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Norwich, [4] a two-cathedral city, is the capital city of the English county of Norfolk, within the larger region of East Anglia. It lies some 185 km (115 miles) north-north-east of London, with the A11 linking the two cities, and is a convenient base for exploring the Broads, the North Norfolk Coast, along with the whole county of Norfolk.


Norwich has a total population of about 230,000. At over 800 years old, it was one of the main cities of medieval England, and retains a significant heritage of period buildings. In the 1960s, it became a university city with the foundation of the University of East Anglia (UEA), which has helped the flourishing of local culture.

Get in[edit]

By road[edit]

Norwich is directly served by two major trunk roads. The A11 travels in only a south-westerly direction, through Thetford, then near to Cambridge, and then via a more southerly direction onto London via the M11. The other trunk road is the A47, and this is primarily orientated in an east-west direction. To the east, the A47 ends at the once significant maritime town, and now primarily holiday destination of Great Yarmouth. To the west, the A47 links the Norfolk market towns of East Dereham and Swaffham, and then onto Kings Lynn (where it links with the A10 and A17). The A47 continues westward, leaving Norfolk, onto Peterborough, where it links nearby with the A1 (also known as the 'Great North Road'), and terminates at the Roman city of Leicester, linking with a number of significant roads including the M1, M69, A6, A46 and A50.

Other major trunk roads to the wider Norwich area include the the A14 (via the A11 to Cambridge), A12, A140 (via Ipswich) from London, the South East of England and the ferry port of Harwich.

By train[edit]

Despite the city's size, there is only one large railway station. Thorpe station is a terminus, and all services start/finish here. The two main routes run south to London (1hr50) via Ipswich (40min) and Colchester (1hr); and west/northwest towards Cambridge (1hr) and Peterborough (1hr45), with some services continuing to other major cities in the Midlands and North. Connections to Scotland and East Coast cities are available at Peterborough. There are also a handful of local services to destinations including Sheringham, Cromer, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

The railway station is approximately 10 minutes walk from the city centre, but numerous buses stop outside, with a direct service to the city centre and to the university, with connections to the airport. The station forecourt carpark has a taxi rank, and is usually full of black cabs which can be hailed without any advanced booking. For details on all UK national railway services, call National Rail Enquiries line, tel +44 845 748 4950 or +44 20 7278 5240.

By bus[edit]

The bus is the easiest way to get around the city. Local bus services are mostly operated by national operator, First. These services operate to all major towns and villages within the Norwich area, with a few services to other major towns in Norfolk and in Suffolk. First's services are colour coded to make it simple to identify your bus. Smaller local operators also run services to Norfolk towns from Norwich. A day ticket should cost no more than £5 and can be bought on the bus with cash. These buses don't depart from the bus station, but rather depart from Castle Meadow, which is the street which Norwich's castle overlooks, making it very easy to find. Norwich's bus station in Surrey Street is a major hub for regional and long-distance bus and coach services, and also Norwich Park and Ride buses. There are frequent buses to the seaside resorts of Great Yarmouth (X1) and Lowestoft(X1/X11/X2/X22), run by First, and also a bus service to Peterborough via Dereham and King's Lynn, operated by First (X1).There are regular National Express services to/from London - although the journey takes roughly twice as long as the train and can sometimes be almost as expensive. A cheaper alternative is the Megabus, though the most inexpensive tickets need to be booked weeks or months in advance. Tickets for National

Express buses can be purchased from the ticket counter at the bus station or booked online.  For information on all bus services, call Traveline on +44 871 200 2233.


Parking in the city includes a wide variety of surface and multi-storey car parks, along with on-street parking - all fee-based, some operated by the local authority (Norwich City Council), others operated by private companies.

Park and Ride[edit]

Using the Park & Ride system is the easiest option if you are visiting Norwich. Just park up and pay on the bus for your ticket. All park & ride busses are operated by Konect Bus. In terms of sites there are 6 There is Postwick in the east of the city, this site is useful if you are coming from Great Yarmouth or Lowestoft (This site is currently a testing centre for COVID 19), Harford in the South is the site you would use if you were coming from the A140 from Ipswich, Thickthorn in south west Norwich is at the junction of the A11 and A47 meaning this is the site you would use if you were coming from London, Cambridge and Peterborough, Costessey is in west Norwich just off the A47 but this site only has a connection with the UEA and N&N Hospital so if you are arriving via the A47 and want to use a park & ride use Thickthorn, Airport park and ride is by the airport as the name suggests this is the site you would use if you are coming from North Norfolk, And finally Sprowston is in north east Norwich this is the site you would use if you are coming from the Norfolk Broads. Busses typically run every 6-7 minutes on the Park & Ride routes but do bear in mind that the last bus to the park and ride sites is around 8PM

