Welcome to Harleston a Small town with a big heart and a warm welcome.
There are many reasons to visit Harleston – a great range of well-established and new independent shops and businesses provide everything from brass screws to hat hire, handmade chocolates to eco-friendly paints, fine antiques to the latest electrical gadget.
Then there are the six tearooms and cafés, four restaurants, three pubs, two bakeries, two butchers, and a delicatessen, not to mention the Cellar Shop. There are dozens of historic buildings including the impressive coaching inn and Italianate clock-tower, a medieval street plan complete with picturesque yards and hidden alleys; a tiny Museum and a fantastically well-equipped children’s play area.
Uniquely, Harleston still has free parking throughout the town. That means there is time to wander, discover new corners, stop for a while for a cuppa or a meal before enjoying the beautiful countryside, charming villages and fine churches that pepper the Waveney Valley.
The town has a reputation for its colourful bunting and display of flags which are put up to celebrate everything from the annual return of the much-loved swift population, to the frequent street markets and annual Art Trail.
Forthcoming and Recent Events
Mendhan Christmas Fair
Date: 25 November 2017 Location: All Saints Church, Mendham, IP20 0NH Saturday 24 November: 10:00 - 15:00
Start your Christmas shopping at the Mendham Christmas market with a variety of stalls selling handmade cakes, preserves, wreaths and gifts.
There are cakes, savouries and hot light lunches available at the cafe.
Weybread Christmas Fair
Start Date: 25 November 2017 End Date: 26 November 2017 Location: Weybread Hall Farm Barn and Church, Weybread, IP21 5TR Stalls with Christmas decorations and gifts, Alpaca wool, wood craft, knitted items, gifts for babies, stained glass, fairies, cards, Fair Trade, decorated bottles, painted furniture, pocket money priced gifts and more. There will be crafts, a quiz and competitions specially for the children.
Refreshments: homemade soup, cakes, tea and coffee.
Christmas Lights Switch On
Date: 2 December 2017 Location: Market Place, Harleston Put Saturday 2 December in your diary and combine stress-free Christmas shopping with family fun? Not only does Harleston have an impressive array of independent shops but there will also be a street market with scrumptious food and drink, unique crafts and Christmas gifts, festive wreaths and Christmas trees.
The Lost Elves and The Grinch will be causing mayhem around town whilst Too Many Cooks will provide pop-up entertainment with festive songs and carols. Santa will be welcoming children to his grotto at Harleston Information Plus in Exchange Street (from 13:00 to 16.30, £3.00 per child) and St John’s Church in Broad Street has a Christmas Fair.
From 15.30 The Thoroughfare will be filled with fairground rides, community stalls and activities. Shops will be staying open late and there will be surprise snow showers to delight kids of all ages. The Loddon Brass Band will be playing festive favourites from 16.30, and the lights switch-on will be preceded by a parade of colourful paper lanterns and fire performers The Thundermentals. The Christmas lights around town and the Christmas tree (sponsored by Tudor Bakehouse and The Rustic Catering Company) will be switched on at 17.30 by a surprise guest.
St John's Christmas Fair
Date: 2 December 2017 Location: St John the Baptist, Broad Street, Harleston Saturday 2 December: 10:00 - 16:00
An exiting range of stalls and games providing festive fun for all ages. Raffle and tombola. Meet Santa'a special elf.
Free entry. Refreshments all day.
Date: 28 April 2018 Location: Market Place, Harleston The Spring Fair replaces the Easter Market which Harleston's Future have run in the past.
There will be lots of stalls selling plants, produce, crafts and food, as well as cheery street entertainment. Too Many Cooks will be singing a medfley of songs in the Market place and Spring will be welcomed with music and dances.
Harleston and Waveney Art Trail
Start Date: 19 May 2018 End Date: 28 May 2018 Location: Around Town and Surrounding Area The Harleston and Waveney Art Trail Collective (also known as HWAT) is a diverse and lively community of professional artists who live and work in the beautiful Waveney Valley, all within reach of Harleston, a small market town on the border of Norfolk and Suffolk. The HWAT has taken place every summer since 2005. Each year the artists open their studios and workshops for two or three consecutive weekends.
In 2018, the two HWAT Open Studios weekends are: 19 – 20 May and 26 – 28 May 2018.
Entry to all studios and workshops is free, browsers are very welcome, and work can be purchased direct from the artists. All the studios are within ten miles of Harleston: you can tour by bike, on foot or by car. Two bicycles are available to hire from the Swan Hotel in the centre of Harleston.
Date: 17 June 2018 Location: Town Centre, Harleston This will be the fifth year the town hosts a massive antiques and vintage street market from 9.00 am till 3.00 pm. Over 70 stalls will be selling antiques, distressed and painted furniture, vintage clothes, medals and other priceless memorabilia, curios and all manner of collectibles. It will be a great day to wander, browse, buy or barter, greet strangers and meet friends. The traditional rural crafts tent outside St John’s will return with demonstrations of crafts such as spinning and weaving, longbow making, and blacksmithing.
Date: 17 June 2018 Location: Market Place, Harleston In the evening the roads will stay closed for families to come out and enjoy a free party in the Market Place and be entertained by singer and performers. There will be a variety of food stalls and the every popular Pimms tent.
Harleston Food and Drink Festival
Date: 6 October 2018 Location: Town Centre, Harleston The Harleston Food and Drink Festival will return. There will be a Street Market with stalls selling an array of locally-made products, from savoury pies to mouth-watering cakes and pastries, locally-reared meat to bottled preserves and fruit liqueurs, artisan bread to locally made apple juice and cider. There will also be games and activities
For information about all the events call Harleston Information Plus on 01379 851917, visit www.visitharleston.org.uk or email [email protected]