If you’re looking for a walkable city, with lots of history, magnificent buildings, independent shops, boutiques and eateries, as well as entertainment venues, Norwich is for you. Much of the city centre is pedestrianised.
The hub of Norwich city centre, and the best place to start is the multi-coloured Norwich Market, Europe’s largest permanent covered market and open six days a week. Here you’ll discover a vibrant mix of street, ethnic and artisan food, flowers, crafts, clothes and more.
You’ll enjoy exploring the aisles of Norwich market.
Take in the view, dominated by the Norman Castle since 1121. There’s the 15th century Guildhall, the hangar-like, glass-fronted Forum facing 600-year-old St Peter Mancroft church, Victorian Royal Arcade, the 1930s City Hall based on the city hall in Stockholm, and independent Jarrolds department store.
On nearby Chapelfield you’ll find the Theatre Royal, Chantry Place shopping mall, relaxing Chapelfield Gardens and the Georgian Assembly House with its beautiful ballroom and individually decorate rooms for overnight stays – and it’s a great place for afternoon tea.
Beyond the Guildhall are The Lanes, a delightful area of narrow streets and cobblestones where you’ll discover lots of independent stores. In fact, around half of the city’s businesses are locally-owned and Norwich is recognised as one of the top places to shop in the UK.
You’ll find independent shops, boutiques, pubs and eateries in The Lanes.
To find out about the city’s history, visit The Museum of Norwich at The Bridewell or perhaps take a Paul Dickson Walking Tour where you can step into the footsteps of literary icons such as Anna Sewell, polymaths like Thomas Browne, and activists such as Elizabeth Fry. Norwich was England’s first UNESCO City of Literature in 2012 – look out for the City of Stories book benches dotted around the city centre (new this year), take a moment to rest your feet whilst you spend a bit of time people watching.
Norwich Castle Keep reopening in summer 2024
Norwich Castle are turning the clock back 900 years when the magnificent medieval Keep reopens in summer 2024, transporting visitors to the heyday of Norman England.
Top 10 things to do with children in Norwich, Norfolk
Sure there’s bowling alleys, laser games, roller skating, cinemas and the like in Norwich, but then every place has got those, right? So, for our top 10, we’ve sought out things that are unique to Norwich…
We’re a county of stunning coast and countryside but at our heart is the lovely city of Norwich. And it’s a great place to visit at any time of the year. Relaxed, buzzy and eminently walkable, just follow our simple guide to discover our county metropolis…
From London Street, the first pedestrianised street in the country in 1967, you can explore the medieval footprint of Norwich, including cobbled Elm Hill with its Tudor buildings (don’t miss a break for coffee and cake at the thatched Britons Arms), many of the city’s historic churches, more than any other city in northern Europe, and Tombland, a charming area for al fresco dining, that has the two main entrances into the Cathedral grounds, all 44 acres of them.
Take a free tour of Norwich Cathedral.
Built by the Normans, the Cathedral is one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Europe. The monastic Cloisters are the largest in England and the spire the second highest. Make the most of your visit by taking a free tour with a Cathedral guide which take place between Monday-Saturday, hourly between 11am-3pm.
Enjoy refreshments in The Refectory, the Cathedral’s own cafe, run by local bakery Bread Source, an Afternoon Tea at The Maid’s Head Hotel or have a tipple at the city’s oldest pub, The Adam and Eve. From here you can then take a riverside walk by the Wensum.
There’s lots of opportunities for al fresco eating in Norwich’s cobbled, medieval streets.
Wherever you’ve been in the city, you can’t have missed Norwich Castle, sitting atop a huge earth mound. Open 7-days a week, a visit will take you around the museum and its fabulous art galleries. The ‘British Masters’ gallery showcases the work of John Crome and John Sell Cotman, leading figures of the Norwich School.
The Keep will reopen in Summer 2024 following the Royal Palace Reborn project to reinstate it to its medieval status. Once complete the castle will be fully accessible from dungeons to battlements, and it will be the only museum outside of London to have a partnership with the British Museum to showcase national medieval treasures alongside objects from Norfolk’s own internationally-significant collections.
Enjoy the sculpture trail at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia.
Outside the city centre, head to the University of East Anglia campus to visit the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norman Foster’s first major work to house the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, including works by Picasso, Degas, Henry Moore and Francis Bacon. The building also stars in Marvel’s ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ as the superheroes’ upstate New York HQ. Afterwards enjoy a walk around the Broad and the 350-acre outdoor Sculpture Park.
Norwich is well-connected by public transport and has good rail connections to Ipswich, Colchester, London, Cambridge, Peterborough, the Midlands and North-West. The train station is just a few minutes’ walk to the city centre and the bus station is situated just off one of the main shopping high streets. See the Greater Anglia route map here.
Vibrant city centre
Explore The Lanes
all the above
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