Our 5 favourite things to do in Norwich
Norwich might be small for a city but don’t let that fool you into thinking there isn’t much to do. The city is a wonderful fusion of the modern and historic, with a thriving arts, music and cultural scene, a sprawling marketplace as well as superb independent and high street shopping.
Lively restaurants, bars and nightlife and a fascinating heritage can also be discovered through its ancient buildings. The Norfolk city has one of the most complete and well-preserved medieval centres in Europe with a delightful river at its heart and is easily explored on foot. In this list, we have put together some of the best things to do in Norwich for you to peruse. We have a hunch that you will fall in love with this city just as we have at Haven.
1. Norwich Castle
Address: Castle St, Norwich NR1 3JU
Built after the Norman Conquest 900 years ago, the medieval castle of Norwich now houses a museum and art gallery with decorative art collections, costumes, jewellery, glass, ceramic and silver pots amongst other treasure. On your visit you can also enter the fine art gallery and museum with a combined ticket that allows visitors to browse displays of watercolour paintings, Dutch landscapes and modern British paintings as well as a well-stocked natural history exhibition.
The palace is rich with history and culture which can be discovered on one of the tours available at the dungeons and battlements. These unique tours, delivered by enthusiastic members of staff, are what make the castle one of the best things to do in Norwich. This unmissable historic site is full of interesting artefacts and provides a history of the city and the wider history of the country.
2. The Plantation Garden
Address: 4 Earlham Rd, Norwich NR2 3DB
This is a little treasure tucked away near the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Norwich. A Gothic fountain, a Medieval wall, a rustic bridge, magical woodland walkways, and beautiful lawns are all found in this Grade II English Heritage registered garden. As soon as you walk into Plantation Gardens you can sense the sheer magnitude of the rich history it has been part of.
The gardens are one of the best places for walking in Norwich. Great photo opportunities lie at every corner, while the volunteers who run the place are a wealth of knowledge and will be proud to talk you through the project.
3. Norwich Market
Address: 1 Market Place, Norwich NR2 1ND
This fabulous outdoor market in the city centre of Norwich consists of around 200 colourful, covered stalls and has been in operation on the present site for over 900 years making it one of the oldest and largest outdoor markets in the country. The market is now an attractive and vibrant mix of food, flowers, arts & crafts, services and much more.
Make sure to leave your appetite open so that you can try the delights of the Covered Market. There are cuisines from all around the globe such as Caribbean curries and pad Thais, to the home comforts of English bacon butties and fish and chips. You won’t be lacking for choice! Make use of the seating spaces available opposite the market and gaze at the majestic city hall as you wash your food down with a barista coffee or an Asian bubble tea. The market is open for trading Monday to Saturday, with a handful of Sundays dotted throughout the year.
4. Norwich Cathedral
Address: 65 The Close, Norwich NR1 4DH
Despite being 800 years old, Norwich’s cathedral remains in an immaculate state and is, quite rightfully, top of the list for all visitors to Norwich. With beautiful architecture, vibrant stained-glass windows and many little miniature chapels concealed within, you spend all day at Norwich Cathedral. The cloisters are magnificent and give you a surreal feel, the grave of the First World War nurse Edith Cavell’s, venerated as a saint in the Church of England, in particularly a day when there is an organ recital on, or on a day when the evensong choir is singing.
There are free guided tours on the hour where you can learn who smashed the statues inside the cathedral, what was hidden in the gardens and why the skeleton of a man was found buried standing up! There is a £5 discretionary charge for entry but it well worth it for one of the best things to do in Norwich.
5. City of Norwich Aviation Museum
Address: Old Norwich Rd, Horsham St Faith, Norwich NR10 3JF
The City of Norwich Aviation Museum is home to an impressive collection of both preserved and mocked up aircraft as well as a number of exhibits concerning aviation, its history and the socio-economic impact on the region. The museum houses a Vulcan bomber and some of the military and civil aircraft which have flown from the county’s various airfields. Other displays include a history of the American 8th Army Air Force who were involved with the local are, the history of RAF Horsham St Faith, the role of women in aviation and tell of the heroes and pioneers who have made local aviation history.
It’s a great day out for any air enthusiasts and for children who are really into planes, remember to take a camera and sketchbook to help them get the most from it and release their creative energies. