- For other places with the same name, see Norwich (disambiguation).
Norwich, a two-cathedral city, is capital of the English county of Norfolk, within the larger region of East Anglia. It lies some 185 km (115 miles) NNE of London, and as well as being a convenient base for exploring the Broads and the North Norfolk Coast is also a superb destination in its own right, with a lot more to see, do and enjoy than might otherwise be expected from one of England's smallest cities.
Norwich is by no means the United Kingdom's biggest city - indeed, with a population of about 140,000, it ranks as Britain's 41st most populous city, far from a major metropolitan centre. It's frequently, and unfairly, maligned in British culture as an inbred backwater - partly due to the typical (and grossly inaccurate) Norfolk stereotype more generally, but mainly not helped by most peoples' exposure to it being solely through the comedy character Alan Partridge and his various shows portraying it as exactly that. But in reality, Norwich is nothing like what these stereotypes might suggest. Its constantly changing student population, as well as a strong professional base, a blooming retail sector, a vibrant cultural scene and a strong tradition of political radicalism and liberalism all combine to make it a liberal, cosmopolitan place to live, work in and visit.
In the 1960s, Norwich became a university city with the foundation of the University of East Anglia (UEA). In 2013, Norwich's second university, Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) was established from the much older College of Art and Design. The universities, UEA in particular, have provided an influx of new and young residents to the area, many of whom fell in love with the city and chose to stay, as do many to this day. This constant supply of "new blood" has helped the city maintain and nurture its vibrant, young and open nature.
To add to that, Norwich is a historically important city, being one of the main cities of medieval England and retaining to this day a significant heritage of medieval buildings, including the famous cathedral and the castle at the very centre of the city. Norwich also has a smaller, Roman Catholic cathedral called St John the Baptist Cathedral. One can start at the new, modern and airy Chantry Place shopping centre, with its array of big household name brands, and after only a few minutes' walk be in amongst stunning medieval buildings on cobbled streets, with much to see and do in between. Norwich manages to maintain both the convenience and excitement of a modern city while also having the feel of a small, bucolic town.
The city maintains a strong base of professional workers, with two large multinational employers, insurers Aviva and the insurance brokers Marsh, maintaining large base offices in the area, contributing hugely to the local economy and further acting as a "pull" factor into the area.
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 King's 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.
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.
There is also a very good 'Park and Ride' (P&R) service National Park and Ride Directory. There are six P&R car parks served by six colour-coded lines numbered 601-606. P&R buses run every 15 minutes throughout the day but stop around 7PM. Tickets are purchased from machines at the car park and are valid for a group of up to 5 people. The prices regularly change but there's generally a 25% discount for tickets purchased after noon. You'll be issued two tickets - one is to display inside the windscreen of your car and the other is to show the bus driver when boarding/alighting the bus. Note that the yellow line and car park is adjacent to the airport.
Norwich railway station (known locally and historically as Thorpe) is a terminus, and all services start/finish here. The two main routes run south to London Liverpool St (1 hr 50 min) via Ipswich (40 min) and Colchester (1 hr); and west/southwest towards Cambridge (1 hr) and Peterborough (1 hr 45 min), with some services continuing to other major cities in the Midlands and North. Connections to the North East and Scotland are available at Peterborough. There are also a handful of local services to destinations including Sheringham, Cromer, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.
- 1 Railway Station, Station Approach, Norwich, NR1 1EF (10 mins walk from city centre). Bus connections to the university and 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 8457 48 49 50 or +44 20 7278 5240.
Norwich's Surrey Street bus station is a major hub for local, regional and long-distance bus and coach services. 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. There are also regular coaches services to London's Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick airports. All surrounding towns are served by regular (but slow) regional buses: they are mostly useful for reaching towns/villages with no train connection. 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 ☏ .
- 2 Norwich International Airport (NWI IATA), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Norwich is home to a minor regional airport – with over 300 worldwide connections via Edinburgh (with Loganair) or Amsterdam (with KLM).