By air[edit]

Norwich is home to a major regional airport - Norwich International Airport (NWI) - with over 300 worldwide connections via Manchester, Edinburgh or Amsterdam. London Stansted is also within easy reach by road (65 miles) or by train (via Cambridge), and regular coaches from Surrey Street bus station serve all four major London airports (Heathrow, Luton, Gatwick and Stanstead).

To/from the airport - a taxi will cost about £7 from the airport to the city centre. For more information, contact Norwich International Airport on +44 1603 411923 or Fax +44 1603 487523.

Get around[edit]

Norwich city centre is fairly compact and can be explored easily on foot. It is also a cycle-friendly city, with most major streets having separate bike lanes and also several cycle tracks along the two rivers. City buses are mostly operated by FirstGroup and are handy for reaching the train station, riverside entertainment district, the university and the airport. Fares change regularly but expect to pay around £2.30 for a single-trip adult ticket. Return tickets and day pass tickets are also available - buy tickets from the driver (change available) or from the ticket machines located at the bus stops. Also available is a Fusion Ticket which allows a day's unlimited travel with the participating operators. Metered taxis are fairly cheap and are of the purpose-built 'black cab' variety as in London, whilst telephone-booked minicabs are cheaper for longer trips.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Norwich Cathedral [5] - the 900-year old Norman cathedral church. Don't miss 'old As I Am', a grinning skeleton on the south aisle wall.
  • Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery [6] 'Pop in for a pound' in the last hour of opening.
  • Dragon Hall [7] - restored trading hall from medieval era, unique in England
  • Many fine medieval churches including St John Maddermarket, St Peter Mancroft by the Forum , St Stephens, all of which are usually open
  • The Forum [8] - a new landmark building, architecturally dynamic, housing the municipal library, BBC East, arts and information centre - includes the amazing Origins exhibition of local history and culture
  • the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts [9] - located on the campus of the University of East Anglia (UEA) - well worth the visit, lovely building and an underground section with changing exhibitions in art, ceramics, textiles....creative and imaginative. It was designed by Norman Foster and it is an example of an early work of his in the 1970's.

If you want some peace and tranquility in the middle of the city, "the plantation " is a small nicely formed private garden. Walking downhill from the Roman Catholic Cathedral (not the Church Of England one) the gardens are on the left between the two parts of the Beeches Hotel. If there is no one there pop your £2 in the box and enjoy.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Norwich Theatre Royal [10]
  • Maddermarket Theatre [11]
  • Norwich Puppet Theatre [12]
  • Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA Beer Festival [13] held every October
  • Noirwich Crime Writing Festival [14] held in September is an annual celebration of crime writing
  • Norwich is the key site for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival [15] held every year in the month of May.

Norwich is home to Norwich City Football Club, who play in the first tier of English football (The Premier League). Its ground, Carrow Road, is fairly close to the city centre and a 6-10 minute walk from the railway station. The ground seats 26,000, and if you visit Norwich and are keen on football, it's worth a visit - a friendly ground, with large amounts of family spectators.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Norwich punches above its weight in retail terms and is regarded as one of Britain's major regional shopping centres. The Castle Quarter shopping mall (previously named Castle Mall) has recently been joined by a major new city-centre development, the Chantry Place mall, (previously named Chapelfield) on the site of a former chocolate factory. It has a big "Cigar entwined in a wire frame" sculpture on top to serve as a visible landmark.

Other than the shopping centres there is a big John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Debenhams and local department store Jarrolds. This particular store is unusual in that it is still locally owned and gives 25% of its profits to the John Jarrold Trust - a charity that grant aids worthy causes. London Street is nearby and was England's first pedestrianised street. The market is the site of the principal shopping area and is occupied by well-known chain stores; additionally, a wide range of independent specialist stores is concentrated around the Upper Goat Lane/Pottergate/St. Benedict's area of the city centre. This area is known as the Norwich Lanes. One street not to miss is Elm Hill. It's a medieval cobbled street near Norwich Cathedral that backs onto the River Wensum and is renowned for its antiques and tea shops.

