Visiting Norwich - What to See and Do
(Norwich International Airport NWI, England)
East Anglia's capital Norwich
is a classic example of how England's industrial revolution didn't ruin every city it touched. Perhaps due to the wealth that flowed in during the 18th century, the city core is anchored by a fantastic cathedral and over 30 medieval churches built from flint. It is a unique architectural environment that attracts a lot of tourism.
Norwich also has a modern side. It is the most important commercial centre in East Anglia, with lots of nice hotels, entertainment venues, tourist attractions and dining options crowded into its narrow medieval centre. The city's massive open-air market is a feature that engages both locals and visitors to browse the wealth of locally produced goods and produce.
Up until the Industrial Revolution, Norwich was England's largest city and one of its most important. From the nature of the Broads National Park to neighbouring villages that epitomise rural English living, the city serves is an ideal base for exploring the rich region of East Anglia.
Ten things you must do in Norwich
- Nature is an integral part of the area around the city, and the Broads National Park is its star attraction. Ranking amongst Britain's largest wetlands, the Broads covers some 140 miles / 225 km of navigable waterways enclosed by woodlands and marshes ideal for boating excursions. Its three rivers and multitude of lakes create a watery wonderland that attracts a million visitors each year.
- Norwich Cathedral is the main architectural landmark of the city and a perfect example of Norman-era design. It dates from 1096 and together with the castle keep, creates the main feature of the city skyline. A visitor centre and daily guided tours are a great way to learn more about this part of England and its storied history.
- One of England's finest surviving Jacobean manor homes is just outside of town at Blickling Hall. Built at the start of the 17th century, visitors can tour the home and get a sense of the style of living during this era. Its Peter the Great Room, long gallery and formal ornamental gardens are some of the highlights at this premier manor.
- Norwich is a very old city with an important pedigree. There are treasures to be found here, especially at the Tombland Antiques Centre adjacent to the cathedral, where some 60 different vendors have stalls selling all kinds of antiques. Afterwards, explore the alleys of the city centre, which is speckled with little shops selling all kinds of intriguing items.
- There is a very lively performing arts scene in the city, and the Theatre Royal is centre of attention. Opera, ballet, dance and touring companies all stop by this respected venue to perform when they are on tour. Ticket prices are very reasonable and this venue is centrally located right on Theatre Street.
- The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is the city's top artistic museum and gallery. The Sainsbury Collection, the legacy of Sir Robert and Lady Sainsbury, is considered to be one of Britain's finest private art collections, and the venue where it is housed is equally inspiring, being ideally designed to bring out the best in the artwork on display.
- A highlight of any extended visit to Norwich is an afternoon spent biking or paddling along the waterways of Wroxham. It is essentially the capital of the Broads, serving as the ideal base for either boating on the canals or biking and walking along its waterside paths. This spot is a real delight for outdoor lovers.
- Take a trip back to Victorian days at the Mustard Shop Museum. More than just a store selling a bewildering array of top-flight mustards, this establishment also serves as a monument to the art of mustard making. Its exhibits showcase the role of mustard in daily life and include some really interesting relics and related memorabilia. Even the staff are as attentive as you'd expect from the Victorian era.
- There are plenty of options for a night out in Norwich if the typical pub scene isn't whetting your appetite. From the Norwich Puppet Theatre to the Maddermarket Theatre and its amateur plays, there is a lot to choose from. The local performance arts scene here is fantastic, so head to the Norwich Arts Centre one evening and take a chance on the entertainment of the night.
- To take a long look at the glory days of the city, check out the relics and attractions on display at the Norwich Castle Museum. Everything from art to pottery, weapons and everyday articles of living are well displayed here. The dioramas of medieval life are particularly intriguing.