by Janis on 15th June 2017 / 0 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.

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Where's Norwich?

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Getting to Norwich

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.
Looking through a window in the cloisters to the spire atop Norwich Cathedral
The Cathedral- framed

Norwich's Historic Cathedral

Standing for over 900 years

Very few buildings could boast this accolade; however, Norwich Cathedral has stood for over 900 years, and the impressive Norman Tower still remains today.
 
Norwich Cathedral is beautiful inside and out, and whatever religious persuasion you are it is a delightful place to visit.

The view from Erpingham Gate to the Cathedral under stormy skies
Through Erpingham Gate to the Cathedral
Once you’ve strolled throughout the Cathedral, I highly recommend that you head outside. The enchanting cloisters are incredible and they the second largest in England after Salisbury Cathedral.
The cloisters, Norwich, Norfolk, England
The cloisters, Norwich Cathedral

Worth Visiting

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

Edith Cavell

A Great War Heroine
One of Norfolk’s most famous daughters is the nurse, Edith Cavell, who was executed behind enemy lines for nursing and sheltering Allied forces.
A stone pillar, topped with a bust of Edith Cavell, stands as a memorial to her bravery, in front of the walls of Norwich Cathedral in Norfolk
The memorial to Edith Cavell

Edith Cavell never discriminated between nationalities and she helped all that were in need regardless of which side of the war they were fighting on.

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

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Historic Norfolk

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 large stone arch that surrounds Erpingham Gate which leads into Norwich Catherdral
Erpingham Gate
In the grounds of Norwich Cathedral looking across to its spire.
The Cathedral grounds
Grab a picnic and admire the many listed buildings within The Close, then take a stroll down to the Pulls Ferry & the riverside walk.
The path to Pull Ferry in Norwich, which leads through an arch in the lower level of a flint building to the river beyond.
The Pull Ferry

If you're intrigued by Norfolk, a UK county with an interesting past, then why not check out  "The Little Book of Norfolk".  Full of facts and obscure information. It's a fun read on the region.

You can pick it up for your Kindle or in good old hardcover. (Depending on region)

The Little book of Norfolk cover

Norwich Castle

Not to be outshone
Another iconic sight in Norwich is its castle, built by the Normans for William the Conqueror as a royal palace
Looking up at the very angular Norwich Castle under a deep blue sky
Norwich Castle
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's Historic Districts

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.
Elm Hill, a cobbled street in the Tombland district of Norwich
A view of Elm Hill in Tombland
A cobbled footpath leads to an arch under a twisted building in the Tombland district in Norwich.
Tombland, Norwich
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.
A thatched Tudor building, now the Briton Arms, in the Tombland district of Norwich.
The Britons Arms

Stylish Norwich

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 Art Deco Royal Arcade in Norwich, with its pretty mosaic tiled floor and lanterns suspended from an iron and glass vaulted ceiling.
Inside the Royal Arcade
The beautiful art deco glass window and surrounding stonework above the entrance to the Royal Arcade, Norwich
The entrance to the Royal Arcade
His work also includes Surrey House the headquarters of Norwich Union; and the Hotel de Paris in the delightful nearby seaside town of Cromer.

A Norfolk Road Trip

Discover more of the historic county of Norfolk from east to west, north to south. You can do it all on a road trip, Rental Cars searches multiple well-known car hire brands and discovers the deals that suit you the best.

Norwich 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.
The bustling Norwich Market, with its brightly topped stalls, on a beautiful spring day.
Norwich Market

Tourist Information

If you're tempted by the beautiful English county of Norfolk and its incredible far-reaching coastline take a look at the 'Visit Norfolk' official website.

Find your accommodation

Have a peek at the latest offers from Booking.com, our preferred hotel booking website.
Booking.com

Norwich's 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 across a green field from the path that runs along the River Wensum
A view of Norwich Cathedral

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.

Image
The Cow Tower

Escape for a few days

Are you searching for a tranquil hideaway to unwind in, while you explore the picturesque Norfolk landscape?

After a day visiting the golden beaches or touring the charming, quaint villages return to one of the handpicked properties and unique retreats at Holiday Cottages.

Norwich's famous son

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 stone statue of Lord Horatio Nelson in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral
A statue of Nelson

Discovering Norwich

So many churches & barbers
What we noticed about Norwich was that there so many churches (along with two cathedrals). I have since discovered that no other county in Britain is richer in its historic churches than Norfolk - there are over 650 of them.
The church of St. Peter Hungate in the Tombland district of Norwich
St. Peter Hungate church
For some reason, Norwich also has a lot of old style barbers….who knew?

Where to stay in Norwich

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.
A black and white exterior image of our accommodation while in Norwich, The Maids Head Hotel
The Maids Head Hotel

Where to eat in Norwich

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.

Book in Advance

It's worth booking with Prime Restaurant in advance.  We walked in on a Monday evening, and we were lucky.
Steak cooking on a slab of volcanic rock at our table served with a pot of chips, a salad & accompaniments
Steak at Prime, Norwich

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.

The Tasting Menu

With the tasting menu at the Wine Press you need to book in advance.
The dessert course at the Maids Head Hotel in Norwich
Dessert at the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich

Norwich Pubs

Where we had, a pit stop
Just for research purposes (honest…), we stopped at the Adam & Eve, Norwich’s oldest pub established in 1249.
Tables and benches outside the historical Adam & Eve Pub in Norwich
The Adam & Eve Pub
Gary also managed to find a brewhouse - St Andrews Brewhouse to be precise. A great selection of beers & knowledgeable staff.
The outside of the St Andrews Brew House in Norwick with its mash tun visible in the window
St Andrews Brew House

A little more of Norfolk

Our few days in Norfolk gave us some wonderful memories,  Why not check out our posts on the places we visited with tips & inspiration to get the most out of your visit?

Would you like a little more?

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

Also, why not subscribe to our YouTube channel and get the latest clips as we post them?

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