Norwich is the county town of Norfolk lying 100 miles north east of London, situated on the river Wensum which links the city to the Broads. The city has a rich history spanning 1000 years and has a unique character and charm. The best way to explore is by foot, and since Norwich has been known as England’s second city since medieval times it has always had a diverse cultural heritage.
The Normans built the castle and cathedral that are part of the Norwich 12 – a compilation of iconic buildings well worth exploring. The cathedral is in the heart of the city near Tombland, which used to be the city market place, and is surrounded by delightful boutiques, galleries and cafés. The cathedral is known to be one of the finest Romanesque cathedrals in Europe with the largest monastic cloisters and second largest spire in England. The licensed café in the refectory offers a unique experience in a contemporary setting.
The castle was built by the Normans as a royal palace and later served as a prison, and now houses a fine collection of art and archaeology; another world lcass collection of fine art can be found at the Sainsbury Centre. The Forum has also become an iconic landmark, its striking architecture hiding the busiest public library in the country, as well as food markets, restaurants and galleries. 600 yards from the city centre is the Plantation Garden, also known as The Secret Garden, so you will have to find it first! It was created over 100 years ago in an old chalk quarry and is heavily wooded with a ten metre Victorian greenhouse and gothic fountain.
"Norwich is one of the oldest and prettiest cities in the UK."
You can also explore Norwich by boat, taking the river bus which travels right through the city centre offering various tours. Alternatively, there is a fascinating river walk passing two renowned buildings on the way - the 15th century arch known as Pulls Ferry which marks the start of an ancient canal used to ferry stone, and Cow Tower which was part of the city defences built in the 12th century.
Having worked up an appetite, visit the nearby Adam and Eve pub built in 1249, reputed to be haunted by Lord Sheffield who was murdered there in 1549.
Norwich is one of the top shopping destinations in England offering a variety of retail therapy, from the ancient Norwich Lanes to the two modern shopping malls, but a visit to Norwich is not complete without a trip to the famous Coleman’s mustard shop which opened in 1973 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of J&J Coleman’s. You will find a wide selection of mustards and mustard accessories in the art nouveau Royal Arcade, near the market.