That leaves us with the market! Apparently the largest permanent outdoor market in Europe, and one of the finest city markets in the UK. It has recently been refurbished and is a riot of primary colours and retracting roofs. It was designed by the same architect as the Castle Mall, Michael Innes.

Just outside the city centre are a number of shops worth a look. Upper St Giles Street is a must visit home to a number of galleries; Norwich Studio Art Gallery; Verandah; Fabulous Frames independent shops: Stiffkey Bathrooms; Pavilion; The Bell Jar, restaurants: Roger Hickman; Lam Thai and Louis Delicatessen. Over the bridge and down Earlham Road towards the University of East Anglia (UEA) is a fine independent organic and local food shop called the Green Grocers. You will find a good range of locally sourced food as well as catering for vegetarian and vegans. They have a Farmers' Market outside the shop every second sunday of the month.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Restaurants in Norwich are good. For fine dining visit Roger Hickman on Upper St Giles or Benedicts on St Benedicts Street, both are excellent and busy so booking is essential. The area around St Benedicts " Norwich Lanes" has a lot of one off shops and a number of non chain eateries most of which can be recommended. Notable amongst them are, The Waffle House on St Giles, a Norwich institution and an excellent formula based around Belgian wheat waffles, their chocolate mousse will be amongst the best you have ever had; The Bicycle Shop on St Benedicts, shabby chic and student orientated but professionally run; Chihuahua's in the Mash Tun pub in Charing Cross where Mexican street food is available to accompany a long list of beers, kept well and mainly from the superb and Norwich based, Redwell brewery, Finnies in Lower Goat Lane, where slices of freshly baked pizza and juices emerge from a tiny shop, Moorish Falafel, next door to Finnies where fresh cooked falafel is packed in a pitta with salad and sauces of your choice, Madder Kitchen in The Maddermarket where informal sit down dining is on offer and Stuart the chef patron knows his stuff, B'nou on St Benedict's, where you will have to book some time in advance and a series of Tapas style dishes are served throughout a whole evening's eating experience, Pulse off the Guildhall Hill where a fresh and welcome approach is taken to veggie and vegan food. During the daytime good food can be had very cheaply in the market where everything from a Chinese to fish and chips by way of vegan fast food and a hog roast are available.

There is a range of Chinese restaurants in the city. Mainly they seem to be run by one family under the banner of Lucky Star. They run two well-priced 'all-you-can-eat' buffets (Riverside and above a car park at the top of St Stephens Street). They are all much of a muchness but Riverside is the most popular and therefore busiest. There are some others (mainly of Prince of Wales Road).

There seem to be loads of Thai restaurants in Norwich. Not sure why it has more than its fair share but since most of them are good we shouldn’t complain. The best are Sugar Hut, Silk Thai and Lam Thai. Sugar Hut is owned by a couple who have 3 restaurants in the city and this one is the original and best. Good menu and choice of wines, lovely staff and well prepared food. Quite busy on the weekend for dinner so book in advance. Thai Silk on the other had seems to always be quiet. Very well decorated with lovely fixtures and fittings. It has a good range of food and but is slightly more expensive than Sugar Hut. Lam Thai is located slightly out of the city centre on Upper St. Giles Street, and although not cheap, the quality of food is very good.

Indian restaurants in Norwich have, over the past decade or so, been engaged in a fierce price war which has seen menu prices stay low - sometimes, it has to be said, at the expense of quality.

A long established Indian restaurant called Namaste Village is on Queens Road. This has been taken over by new enlightened owners who are trying to break away from the classic Indian formula by offering exclusively vegetarian and vegan dishes (no drinks licence but take your own with a corkage charge). It is in a converted church so it has big high ceilings and lots of space. Two other 'curry houses' to recommend include Roti on Finkelgate, almost adjacent to Namaste Village. It is a family restaurant which traces itself back to humble beginnings in 1980s London, and the experience is certainly of good quality in pleasant, airy surroundings with hospitable staff. The same can be said for Roshi, although its location in a refurbished pub off Mousehold Lane on the outer ring road may not be immediately convenient. Prices for both restaurants are fluctuate around the 'reasonable' range depending on the type of curry, however, both are ideal dining, depending on your location within Norwich.

