What's happening in Fakenham and Wells in 2022?

There is plenty going on in the Fakenham area throughout 2022

There is plenty going on in the Fakenham area throughout 2022. - Credit: Ian Burt/Keith Osborn/Jake Davis for Here & Now/Archant/PA/RNLI/Mark Frary

We're all hoping 2022 is a brighter year than 2021.

Here are just some of the highlights we can look forward to in Fakenham and the surrounding area.

New music festival Wide Skies and Butterflies will take place at the Raynham Estate.

New music festival Wide Skies and Butterflies will take place at the Raynham Estate, pictured (L-R) are the team: Abbie Panks, Lord Tom Raynham, Gilly the dog, Samira Williams, Sam Booker and Tom Branston. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Wide Skies and Butterflies

A new family music festival will take place this year, with Wide Skies and Butterflies being held at the Raynham Estate, near Fakenham, from Friday, August 5 until Sunday, August 7.

While no headliners have been announced, the line-up is already shaping up nicely with Natalie Imbruglia, Levellers, Toploader, Cast, Sleeper, and Bimini Bon Boulash announced.

Natalie Imbruglia will perform from new album Firebird and classic hits at Wide Skies and Butterflies. 

Natalie Imbruglia will perform from new album Firebird and classic hits at Wide Skies and Butterflies. - Credit: Supplied

Alongside live music, there will also be comedians, late-night DJs, drag artists and speakers, along with activities for children and teens.

Active Fakenham

The crew of the Pewer, which was the winner of the Active Fakenham cardboard river races.

The crew of the Pewer, which was the winner of the Active Fakenham cardboard river races. - Credit: Warwick Jones

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The popular community group are planning three events in 2022, with their Easter Sunday Fun day, duck races and raft races gracing the Wensum on June 19, their activity week running from August 20 to the 28, and Ride North Norfolk, taking place on August 28.

Richard Crook is currently talking to sponsors as he hopes to hold these events over the coming months.

Queen's Jubilee events

Queen Elizabeth II.

Celebrations for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee will take place in 2022. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

In 2022, The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee - marking 70 years of service.

There will be a programme of events throughout the year, with many taking place over an extended bank holiday weekend from Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 5.

Fakenham events committee, the team behind the return of the Christmas light switch-on event is planning an event in the market town.

New Wells lifeboat station to open

The new Wells lifeboat station, currently under construction at the end of Beach Road.

The new Wells lifeboat station, currently under construction at the end of Beach Road, will provide modern facilities including crew and training rooms. - Credit: RNLI/Mark Frary

The two-year project to build a new lifeboat station on the Wells’ coast should be completed this year.

The development, which started in September 2020, will home a brand new RNLI Shannon-class lifeboat, replacing the current Mersey-class vessel which is more than 30 years old.

The lifeboat station is aiming to open in Autumn 2022.

Pensthorpe Nature Reserve

Wensum Valley farmers were at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve to discuss the effect of agriculture on the

Wensum Valley farmers were at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve to discuss the effect of agriculture on the fish life in the River Wensum. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

The Fakenham nature park has a range of events, including a book launch and Q&A session on February 5 to celebrate Elly Griffith’s newest Dr Ruth Galloway mystery, The Locked Room.

They will also host a linocut workshop with Norfolk artist and printmaker, Sue Welfare, and the Handlebards will also be returning to showcase their rendition of Twelfth Night on May 25.

Pensthorpe Nature Reserve. Picture: Ian Burt

Pensthorpe Natural Park - Credit: Ian Burt

They will also host both their summer and Christmas.

As well as half-term activities at Easter, summer, Halloween and Christmas - with the first to begin this February half term featuring a brand-new poo trail.

Replacement for Wells Harbour Railway

The Wells Harbour Railway. Picture: Ian Burt

The Wells Harbour Railway. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A cloud of sadness hung over Wells in 2021 after its beloved mini railway was packed up and transported away.

The attraction, which ran along Beach Road up to Pinewoods Holiday Park, had been associated with the town for 45 years.

Holkham Estate - which owns the land - has, however, pledged a "replacement service" for the 2022 visitor season.

Houghton Festival

DJ Ricardo Villalobos playing a set at Houghton Festival in 2018 Photo: Jake Davis

DJ Ricardo Villalobos playing a set at Houghton Festival in 2018 Photo: Jake Davis - Credit: Jake Davis

The Houghton Festival will hope its third time lucky after seeing the music festival cancelled for the last three years running.

In 2019, it was called off just hours before it was due to start because of heavy winds and the organisers were dealt a second blow in 2020 as they were forced to cancel it again due to coronavirus.

Last year they cancelled with the threat of the pingdemic.

The festival launched a week-long fundraising campaign in 2021 called Let Me Out Let Me In, after it found out it would not receive money from the Culture Recovery Fund.

Houghton Festival is confirmed for August 11 to 14, 2022, set to take place on the grounds of Houghton Hall, near Fakenham.

Thursford Christmas Spectacular.

The Thursford Christmas Spectacular truly lives up to its name. The cast are pictured performing 'Blow Gabriel Blow'

The Thursford Christmas Spectacular truly lives up to its name. The cast are pictured performing 'Blow Gabriel Blow' - Credit: THURSFORD CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR

The biggest Christmas event in Norfolk will grace the stage once again to get us all into the festive spirit.

The event, which returned in 2021 following a year without performances, will be even more eager to return, after seeing the final few shows of last year’s run cancelled due to cast and crew absences as a result of Covid.

Tickets for the show, which runs from November 8 to December 23 are already on sale.