If you’re looking for a day out in Norwich, you will find that Norwich is a very compact and safe UK city. It is possible to walk quite easily from one attraction to another, although it is worth having a map on you as the city lanes do meander.
It is the only city I have been in where I kept losing my sense of direction.
A good starting point is Norwich Castle. You can’t miss the castle, so it’s a good way to get your bearings. Built by the Normans 900 years ago, this castle is older than it looks. There are tours around the battlements, a café, a museum and you can wander around the castle itself, with interactive children’s games in the dungeon (yes, the dungeon!) and the other inside castle rooms.
If you are looking to save money, then visit an hour before closing time, when entry is just £1.
Adjoining the castle is a shopping centre - Castle Mall, then a short walk across the road are the lanes leading to Norwich market. With its brightly coloured rooftops and stalls selling everything from seafood to shoes, the market is in the heart of Norwich’s shopping area.
On your way, you will pass through the Royal Arcade. (see map here) Here you can pop into the famous Colmans Mustard Shop and Museum.
On one side of the market, you will find the Norwich Lanes.
The Norwich Lanes comprises a huge selection of independent shops, helping to make Norwich one of the top 10 shopping destinations in the UK. Here you will find a range of shops including Jewellers such as Sonkai,where you can see the on-site goldsmith in action, Bridal shops such as Pure Bridal, ladies fashions, and Home Interiors.
The Cathedral Quarter - Norwich Cathedral, Elm Hill and Tombland.
From the Norwich Lanes, you can visit the ancient cobbled street of Elm Hill, with its antique shops, gift shops and cafes, the historic Tombland area and Norwich Cathedral. The Cathedral has beautiful cloisters and a modern café, so is well worth a visit.
At the Cathedral you may well see a group of people with cameras trained at the spire. There is usually a Peregrine Falcon’s nest. Take a look at the webcam here.
If by this time you are feeling a little thirsty, there is a great pub a short walk from the Cathedral - Ribs of Beef - where you can sit in the snug pub on a cold day or enjoy the riverside terrace on a sunny day.
Returning to Norwich market you will find the newest part of Norwich – the Forum and Chapelfield Shopping Mall at the top of the square.
The Forum is a modern glass fronted building containing a café, restaurant, gift shop, tourist information centre, BBC studios, exhibition space, a restaurant and the busiest library in the UK.
There are often events going on at the Forum, including a nyumber of children's activities during the school holidays.
There are a number of museums in Norwich:
Strangers Hall (NB this museum is due to close for a few months (2013) so check the website before you visit)
This 700 year old building re-opened this year after a £1.5 m refurbishment and tells the story of the people of Norwich.
Dragon Hall was at one time a medieval trading hall, and is now a museum and venue. Dragon Hall often provides children’s holiday activities.
Other things to do and places to visit in Norwich
Plantation Garden is a hidden gem in Norwich. Situated a short distance behind the Roman Catholic Cathedral, you can park at Beeches Hotel, then stroll around this hidden garden. It is also close enough to the city centre to walk there.
If you fancy a luxury Broads Cruise, then Serenity Charter, based in Horning, a short drive from Norwich, offer 2 hours, half day or whole day cruises.
Other things to do in Norwich include:
Skiing at the Norwich Dry Ski Slope,
Sailing and walking in Whitlingham Country Park. There is a beautiful walk around the Broad, opportunities for sailing, and there is a great cafe here.
Skate park and other sports facilities at Eaton Park.
As you can see, there are lots of things to do in Norwich. If you think we’ve missed something out, then please leave a comment below or e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Sara Greenfield
Member since: 10th July 2012
We own thebestofnorwich and are always on the look out for interesting things that are happening in Norwich, great local businesses and your views about anything local.