10 Things We Love About Norwich
We’ve compiled our ‘Top 10’ asking the best of the best – Norwich locals!
1. Picnic in the Plantation Garden
Also known as the Secret Garden – a Victorian town green space including a gothic fountain, flower beds and woodland walkways, it’s a marvel in itself and ever so beautiful! Plus, on Sundays, there is the chance to have tea and cake(s) with live music in the background, plus don’t miss the chance for some outdoor cinema.
2. Country and Eastern
Housed in a Victorian skating rink find a huge display of South Asian decorative art and crafts – a true gem in the heart of the city. Open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am until 5pm, it’s a perfect stop to gain some artistic knowledge as well as getting in some shopping; jewellery, art, furniture, lighting, rugs and more – all sourced directly from Asia. And you don’t even have to leave Norwich to do it.
3. History Mystery
A great way to escape from reality and immerse yourself into a world of interactive puzzles and discovery. Put your detective skills to the test and crack the mystery. Be warned: this game is not for the easily frightened.
4. Norwich Theatre Royal
We have our own version of the West End here in Norwich and that includes Norwich Theatre Royal. With previous shows including Jason Donovan’s Priscilla and the Northern Ballet’s Casanova and now bringing Funny Girl and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time, there is something exciting and captivating to go see!
5. The Assembly House
The Assembly House is a beautiful example of Georgian architecture in Norwich. Take in the rich history of the house or treat yourselves to a classic afternoon tea (which we highly recommend). Better yet, book into one of their rooms and make it a weekend of luxury and decadence.
6. The Sainsbury’s Centre for the Visual Arts
There’s so much you can say about the Sainsbury Centre that it could be a thesis within itself. First conceived after Lord and Lady Sainsbury kindly donated their collection of art to the University of East Anglia, it has seen some truly exquisite exhibitions take place, including Bacon and the Masters and now Paul Nash and Rana Begum, this is definitely a perfect way to spend a day in Norwich. View the permanent collection as well as the current exhibitions, have lunch with a view and walk the campus grounds to see the newly installed 3x Another Time by world-renowned artist Antony Gormley. A cultural Nirvana!
7. City Hall and Norwich Market
Lose yourself in the beauty of Norwich just by sitting outside City Hall and overlooking the colourful stalls of Norwich Market. Breathe in the aromas escaping from the food court, or better yet, grab a snack and sit down while taking the perfect Instagram shot. Known to be the biggest permanent marketplace in the UK, it definitely lives up to the name. You can find anything here: from artisan bread to a fresh bouquet of flowers to unique culinary ingredients! Past the rainbow stalls, Norwich Castle is also in view, standing proudly and within reach.
8. The Norwich Lanes
We do pride ourselves here in the East with the wonderful independent, local shops we have at hand. Walking down Lower Goat Lane, popping into shops such as Lisa Angel and feeling like you’ve transported to Diagon Alley - walking the cobbled pathways wondering where the magic will take you. On the corner, there is the famous Grosvenor Fish Bar (winner of English Tourism Superstar 2017): a traditional chippy – a must try! Just going for a stroll through the lanes is enough to make anyone fall in love with this city. Let us know what you think when you visit.
9. Norwich Playhouse
A friendly, relaxed venue by Norwich University of the Arts, Norwich Playhouse is the perfect spot for a quick cuppa, a mid-afternoon read, an early evening drink by the river in the award-winning garden or to go see your favourite band or poet. Welcoming the likes of Bridget Christie to Ruby Wax to Kyle Eastwood, there is always something to see and do at the Playhouse.
10. Abellio Greater Anglia
Bit of a unique one, this, but hear us out! We have great connections to the coast so make the most of the trains and head to Cromer, Sheringham or Great Yarmouth for a day at the beach. With the train station just a 10 minute walk from the city centre, you can be as spontaneous and carefree as you like with your plans for the day. Breakfast in the city (we recommend Bills, Frank’s Bar or Cote Brasserie) followed by a quick train ride to the pier for a lovely walk. Or head to one of our lovely South Norfolk Market Towns, Wymondham or Diss. Bliss huh? Due to the great connections we have with Greater Anglia, it’s easy to transfer and get anywhere! But we don’t really want to leave Norwich do we?
11. South Norfolk Market Towns
See the best of both worlds by heading to one of our picturesque market towns – Harleston, Diss, Loddon or Wymondham – for a true style of Norfolk town life. There are weekly Farmers Markets too so plan ahead and visit on a day when you can find some local produce. Wymondham and Diss are also really easy destinations by train from Norwich.
12. Holkham Hall
Where to even begin with Holkham Hall! One of England’s great agricultural estates; 25,000 acres in fact; stunning coastal landscape – there’s too much to describe. Oh, and Tom Jones will be there over the Summer. Did we mention that? This is a great day out from Norwich. Fill it with beauty, history and treats.
13. Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden
This was a massive favourite amongst the voters. With over 3 miles of easy woodland walks, superb views and it’s on its own private Broad: this is one not to be missed. Plus there are boat trips, canoe trails and talks about the animals/birds in the area. Never a dull moment at Fairhaven.
14. Day Boats for an on-the-water adventure
Take to the waters as naturally as Moana and discover The Broads. Norfolk Broads Direct allows you to independently explore the beauty of the Broads at your own pace and in your own style. Take a picnic, stop off at one of the lovely towns nearby and enjoy the scenery. With Herbert Woods, choose from Picnic boats, canoes or fishing boats! Find the right boat for what you want to do. Available to hire for the whole day or just the afternoon, it’s a great way to have some down time with your partner, or a couple of your nearest and dearest or the whole squad!
15. Houghton Hall
Built for the first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, this remains one of England’s finest Palladian houses and it is well worth a visit! With painted ceilings and suites of carved and gilded furniture, there is so much to see here. Take yourself back to the 18th Century and put on your Sunday bests for a day of decadence. Don't miss the Richard Long exhibition either and celebrate the Turner Prize winner for all his British Landscape work.
Head to our City of Stories blog for more Norwich-inspired pieces.