What to do on a Christmas Break to Norwich

24 November 2021

What to do on a Christmas Break to Norwich

If you’re looking for an atmospheric, joyful, Christmas break this winter, look no further than Norwich. With festive fun abound, you’re sure to find a whole host of treats to enjoy on your trip to the City of Stories.

Not sure what to do on a Christmas break to Norwich? Check out our seasonal recommendations to give you some inspiration!

And don’t forget to check out our blogs for Christmas events and Christmas markets in 2022.


First things first, you’ll want to find a cosy place to call home on your short break. After a long day exploring the city and shopping to your heart’s content, you’ll need a relaxing place to put up your feet.

Gothic House, £105 per night

This Regency grade II listed B&B set in a quiet courtyard is ideal for those wanting an affordable and relaxing stay. In the heart of the city, it’s only minutes away from bustling shopping streets and iconic landmarks such as Norwich Cathedral. With stylishly appointed bedrooms and breakfast included, you can’t go wrong.

Assembly House, from £170 per night

If it’s a luxurious experience you want, it’s The Assembly House you’re after. This regal Georgian hotel has a range of features that will delight anyone looking for that little something extra from their stay. Four poster beds, roll-top baths, secret courtyards and four brand-new luxury bedrooms await – and that’s not to mention the delicious food offering. Book before the 23rd December to enjoy a night’s stay, bottle of bubbly, afternoon tea and breakfast for only £199.

The Assembly House in Norwich lit up with Christmas lights

The Assembly House in Norwich lit up with Christmas lights

Maids Head Hotel, from £105 per night

For a historic stay, choose the Maids Head Hotel opposite Norwich Cathedral. Known as one of the oldest hotels in the UK, there’s plenty of fun to be had when staying at the Maids Head. Enjoy character features in the rooms, complimentary spins around Norwich in a vintage Bentley, and a magical heated courtyard perfect for savouring a festive afternoon tea.

Outside Norwich with leisure facilities

If you fancy a hotel stay just outside Norwich then take a look at Park Farm and Barnham Broom. Both are set in lovely grounds and offer leisure facilities including swimming pools and spa treatments. Barnham Broom also has fantastic golf courses.


Looking for something truly magical to experience this Christmas? There’s so much festive fun in Norwich, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Tunnel of Light, free, 17 November – 5 January

There’s nothing quite like sparkling lights to get you in the mood for Christmas. And the Tunnel of Light (presented in association with Phoenix Events) is surely one of the most stunning light displays around. With over 57,000 LED lights, you’ll be wowed by the patterns and illuminations that light up Norwich city centre.

The Tunnel of Light, Norwich

The Tunnel of Light

Christmas Projections on Norwich Castle, 17 November – 5 January 

The work of Illuminos projection arts will adorn the Norwich castle, presenting new original stories to thrill audiences and add atmosphere to the city centre. You’ll be wowed by the stunning and intricate illuminations on this medieval landmark – so make sure to grab a hot chocolate or mulled wine from Norwich Market to keep you warm and take your time watching the projections. The best place to stand? Norwich City Memorial Gardens or Castle Meadow.

The Christmas ‘Spirit’ Tour, 1 December – 7 December

Get yourself in the Yule tide mood with this Christmas Spirit Tour! Christmas jumpers are optional.

Running only over the first 7 days of December this is a must do experience for anyone who likes a little nip of something warming alongside some indulgent treats. These have been specifically selected by Sommelier & Great Taste Judge, Cheryl Cade.

The Nutcracker Festive Christmas Afternoon Tea, 1 November – 8 January 

Join Clara and her handsome Nutcracker Prince as they journey into the enchanting Land of Sweets where the candy canes dance and the Sugar Plum Fairy weaves her delicious spell. Head of Pastry Mark Mitson has created this fairy tale afternoon tea with extra sparkle especially for Christmas. The Nutcracker Afternoon Tea can be enjoyed in the restaurant, as a Cakeaway takeaway, in private igloos and as part of a private dining package.


Let’s face it. One of the best things about Christmas is having the excuse to go on a shopping spree! Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or find the perfect unique gifts for friends and family, Norwich has the perfect mix of independent, pop-up, and high-street chain stores – meaning you can find everything you need! And Norwich has just made it into Which? in their latest Best Cities for Shopping in the UK list.

Norwich Christmas Lights. Photo credit Simon Finlay Photography.

Norwich Christmas Lights. Photo credit Simon Finlay Photography.

Norwich Lanes

Filled with independent stores that boast unique gifts, this is the place to go for cute jewellery, art, baked treats and more. Head to Lisa Angel for personalised jewellery and accessories, the Norwich Art Shop for affordable and beautiful art, and Athena Games for board games (if you can’t get family and friends together for a game or two at Christmas then when can you?).

Norwich Market

Vintage clothing, international food, wine, cheese, gifts – need we say more? Norwich Market is filled with stalls offering up a whole host of treats, making it the perfect place to go hunting for Christmas presents.

Norwich Market at Christmas. Photo credit ©Simon Finlay Photography.

Norwich Market at Christmas. Photo credit ©Simon Finlay Photography.

Shopping centres

On a busy day Christmas shopping, it’s handy to have everything you need in one place. And there’s plenty of choice when it comes to shopping centres and flagship department stores in Norwich. There’s Chantry Place, which has a newly opened Hamley’s store, and Castle Quarter which boasts leisure facilities such as a cinema, bowling lanes and more. John Lewis is brilliant for those needing new electricals, homeware or stylish clothing, and Jarrold is Norwich’s independent department store, selling everything from fashion and furniture to beauty and books.

Chantry Place Square

Chantry Place Square

The Royal Arcade

Adorned with Christmas wreaths and lights, you’ll want to take a stroll down The Royal Arcade this season. Don’t forget to pop into Lady B Loves for retro fashion, Sonkai for bespoke jewellery and Langleys for toys and games.

Christmas Markets

You’re likely to find a pop-up Christmas market in Norwich almost every weekend in the run-up to Christmas. And if you’re keen to hit as many Christmas markets in Norwich as you can – check out our round-up of the Top 12 markets in Norwich and Norfolk.

Take a day trip

Although there’s plenty to keep you busy and entertained in Norwich, you may want to extend your trip to make the most out of the festive fun happening in Norfolk. Take a day trip out to Holkham Hall to see the grand estate by candlelight, take part in a wreath workshop, or visit their festive Christmas gift market. Or why not head to Thursford to take a magical walk through the Enchanted Journey of Light, or to see some dazzling singing, dancing and comedy at the Christmas Spectacular show.