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It’s Volunteers’ Week – an annual celebration of the contribution people make across the UK through volunteering. And here in Norwich, we’re lucky enough to have some of the best volunteers around in the form of the Norwich City Hosts!
The City Hosts are ambassadors and champions of Norwich, the City of Stories. If you’ve been to the city, you’ve probably seen them around in their blue ‘Here to Help’ tabards. And that’s exactly what they do! Guiding and assisting visitors in Norwich. So, whether you’re after directions, advice, a map of the city or recommendations on where to go, the City Hosts are the people to ask! Always happy to help come rain or shine.
Our volunteers all have one thing in common; a passion for Norwich’s rich history, culture, heritage and diversity. So, if you’re looking for recommendations of the best places to go in the city, speaking to the Hosts is a great place to start. And in celebration of volunteer’s week – we’ve done just that! Read on below to find out some of our City Hosts’ top recommendations.
“If you only had 3 hours in Norwich, I’d recommend spending 45 minutes taking a tour of Norwich Cathedral. Then take the river walk and come back into the city via King Street and stop by Lady Julian’s Shrine. To finish up, walk through Norwich Market and then explore The Lanes or if it’s raining – spend some time at The Museum of Norwich.” – John
“When its sunny, you just can’t beat a stroll along the riverside walk and into the Cathedral close, grabbing an ice cream or a cold drink along the way. Carry on to explore Tombland, Elm Hill and end up at Norwich Market for some delicious street food. And when the weather is cold or wet, there’s still plenty to do. I’d go for any of the museums, such as Norwich Castle, Museum of Norwich, Strangers’ Hall, or The South Asia Collection. Either or both Norwich Cathedral and Cathedral of St John the Baptist. Or you could just walk along popping into any of the historic churches (there are plenty in the city) and having a wander round the fantastic independent shops.” – Lorna
“Two of the city’s hidden gems are ideally located right next to each other and make a perfect morning or afternoon. First, visit the Cathedral of St John the Baptist. The Victorian gothic architecture is stunning. Then, stroll down the road for two minutes and you’ll come across The Plantation Garden. A secret Victorian garden housed in an old quarry. It’s beautiful.”
“I’d recommend doing the Nooks and Crannies trail with a coffee or ice cream in hand depending on the weather! The trail leads you to discover the city’s historic passageways on foot, and there’s three different routes you can take, all starting and finishing at Norwich Market. Walk A takes you to Friars Quay, Lowes Yard and Quayside. Walk B visits The Royal Arcade, St Julians Alley and St Peter Mancroft. And Walk C stops off at Anchor Quay, New Mills Yard and Lower Goat Lane.” – Sue
“On a day trip to Norwich I would first head to Norwich Cathedral. It’s wonderful how it reveals itself as you walk through the gates. A hidden gem almost! Then down to Pulls Ferry and a walk along the river, finishing at Fye Bridge. Then head up to Elm Hill with all its history – it’s a delight. And afterwards back to Norwich Market, taking in The Lanes on the way for a nice bit of retail therapy.” – Jane
“For something a little unique, I’d recommend doing a walking tour of Norwich. Paul Dickson offers fabulous tours. Or you can go for something a little spookier with a Ghost Walk in the evening. And just a short bus ride out of the city is The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, which is perfect for a cultural day out.”
“I’d recommend starting your visit to Norwich by entering the Cathedral grounds via Tombland and then sink into the quieter atmosphere of the Close. Hear the bird song and enjoy the wonderful lines of our Cathedral and other lovely buildings in the Close. Step into the Cathedral and be amazed by this wonderful building, before enjoying a beverage and cake in the Refectory Café – or get a takeaway coffee and sit on the green, taking in the view. Look up and you may also spot the Peregrines that nest in the Cathedral’s spire. Then take a stroll through the Close to the river Wensum and Pulls Ferry – the old entrance to a channel where the stone to build the Cathedral was transported. Follow the river path past Cow Tower, originally built to defend the river, and eventually reach the Adam and Eve pub. One of the oldest pubs in Norwich, it’s a great spot to enjoy some refreshment. You can continue to follow the river, which will lead you to many more places to stop for food and drink in independently run establishments, or by turning left at any point, you’ll easily find yourself back in the city centre in as little as 10 minutes. Ready to take advantage of all Norwich has to offer.” – Stuart
City Hosts can be found in Norwich city centre Monday – Saturday, so next time you’re out and about or visiting Norwich, why not stop and say hello?