There are several other Indian restaurants on Magdalene Street, including Ali Tandoori, Spice Lounge just down the road on Wensum Street, a good place on St Benedict’s called Bengal Spice and just to the west of the inner ring road there is City Spice located on Dereham Road.

The standard Cafe Uno, Pizza Express etc are all present but are of a fairly chain restaurant standard so go if you want but there are some better choices. Zizzis in Tomblands is nicer than average with a traditional big wood burning oven so they do some nice flavoured pizzas and baked pastas. Try Italia Nostra on St Giles Street if you prefer a more family run Italian restaurant.

Mambo Jambo’s is a Tex-Mex/Latin American restaurant on lower Goat Lane with a bar. They serve most of the things you would expect to find at a Tex-Mex resturant

The Belgian Monk on Pottergate in the city centre is fantastic for mussels and does very good food at reasonable prices. They also do a variety of different beers: cherry beer is definitely worth a try.

The Golden Triangle area to the west of the city centre has more than it's fair share on pubs serving good quality food, probably in no small part to the large student population of the areas. The Unthank Arms and The Mad Moose serve good quality though not inexpensive food, whilst the likes of The Belle Vue and The Garden House sell decent pub fare.

For vegetarian restaurants try The Greenhouse, an environmentally friendly cafe and shop on Bethel Street, [16] or the already mentionedPulse on Guildhall Hill. Norwich's first all vegan bakery [Deerly Beloved Bakery][17]currently supplies Waterstones Cafe W, Biddy's Tea Room and St Benedicts Food Store with their yummy vegan cakes and bakes all year round.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Norwich was once famous for having a church for every week in the year, and a pub for every day of the year. It had the highest number of pubs per square mile in the UK.

For real ale enthusiasts, Norwich is home to the multi award-winning Fat Cat [18], a real ale paradise serving over 25 ales, and one of only two pubs in the UK to twice win the prestigious CAMRA National Pub of the Year. Other popular real ale pubs in the city centre include The Coach & Horses and the historic Adam & Eve. North of the city are the King's Head in Magdalen Street, the Shed (with Fat Cat Brewery), and the Duke of Wellington, all real ale pubs with an extensive selection of ales and some cider. For cutting edge craft beers from local Redwell brewery go to the Mash Tun in Charing Cross or the Tap House on Redwell Street. Other pubs worth a vist include The Plough on St Benedicts home of the local Grain Brewery's offerings, The White Lion on Oak Street majoring on ciders and perrys.Crosdesnor (talk) 15:29, 3 September 2016 (EDT)

There is a major beer festival, organised by the local branch of CAMRA, held every year in St Andrews Hall. Beware that it gets extremely crowded though.

The local real ale of choice is Woodforde's Wherry. Woodfordes also brew Nelson's Revenge among others. Also popular in pubs around the area are the two popular Adnams ales, Bitter and Broadside, brewed in the Suffolk coastal town of Southwold.

  • The Bicycle Shop, 17 St Benedicts Street. 10:00 - midnight. A lovely new addition is The Bicycle Shop bar/restaurant. Great for lunch or a drink in its downstairs bar. Good wines and local beers.  edit
  • Frank's Bar, 19 Bedford Street, Norwich, +44 1603 618902, [1]. Tu-Th 10.30am-midnight, Fr & Sa 10:30am-2:30am, Su 10:30am-11:30pm. Cafe-bar in central Norwich filled with good food, top drinks, marvellous music and general chilled-outness. You can enjoy Frank’s Bar in a range of different ways, whether it be with a coffee, glass of wine, tasty meal or nibbles. Sundays are special as well with a fantastic Sunday Breakfast menu (served from 11.00 – 6.00) and a classic afternoon film (screened in the back room) along with the usual selection of great coffee, good papers to peruse and general loveliness.  edit
  • Captain America's Hamburger Heaven, 4 Exchange St (just off from the market place, opposite Jarrold's), 01603 622551. American burgers and steaks and ribs, etc. Reasonably priced and lots of it.  edit

If you are on a budget, do not fear. Norwich has a large student population and so there are plenty of cheaper places to drink, so long as you don't mind things being a little rowdy at times.

