It’s no surprise that Norwich is known as one of the best small cities in the world. Packed with fascinating history, medieval architecture and top attractions, Norwich makes a fantastic destination for a day out or a short city break.
There are plenty of amazing things to do in and around Norwich to create unforgettable experiences for the whole family. Independent shops in both quirky and modern shopping areas, family-friendly attractions, city gardens and museums, as well as its very own castle, make Norwich a must-visit Norfolk destination.
Add to that the nearby nature and wildlife-rich Norfolk Broads, the glorious beaches and seaside resorts of Norfolk’s coast, and plenty of award-winning Norfolk tourist attractions, it’s easy to see why Norwich is so popular!
This round-up of all the must-do things in Norwich and the surrounding area plus recommendations for places to stay and where to eat will help you plan your next trip. Here are my top Norwich highlights.
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This post may contain affiliate links. If you book something I recommend, I make a small commission without affecting the price you pay!
- Is Norwich Worth Visiting?
- Things To Do in Norwich Norfolk
- Feast & Shop at Norwich Market
- Tour Norwich Cathedral
- Discover the Cathedral of St John the Baptist
- Visit Bishop's House Gardens
- Stroll Elm Hill & Princes Street
- Take a Self Guided City Adventure
- Visit Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
- Discover the King Street Quarter
- Go Shopping!
- Enjoy Afternoon Tea at The Assembly House
- Get Creative at Norwich Puppet Theatre
- Discover the City of Stories
- Stroll & Paddle the River Wensum
- Explore The Forum
- Visit St Peter Mancroft Church
- Be Entertained at Riverside
- Have Fun at Eaton Park
- Discover Norfolk Gins
- Visit the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
- Escape in an Escape Room!
- Have Fun at Bowling House
- Chill in the Plantation Garden
- Catch a Show at the Theatre Royal
- Learn to Climb at Highball Climbing Centre
- Explore Mousehold Heath
- Discover Norwich Underground
- Take a Guided Tour of Norwich
- The Best Things to Do Near Norwich
- Discover the Norfolk Broads
- Enjoy Family Fun at BeWILDerwood, Horning
- Cycle to Whitlingham Country Park, Trowse
- Explore North Norfolk Beaches
- Creep Out at Bug Parc, Lenwade
- Visit the City of Norwich Aviation Museum, Horsham St Faith
- Have Fun in Great Yarmouth
- Spend a Day at Blickling Hall
- Take a Vineyard Tour & Tasting
- Roarr Dinosaur Adventure Park, Lenwade
- Where to Stay in Norwich
- My Favourite Places to Eat in Norwich
- About Norwich Norfolk
- How to Get to Norwich
- Getting Around Norwich
- When to Visit Norwich
- Map of Norwich Attractions
Is Norwich Worth Visiting?
The vibrant city of Norwich is the perfect place for a quintessentially British break. Historic architecture, the growing gastro scene, a focus on culture, the arts and literature, the glorious Norfolk Broads and the flourishing mix of quirky independent boutiques and high street stalwarts make Norwich one of the most popular cities in England to visit.
Things To Do in Norwich Norfolk
Feast & Shop at Norwich Market
If you only do one thing in this pretty city, visit Norwich market, the city centre’s main attraction and one of the oldest open-air markets left in the country.
The 900-year-old market has been around since medieval times and is one of the top Norwich attractions. Located slap bang in the middle of the city, the market sprawls proudly at the feet of the contemporary Forum building and Norwich’s Art Deco city hall.
Think organic Norfolk fruit and veg, local home-grown flowers, fresh produce, local crafts and stalls selling local food from legendary fish and chips (Ron’s, row D, stalls 94 and 95), fresh churros and chocolate to cakes and dressed Cromer crab. Grab your bite of choice and watch Norwich life go by.
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Tour Norwich Cathedral
Built by the Normans between 1096 and 1145, and unique for its soft creamy limestone exterior, Norwich Cathedral is top things to see in Norwich.
Known for the fine 96-metre spire, the second highest in England after Salisbury Cathedral, Norwich Cathedral is also famous for being the last resting place of Edith Cavell, a British nurse who during WWI was executed by the Germans for her heroic acts in helping Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium.
