Summer is for… culture and the countryside, close by


In Norwich, a short walk will take you from riverside to right-in-the-centre. In 10 minutes, make your way from cathedral to castle, to coffee in the courtyard. 1 minute gets you from the best covered market in Britain, to the iconic Norwich Lanes: winding streets home to hundreds of independent bars, restaurants, shops and arts venues. In our city, the DIY store, artisan jewellers and the best-mussels-in-town are next-door neighbours. 

Norwich is full to the brim with attractions and museums that will take you along its rich history. But what makes the city different - what keeps it on its toes as a destination worthy of your weekend - is the constantly evolving cultural landscape here. Every week a new exhibition to see, every day a new taste to experience, and all this found side by side. Our compact city centre is easily walkable and has everything you need. 

 

1000 years of the City of Stories  | Eat & Drink

Experience | Escape to the Country

 

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Norwich Cathedral Close. Photo: Hannah Hutchins 
 

1000 years of the City of Stories


In Norwich, you don’t have to look far to discover battle lines, secret tunnels, haunted passageways or regal residencies. 

Our Norman castle overlooks the whole city, and has centuries of stories to tell. Less than 10 minutes’ walk away, the Romanesque Cathedral keeps an eye from an even greater height; its spire is the second-highest in the UK at 315 feet. Over 700 years ago this spire watched riots and rebellions that would eventually see the whole city excommunicated by the Pope. Today, Peregrine Falcons breed and fledge from its uppermost window.

For storytelling with a personal touch, why not book a walking tour of Norwich? Paul Dickson is a local historian and all-round-nice guy, and offers tours of the city on all sorts (visit his website for options). Paul recently introduced his ‘Shardlake’s Norwich’ tour, so if you’re a fan C.J. Sampson’s novel ‘Tombland’, then snap your space up quickly!

Jump on the City Sightseeing Bus for a hop-on-hop-off introduction to of Norwich, with expert  commentary to guide you along the way. Or alternatively, download our self-guided Tudor walking tour. Following Norwich’s appearance on Channel 4’s ‘Britain’s Most Historic Towns’, we produced our own route for exploring some of Norwich’s notable - and notorious - Tudor sights. Download the pdf here. 



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Pull's Ferry, by Riverside Walk. Photo: Hannah Hutchins



Eat and drink

  • Strangers Coffee House - On Pottergate in the Norwich Lanes, Strangers is a Norwich institution, with its own roaster just a street away!

  • The Britons Arms - On Elm Hill, one of only 5 thatched properties in the city. Serving homemade lunches and teas with a secluded courtyard garden.

  • Prelude, Norwich Theatre Royal - excellent pre-theatre menu in this sophisticated dining room.

  • Cosy Club - Relaxed food, served in a stunning 1920’s ex-bank in the centre of the city. 

  • Roger Hickman’s - classic and elegant fine dining establishment serving modern, British food. 

  • Les Garrigues - Also on Upper St Giles, find french food and organic wines in this beautiful deli, open for breakfast right through to the evening.

 

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Prelude, Norwich Theatre Royal

 

Experience

  • Visit Norwich’s flagship independent department store, Jarrold. Spend a few hours browsing 5 floors of shops, before visiting their basement deli for a glass of red and local charcuterie. 

  • South Asia Collection Museum and Shop is the pre-eminent collection of its type in the United Kingdom. Here you will find an incredible display of decorative Arts and Crafts from South East Asia, and well as beautiful things to take home. 

  • Browse independent book store, The Book Hive. This higgledy-piggledy, papery paradise counts Stephen Fry in its fanbase. 

  • Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is a cultural treat. Find this world-class art gallery within acres of countryside in the campus of the University of East Anglia. Inside, the permanent collection is home to works by Picasso, Degas and Bacon, to name a few. 

 

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The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Photo: Hannah Hutchins Photography

 

Escape to the country

  • Stay at the beautiful Norfolk Mead Hotel, 20 minutes’ drive from Norwich city centre. This pristine, boutique hotel is in Coltishall - a leafy Norfolk village right on the River Bure. During your stay, ask to hire the Mead’s picnic boat and take a trip down the tranquil river. 

  • Norwich is the only city within a national park in the whole of the UK. Technically part of the iconic Norfolk Broads, Norwich is your ideal base from which to explore the  rugged expanses of the county. Hire a cruisers for the week with Norfolk Broads Direct, and explore the waterways at your own pace.

  • Norfolk’s flat countryside makes a cycling holiday an option for all levels and abilities. There are loads of dedicated cycle routes, including the traffic-free Marriott’s Way, which will take you from Norwich to North Norfolk along an old (now unused) railway line. Norwich has seven colour-coded cycle routes – totalling 58 miles – known as pedalways.

 

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The Marriot's Way. Photo: Hannah Hutchins

 

  • Visit one (or several) of rural Norfolk’s gardens and nature reserves. The Raveningham Estate offers the perfect mix of manicured gardens, wild woodland and sculpture in between. To get close to nature, visit Pensthorpe Natural Park or Fairhaven Woodland and Watergarden. 

  • North Norfolk is surely one of the most beautiful coastal areas in the country. Characterised by broad skies over grassy flats and sand dunes, this is where the sky meets the sea in the most dramatic way. For swimmers, the water is just warming up…

  • Also in North Norfolk you’ll find Holkham Hall and Houghton Hall; 2 of the grandest houses in the county. Holkham manages its own nature reserve, which offers so much to see during the summer months: see orchids in the Wells Dell in late June or early July, or the purple haze of sea lavender across the saltings. Houghton Hall is home to exciting contemporary sculpture in palladian surroundings: at the moment you can see the work of iconic 21st century sculptor Henry Moore. 

  • Barnham Broom - southwest of Norwich - is a golfers’ paradise, and is home to three full length academy holes, a dedicated short game area and a five-acre open air grass range. At this tranquil country hotel you’ll also find a spa, brasserie, gym, and sumptuous rooms perfect for a relaxing escape in the country. 

 

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Barnham Broom's pool, overlooking their golf course

 

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