Visiting Norwich FAQs

Everything you need to know before visiting Norwich

With the opening of non-essential shops, things might look a little different – shopping won’t be quite the experience it once was, at least for the time being! Here are our top questions and answers for how Norwich city centre will look and work from 15 June. From toilets to transport, car parks to queues. Here are some top tips before heading out, including what actually is open.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will Norwich city centre look like from 15 June?

To help Norwich’s businesses keep their visitors safe, Norwich Business Improvement District has been working hard to design, produce and distribute stickers and signage for businesses across Norwich using Norwich, the City of Stories branding. You might see these Physical Distancing stickers outside some shops and cafes.

Elsewhere, many national brands will be using their own safety messages so look out for additional signage and use these messages to guide you on how to shop safely, whilst being respectful to yourself, other shoppers and staff.

Is there anything I should do before I come into Norwich to shop?

The Government’s message to us all, first and foremost is keep safe and keep physically distancing. Before you head out it’s a good idea to have hand sanitiser with you, and possibly a face covering and gloves in case you feel the need to use them when you are out.

If you know where you are going to shop, check individual websites before you leave home to check opening times and facilities. Most shops have revised their hours and days of operation – note many will not be open on Sundays. Some department stores will not open their customer toilets for a while yet.

Don’t forget your debit or credit card as many retailers may prefer this to cash.

Checklist before leaving home

– Check car park status or timetables if you are using public transport
– Look up opening times and facilities for individual stores
– Know where you can use a toilet
– Be aware most shops, public transport and car parks may only take card payments

Can I use public transport?

Strict physical distancing is in operation on public transport and from 15 June face coverings when travelling are mandatory, but public transport is available. Be aware that there will be a reduced capacity on public transport so you may have to wait longer than usual to get on a bus or train. This includes Park & Ride bus services.

What car parks are open?

Some City Council car parks remain open, including St Andrews – see here for details. The Forum car park will open 15 June as will Intu Chapelfield. Car parks will also have physical distancing in force so please be aware there may be reduced capacity for parking spaces – most will also only take card payments. Please check individual car park websites for full details.

The Forum car park will open 15 June as will intu Chapelfield.

What shops will be open?

By no means is this an exhaustive list, however on 15 June expect Jarrolds, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Primark, House of Fraser and Sports Direct to be open. Intu Chapelfield and Castle Quarter have remained open since lockdown with essential shopping stores but will now be open with other retailers. Check all websites for details.

Some independent stores usually open from Tuesday so please check individual websites for your favourite places ahead of visiting.

For the latest updates, click here.

Will any toilets be open to the public?

We understand many visitors to the city will be keen to know what toilet facilities will be open. This information changes daily, at the discretion of the manager of each facility. The best way to check which toilets will be open is to visit the website of the shop or premises you intend to visit (for public toilets please see Norwich City Council website).

Physical distancing and improved cleanliness will also apply to toilets so please expect a queue. Don’t leave it to the last minute – you don’t want to be caught short!

What should I expect when queuing?

At all times we need to observe Government guidelines for physical distancing. To support this, all shops (as with supermarkets) will be operating a strict number of customers in store (far less than we are used to) at any given time – so expect to queue outside before being admitted. And expect possibly long queues for popular stores. Our advice is to think about what time you want to head out, trying to avoid peak times so access is quicker.

Will I be able to grab a coffee and something to eat somewhere?

Cafes are open for take-away coffees so yes, there are places to grab a coffee. And Norwich has many lovely green spaces to enjoy a break from shopping. However some cafes and restaurants remain closed, so for the time being there might be a little less to choose from!

  • For the latest information on cafes and coffee shops offering takeaway, click here.
  • For the latest information on food takeaway services, click here.