The Heart of Norfolk: Norwich, England

In Cities, Counties, Near, Norfolk, Norwich, Our Journeys, Road Trips, Trip-Types by Janis0 Comments

The Norman’s left their mark

As part of our ‘Norfolk’ road trip, we based ourselves for a couple of nights in Norwich, an incredibly historic English city, right in the heart of East Anglia.

In 2012 Norwich became England’s first UNESCO City of Literature.

Direct from London

Although for us this was a road trip, Norwich is only a couple of hours by train from London’s Liverpool Street Station, so easily accessible from the country’s capital.

The Cathedral-framed, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Standing for over 900 years

Not many buildings could boast this accolade, but Norwich Cathedral has stood for over 900 years, and the impressive Norman Tower still remains today.

Through Erpingham Gate to the Cathedral, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Not only is the Cathedral a spectacle in itself, but you are free to enjoy the wonderful, enchanting cloisters, which is the second largest in England after Salisbury.

The cloisters, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Worth Visiting

Amazingly, Norwich Cathedral is free of charge to visit, along with its guided tours.

WWI heroine – Edith Cavell

One of Norfolk’s most famous daughters is the nurse, Edith Cavell, who was executed behind enemy lines for nursing and sheltering Allied forces.

The statue to Edith Cavell, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Edith was given a state funeral in 1919 at Westminster Abbey and now rests in “Life’s Green” at Norwich Cathedral.

80 listed buildings

Erpingham and Ethelbert gates lead you into the Cathedral and its enchanting 44-acre surrounding Close.

It is so serene & peaceful, wandering around the beautiful grounds day or night you feel like you have stepped back into a slice of idyllic English life, with its cobbled streets and manicured lawns and gardens.

The Cathedral grounds, Norwich, Norfolk, England
Erpingham Gate, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Grab a picnic and admire the many listed buildings within The Close, then take a stroll down to the Pulls Ferry & the riverside walk.

Pulls Ferry, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Not to be outshone

Another iconic sight in Norwich is its castle, built by the Normans for William the Conqueror as a royal palace.

Originally taking the form of a motte and bailey, the castle is now home to a museum and art gallery, with fantastic views across the city.

Norwich Castle, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Cobbled lanes

Another area of Norwich that we loved was the labyrinth of cobbled lanes and medieval Tudor buildings in the Cathedral Quarter along Elm Hill & Tombland.

A view of Elm Hill, Norwich, Norfolk, England
Tombland, Norwich, Norfolk, England

The Britons Arms coffee house was the only building on Elm Hill to escape the devastating fire in 1507 and has a cellar dating from 13th century

The Britons Arms, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Art Nouveau

One of the most eye-catching buildings in the centre of Norwich is the wonderful Art Nouveau Royal Arcade, designed by George Skipper.

Inside the Royal Arcade, Norwich, Norfolk, England
The entrance to the Royal Arcade, Norwich, Norfolk, England

His work also includes Surrey House the headquarters of Norwich Union; and the Hotel de Paris in the nearby seaside town of Cromer (which you’ll see when we visit Cromer in a later post).

Market Place

Norwich has the largest six-day open air market in the country, housing up to 200 stalls. Historically a market has been held here since the 11th century, and it is looked down upon by the Art Deco City Hall.

Norwich Market, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Riverwalk

If you get a chance to stroll along the River Wensum by Pulls Ferry, you’ll be rewarded with a lovely view back to Norwich Cathedral.

A view of Norwich Cathedral, Norfolk, England, Great Britain

Also along the walk, you’ll find the Cow Tower, an artillery tower built between 1398-1399. The tower was built to defend the north-eastern approach to Norwich from the French.

The Cow Tower, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Horatio Nelson

Norwich is not only full of historical architecture it has had some notable residents as well, one of which was Horatio Nelson, who attended grammar school here.

A statue of Nelson, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Where we stayed

Our choice of hotel while we were in Norwich, was the historic Maids Head Hotel, fantastic location only a few steps from Erpingham Gate and the Cathedral. Also, it had free onsite parking.

The Maids Head Hotel, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Where we ate

If you enjoy a steak, this is the place to go, the Prime Restaurant located in Tombland. You cook your own steak on a piece of volcanic rock.

Steak at Prime, Norwich, Norfolk, England

We also opted for the Tasting menu at the Wine Press – The restaurant within the Maids Head Hotel.

Each of the 5 courses were served with a matched wine. In all, an enjoyable experience.

Desert at the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Our Tip

It’s worth booking with Prime – we walking in on a Monday evening, and we were lucky.

With the tasting menu at the Maids Head Hotel you need to book in advance.

Where we had, a pit stop

Just for research purposes (honest…), we stopped at the Adam & Eve, Norwich’s oldest pub established in 1249.

The Adam & Eve Pub, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Gary also managed to find a brew house – St Andrews Brewhouse to be precise. A great selection of beers & knowledgable staff.

St Andrews Brew House, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Would you like a little more?

We have created a little YouTube video of Norwich. Just a 3 minute snippet of this great city.

Why not subscribe to the channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

Inspired?

To visit Norwich?

Why not check out the latest deals on Booking.Com?

Booking.com
Through Erpingham Gate to the Cathedral, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Have You

Visited Norwich? Were you impressed by the city’s architecture? – Gary was. A charming place that is really worth a visit.

About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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The Heart of Norfolk: Norwich, England was last modified: July 24th, 2017 by Janis