With a well-preserved Norman character, the Cathedral Quarter is a delightful place to visit for a few hours, especially when you also explore Tombland Alley.
From Tombland, 13th century Ethelbert Gate and 15th century Erpingham Gate lead into The Close, with its wealth of history including the medieval deanery, Georgian houses and over 80 listed buildings.
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Discover the Cathedral of St John the Baptist
Did you know that Norwich actually has two cathedrals? Often overlooked in favour of its more historic neighbour, the Cathedral of St John the Baptist is definitely worth a visit. The cathedral offers fantastic views of the city from the tower.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral was built in the 19th century as a gift from the 15th Duke of Norfolk to show that Catholics could now practice their faith openly.
It is one of the finest examples of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in the country and boasts intricate carvings, metalwork, and stained glass.
The interior of the cathedral is known for its with fine stonework and beautiful stained glass making it an inspiring and tranquil place of prayer.
Visit Bishop’s House Gardens
This garden in Norwich is the historic private garden of the Bishop of Norwich and is a four acre delight of colour and calm in the centre of the busy Norwich city where you can enjoy a few hours of respite in the green spaces.
The Bishop’s House Gardens are of classic garden design and including colourful herbaceous borders, a fragrant herb garden, a bamboo and jungle walk, an working organic kitchen garden, a pretty wildflower labyrinth and extensive shrubberies containing many rare and unusual plants.
There is even a hebe planted (and flourishing!) from a sprig taken from Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet in 1840.
Stroll Elm Hill & Princes Street
The cathedral is close to both Elm Hill and Princes Street, both picture-perfect cobbled streets near the River Wensum, lined with colourful and historic Tudor houses, many of them now pretty shops, restaurants, and cafés. A walk along Princes Street and Elm Hill is one of the best free things to do in Norwich.
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Take a Self Guided City Adventure
If you’re looking for things to do in Norwich for families, the Norwich Mystery Treasure Trail is a detective game that’s a great way to get kids interested in the history of the city.
Just download from Treasure Trails and follow the map to find clues and work out who has stolen a priceless statue from Norwich Cathedral grounds.
As you weave your way along the 1.5 mile trail between Norwich Cathedral, Elm Hill, Tombland and St Andrews Street, you’ll be looking for clues on local landmarks, signs and buildings, whilst trying to solve the ‘crime’.
Teenagers may prefer City Escape Games, a self-guided city adventure where you can solve cryptic puzzles around Norwich using your phone.
Visit Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
Norwich Castle, a magnificent Norman keep constructed in 1095 by William II, is built on a large artificial mound in the centre of Norfolk’s capital (and only) city as part of his campaign to defeat East Anglia after the Norman Conquest of England.
Norwich Castle was a medieval royal fortification before becoming a gaol from 1220 to 1887. It is now home to the excellent Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery and the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum.
The historic national importance of the site was recognised in 1915 when Norwich Castle site listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. In 1954, the castle buildings, including the keep, attached Gothic-style gatehouse and former prison wings, were given Grade I listed building status.
The Castle site comprises the 900-year-old Castle, and a large museum art gallery complex converted from the city’s Victorian prison, which houses internationally important collections in archaeology, natural history, regimental history, and fine, decorative and contemporary art.
Please note due to the major redevelopment project Norwich Castle: Royal Palace Reborn, the original medieval castle, dungeons and battlements are currently closed to the public.
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Discover the King Street Quarter
King Street is one of the longest thoroughfares in Norwich and has historically been associated with fishing and the riverside industry.
As trade from the river grew, so did the amount of sailors stopping in Norwich – and the amount of hostelries needed for them to visit! Of the 58 pubs which were once found on this street, only one survives today.
There are two very fine examples of historic houses along King Street. The Music House was once owned by a wealthy family and dates from the 12th century. It is thought to be the oldest surviving house in the city.
Lost for centuries, the superb Grade One listed Dragon Hall, is a restored medieval trading hall dating from 1430. The breathtaking Great Hall features an impressive timber crown-post roof and an intricately carved and painted dragon.
It was once at the heart of an international trading empire and would have been used to store and sell wool, cloth, timber, spices and other items of value.
