Discover Something New in Norwich with English Tourism Week 

18 March 2024

Discover Something New in Norwich with English Tourism Week 

Look around you. When was the last time you  truly  appreciated the place you live? Whether you’ve lived here in Norwich your whole life, or if you’ve just moved here, it’s time to take a closer look at everything there is to appreciate in the City of Stories. 

English Tourism Week (Friday, March 15 – Sunday, March 24) is all about a journey of rediscovering the places we live. It’s impossible to know everything about a city as deeply rooted in history as Norwich, but that’s part of the fun! And this year, there’s plenty of exciting events and exclusive offers for the week that you can enjoy to celebrate this city and everything that makes it what it is. Read on for more!

The Great Anniversaries Tour of Norwich – Paul Dickson Walking Tours 

It’s a year of anniversaries here in Norwich, and there’s no better way to find out more about the historic places celebrating them than by joining Norwich tour guide, Paul Dickson on this FREE tour for English Tourism Week (Friday, March 22, 2pm – 4pm). The tour starts outside Grosvenor Fish Baron Lower Goat Lane. This tour is unfortunately now sold out, however Paul offers a variety of tours in Norwich throughout the year (prices from £8 per person). 

On this 2-hour guided tour, you’ll learn the history behind one of Norwich’s most-popular and oldest fish and chip shops in its 100th year (with a free bag of chips to accompany you), take in the beautiful work of revered local architect, George Skipper, at the Royal Arcade in its 125th year, and see the sights of Dragon Hall, home to the National Centre for Writing in England’s first UNESCO City of Literature for Heritage Open Days’ 30th anniversary. 

During the tour, you’ll also see St Julian’s Church, where Julian of Norwich became the first female author to have a book published in the English language, as well as Tombland and The Maids Head Hotel, which is claimed to be the oldest hotel in the country. 

At the end of the tour, you can also enjoy complimentary tea, coffee, and cake in The Maids Head Hotel, with a collection in aid of the Maids Head’s charity of the year, AgeUK. 

This tour is exclusive to English Tourism Week and will only take place once. So, don’t miss out! 

Paul Dickson tours

Paul Dickson’s Walking Tours are a fascinating way to learn more about Norwich!

Yalm and Skipper Walking Tour – Paul Dickson Walking Tours 

And if you’re looking for even more ways to unravel the vast history of Norwich, the ‘Yalm and Skipper Walking Tour’ with Paul Dickson is another must-attend event this English Tourism Week. 

This tour is all about the legacy and career of the legendary Norwich Victorian/Edwardian architect, George Skipper, and the gorgeous buildings he designed over the years – most of which you can still admire today, like Jarrolds Department Store, Surrey House, and, most importantly to this tour, the Royal Arcade. 

You will meet outside Surrey House at the date and time on your ticket, and finish by walking through the Royal Arcade and commemorating the tour with a drink at Yalm’s Skippers Bar (included in your ticket price). The Yalm and Skipper Walking Tour runs four times throughout English Tourism Week (full dates and times below), costing £12.50 per person, and lasting up to an hour as you take in the sights of these magnificent buildings and learn all about the man described as ‘to Norwich what Gaudi was to Barcelona’. Book your tickets here! 

Full dates and times: 

See the sights of one of Norwich’s most prolific architects on this tour!

The Tavern Trail Tour – The Shoebox Experiences 

If you’re looking for something different, there’s no better way to do it than by joining The Shoebox Experiences’ Tavern Trail Tour (Saturday, March 23, 12pm). This fascinating walking tour of Norwich combines two of the best things about the city – its pubs and its history! Led by a local storyteller, history enthusiast, and performer, this 1.3-mile, 2-hour long tour is certainly worth joining. 

Starting on Bishop Bridge on Riverside Road, you’ll meander along the river and through some of the most scenic parts of Norwich on your way to this series of historic pubs, including the Cathedral grounds and our iconic Elm Hill – so be sure to have your camera ready!  

From brewing and body snatching to swan keeping and smuggling, you’ll hear a range of tantalising tales from this city’s rich past as you weave your way through time. It’s the perfect tour for both visitors and locals alike who want to learn more about the city from a different perspective to usual. 

All that walking and learning is thirsty work, so at your final pub, The Murderers on Timber Hill, you’ll finish with a pint of Murderers Ale, or local beer/cider/soft drink of your choice (included in your ticket price), before having a Q&A session with your host. And if that walking has given you an appetite, your ticket will also get you 25% off food at The Murderers when you show them your booking confirmation. 

Book your ticket for this tour here!