To/from the airport: a taxi will cost about £9 from the airport to the city centre. Park&Ride Yellow Line buses run every 7–8 minutes from the airport car park to Surrey Street bus station non-stop, however the one-way fare is £2.50 so if there's a group it's easier to buy a park & Ride ticket from the machines as this covers up to 5 passengers. Local bus 23 runs every 15 minutes from outside the airport to the city centre and costs about £1.70.
London Stansted is also within easy reach by road (65 miles), and direct trains operate from Stansted to Norwich. Regular National Express coaches from Surrey Street bus station serve Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted; Luton airport can be reached by changing in London.
The city is on the River Wensum, a navigable tributary of the River Yare, which flows into the Broads National Park immediately after quitting the city.
- 3 Norwich Yacht Station, Riverside Rd, Norwich, NR1 1SQ (15-minute walk to the city centre, 2-minute walk to Norwich train station), ☏ . Mooring for approx. 50 boats. Toilets & showers. Free water. Pump out facility £12 for 1 tank, £15 for 2 and £18 for 3; electricity charging point (£1 cards sold). Rubbish disposal. Day mooring £5. Overnight mooring until 10AM the next day £12.
- National Cycle Route 1. It runs through the city, running N to the North Norfolk Coast (through Wells-next-the-Sea, Hunstanton and beyond to Shetland Islands) and S to Beccles, Ipswich and on to Dover)
- 4 Marriott's Way. This 26-mile path connects Norwich to Aylsham, following disused railway lines
There are several long distance footpaths connecting Norwich to other towns and cities.
- 5 Marriott's Way. This 26-mile path connects Norwich to Aylsham to the N, following disused railway lines
- Boudicca Way. This 35-mile path connects the city to Diss to the S. full details about route and current status/closures see Norfolk Council web site
- 6 Wherryman's Way. This 36-mile path connects the city to Great Yarmouth to the E
- Cross Norfolk Trail. A 96-mile path from King's Lynn to the W across to Great Yarmouth to the E. This path is made up of a number of other trails linked together to form a longer continuous trail. Sections include Nar Valley Way (King’s Lynn to Gressenhall), Wensum Way (Gressenhall to Lenwade), Marriott's Way(part) and Wherryman's Way (Norwich to Great Yarmouth).
Norwich city centre is fairly compact and can be explored easily on foot; in many cases this will be the quickest and easiest way to reach your destination. It is also a cycle-friendly city, with many major streets having separate bike lanes and also several cycle tracks along the two rivers. That said, whilst on paper there appears a significant network of cycle lanes, in practice many of these are just where somebody with a pot of white paint has marked a narrow strip in the gutter for bicycles or painted an arrow suggesting cyclists share a pavement with pedestrians which just wide enough for mother and baby buggy. Don't let that discourage you from cycling around, just be aware of the limitations of the mapped "cycle network".
City buses are mostly operated by First Nortfolk and Suffolk and are handy for reaching the train station and Riverside entertainment district, the university and the airport; however point to point journeys may be more difficult and involve changing in the city centre, where bus stops to and from different destinations are spread out along a mile of crowded pavement. The buses are in theory segregated into coloured "lines" (e.g. "Pink Line", "Blue Line"), but in truth nobody will ever refer to these and the actual colour of a bus may have no bearing on its actual route; you should instead take note of the route number as displayed on its front. Tickets can be bought from the driver using contactless payment (Visa and Mastercard only, American Express is not accepted); 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 from the driver (change available), via the First mobile app or from the ticket machines at the bus stops. Timetables should be taken as strictly advisory; if you are doing anything truly time-critical it's strongly recommended to get a taxi instead.
Metered taxis are fairly cheap (by British standards) and are of the purpose-built 'black cab' variety as in London, whilst telephone-booked minicabs are cheaper for longer trips. The largest minicab firm is ABC, others are Courtesy Cars and Enterprise Private Hire (not to be confused with Enterprise car hire); all of these have mobile apps. They do however book solid at peak times, so be aware you may struggle to book a cab at short notice. There is a black cab rank on Guildhall Hill (across the street from Jarrold's in the city centre) and another immediately outside the rail station; at the latter, you may need to wait for a while before one appears.