Now, the National Centre for Writing is found here, befitting for England’s first UNESCO City of Literature and honouring the greatest mystic of the Middle Ages, Julian of Norwich, who was the first woman to write a book in English.
One of my favourite places to visit in Norwich, the Lanes personifies the lively and independent nature of the city. The Norwich Lanes are a series of mostly pedestrianised small lanes, alleyways and streets nestled between the market and the Castle Quarter, and home to the Victorian Royal Arcade.
Hidden away off Bethel Street, just a short walk from The Forum is The South Asia Collection Museum and Shop. In an architectural gem of a building, which was once a skating rink, visiting is one of the best unique things to do in Norwich. The shopping experience is pretty good too!
Along Gentleman’s Walk, the main shopping thoroughfare, you’ll find lots of brands and the incomparable Jarrolds of Norwich. This independent department store has been in this spot on London Street since 1840.
As you enter, skip the cosmetics and head for the basement, where you’ll find a fantastic deli and small cafe, along with an award-winning book department – I can spend a long time here in my happy place!
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Enjoy Afternoon Tea at The Assembly House
Afternoon tea in the Assembly House Hotel in Norwich is a real treat and is considered one of the best afternoon teas in Norwich by many.
Served in a beautifully decorated Georgian room, the classic tiered stands, fine white china and traditional offerings make this a perfect spot to celebrate a special occasion.
A mouth-watering menu includes all the afternoon tea favourites like delicate finger sandwiches, delicious savouries, fruit and plain scones with jam and cream, and a fantastic selection of cakes and sweet pastries. To top off your afternoon, you can also enjoy a glass of fizz with your tea.
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Get Creative at Norwich Puppet Theatre
Norwich Puppet Theatre, one of only three building-based puppet theatres in England, is a venue, theatre company and community outreach organisation.
This registered charity is dedicated to championing the special art form of puppetry and providing magical theatrical experiences.
The NPT programme of creative skills activities and events offers a brilliant introduction to the magic of theatre with original shows and workshops for all ages.
Discover the City of Stories
Housed in a 14th century merchant’s house in the Norwich Lanes, the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell shares the stories of business and industry in the city over hundreds of years.
There exhibitions about the medieval wool trade in Norfolk, which created much of the counties’ wealth in the 13th century, and find out about other famous Norwich products like chocolate, shoes and Coleman’s mustard.
Just along the way on St Andrews Street is Strangers Hall, a Grade I Tudor merchant’s house which has been used as a museum of local history since the 1930s.
The house boasts richly furnished 16th and 17th century interiors and exhibits that show how life was lived in Norwich over the centuries. Behind the house is a pretty knot garden, laid out in the 17th century.
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Stroll & Paddle the River Wensum
There is a wonderful mile long riverside walk along the lush and tranquil river Wensum, which starts, surprisingly, just outside Norwich train station, also the starting point of the Wherryman’s Way, one of the best walks in the Norfolk Broads.
- Cross the bridge outside the train station and on the right, walk through the patio at the Compleat Angler pub and down the stairs.
- Here you’ll find the start of the path lined with pretty weeping willows.
- Head north along the river to scenic Pulls Ferry, past the Red Lion pub where you can stop for a drink and maybe spot kingfishers.
- Walk on to Cow Tower, one of the earliest artillery blockhouses in England, dating back to 1398.
- Keep on the path until you reach Riverside Park, where you can cut through the pay and display car park, past the Adam and Eve pub to Norwich Cathedral.
If you fancy getting on the water instead, hire a paddle board or kayak from Norwich Paddleboard Hire at Gibraltar Gardens Pub opposite Anderson’s Meadow, and located right on the bank of the river.
You can paddle up river through tranquil landscapes into the heart of the beautiful Norfolk countryside, or go south and explore Norwich city centre by water, a fascinating way to see the city.
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Explore The Forum
Sandwiched between Norwich Market and Chapelfield Gardens, with St Peter Mancroft, Norwich’s largest 15th century parish church standing guard, The Forum is a contemporary landmark community building which is always busy.
Home to the Norfolk and Norwich Millennial Library and BBC East, you’ll also find street performers playing to the crowds outside, live music events, food and craft markets inside, or one of the many other events held here.
The Forum is a great place to stop by, grab a coffee, and see what’s happening.
