Norwich Mini Guide
Tell me About Norwich
The city of Norwich is in Norfolk, England. In the 11th century it was the largest city in England after London
and considered of great importance. Its name comes from the Anglo Saxon settlement of Northwic, on which the city was built. Today the city prides itself on having over 1500 historic buildings and 1000 years of history.
How can I get There?
If you fly into one of the London airports, you can travel by National Express coach into Norwich. The city also has its own airport, which you can reach from flights within the UK and also Amsterdam
. There is a rail service that connects Norwich directly with London and Cambridge
to the south and Manchester
to the north. Within the city you can walk between many attractions and use the local bus service. However to get the most out of your visit a hire car is recommended to discover the Norfolk countryside.
What Should I see in the City?
There is so much to see in the city, probably the best way to see as much as possible is to take a walking tour or a bus tour. Just a few places to see are Dragon Hall, a medieval merchants trading hall dating back to 1430 and Elm Hill, a medieval street completely intact. You can visit Norwich Castle and Museum and the Cathedral to get a feel for the city’s history.
What can I buy There?
You will be spoilt for choice in Norwich. For the more unusual gift or souvenir go to the Norwich Lanes or Elm Hill, where you will find lots of small independent and specialist shops. For high street shopping head for The Mall Norwich or Chapelfield. A must visit is the Colman’s Mustard Shop and Museum, you should sample the famous mustard and take some home. If you are not shopped out yet, there is still the open air market in the ancient market place to browse – it’s the largest in England!
What can I do in the Evening?
Why not try a Norfolk Ale at the oldest pub in the city, the Adam and Eve. You can hear live music at the Waterfront and Assembly House or see a performance at Norwich Arts Centre or the Forum. If you want to see something a little different, Maddermarket Theatre is an Elizabethan style theatre and there you can brush up on your Shakespeare. The city is also home to the only theatre dedicated to the art of puppetry, the Norwich Puppet Theatre.
Are There any Special Events?
The Norfolk and Norwich Festival is a 10 day celebration of the arts held in May and attracting performers and artists from all over the country. The Royal Norfolk Show takes place in June or July annually - there you can try some local food, look at the livestock or see what’s new in agriculture.
Beyond the City
If you have a hire car, it is well worth heading to the coast to the seaside resort of Cromer. You can also take a boat trip on the famous Norfolk Broads or travel on a steam train at Bressingham Steam and Gardens.
Norwich is used as a base for visitors to the Norfolk Broads, a wetland national park that takes up much of Norfolk. The city itself though has many attractions including the 900 year old cathedral with its skeleton called ‘As Old As I Am’.
The castle has a good museum but the best introduction to Norwich’s history is at The Forum, a state of the art exhibition centre where’ Origins’ plays out the city’s history to the public. Finally, a short drive by hire car away is the Dragon Hall, the only surviving medieval hall of its type in England.