Car hire is possible, with various brands of such available, however unless you are intent on specifically travelling somewhere that's wholly inaccessible with public transport (e.g. some of the minor outlying settlements), driving within the city is very unlikely to be the best option for you. Most of the city centre core is either pedestrianised or closed to private cars. What parts of the city centre are open to cars are frequently very congested, especially on weekends and during the morning and evening rush hours, and in many cases it will be far quicker to walk directly to your destination. The "outer ring road" and "inner ring road" especially are a good way to waste twenty minutes in traffic if you happen to hit them at a bad time.
- 1 Norwich Cathedral (Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity), 65 The Close, NR1 4DH. The 900-year-old Norman cathedral church. Don't miss 'old As I Am', a grinning skeleton on the south aisle wall. The surrounding Close is also very quiet, with statues of Nelson and Wellington.
- 2 Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery. 'Pop in for a pound' in the last hour of opening.
- 3 Dragon Hall. Restored trading hall from medieval era, unique in England. Guided tours available once or twice a month.
- Many fine medieval churches including St John Maddermarket, St Peter Mancroft by the Forum, St Stephens, all of which are usually open
- 4 The Forum. A landmark building opened in 2001, architecturally dynamic, housing one of the best public libraries in the UK, BBC East, arts and information centre along with the large and popular Cafe Bar Marzano and a branch of the pizza chain Pizza Express. There are regularly changing events and exhibitions that are almost always free.
- 5 Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. 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 1970s. Housed in the building is a permanent exhibition of the Sainsbury supermarket family pottery, glass and sculpture collection with a lot of rare Chinese and tribal stuff. It is worth spending at least half a day there.
- 6 Cow Tower, Cotman Fields, off Bishopgate, Norwich, NR1 4AA. A fortified gun tower built between 1398 and 1399; inside not open to public. Free.
- 7 John Jarrold Printing Museum, Whitefriars, Norwich, NR3 1SH (Adjacent to Saint James Mill.), ☏ (only when museum open), firstname.lastname@example.org. W 9:30AM-12:30PM. Small printing museum.
- 8 The Great Hospital, Bishopgate, Norwich, NR1 4EL, ☏ . 10:00 (only visit on monthly tour). Built in the 1200s, the site is an Almshouse for the citizens of Norwich. It is open to visitors only once a month with tours that must be booked in advance and start at 10AM. £10 (incl. tea/coffee & biscuits).
- 9 The Cathedral of St John the Baptist (Catholic Cathedral), Cathedral House, Unthank Rd, Norwich, NR2 2PA, ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 7:30AM-6:30PM. Tower tours Saturdays from early May-late Sept (tel:+44 1603 724381 email:firstname.lastname@example.org, age and height limits apply)
- 10 Plantation Gardens, 4 Earlham Road, Norwich, NR2 3DB. 9AM-6PM, to dusk in winter. Beautiful secluded gardens just west of the Roman Catholic cathedral, created from a disused chalk quarry. Hosts semi-frequent events as well as an annual firework display. £2 per adult, cash only.
- 11 City of Norwich Aviation Museum, Old Norwich Road, Horsham St. Faith, Norwich, NR10 3JF, ☏ , email@example.com. Closed Mondays; opening hours vary between winter and summer, see website. Houses a collection of 19 military and civil aircraft, plus aircraft engines and other artifacts Adult £4.50, concession £4.00, children £2.30.
- Norwich is the key site for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival held every year in the month of May.
- Football: Norwich City FC were relegated in 2022 and now play football in the Championship, the game's second tier. "The Canaries" are a yo-yo team between the two upper tiers; their home ground (capacity 27,000) is Carrow Road NR1 1JE, half a mile south of the railway station.
- 1 Crystal Seas (Scuba Diving School & Trips), 62 Whiffler Rd, Norwich, NR3 2AY, ☏ . PADI & SSI courses, dive centre, dive trips and shop.
