Tag Archives: norfolk

Norwich: a treasure trove of traditional architecture and Norfolk charm

Located in the centre of Norfolk rests its county town of Norwich. While it is one of the most densely populated cities in the East of England, tourists will be met with a different flavour from that of most big cities. Evidence of Norfolk’s ancient past; the castles, cobblestone, and winding back streets give it an obvious appeal to history lovers, while a plethora of independent businesses gives an alternative diversion to the more contemporary at heart. Both international tourists and locals are sure to find something they enjoy.

Things to see and do: The architecture alone is enough to draw visitors. For a structured tour, one might consider seeing the sights in chronological order. If you opt for this method, start with the medieval buildings like Norfolk Castle Museum and Strangers’ Hall, then make your way to the Bridgewell Museum and consider its fascinating history of being both home to a king and a prison, and finally finish your day with the famous Theatre Royale and Norwich Playhouse.

Eating out: If you prefer to keep your fayre on the more traditional end, go for places like The Parson Woodforde, which doubles as a freehouse, so if you eat too much, you can stay the night.  The Racecourse, and The Hunnybell are also excellent choices.  If your palate yearns for the exotic, then don’t worry, Norwich’s list of international cuisine includes Chinese, Thai, Indian and Lebanese. Brummel’s Seafood Restaurant will give fish lovers quite a treat, and Umberto’s Trattoria Italia Pizzeria is sure to satisfy lovers of Italian.

Nightlife: Most of Norwich’s bars and clubs can be found near Tombland, Prince of Wales Road, and the Riverside area near Norwich’s railway station. If live music is desired, Blueberry comes highly recommended, with a Monday Jazz Jam, and Open Jam on Wednesday nights. Younger people might gravitate toward Optic and Liquid Nightclub, on Prince of Wales Road.

Where to Stay: There are a lot of places to rest one’s head in Norwich. Number 17 labels itself a “luxury bed and breakfast and guesthouse”, and offers single rooms at £52, and ranges up to family suites for £120. If you are in need of some extra pampering, Barnham Broom Hotel, Golf and Spa should be just to your liking, and if you happen to be going in the off season, promotions often include a reduced rate and a spa treatment in your package.

Shopping: If you hate to shop, you will change your mind after visiting Norwich, whose economy is firmly based in retail. There are independent shops all around the city ranging from quaint gift shops to bigger antique stores. If big names are what grab your eye, head over to The Mall Norwich or the freshly built Chapelfield.

A cycling vacation: A good New Years’ resolution

It’s that time of the year where you are struggling to eat another salad, the leftover Christmas chocolate is still tempting you, and your resolutions are slowly breaking down. However, our resolutions shouldn’t be seen as a daunting task, and can even be fun and invigorating. So why not take a cycling holiday?

Cycling is a fun and healthy way to exercise. It can be used as a mode of transport as well as helping the environment with less emissions. Cycling not only improves your cardiovascular health but also your fitness. The sport suits those with arthritis of the lower limbs as they do not cause impact to the knees and other joints.

The UK offers many scenic routes that are worth cycling. Here are some highlights of the UK cycling scene:

Whitehaven to Whitby passes through the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks following quiet country lanes, stopping in interesting quaint towns like Keswick and Appleby.

Throughout the Yorkshire Wolds you will witness breathtaking sceneries of gently rolling chalk hills and valleys. There are an array of minsters and abbeys to be seen in the many small towns and villages that you will cycle through, including Pocklington and Beverley.

If castles and vineyards sound like your cup of tea, look no further than Suffolk, where a relaxed cycling tour will take you through quiet rural market towns such Framlingham for some real relaxation.

Cycle around Norfolk by starting from the extraordinary Breckland Heaths, to the beautiful coast of North Norfolk coast, and finally to the famous Broads.

A variety of tours exist, so make sure that you pick a tour which is either challenging enough for your stamina, or if you prefer a more gentler pace, is not too heavy going.

National Trust Holiday Cottages: The perfect cottage holiday

National Trust Holiday Cottages offer a wide variety of cottages, farmhouses and even lighthouses where you can spend a long weekend or even up to three weeks enjoying some of the best sights that the United Kingdom has to offer. The accommodation covers nearly every corner of the country and whether it’s a romantic break or a family affair, there is something that would suit every occasion. Here are a few cottages worth checking out:

The romantic weekend away: Cornwall

Penhaligon’s: This cute thatched-cottage with wooden beams and a fireplace is nestled away in a secluded area, yet remains close to the vibrant Towan Beach and delightful Porth Creek.

Triggabrowne Cottage: As a former farmer workers’ cottage it has a large garden, panoramic views and easy access to walks along the coast and in the countryside.

The family holiday: Norfolk

Watermill Apartment: A spectacularly converted watermill with high ceilings that is within close reach of many family-orientated activities and day outs such as Hunstanton pier and Holkham beach.

2 Horsey Barns: This beautiful open plan barn offers families the chance to spot nearby wildlife as well as visit the nearby stunning coast.

The Lighthouse: Devon

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage: It goes without saying that this unique cottage accommodating up to 10 people boasts striking views of the sea and a series of hairpin roads winding through the National Trust moorland. If you are lucky there is even the possibility to spot dolphins and porpoises!

Some places are very popular so need to be booked in advance ahead of time. Others may start unusually in the middle of the week and it’s always worth checking ‘Important Information’ to find out about accessibility and further features of the property. Finally make sure to also check out ‘Special Offers’ for discounts and ‘Last Minute Offers’ for a spontaneous getaway. Take a look for yourself at National Trust Holiday Cottages.