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Ghostly goings-on

PUBLISHED: 06:46 23 June 2014

South front of Blickling Hall, floodlit at night, an imposing Jacobean house

South front of Blickling Hall, floodlit at night, an imposing Jacobean house

©National Trust Images/Horst Kolo

Legend has it that every year at midnight on the anniversary of her execution, the headless ghost of Anne Boleyn can be seen arriving at Blickling Hall in a carriage drawn by six headless horses.

According to the stories, Anne’s father Sir Thomas Boleyn is at the reins as the carriage makes its way down the long driveway, while Anne sits inside, dressed all in white and with her severed head resting on her lap. When the carriage reaches the house, Anne departs and enters through the great doors, destined to spend the night roaming the hall until daybreak.

The stories then tell how Sir Thomas leaves and spends the darkening night pursued by screaming demons, while Anne’s brother George is also seen being dragged across the countryside by another four headless horses.

If all these ghostly goings-on have sent you scurrying behind the sofa then a spectre-spotting trip to Blickling probably isn’t for you. But if they’ve sparked your interest then you can join the crowds who gather every year when the National Trust hosts an annual ghost night.

The anniversary of Anne’s death – executed by Henry VIII in 1536 – will be marked by Norfolk author Neil Storey, who will recount tales of Anne and other Norfolk ghosts. And you never know, you might just spot Anne’s headless apparition stalking the halls of this magnificent Jacobean mansion.

The Most Haunted House in England takes place at Blickling on Monday, 19 May, 9pm. Tickets are £22.50 each (including light refreshments) on 0844 2491895.

Fifty things to do before you’re 11¾ is back

May is the perfect time to grab a new 50 Things to do before you’re 11¾ scrapbook and start ticking off those adventures again. Here’s the top pick of our special 50 Things’ events in Norfolk this month:

Norfolk Coast 50 things Adventure Weekend, Blakeney and Brancaster: Saturday, 24 May, 10am, at Brancaster beach; and Sunday, 25 May, 10am, at Blakeney National Nature Reserve (meet at Blakeney Quay)

Fifty Things Thursday, Blakeney: Thursday, 29 May, 10am and 2pm, (meet at Blakeney Quay)

Fifty Things Wild Wednesday, Brancaster: Wednesday, 28 May, 10am and 2pm, at Brancaster Estate

Fifty Things, Sheringham Park: Saturday, 24 May to Monday, 26 May, 10.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4pm each day

Fifty Things, Oxburgh Hall: Thursday, 29 May, 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm

Fifty Things at Horsey Windpump: Monday, 26 May, 10am to 4pm

Wildlife and walks

Dawn Chorus walks

Heigham Holmes, Sunday, 4 May, 5.30am; Sheringham Park, Sunday, 4 May, 5am; Oxburgh Hall, Sunday, 11 May, 6am

An early start but well worth it as you enjoy a guided walk with our experts.

Bluebell Walk

Blickling Estate, Sunday, 4 May, 10.30am

Guided walk through Blickling’s historic parkland, home to an amazing display of bluebells.

Bat Walk

Oxburgh Hall, Friday, 9 May, 7.45pm to 9.45pm

Discover all about the world of bats and moths. Last year Oxburgh was home to seven species of bat, including Pipistrelle and brown long-eared bats.

Archaeology Walk

Sheringham Park, Sunday, 11 May, 10.30am to 1.30pm

Join ranger Rupert and discover the hidden archaeological features dotted around the park, from prehistory to World War Two.

Rhododendron Walks

Sheringham Park, Tuesday 20 May, Tuesday 27 May to 2pm both days

Head gardener Graham leads a colourful and informative tour of the flowering rhododendrons and azaleas.

Family days out

Costume Weekend

Oxburgh Hall, Saturday, 10 and Sunday, 11 May, 10.30am to 4pm

Meet the Tudors and discover who lived and worked on the estate in the 1480s. Handle replica household items, dress as a Tudor and get up close to the daily lives of the servants and visitors to Oxburgh.

Blickling Spring Fair

Blickling Estate, Saturday, 24 to Monday, 26 May, 10.15am to 5pm

Family craft and gift fair with live demonstrations and mouth-watering food stalls. Step back in time as knights show their skills and jesters entertain the crowds.

Scarecrowfest

Oxburgh Hall, Saturday, 24 May to Wednesday, 18 June

Children from nearby schools have been busy making a variety of scarecrow characters. Visitors can vote for their favourite.

Bully Beef and Chow

Elizabethan House Museum, Great Yarmouth, Wednesday, 28 May, 11am-4pm

Find out about field kitchens, food and rations in World War One. Try some plum and apple jam and take away a recipe for trench stew.

Herb Day

Felbrigg Estate, Wednesday, 28 May, 11am to 5pm

Stalls selling everything from herb plants to local foods and homeopathic remedies and guided tours of the Felbrigg herb borders.

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Some events must be booked in advance, some have an additional entry fee – please see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/whats-on for more information.

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