Subscribe to the City of Stories newsletter
By subscribing you will be added to our Newsletter mailing list.
It’s tough when you’ve only got two days in a popular city to do the rounds of the best tourist attractions. What to see? Where to eat? Best place to stay? So, we’ve created this 48-hours-places–to–visit–in–Norwich itinerary. It’s designed especially with you, the weekend tourist, in mind.
From historic architecture to medieval streets and the famous Norwich market, there is plenty to take up your time in this captivating city. For instance:
First up, when it comes to places to go in Norwich, the Cathedral is a must. Famous in its own right, this stunning piece of 11th and 15th-century architecture boasts medieval cloisters, stunning stained-glass windows and an organ whose dramatic chords have such depth they may just have come from the underworld. And it’s not only humans who adore it, famously, two nesting peregrine falcons appear on the 250 ft high cathedral spire every summer. Such is their celebrity – they have been turning up annually since 2011 – there is even a live webcam of their antics nowadays. Entry to the Cathedral is free.
Emerging from the cathedral, if you’re still in a medieval mood, then head for Cathedral Quarter. There you’ll encounter Elm Hill with its houses, many of them now shops and gorgeous little cafes – all dating back to the 16th century. Fans of thatched roofs and cobbled streets will be in their element. Two of our favourite places to visit in Norwich’s Elm Hill are The Bear Shop and Tudor pub, The Briton’s Arms.
At this point, you may feel like it’s time for a bite to eat. Head for the very colourful (and huge) Norwich Market, where you will find all kinds of street food to literally whet your appetite. From the spicy Chilean delicacies at Cocina Mia and the Japanese delights at Bun Box to the vegan-friendly Falafel & Friends, we promise you definitely won’t go hungry.
Retail therapy is fun, especially at the vintage spots dotted around the town and in the market. For some fresh air, there are pretty green escapes, and then there are the city’s famous eateries:
How about a little retail therapy? Take a look around the vintage clothing and knick-knack stalls at Norwich Market, then venture into the town to browse around the lovely little independent shops in the likes of The Lanes. Unusual things to do in Norwich include rummaging in the three-storey high antique shop that is Looses Emporium on Magdalen Street. The Hall in St Andrew’s Street has a craft fayre and flea market on Saturdays that’s well worth a visit too. And don’t miss The South Asia Collection and Country & Eastern shop. This free museum houses furniture, painting, jewellery and more from the region, with plenty of unique gifts available to buy too.
For dinner, head for Lower Goat Lane and what many refer to as the best fish and chippy in East Anglia. When it comes to food, it’s a huge Norwich attraction. The Grosvenor Fish Bar is actually a bit of an institution, having been around for nearly a century (90 years). Now a fish and chip grotto with seating for up to 70 individuals, you will also find marine delicacies here, such as squid, salmon and tuna – all of which can be washed down with a pint or glass of fizz.
For a wander to walk off those fish and chips, the Plantation Garden is ideal. A former Victorian haven which was left to fall into ruin and then revived back to its original splendour, here you will find a gothic fountain and Italianate terrace. There are also wooded walks and beds of glorious blooms. And, if you’re visiting in spring or summer, you may just find a drama play, string quartet or puppet show in session. You can find this glorious green spot, also known as the Secret Garden, by a gap in the wall near the Roman Catholic Cathedral on Earlham Road. Suggested donation of £2 for entry.
For breakfast/brunch the next day (you get to lie in a while on holiday), head to one of the many bustling cafes in the city. The Waffle House has been making authentic Belgian waffles in Norwich since 1978, and with sweet and savoury on the menu there’s something for everyone. Café 33 is also a popular spot and often there’ll be a queue outside (which is how you know it’s good). Or you can head to Saporita, where giant pizza slices are on offer.
The city is surrounded by some of the best countryside in the UK. All those waterways and lush greenery, not to mention pretty villages.
After all that walking the previous day, why not spend the next one cycling around the broads? It’s undoubtedly one of the best days out around Norwich. To get there it is a mere 15 minutes by train to Wroxham & Hoveton. There you can hire a bike (it costs around £9 for the day) and spend an idyllic day checking out the small villages and the stunning broads. If you can’t face cycling, then you can always hire a boat. Broads Tours have day boats for hire from as little as £19 per hour.
You will probably have found a gorgeous spot to eat around the Broads, so if you fancy a quiet drink when back in Norwich city itself then The Fat Cat, St Andrews Brew House and The Ribs of Beef can offer an impressive selection of craft beers. Cheers!