- 2 SportsPark (Sports Centre), University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Swimming pool, gym, climbing wall, martial arts, squash, etc.
- 3 The Halls (Events venue, concerts, antiques markets, etc.), St Andrews Plan, Norwich, NR3 1AU, ☏ , email@example.com. Built as a Friary complex.
- 4 Eaton Golf Club, Newmarket Road, Norwich, NR4 6SF, ☏ .
- 5 Norwich Arts Centre, 51 St. Benedict’s Street, Norwich, NR2 4PG, ☏ . Music and comedy venue housed in a 15th century, former church. A small venue, yet it has hosted well known bands such as Nirvana, Oasis, The Stone Roses, Manic Street Preachers, The Libertines and Coldplay.
- Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA Beer Festival. Held every October in The Halls (see listing above).
- Marriott's Way[dead link] is a 24 mile hiking and cycling path along a former railway trackbed. It heads upriver from town through Drayton, Attlebridge, Lenwade, Whitwell and Themelthorpe, then turns east to Aylsham.
- 6 Norwich Theatre Royal, Theatre St, NR2 1RL, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Norwich Playhouse is at 42-58 St Georges St.
- 7 Maddermarket Theatre, St. John's Alley, NR2 1DR, ☏ , email@example.com.
- 8 Norwich Puppet Theatre (North of city centre, next to Barrack Street & Whitefriars roundabout), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
- 9 Eaton Park. one of the city's finest green spaces, lying west of the city.
- 10 Catton Park. a nationally important green space located to the north of the city.
- 11 Waterloo Park. An 18-acre park with a wide range of facilities located north of the city centre.
- 12 Chapelfield Gardens. A small and busy but pleasant park located in the very centre of the city, roughly adjacent to the Royal Theatre. Includes a hut selling refreshments and a wood-fired burger restaurant, Harry's.
Norwich punches above its weight in retail terms and is regarded as one of Britain's major regional shopping centres. The Castle Quarter (formerly Castle Mall) shopping mall is joined by a major city-centre development, the Chantry Place mall (formerly Intu 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 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. A wide range of independent specialist stores is concentrated around the Upper Goat Lane/Pottergate/St. Benedict's area of the city centre, 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. These include the Britons Arms[dead link], an excellent coffee house and restaurant in a delightful thatched building dating from 1420.
That just leaves the market, which is the largest permanent outdoor market in Europe, and one of the finest city markets in the UK. Its roofs are a riot of primary colours. The market is home to over 150 stalls with an ever increasing variety of street food options and an ever changing series of pop up stalls. 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 is home to a number of independent shops, restaurants and delicatessens. 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.
Norwich has a vast array of small and independent restaurants catering to most tastes and budgets, as well as hosting most of the major chains. Many of the best restaurants can be found clustered around the Norwich Lanes, the loosely-defined area roughly bounded by and including St Benedicts Street, as well as the equally olden Triangle area between Colman Road, Newmarket Road and Earlham Road.
- 1 Malaysian Delights, 11-15 Timber Hill, NR1 3JZ. A Malaysian buffet. The food is good but rather toned down for the average British palate. It has a reasonable range for lunch and a bigger range for dinner. The best thing though is that you can eat as much as you want for £5.50 for lunch and £9.99 for dinner.
- 2 Thai Kitti, 4 Opie St, Norwich, NR1 3DN, ☏ , Info@thaikitti.co.uk. Daily 11AM-3PM & 5-10:30PM. Restaurant and takeaway.
- 3 Giggling Squid, 24 Tombland, Norwich, NR3 1RF, ☏ , email@example.com. M-Th noon-10PM, F Sa noon-10:30PM, Su noon-9:30PM. A major Thai food chain.
- 4 Shiki, 6 Tombland, Norwich NR3 1HE, ☏ . A well-regarded and well-reviewed, if pricy, Japanese restaurant.