There are also some excellent independent coffee shops dotted about. Small in size but extremely friendly and care about coffee. Little Haven, The Little Red Roaster and The Nectar are stand out coffee houses on the south side of the city. Best to go during the day as lunch hours you cannot always guarantee a seat.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

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  • Maids Head in Tombland - but it is a bit old-fashioned and out of date. They tried refurbishing their restaurant so maybe they will sort the rest of the inside soon too. It is in a very pretty building so it is good for tourists who want a bit of old England. Known for its ghosts.
  • Premier Inn hotel by the railway station. Very convenient if you have just gotten off a train and it is near to the cathedral and castle but keep in mind it can be very noisy on Friday and Saturday nights as it is opposite Riverside (a big entertainment complex). There is another on Duke Street just north of the Norwich lanes.
  • Holiday Inn Ipswich Road,01603 730300 just 2 miles south of the City Centre. It has 119 bedrooms all with air-con, LCD TV's, internet connection,Double, Twin, Family Rooms & Accessible double rooms.The lounge bar area is comfortable and modern & serves Starbucks coffee. There is a vast menu to choose from for lunch & dinner also including "Chef's Specials" The hotel boasts a fabulous leisure club with indoor heated pool, sauna, steam room, spa & well equipped gym. Free car parking also. A great base when exploring the beautiful city of Norwich and the counties of Norfolk & Suffolk.
  • Holiday Inn Cromer Road to the north of the city. Nice enough and convenient for the airport and Norfolk Broads.
  • Mercure Norwich Hotel, 121-131 Boundary Road, NR3 2BA, (+44) 844 815 9036, [2]. 4 star Norwich Hotel located 1.5 miles from the airport and 3 miles from the city centre.  edit
  • Mercure Norwich, 121 - 131 Boundary Road. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00 noon. Located between the airport and the city centre. Indoor pool with a sail-like canopy, air-conditioned gym. Pinewood Finnish sauna. Internet access available in every room.  edit
  • Travelodge is a budget chain which operates two hotels in Norwich: Queens Road (next to the bus station) and Riverside (actually in Vedast Street, close to Prince of Wales Road), as well as several nearbly locations.
  • Broadview Lodge is a basic Bed and Breakfast that is conveniently located if you wish to be on the University campus and offers discounts for UEA students and their families as well as alumni.

Out of the city there are some larger golf-type hotels. Dunston Hall (owned by the De Vere group) just south of the city, and Sprowston Manor (owned by the Marriott group) just north of the city. Both are OK and generally get 4 star ratings but they are hardly hotels you would choose to go on holiday to. They have lots of facilities (spas, gold pools etc) and are the best place to stay around Norwich if you don’t need to be in the city centre.

  • Holiday Inn Express Norwich, Drayton High Road, Hellesdon NR6 5DU, +44(0)1603 780 010, [3]. checkin: 2:00 PM; checkout: 12:00 PM. 3 Star hotel in the centre of Norwich Airport (1.5 miles) and city centre (3 miles), and an added benefit of free overnight parking, WiFi, and breakfast all included in the price. £49.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Although Norwich is one of the safest cities in the UK, caution should be taken when wandering the city centre at night, as with any place. Use common sense and avoid back streets, staying in groups is always a good idea. A few notable areas to avoid during the night would be Anglia Square, the Mile Cross Estate and Larkman Lane, although there is not much to do there at night, and also Prince of Wales road on a Friday or Saturday night, due to the amount of people leaving and entering nightclubs.

Get out[edit]

Although Norwich is a comparatively small city by international standards, there is still plenty to do. The main attraction beyond Norwich are the Broads, a network of waterways and marshlands famed for its scenic beauty. Visitors can either take a stroll along the network of footpaths along the Broads or rent a small cruiser or sailboat.

Norwich also hosts some fine parks and gardens. Many of these parks were built in the early 20th century, as a form of unemployment relief::

  • Eaton Park, [19] - the largest of the Depression era unemployment relief parks in Norwich (measuring 80 acres), with an expansive range of activities and facilities, including a large miniature railway and a boating lake for model boats, lying west of the city centre.
  • Catton Park, [20] - a nationally important green space located to the north of the city.
  • Waterloo Park, [21] - an 18 acre park with a wide range of facilities located north of the city centre.
  • Plantation Gardens,[22] - a beautiful Victorian walled garden, featuring a plethora of alcoves, trails and lush lawns, and some of the finest neo-Gothic sculpture to be seen. Effectively a compact recreation of the grandeur one to expect to find in a country house of the period, it is a quiet feat of horticulture to be enjoyed on an early-evening stroll.
  • Mousehold Heath is a historic untouched area of heath and woodland to the north of the city, known as the 'lungs of Norwich'.

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