Visit St Peter Mancroft Church
The largest of Norwich’s medieval churches, St Peter Mancroft was originally established by the then Earl of East Anglia, Ralph de Gael between 1066 and 1075.
Today the church still stands in its slightly elevated position but is now consumed by the hustle and bustle of the busy city centre and market.
Now a Grade I listed building, the present St Peter Mancroft was begun in 1430 and consecrated in 1455. Boasting an 11th century Norman foundation, a 15th century font, a 16th century Flemish tapestry and windows of medieval glass, the church is well worth a visit.
There is an extensive collection of church silver including the Gleane and Thistle cups, as well as memorabilia associated with its most famous parishioner, the physician-philosopher Thomas Browne, author of the 1642 spiritual testament Religio Medici or The Religion of a Doctor.
Be Entertained at Riverside
The Riverside area of Norwich is a modern development of entertainment venues and retail parks. Here you’ll find an Odeon Cinema, Hollywood Bowl and the Gravity Trampoline Park, as well as the usual selection of eateries to keep you all stoked up!
Just over the way is the Carrow Road stadium, home to premier league Norwich City Football Club, known as the Canaries. You can tour Carrow Road, and also stop at the Yellows Bar and Grill, where all the dishes are made to Delia Smith recipes. Delia has strong connections to the club, where she and her husband are majority shareholders.
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Have Fun at Eaton Park
Norwich’s largest park, Eaton Park covers 80 acres and offers a range of activities for all ages, making it a great destination for a day out.
There are plenty of things to do in the park, including boating on the lake, playing tennis and mini-golf, taking woodland walks, and exploring the meadows, and you will never struggle to find a quiet spot for a picnic.
Eaton Park is also home to a miniature railway, one of the most fun things to do in Norwich! The railway retains the original heritage 5″ gauge track and the main line, a dual gauge track, both of which run through the lush meadows of the park.
Public trains run on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from the first Sunday in April until the last Sunday in September and pop-up trains run when there are enough volunteers and subject to the weather!
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Discover Norfolk Gins
There are four gin distilleries in Norwich, where you can visit and take a tour, try your hand at making gin and of course, sample signature gins. This is a fun way to spend a few hours, especially if the weather is not on your side!
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Visit the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
One of the first major public buildings to be designed by the architects Norman Foster and Wendy Cheesman, the Sainsbury Centre, in the grounds of the University of East Anglia, was completed in 1978.
Not only is this a stunning contemporary building, but it is also a light-filled art gallery and museum which holds a permanent collection which includes works by Picasso, Giacometti, Van Gogh, Degas and Francis Bacon.
There is also a sculpture garden, with works by Henry Moore, Elisabeth Frink, Lynn Chadwick, and Antony Gormley, all sitting alongside the beautiful River Yare.
There is also an excellent café with a fantastic outlook, and a very good gift shop selling unique and locally made arts and crafts.
Escape in an Escape Room!
An escape room is an adventure with a mix of physical objects, puzzles and riddles thrown in that must be solved in a specified timeframe before you can ‘escape’. Some escape rooms also use virtual reality settings to enhance the experience.
As a group, you must work effectively together to solve the puzzle. Escape rooms are challenging and fun at the same time, and are often used for team building, but they are also great fun for families with teenagers or young adults.
If you’re looking for something to do in Norfolk on a rainy day, a party venue for kids or an interactive family activity, then an escape room in Norwich makes a great option.
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Have Fun at Bowling House
One of three bowling alleys in Norwich, Bowling House is a little different as it is also a cocktail bar, karaoke venue and restaurant, that just happens to be a ten-pin bowling alley!
A Tripadvisor Travellers Choice for 2023, there are lots of activities and events suitable for kids, families and adults, making the Bowling House a great destination on your trip to Norwich.
Chill in the Plantation Garden
Norwich’s own secret garden, this three acre Grade II English Heritage registered garden was established over 100 years ago in an abandoned chalk quarry, just a few hundred yards from the city centre. The garden fell into disrepair after the Second World War but was restored in 1980 to the paradise it is today.
With lush green planting, Gothic features, an Italianate terrace, woodland walkways and a gorgeous greenhouse, this is one of the best things to do in Norwich city centre to enjoy a spot of peace and tranquillity.
