How to Spend a Day Trip in Norwich

9 May 2023

How to Spend a Day Trip in Norwich 

So, you’ve landed on Norwich as the perfect day trip destination – good choice. But it can be difficult to get the most out of a city in just one day, especially when there’s so much to do. How do you maximise your time? Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ve created this itinerary for you, the day tripper. Read on to get some ideas on how you can best experience everything the City of Stories has to offer. 

And if you decide you want a hotel stay after all, you can find the best Norwich accommodation here! 

In short, your day can look something like this:

The Start to Your Morning – 10am 

You’re only here for a day, so be sure to arrive in Norwich as early as you feel comfortable – but not too early, a little lie in is always nice! When you get in, you’ll want to make sure you’re ready and fuelled for the day, so a spot of breakfast or brunch is always a great start. But where to head? The choices are endless in Norwich. 

A great place to get your morning fix is the Britons Arms on Elm Hill, for both the foodie and the tourist in you. Standing on this iconic part of Norwich since the 1300s, the Britons Arms serve a seriously good breakfast, all while you take in the history around you!  

Keep it nice and light with house recipe granola and natural yogurt or vegan pancakes with fresh fruit, compot and maple syrup… or load up and make your own fry-up, with items charged at just £1 each. Make it as large or as small as you want! 

For a daytrip, Elm Hill is a must-visit too, so you’ll be getting two for the price of one as you can explore this historic cobbled lane before or after your visit to the Britons Arms. Soak in the sights, discover the rich history, and have an amble.

Once you reach the bottom of Elm Hill, take a left and keep walking straight. Down here, you’ll find Magdalen Street, a hotspot for fascinating independent businesses. Keep an eye out for Looses Emporium, and pop in when you find it! In this antique shop, you can find everything, from furniture to mantle pieces. Looses also have a massive vinyl record collection, so be sure to scan for hidden gems!

The Britons Arms on Elm Hill

The Britons Arms on Elm Hill

For another great choice of meal, you’ll want to visit The Waffle House on St Giles Street. Perfectly placed on the edge of the Norwich Lanes, another must-see (more on that here). Served until 12pm, their breakfast/brunch menu has got something for everyone – literally.  

From a full English breakfast, smoked salmon & eggs, cheese & beans, spiced fruit & granola, blueberry with maple and pecan, and so much more, you’ll be spoiled for choice. There’s plenty of options for those with dietary requirements too, including vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free options, and a blend of basmati and wild rice as an alternative to their waffles.  

The Late Morning / Early Afternoon – Midday 

Now that you’re fuelled up and ready to go, where better to head to than Norwich Castle* 

Inside this icon of Norwich, built in 1067 by order of William the Conqueror, you’ll find rich history around every corner. Admire beautiful art galleries (don’t miss the impressive collection of The Norwich School of Painters), learn about local hero Boudicca the Iceni Queen and the Romans, as well as displays about the Egyptians, and so much more. It’s the perfect day out for all ages.  

Norwich Castle is even home to the temporary major exhibit, ‘The Last Voyage of the Gloucester: Norfolk’s Royal Shipwreck, 1682(Running until Sunday, September 10). Described as the most significant maritime discovery since the Mary Rose, this exhibition uncovers the truth and fascinating history about this shipwreck off the coast of Great Yarmouth. 

Norwich Castle

Norwich Castle is a must-visit museum here in Norwich

Carrying the future King of England and Scotland, James II, this wreck could have changed the course of English history as we know it. Now, this major exhibition will explore the ship’s discovery by local brothers Julian and Lincoln Barnwell, and display some incredible objects from the site. 

Learn more about the argument that led to the ship sinking and decide on who you think was to blame. Booking is advised for this exhibition, and it is absolutely worth a visit!  

Once you’ve seen all the marvellous sights Norwich Castle has to offer, why not finish your afternoon with some shopping in small independent stores that are different from home? The Royal Arcade is the perfect place to head, just a few minutes’ walk from the Castle!  

There’s a good variety of shops to explore. Head into Gyre & Gimble for their very own locally made gin and whiskeys, or shop their amazing range of other delightful drinks, including craft beers. You can even book your place on their gin-making workshop, where you’ll craft your bespoke bottle of gin, while trying a range of gin and tonics! Find out more about Gyre & Gimble here. 

If you’re in the mood to treat yourself or that special someone in your life, you absolutely must visit Sonkai Jewellers. There is a beautiful choice of pre-made jewellery here, but if you’re looking for something a bit more personal, you can purchase a bespoke, made to order piece. Made by one of two designers, your design will come to life in the very store you bought it! 

From there, be sure to have a browse of the self-care products and gorgeous candles from Basil & Pip. However, they are a florist first and foremost, so treat yourself to a beautiful bouquet put together by hand in-store. These gorgeous flower arrangements are sure to light up any room they’re placed in.

The Mid-Afternoon – 3pm

By the time you’ve finished your Royal Arcade and Castle browsing, it should be about 3pm, which is the perfect time for a quick pick-me-up. Since you’re already at the Royal Arcade, why not pop into Yalm? This contemporary food hall has delights to appeal to everyone. Whether you’re in the mood for a full meal, a quick bite to eat, or even a delicious beer, cocktail, or glass of wine, they’ve got it!

Simply find yourself a table, scan the QR code on your phone, and get ordering. Between these six independent kitchens and three bars, you’re bound to find something to love. From North African cuisine, to authentic Italian pizza, the difficulty will be what to choose! The bars often change their drinks menus too, with cask openings, limited-time drinks, and amazing cocktails all available.

Yalm in the Royal Arcade has got something for everyone!

The Early Evening – 5pm onwards

As you come to the end of your daytrip in Norwich, you’re going to want to finish with a bang… or a strike! The Bowling House is the perfect place to finish your time here. Eat, drink, play, sing your heart out, anything goes here.  

Of course, the main even is the bowling. At the Bowling House, the lanes are shorter to both level the playing field and give a retro feeling to your evening, we’ll take any extra chance of a strike! Bumpers, ramps, and lighter balls are available too, so everyone can enjoy their game here. 

Lane hire starts at £19.50 for 30 minutes up to three people, going up to £39 for an hour up to six people. Their private karaoke rooms are also available from £39 for an hour, so get those vocal cords ready! 

Has scoring strikes (or finding the gutter) got you feeling peckish? Bowling House also serve up some delicious food! With a menu including small plates, large plates, and burgers, you can share with the table, or keep your food to yourself. The same can be said for their expansive drinks menu! Featuring plenty of beers and wines, you can even grab individual or sharer cocktails, some bowling themed of course. Our favourite name has to be ‘Gutter Ball Guru’. It fits with how we play bowling.

* Due to construction work for the Norwich Castle: Royal Palace Reborn project, a few areas of the Castle remain closed, such as the Keep, the battlements and dungeons, and the Anglo Saxon and Viking Gallery, but a large majority of this fascinating museum is still open to explore.