- 5 Blue Joanna, 103 Unthank Road, Norwich NR2 2PE, ☏ . Small restaurant serving Asian-style "street food" and cocktails, with live music later on in the evening. Good food and service, but be aware that options for non-alcoholic drinks are limited to tea, coffee, a couple of non-alcoholic beers and water.
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.
- 6 Ali Tandoori, 9-11 Magdalen St, Norwich NR3 1LE, ☏ .
- 7 Spice Lounge, 8-10 Wensum Street, Norwich NR3 1HR, ☏ .
- 8 The Bengal Spice, 38-40 St Benedicts Street, Norwich NR2 4AQ, ☏ .
- 9 Namaste Village, 131-139 Queens Road, Norwich NR1 3PN. Exceptionally well-regarded vegan and vegetarian Indian restaurant.
Middle Eastern cuisine
- 10 The Workshop Cafe, 53 Earlham Road, Norwich NR2 3AD, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Food served Th-Sa noon-4:30PM, Su noon-3:30PM; open earlier for drinks only. Also has a mezze breakfast served earlier which must be pre-booked in advance. Excellent cafe with friendly service selling great north African and middle eastern food, in a quirky environment that also sells plants and furniture!
- 11 Haggle, 13 St. Benedicts Street, Norwich NR2 4PE, ☏ , email@example.com. Midday to 1AM every day.
Continental European cuisine
- 12 Belgian Monk, 7 Pottergate, NR2 1DS (in the city centre), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa noon-11PM. 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.
- 13 Italia Nostra, 52 St Giles Street, ☏ , email@example.com. Daily 5-10PM. Italian restaurant.
- 14 Benoli, 5, Orford Street, NR1 3LE, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. W-Sa noon-10PM, Su noon-4:30PM. Independently owned Italian restaurant owned by chef patron Oliver Boon, a former ‘Masterchef Professionals’ finalist & previously head chef at the prestigious The Landau restaurant in London, run by Albert & Michel Roux Jnr. Private dining room for exclusive parties of up to 8 people.
- 15 Paolo's Restaurant, 1 St Giles Street, Norwich NR2 1JJ, ☏ . M-Sa noon-3PM and 5-10PM. Good priced and good quality Italian restaurant in the city centre with great service in a beautiful art deco building.
Norwich is reputed for its incredible number of pubs, and with that comes an incredible number of pubs serving incredible food. The Golden Triangle area to the west of the city centre in particular has more than its fair share of pubs serving good quality food.
- 16 The Marsh Harrier, 158 Ipswich Road, Norwich NR4 6DX, ☏ . Midday to midnight every day, except Sundays (midday to 11:30pm). Serves a "whale of a fish" exactly as filling as its name indicates. Selection of beer excellent, staff courteous.
- 17 The Unthank Arms, 149 Newmarket Street, Norwich NR2 2DR, ☏ , email@example.com. Variable - check website for latest. Well-established gastropub that sells a good range of pub food and drink for moderate prices.
- 18 The Black Horse, 50 Earlham Road, Norwich NR2 3DE, ☏ . Food served M-Sa noon-9:30PM, Su noon-8PM. Popular pub serving good pub food, with roasts (and only roasts) served on Sundays.
- 19 Roger Hickman's Restaurant, 79 Upper St. Giles Street, Norwich NR2 1AB, ☏ . M-Sa noon-2PM, 7-10PM. Established modern British fine dining restaurant in the Norwich Lanes run by the titular Roger Hickman. Standard set menu will be around £55 per head plus service charge, but the food is exceptional.
- 20 Benedict's, 9 St Benedicts Street, Norwich NR2 4PE, ☏ . F Sa 2-4PM, Tu-Sa 5-10PM. Nationally-renowned fine dining restaurant with a constantly changing menu. £50-75 per head
For vegetarian restaurants try The Greenhouse, an environmentally friendly cafe and shop on Bethel Street or Pulse on Guildhall Hill. Further up Guildhall Hill is The Waffle House, a daytime and late-opening classy, but low priced, waffle emporium, offering a variety of sweet and savoury Belgian waffles. Some are vegetarian, some not, but the produce used is almost all organic. There's great coffee there too, and the service is generally quick.