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Catch a Show at the Theatre Royal
For a city so well known for literature, it’s no surprise that Norwich is big into theatre. There are six permanent theatres, including Norwich Puppet Theatre, The Playhouse, The Garage, Sewell Barn and Maddermarket Theatre, with the largest being Norwich Theatre Royal.
The original Theatre Royal was opened in 1758, before being rebuilt in 1801 and again in 1935, and then completely refurbished in 2007 by Tim Foster Architects.
With a 1,300-seater auditorium, this historic art-deco theatre has a fantastic programme of touring West End musicals, plays, comedy, dance, music and of course, the obligatory Christmas panto!
Learn to Climb at Highball Climbing Centre
The Highball Climbing Centre is Norfolk’s largest and a great place for kids to get started. There is a range of climbing and bouldering taster sessions available for kids of all ages.
If your child is an experienced climber, they must demonstrate their competence before climbing unsupervised, so allow a little extra time for this or pre-arrange with Highball before visiting.
Explore Mousehold Heath
A short drive from the city centre, Mousehold Heath is a nature reserve located in the north of Norwich that spans over 88 hectares. A unique combination of heathland, woodland, and open recreational space, the heath is highly valued for its geological history and wildlife. It’s also a great place to take a walk with kids and dogs and enjoy the best of city nature.
The Earth Heritage Trail is the best to explore the geological history of Mousehold Heath, which has been used for sand and gravel quarrying for over two hundred years. The sandy soils of Mousehold Heath provide an ideal habitat for a variety of wildlife, including birds, frogs, lizards, dragonflies, butterflies and woodland birds.
The trail consists of eighteen waymarked points of interest that can be explored in any order. Each point of interest links the landscape and wildlife of the Heath today with its deep geological history. You can find a printable trail leaflet that includes a map and detailed information about what you’ll see on the walk here.
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Discover Norwich Underground
One of the most unusual things to do in Norwich is explore the subterranean world beneath its streets. Norwich has England’s most extensive network of undercrofts, but there are also other secret cellars, hidden passages and underground structures which paint a picture of the city’s fascinating medieval history.
Located two flights below The Shoebox Community Hub on Castle Street in Norwich is a hidden world that dark tourists will love to explore! Abandoned houses and secret passageways can be found, leading to a locked door that unsuspecting pedestrians pass by without realizing what lies just inches away.
For many years, there have been whispers about what lies beneath what used to be Ponds shoe store. Tales of tunnels that snake through Norwich, secret dungeons where the worst offenders were incarcerated, and escape routes either to or from Norwich Castle.
In the eerie half-light, it’s easy to believe the tales. The underground space is incredibly atmospheric, with a warren of dark rooms and doors where you can see the remains of an old yard that was once in the shadow of the castle itself. Book your Norwich hidden street tour here.
Take a Guided Tour of Norwich
If you enjoy a small group guided tour organised by a knowledgeable guide, then Norfolk local Paul Jackson is a highly rated and fully qualified official City of Norwich tourist guide.
Paul Dickson Tours offers a great selection of Norwich guided tours, depending on your interests. There are tours dedicated to CJ Sansom’s best-selling novel Tombland and its protagonist Matthew Shardlake. Other tours discover the history of the city through the ages, through its architectural legacy, creative heritage and cultural story.
The Best Things to Do Near Norwich
Discover the Norfolk Broads
With huge skies, infinite landscapes, tranquil water and abundant wildlife, the Norfolk Broads are a beautiful place to visit – you can find out how in my Norfolk Broads guide.
The Broads National Park is made up of over 60 open areas of water known as Broads, which, along with the rivers Yare, and its tributaries the Ant, Thurne, Bure, Chet and Waveney, occupy a vast triangle of land formed by Great Yarmouth, Wroxham, and Stalham.
If you don’t have lots of time to explore, start at Hickling Broad, the largest Broad in the National Park. At the far east end of Hickling Broad is Horsey Windpump, one of the area’s most iconic windmills managed by the National Trust. The whole area is incredibly photogenic.
Or head for Potter Heigham, Ranworth or South Walsham, all small picturesque villages with interesting churches and good pubs!
