient stay.
If you would like to leave a review of Norwich Xmas Market, comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Norwich, United Kingdom. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.