- The Gatherers[dead link], opened in 2021, is a bistro on Muspole St open Su-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-2AM.
- The Bridge at 19 Fye Bridge St, also opened in 2021, serves Tuscan food Tu W 6-11PM, Th F 3-11PM, Sa noon-11PM.
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, a real ale paradise serving over 25 ales, and the only pub 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.
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, The Bitter and Broadside, brewed in the Suffolk coastal town of Southwold.
- 1 The Bicycle Shop, 17 St Benedicts Street, Norwich, NR2 4PE, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 10AM - midnight. A lovely choice is the Bicycle Shop bar/restaurant. Great for lunch or a drink in its downstairs bar. Good wines and local beers.
- 2 Frank's Bar, 19 Bedford Street, Norwich, ☏ . Tu-Th 9AM-midnight, F Sa 9AM-2:30AM, Su 10AM-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. Sunday’s are special as well with a fantastic Sunday Breakfast menu (served from 11AM-6PM) 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.
- 1 Maids Head Hotel, 20 Tombland, Norwich, NR3 1LB, ☏ , email@example.com. 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. Queen Elizabeth the first is supposed to have slept in their Elizabethan suite.
- 2 Premier Inn Norwich Nelson City Centre, Prince of Wales Road, Norwich, NR1 1DX, ☏ (Premium Rate). Parking (£5 per night). By the railway station. Very convenient but full of middle managers who have come to do some work for Aviva/Norwich Union. Also can be very noisy at night as it is opposite Riverside (a big entertainment complex).
- 3 Holiday Inn (South Norwich)), Ipswich Road, Norwich, NR4 6EP, ☏ (Premium Rate). Ipswich Road, just south of the outer ring road. It has well-appointed rooms. The bar area is stocked with numerous local beers, as well as some of the more well-known continental brews. The restaurant is rather expensive, and breakfast is questionable.
- 4 Holiday Inn (North Norwich), Cromer Road, Norwich, NR6 6JA, ☏ (Premium Rate), firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Convenient for airport and Broads.
- 5 Mercure Norwich, 121-131 Boundary Road, Norwich, NR3 2BA, ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 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.
- 6 Travelodge Norwich Central Hotel, 14 Queens Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 3PR (next to bus station), ☏ (premium rate number). Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Wi-Fi. Chargeable parking nearby. Early check-in and late checkout available (charged). Situated directly next to the main bus station.
There are four hotel chains operating in Norwich: Premier Inn, Travelodge, Holiday Inn and Mercure. 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 7 [dead link] 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.
- 38 St Giles, 38 St Giles St NR2 1LL, ☏ . Upscale B&B in a Georgian townhouse. No dogs. B&B double £130.
- Assembly House, Theatre St NR2 1RQ (next to Theatre Royal), ☏ . Grand Georgian place often used for weddings, the rooms are in the St Mary's House extension. No dogs. B&B double £170.
- 8 Dial House, Market Place, Reepham NR10 4JJ, ☏ . Amazing off-beat hotel in Reepham village north of city, great dining and service. Much of the decor is for sale so it's ever-changing. B&B double £170.
- 9 Norfolk Mead, Church Loke, Coltishall NR12 7DN (B1354), ☏ . Lovely relaxing hotel in a riverside Georgian house, great dining. B&B double £150.
You can also camp at the local campsite, which is roughly on the outskirts of the city centre:
- 10 Camping and Caravanning Club Norwich, Martineau Lane, Norwich, NR1 2HX, ☏ . Caravan and tent camping site, with a camping field surrounded by river on two sides. Cheaper rates if not keeping a car on the site. Includes showers and toilets; around half an hour's walk from the railway station. Approx £15 a night if just camping.
Although Norwich is generally a safe city to visit, caution should be taken when wandering the city centre at night. Use common sense and avoid back streets; staying in groups is always a good idea. Areas to avoid during the night would be Anglia Square, Eaton Park and Cathedral Close, although there is not much to do there at night so reasons to be there are limited anyway.