The beauty and nature of the Broads are best enjoyed from the water, and motor cruisers, kayaks and canoes can be rented, or you can take a Broads boat tour if you’re prefer to be skippered.
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Enjoy Family Fun at BeWILDerwood, Horning
One of the best fun things to do with kids in Norfolk, BeWILDerwood is located in the village of Horning to the east of Norwich. This woodland adventure park is the perfect place for kids to burn off energy with outdoor activities like hurling down zip lines and slides, climbing the numerous treehouses and crossing the many rope bridges strung between the trees.
The whole park is character-themed from a series of kids’ books, and this forms the basis craft sessions and story-telling. There’s also a restaurant and shop.
If you visit in the school holidays, you’ll want to spend a full day ay BeWILDerwood and book ahead as it gets really busy.
Cycle to Whitlingham Country Park, Trowse
Just southeast of Norwich situated near the pretty village of Trowse lies the wonderful Whitlingham Country Park. One of the largest parks in Norwich, you can cycle here on a Beryl Bike picked up in central Norwich in around ten minutes, and the National Cycle Route 1 runs right through the park.
A favourite with visitors, the open space of the park offers a tranquil location to get away from it all. Head for the Broads Authority Tourist Information Centre, fittingly in a historic flint barn, where you can learn more about the unique flora and fauna of the Broads.
The two mile trail around Whitlingham Great Broad, the woodland trails and meadows are well worth exploring by bike or on foot, and you’ll find picnic tables where you can enjoy your well earnt packed lunch and flask of tea!
One of the best ways to appreciate the wildlife and nature of the park is from the water, and you can hire kayaks and SUPs on the banks of the Broad to go exploring.
If you prefer to be in a boat, then take the park’s electric boat trip, the perfect chance to get in some wildlife spotting.
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Explore North Norfolk Beaches
For me, North Norfolk has some of the best beaches in the country, all just a stone’s throw from Norwich.
From Winterton-on-Sea and Horsey to Holkham via Cromer, you’ll find huge sandy stretches, grassy dunes, traditional bucket and spade beaches and nature reserves along this windswept and unspoilt part of the Norfolk coast.
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Creep Out at Bug Parc, Lenwade
A new attraction for 2022 and close to Norwich, Bug Parc is perfect if you’ve got kids who love all things creepy crawly. There are three large tropical invertebrate houses, home to over 200 species, as well as the opportunity to handle live invertebrates, but you do need to book this in advance.
For those who are fascinated by minibeasts, this makes for a great day out and the live handling sessions are excellent. Managed by an insect expert, you’ll learn about the bugs in a small group session.
If you really don’t like bugs or spiders (my biggest fear!), you can easily bypass the spider and tarantula houses… phew!
Visit the City of Norwich Aviation Museum, Horsham St Faith
Norwich’s Aviation Museum is located at former RAF Horsham St Faith airfield, which opened in 1940 and was operational during WWII as a fighter and bomber base, before being redeveloped as Norwich International Airport.
The museum’s exhibits include 30 vintage military and commercial aircraft including a Avro Vulcan Bomber, Hawker Siddeley Nimrod, Avro RJ85, Fokker Friendship F27 and Handley Page Herald.
There are also sections dedicated to the history of the RAF in Norfolk and to that of the United States Army Air Force, units of which were based at various airfields in Norfolk during the Second World War.
The museum is manned by a crew of volunteers and has been home to Norfolk’s Aviation Heritage for over forty years.
Have Fun in Great Yarmouth
A lively seaside town in Norfolk and just a few miles from Norwich, Great Yarmouth makes for an action-packed day out or holiday destination.
With its famous Pleasure Beach, SEA LIFE Centre, fantastic long sandy beach, amusements and traditional seaside attractions, there’s lots to keep visitors happy!
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Spend a Day at Blickling Hall
The Jacobean house is packed full of history, paintings, tapestries and antiques and the hall is also home to one of England’s most important collections of manuscripts and books.
Outside are 55 acres of formal gardens with an orangery, kitchen garden and lake to explore.
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Take a Vineyard Tour & Tasting
Chet Valley Vineyard enjoys a unique climate, with higher than-average sunshine hours and the lowest rainfall in England, meaning the grapes grown here ripen beautifully in these ideal conditions.
