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Staycations in Norwich – amazing holidays on your doorstep
For most of us, 2020 was a year for rediscovering the amazing places and spaces right on our doorsteps. We swapped long-haul flights for local landscapes, and reminded ourselves of the beauty in our own towns and cities. So after a year of staycations, and discovering amazing new things nearby, we’re sure many of you will be looking to keep the trend going throughout 2021! To help you plan your next trip, here’s our rundown of the best things to see & do in Norwich this year, as well as truly unique places to stay.
Norwich is a city packed full of amazing outdoor activities for all ages. Get to grips with the city’s rich history on a tour with local historian, Paul Dickson. Or enjoy unique outdoor escape games from History Mystery and City Escape Games, exploring everything from Norwich’s renowned urban art scene, to some of the more gruesome sides of Norwich’s past! And as the only UK city within a National Park, and the gateway to the iconic Norfolk Broads, there’s some incredible landscapes for you to discover. Enjoy cycling routes, lakeside walks, and a touch of water sports at Whitlingham Country Park, a beautiful countryside escape with over 280 acres to explore. There’s also some amazing riverside walks right in the heart of the city.
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If you’re looking for a little more bang for your buck on your next holiday, we’ve got you covered! With amazing experiences on offer in Norwich, you’re sure to have an unforgettable holiday this year. Enjoy workshops with Wensum Lodge, where you’ll learn to craft your own silver jewellery. Take part in a cooking masterclass at Richard Hughes Cookery School and learn how to make delicious pastries, cakes, and breads with one of the country’s best chefs. Or head to Fielding Cottage to take part in a Goats Cheese making class, a fully immersive experience on a working farm. There’s also a fantastic range of escape rooms and walking tours on offer in the city too!
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We might be a little biased, but we think you’d be hard-pressed to find a city that does independent shopping better than Norwich. There’s a reason the Norwich Lanes were voted Great British High Street of the year, after all! We’re a city where independent designers and brands stand alongside high street favourites. Enjoy flagship stores at Chantry Place and Castle Quarter, vintage fashion in The Royal Arcade, and unique local products at Norwich Market. And you can’t pass up the opportunity to visit Jarrold, a two-time winner of the UK’s Independent Department Store of the Year.
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Arts & Culture
When it comes to arts & culture, Norwich punches above its weight. With four independent theatres, three museums and one world-class museum of world-art at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich is a modern cultural hub. Discover stunning South Asian art, textiles, and sculptures at The South Asia Collection, or enjoy edgy socially-distanced shows and concerts at Norwich Arts Centre, a venue that’s hosted the likes of Nirvana, Oasis, Muse and Coldplay. Norwich is also home to some ground-breaking, internationally-renowned festivals and celebrations. Everything from beer festivals and crime writing, to gaming, music, and literature. Find out more about Norwich festivals here.
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Did you know, Norwich is the most complete medieval city in England? We’re home to cobbled lanes, thatched merchants houses, and stunning Cathedral spires that wouldn’t look out of place in a Dickens novel! Venture down to Elm Hill (our most complete medieval street) and you’ll discover winding alleys, stunning architecture, and buildings that have stood here since the 1500s. From here, it’s on to Norwich Cathedral, a magnificent Romanesque Cathedral set in 44 acres of beautifully-kept grounds for you to explore. And no trip to Norwich is complete without visiting Norwich Castle, which has stood watch over the city for more than 900 years. Want to learn more about the history of the city? Take a trip to one of our unique museums like Strangers’ Hall and The Museum of Norwich.
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Food & Drink
Norwich truly is a city of foodies. Our famous marketplace is home to great local produce as well as delicious international cuisine from renowned chefs, while our street food scene is second to none! Enjoy stand-out chains like The Ivy and Cosy Club, or venture to restaurants that only Norwich can offer, like the award-winning Benedicts, Roger Hickman’s, or The Last. We’re also home to some incredible bars, cafés, and coffee shops. Quirky cocktail bars with award-winning Norfolk drinks, edgy pubs stocking great local beers, and even distilleries where you can make your own gin! There’s something for everyone in Norwich.
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The Maids Head Hotel
The 4-star Maids Head Hotel is believed to be the oldest hotel in the UK, and has been welcoming guests for over 800 years. With recent multi-million pound renovations, this hotel boasts stunning suites, beautiful rooms, and a 2AA Rosettes restaurant – The WinePress – run by Head Chef, Magic, a finalist in the 2020 National Chef of the Year competition. Classic double rooms start from £108 per night (including breakfast) (correct as of Jan 2021). The Maids Head also offer a great range of deals and packages for every occasion.
The Assembly House
A stunning Georgian guesthouse in the heart of Norwich, The Assembly House exudes class and elegance. With 11 spacious rooms – six with their own private gardens – guests can enjoy a luxurious stay and one of the best night’s sleep on offer in the city. The Assembly House also offers a fantastic range of afternoon teas as well as great breakfast and lunch menus utilising locally-sourced produce. Classic double rooms start from £170 per night (including breakfast).
Situated in a quiet courtyard near Norwich Cathedral, Gothic House is a unique B&B experience right in the heart of Norwich. Escape the rush of the city at this peaceful retreat that boasts two spacious double rooms, each with their own private bathroom. This Grade II-listed Regency house is a true home away from home. Double rooms are £105 per night (including breakfast and parking).