Norwich: a city break destination
Norfolk’s county capital has been a hive of activity and culture for centuries. Once a Roman hub, Norwich is seen as one of the most complete medieval cities in the UK. The city also lays claim to the first UNESCO City of Literature in England and a prime position on the western edge of the glorious Norfolk Broads National Park.
Each May, the city plays host to the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, a 16-day feast of culture where international acrobats, musicians, dancers and theatre performers come to East Anglia and put on spectacular shows. Another crowd-puller is the Norwich Food & Drink Festival where the “Battle of the Bangers” – local butchers compete to be crowned Norwich’s sausage king – is a definite highlight.
Built as a royal palace some 900 years ago, this famous fortification is one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks. Today it houses a museum and art gallery packed full of fascinating exhibits, including archaeological finds from the time of Boudicca and the Anglo Saxons, and fine art dating back to the 17th century.
Address: 24 Castle Meadow, NR1 3JU
Opening times: Mon-Sat 1000-1630, Sun 1300-1630
Join a free guided tour to explore one of the finest Romanesque cathedrals in Europe and see the large cloister with over 1,000 ceiling boss sculptures.
Address: 65 The Close, NR1 4DH
Opening times: Daily 0730-1800
This sprawling open-air market can trace its origins back to the 11th century when it catered for Normal merchants and settlers. Today it consists of over 180 stalls selling everything from flowers to fresh food. Venture into the surrounding streets to discover some seriously hip boutiques.
Address: 1 Market Place, NR2 1ND
Opening times: Mon-Sat 0830-1730
The Norfolk Broads
No visit to Norwich would be complete without a foray into The Broads. With 125 miles of navigable waterways – more miles than Venice – this park is a haven for both wildlife and water sports fanatics. The Broads Authority operates a handful of boating tours including a wildlife water trail.
Address: Broads National Park, NR1 1RY
Quirky things to see and do
Norwich Puppet Theatre
Consistently getting 5-star reviews for its magical puppet shows, this theatre also hosts educational workshops, from puppet robots that will delight all children to how Bunraku puppetry is used in movies and theatre productions.
Address: St James, NR3 1TN
Opening times: Mon-Fri 0930-1700 (Box Office)
The Plantation Garden
Step back in time with a stroll around these Victorian gardens, which blossom in the base of an abandoned chalk quarry.
Address: 4 Earlham Road
Opening times: 0900-1800
Food and drink
Eating out in Norwich is an eclectic experience, with an array of pubs, cafes, fine dining establishments and world restaurants to suit all palates. Wherever you choose to eat, make sure you sample a few regional specialities – Cromer crab, Brancaster mussels and Stiffkey cockles are all local favourites.
- Benedicts, 9 St Benedicts St, NR2 4PE
- Blue Joanna, 103 Unthank Rd, NR2 2P
- Grosvenor Fish Bar, 28 Lower Goat Ln, NR2 1EL