Please note that the drink at the end of this tour is usually a half pint but has been upgraded exclusively for the tour during English Tourism Week. 

Find out more about Norwich’s historic pub scene on this wonderful tour with The Shoebox Experiences!

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts – Buy one coffee, get the second free! 

Have you ever been to the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts? Whether you have or not, now is the time to visit! Immerse yourself in world-class art and double the delight with this special offer on at the Sainsbury Centre this English Tourism Week!  

Throughout English Tourism Week (Friday, March 15 – Sunday, March 24), you can treat yourself and a friend or loved one to a truly stunning cultural experience throughout this art gallery and museum, then settle down with a soothing hot drink in the Terrace Café with a picturesque view and their ‘Buy One Coffee, Get the Second Free’ offer!  

And since the Sainsbury Centre is the first museum in the country to offer a ‘Pay If and What You Can’ scheme, admission costs as much or as little as you choose, even FREE! So, a whole day out here really doesn’t have to break the bank at all, and it’s more than worth the visit!  

Your visit couldn’t be timed better either, as you’ll be there to see the three new exhibitions coming to the Sainsbury Centre, ‘In Event of Moon Disaster’, ‘Liquid Gender’, and ‘Jeffrey Gibson: no simple word for time’. They’re all fascinating exhibitions, and you can find out more about them in our ‘What’s On in February’ blog. 

Sainsbury Centre

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich is perfect for a relaxing morning or afternoon.

Hidden Gems of Norwich 

If these special events and offers have inspired you to continue discovering new places to love in Norwich, you’re in luck. Across the city, we’ve got plenty of hidden gems just waiting for you to find them. Here’s some of our top recommendations on where to start. 

South Asia Collection 

Free to enter | Open Monday – Saturday, 9:30am – 5pm | Bethel Street 

Just a hundred metres away from the Norwich Market, and free to enter, this hidden gem is a must for locals and visitors alike.   

The South Asia Collection began in the 1970s as a result of Philip and Jeannie Millward’s journey through the different regions. Today, the South Asia Collection is an internationally significant collection. And it’s right on our doorstep!  

Discover different textiles, paintings, prints, hand-crafted furniture, arches, doors, columns, and even religious objects from different South Asian cultures – some dating back as far as the 18th century.  

With a permanent collection and a huge variety of different displays constantly coming through their doors, you’ll always find something new at the South Asia Collection. Open Monday – Saturday (9:30am – 5pm), what will you discover on your visit? 

Discover hundreds of year’s worth of South Asian history, then buy something to take home at the South Asia Collection!

Upper St Giles, The Norwich Lanes 

One of Norwich’s best kept secrets that you’ll tell everyone about. On this tucked away street of the city centre, you’ll find some of the most incredible shops to take your day out to the next level.   

Take St Giles Pantry, for example. Inside this quaint and beautiful store, you’ll find a whole host of artisan food and drink from local producers and suppliers, from cakes and pastries to wine and beer. It’s fantastic, and perfect for stocking up your very own pantry at home! Stop off here for a hot drink in the morning and browse their ever-changing selection, you’re sure to be leaving with something! 

After, choose from the creative delights of Cupcake & Co, the beautifully baked pastries of Bread Source, or the perfect coffee for anyone from Kofra. That’s just a taste of the shops you’ll find next to each other on this street, literally!  

For those looking for something other than food, here you’ll find incredible art galleries such as Studio Art Gallery and Norwich Art Shop, offering both local and international pieces to inspire.   

Whether you visit every shop in one day, or take your time and soak it all in, we’re sure you’ll be back on Upper St Giles to revisit some of your new-found favourites.  

Stock your very own pantry at home with delicious food and drink from St Giles Pantry.

Norwich Puppet Theatre 

As just one of three building-based puppet theatres in the country, you’re really missing out if you haven’t been to the Norwich Puppet Theatre. Here, everyone is welcome. Rekindle childlike wonder and laughs or pass them onto your own family in these amazing shows.  

For over 40 years, Norwich Puppet Theatre’s producing company has created new shows here in the City of Stories, performing them in Norwich before taking them on tour in the UK and internationally. They also have a year-round programme of inspiring classes and workshops for all ages, where you can use a range of materials to design and build your own puppet!  

With so many different creatives coming through the door, some telling classic fairy tales, others telling stories completely new to the stage, this really is the perfect day out for the family.  

Find out what shows will be hitting the stage at the Norwich Puppet Theatre here! 

Norwich Puppet Theatre

Norwich Puppet Theatre is full of fantastic family shows!