Prince of Wales Road is the city's main nightlife area, and gets extremely busy and filled with drunk people on a Friday or Saturday night. The immediately adjacent Tombland is another nightlife hotspot that may be best avoided on weekend nights if you wish to avoid drunk people. Random assaults in these areas by people who are drunk beyond all reason are not unheard of.
An "SOS Bus" operates on a charitable basis from a literal yellow bus at the bottom of Prince of Wales Road (across the bridge from the railway station) as a support point late on Friday and Saturday nights. It is primarily intended for those who are out clubbing, but if you are just stuck and need help (or just somewhere safe to be) it may be of use.
The local police force are Norfolk Constabulary, with the central police station being on Bethel Street, adjacent to the large City Hall building (with a tall clock tower that acts as a local landmark) opposite the market. As with all of the UK, if you need emergency police or medical assistance, call 999. You can also reach the police on a non-emergency basis on 101, although expect to wait for your call to be answered.
Homelessness and begging is sadly a common sight in the city, as is the hard drug abuse and alcoholism that goes with it. The homeless will however generally leave you alone and do not cause much trouble; they are more likely to engage in conversation with you about their lives. Those who do pester you for money will give up if you make it clear you will not give them any.
|“||I don't know what religious beliefs you have or have not; obviously, as I come from Norfolk, I worship fire.||”|
—Stuart Ashen (Ashens), a Norwich comedian and YouTuber
People from Norwich are very aware of the (again, inaccurate) stereotypes of the city and its surrounds as some sort of barely-industrialised backwater or a glorified livestock market, and attitudes to these will vary from self-deprecating humour (as in the quote above) to defensive anger. It's best just not to make light of these. Jokes about inbreeding or the "Normal For Norfolk" stereotype are, it goes without saying, going to be extremely unappreciated by everyone.
In the same vein, references to the Norwich-dwelling comedy character Alan Partridge and quotes from his programmes (especially anything about the "pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre") are played out at this point and will just get you eye rolls at best - not least since these references are now literally decades old.
For urgent care, the Norwich and Norfolk Hospital has an accident and emergency department, which is most likely where you will be taken if you call 999. Certain bus lines also go directly to the hospital from the city centre.
- 1 Nearest Accident & Emergency: Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital (Casualty or the Emergency Room), Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UY. 24/7.
For minor health complaints, the walk-in centre on Rouen Road may be able to assist, but you should be aware that this is not quick and it may take you quite some time to be seen, and patients will not be seen in order of arrival:
The most accessible late night pharmacy was previously the small branch of Boots located within St Stephen's Gate Medical Centre, but this appears to have closed. There are no late night pharmacies open in Norwich city centre as of 2022. Your best bet is the Lloyds Pharmacy located within the Sainsbury's on Queens Road, however it closes at 8PM most nights, earlier on Sundays:
- 3 Lloyds Pharmacy in Sainsbury's, 1 Brazen Gate, Norwich, NR1 3RX. M-W 8AM-8PM, Th F 8AM-9PM, Sa 8AM-8PM, Su 10AM-4PM.
Norwich and surrounds have 4G mobile connectivity from all UK carriers. As of April 2022, the city centre has 5G from EE, O2 and Three.
The city doesn't have any Internet cafes; Norwich Library (at the Forum in the city centre) has computers available for use however, and various coffee shops will have free Wi-Fi available.
In parts of the city centre, Free Wi-Fi[dead link] is available while out and about courtesy of a local business group, but the coverage and speeds are both fairly patchy and this isn't generally the best or most reliable option; but it will work in a pinch.
- The Broads are a network of scenic and mostly navigable rivers, lakes and marshes. Stroll the footpaths, take a boat trip or hire your own small motor- or sail-boat.
- Great Yarmouth
- Long Stratton
|Routes through Norwich|
|Thetford ← Wymondham ←||SW NE||→ END|
|King's Lynn ← Dereham ←||W E||→ Acle → Great Yarmouth|