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.