Things to do this Summer in Norwich

6 May 2021

Things to do this Summer in Norwich

Just on the horizon is a summer filled with sunshine (hopefully), friends and loved ones – and a whole host of fun things to do in and around Norwich. Zoom calls will become a distant memory as we start to plan for drinks, dinner, and events in person. And with venues having worked hard to welcome us all back safely, there’s no reason not to start planning your summer today!

With so much going on in Norwich, whether you want to book a stay or pop over for a day, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. However much time you have.

Dive on in and take a boat trip with friends and family!

We’ve all missed get-togethers, so just image it. Cruising along the River Wensum. Laying back and enjoying the scenery. And topping it off by sipping prosecco and eating canapes. We all deserve a little luxury after this last year, and luxury is certainly what you’ll get aboard the Maids Head Hotel’s new electric river boat The Tiffany Rose. Perfect for a celebratory occasion, the boat accommodates up to 10 guests and comes with your own Skipper and Steward. Choose a hospitality package for £350 (that’s £35 each) to include a two-hour cruise and your choice of either afternoon tea or prosecco and canapes.

Whitlingham Country Park

Whitlingham Country Park

Norfolk is famous for its man-made broads, The Broads National Park, which has over 125 miles of navigable lock-free waterways. But did you know Norwich is the only city in the country within a national park? Take some time to visit Whitlingham Country Park. Perfect for walks and cycling, there’s also boats to hire from as little as £12 per person.

All the world’s a stage

Theatre and live events are possibly top of the list of the things we’ve missed most. But as the England opens again after its third interval, live events are making a huge comeback. Thank goodness.

You won’t want to miss the Shakespeare Festival in the historic open-air surrounds of Norwich Cathedral Cloisters. The UK’s premier all-male theatre company The Lord Chamberlain’s Men returns to perform Macbeth on the 9th and 10th July, with tickets £20 for adults and £18 for concessions. And they’re on sale now! Don’t forget to bring a picnic supper to complete the evening.

Returning for a second year of outdoor live performances and creative activities is Norwich Theatre’s Interlude in the CLOSE. Taking place in Norwich Cathedral Close in a big-top circus tent from 14 July to 30 August, the programme will feature multi-artform performances and creative experiences for all ages. (Entrance is opposite The Great Hospital, parking recommended at The Adam & Eve pub). Book tickets for the classic favourites such as the The Wind in the Willows, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Importance of Being Earnest, or schedule some time for a chuckle with sets from famous comedians including Rhod Gilbert, Russell Kane and Henning Wehn. There’s even circus performances from Norwich’s own Lost in Translation Circus. See what’s on here. 

Image of Interlude tent

The Interlude tent in Chapelfield Gardens, 2020

And not to forget the kids, there’s some theatre fun for the little ones to be found at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure. From the end of May, a new interactive theatre, Dippy’s Theatre, opens at the park. The new 228-seat venue has a large screen and stage, featuring live stage shows and performances as well as meet and greet events and dino-movies during Dippy’s Movie Time. Book your tickets now.

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure

Discover even more

As the most complete medieval city in the UK and England’s first UNESCO City of Literature, it’s no surprise that Norwich is well-known for its history and culture. And this summer, we see huge events taking place to thrill every age.

We have a dinosaur themed summer happening in Norwich. Hot on the heels of the Shakespeare Festival at Norwich Cathedral is the latest free GoGo Discover sculpture trail (12 July – 11 September). Here to accompany Dippy on Tour at the Cathedral (free, 13 July – 30 October), look out for 20 huge T.rex dinosaurs situated on the streets of Norwich. The kids will love looking out for the dinosaurs – each decorated by hand and each individually designed – and checking them off the list.

Look out for 20 huge T.rex dinosaurs situated on the streets of Norwich as part of the Go Go Discover sculpture trail

Look out for 20 huge T.rex dinosaurs situated on the streets of Norwich as part of the Go Go Discover sculpture trail

And keeping with the dino theme, and adding to the excitement, is Norwich Business Improvement District’s City Food Trail. Offering dino-themed-dishes and special offers, all you have to do is look out for dinosaur shaped neon lights in the windows of participating restaurants, cafés, and pubs.

Love art? Then don’t forget to head on over to Norwich Castle, reopening from 17th May subject to government guidelines. On loan from the National Gallery in London and on display until the 4th July is Bernardo Bellotto’s majestic painting, The Fortress of Königstein from the North. Considered to be one of the most impressive and original 18th century landscape paintings in the artworld, it’s certainly a sight to behold. Read all about it in our blog post.

Norwich Castle is a must-see for artwork and culture this summer

Norwich Castle is a must-see for art and culture this summer

Once you’ve taken in a bit of Bellotto, make sure you spend some time at A Passion for Landscape: Rediscovering John Crome (17th May – 5th September), also on at the castle. Celebrating the works of John Crome, the exhibition showcases a collection of works from this Norwich School painter known as one of Britain’s great Romantic artists. Admission to the Castle includes entry to these exhibitions and needs to be booked in advance online. Entrance is £6.70 for adults and £6.20 for children.

Enjoy the sunshine

Head into the city on Sunday afternoons from late July to September for Norwich BID’s new season of Head Out, Not Home. This free entertainment programme is perfect for shoppers, families and visitors looking to take full advantage of joyful and fun summer vibes. Head Out, Not Home will take place on Sunday afternoons from Sunday 11 July to Sunday 5 September, across four city centre locations. Featuring all the best local talent, performers from across the country, and brilliant street entertainers. Performers already confirmed include local singer-songwriter Lucy Grubb, innovative folk group Inlay, and genre-bending musical duo The Foreign Locals.

Head Out, Not Home, 2019

There’s plenty happening further afield in Norfolk this summer as well. Head to Houghton Hall near Kings Lynn for an outdoor stroll with exceptional surroundings. From 19th May, celebrated British sculptor Tony Cragg will go on show in the grounds and historic interiors of Houghton Hall. The exhibition, curated by the artist himself, will include large-scale bronze and steel sculptures, with several new works made specifically for the exhibition. Tickets must be pre-booked online and are £18 per adult with under 18yrs free of charge. Parking is included.

Further north on the coast take a look at the full programme of events at Holkham Hall. From bug hunts and outdoor cinema to theatre performance and tractor trailer tours, there’s a huge choice of great things to do.

Holkham Hall & lake

Summer fun

This summer in Norwich and beyond will surely be one to remember. So don’t miss out! Fill your diaries and start planning some fun now.

Booking a stay? Check out Norwich accommodation.