Take a tour and tasting to explore every aspect of the growing and wine-making process, and have the opportunity to taste the vineyard’s delicious wines in the tranquil Norfolk countryside.
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Roarr Dinosaur Adventure Park, Lenwade
Kids still in the big scary monsters stage will love the Dinosaur Adventure Park. Set in 85 acres of woodlands, there are huge realistic sounding dinosaur models waiting to surprise them along the dinosaur trail.
They can also get involved in digging for fossils, explore the maze and have a go on the assault course. There really is a lot to do here, it’s a full family day out!
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Where to Stay in Norwich
The Georgian Townhouse, Unthank Road
The Georgian Townhouse is a laid-back hotel with a lively bar and restaurant, just outside the city centre but within easy walking distance of bars, restaurants and shops.
The vibe is upbeat, with cool interiors and relaxed, but attentive, staff.
Airbnb Apartment, Wensum Street
This two-bedroomed self-catering Airbnb style apartment on Wensum Street is just 200 metres from the cathedral and the cobbled streets of historic Norwich. Light, bright and airy, this spacious apartment is perfect for a city break.
The Assembly House, Theatre Street
This is the treat option, for that special weekend away. The Assembly House is well located in the heart of the city, within a few minutes walk of the major attractions.
Beautifully decorated with Georgian features, panelled rooms, ornate fireplaces and marbled bathrooms, contemporary luxury is the style here. Oh, and they also serve the best afternoon tea in the city!
Whitlingham Broad Campsite
If you want to combine your visit to Norwich with a bit of countryside, then book a glamping yurt, converted goods wagon, shepherds hut, bell tent or stunning tree-house style woodland den, at the beautiful Whitlingham Broad Campsite.
With all the amenities you need and a wonderful location on the banks of Whitlingham Broad, you can be in Norwich city centre in fifteen minutes on a Beryl bike.
38 St Giles, St Giles Street
A friendly B & B, 38 St Giles is full of character and quirky touches. Within a minute’s walk of Norwich market, this guesthouse is right in the centre of the lively city.
Spacious and simply decorated rooms with superbly comfy beds make for a wonderful stay.
Maids Head Hotel, Tombland
The Maids Head Hotel is the oldest hotel in Norwich, dating back over 800 years, and has a great location in the medieval part of the city.
This award-winning hotel has recently gone through a seven-year renovation, with all parts of the hotel receiving investment. The 84 individually designed rooms and suites enjoy contemporary decor and quirky touches, making them a pleasure in which to stay.
My Favourite Places to Eat in Norwich
Over the past couple of years, Norwich has become a real foodie destination and its gastronomic scene is bursting with innovative, homegrown and quirky eateries. This is our pick of the top places to try…
Grosvenor Fish Bar, Lower Goat Lane
I love this place! Not only can you get the best fish and chips (and lots of other delish things) here, but you can eat them in a funky restaurant come cafe in the heart of the Lanes, whilst listening to laid-back music with a glass of fizz in your hand!
Grosvenor Fish Bar will also let you take out to eat from the wrappings, let you collect to take home and order in advance.
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No 33 Cafe, Exchange Street
No 33 Cafe is just down the hill from the wonderful Jarrolds department store and is one of the best breakfast and brunch places in Norwich and possibly even East Anglia!
From a traditional cooked breakfast made with local ingredients to shakshuka, via American pancakes and eggs benedict to healthy yoghurt, fruit and granola, I bow at the altar of their food offering, especially as breakfast is my fave meal of the day!
Yalm Food Hall, Royal Arcade
Yalm (pronounced Yaarm), is committed to supporting local chefs and offering a diverse range of flavors from around the world, all delivered in an innovative and interesting space.
Whether you’re looking for brunch, lunch, dinner, or a group celebration, Yalm is designed to appeal to everyone, with the various kitchens selected based on the quality of their produce and the passion they bring to their menus.
The name Yalm comes from a Norfolk word meaning ‘to eat hungrily’, reflecting the restaurant’s local focus and its aim to offer a unique dining experience.
Benedicts, St Benedicts Street
Benedicts is the perfect spot for a special occasion or celebration. Run by Chef Patron Richard Bainbridge (of Great British Menu fame) and his wife Katja, this stylish restaurant serves up modern British food, with local ingredients taking centre stage.
You’ll need to book well in advance, it gets busy!
Woolf & Social, Nelson Street
Woolf & Social is the brainchild of two best mates and aims to bring people together through a laid-back dining style and seasonal sharing plates, mixing the best of both fine dining and street food.
The menu piques my curiosity and makes my mouth water – this is certainly somewhere I’ll be coming back to.
The Tipsy Vegan, St Benedicts Street
I’m not a vegan, not even a vegetarian, but I have a step-daughter who is, and so I’m always happy to check out places like The Tipsy Vegan.
Located in the Lanes, their focus is on small plates with food and flavours from around the world. With the likes of sweetcorn fritters, mac n cheese and buttermilk burgers with chipotle slaw on the menu, I’m seriously tempted to give up the meat!
About Norwich Norfolk
Norwich is a city with history, woven through its ancient streets, heritage sites, and stories.
The area was originally inhabited by the Iceni tribe, led by Prasutagus and later by his wife Boudicca, who fought an unsuccessful revolt against the Romans in 60 CE.
The Romans occupied the Norwich area for another 300 years, and the Anglo-Saxons began to establish settlements and industries in the area before the Danish Vikings invaded in 866.
The Normans conquered Norwich in 1066 and built a timber castle and a cathedral using stone imported from northern France.
During the medieval period, the area prospered, with a booming textile trade and the construction of many churches.
In the late Renaissance period through to the 19th century, Norwich was known as England’s second city and new industries began to emerge, including printing, leather production, and the shoe and boot industry.
The 20th century saw further growth and development, including the opening of the University of East Anglia and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Today, Norwich is a UNESCO City of Literature and a thriving city with a rich cultural heritage.
How to Get to Norwich
Norwich, Norfolk is within easy reach of the rest of the UK, with great transport links. You can visit Norfolk by mainline train in less than two hours. Simply take the regular Greater Anglia service from London Liverpool Street, which leaves every hour or so.
Alternatively, you can take a National Express coach from Victoria Coach Station. This takes around 4 hours depending on the time of day but is often much cheaper – especially when booked in advance.
There are also good rail connections with Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn, making Norwich easily accessible from the whole country.
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Getting Around Norwich
Norwich is a compact city that’s easy to get around on foot, by bus or even by bike. First Bus Norfolk & Suffolk run regular services in and around Norwich and Norfolk.
There is also the Norfolk Coastlink service which connects Norwich with Great Yarmouth, and the regular X44 bus from Norwich to Cromer, where you can pick up the Norfolk Coasthopper bus which visits all the towns and villages along the North Norfolk Coast.
How about hiring a bike? It’s an excellent way to see the city and means you can get to more top attractions in the time you have.
The Beryl Bike Share scheme, which is supported by Norwich City Council, means you can grab a bike at one of the many points in the city, and only pay for the time you use it!
If you need a local taxi company, my preferred one is ABC Taxis. You can call to book on +44 (0)1603 777333 or book online.
When to Visit Norwich
Spring is a beautiful time in and around Norwich, with everything coming to life after the winter. There is a chance you’ll experience wetter weather, even though East Anglia is the driest place in the UK! Accommodation and attractions will offer good value, and it will be quieter than summer.
Visiting Norwich in summer means the weather is likely to be good, with most days being warm and some getting hot. In summer, Norwich tends to be busier with tourists and day trippers. Accommodation will be more expensive and popular attractions may need to be booked in advance.
Autumn is a great time to visit Norwich if you want warm weather but prefer to avoid school holidays. Late September and October can be very mild, retaining summer’s warmth and making for perfect holiday weather.
This is the best time for a trip to Norwich if you love crisp days, roaring fires, panto and indoor attractions – there may even be snow! Avoid the February half term when the city can get busier with holidaymakers.
Map of Norwich Attractions
How to use this map – Use your fingers (or computer mouse) to zoom in and out. Click or touch the icons to get more info about a place, and click the arrow in the box top left to open the index. To add to your own Google Maps account, click the star next to the title of the map.
Have I missed a great Norwich attraction, place to stay or eat from my round-up? Let me know in the comments so I can include it on my list of things to do in Norwich Norfolk!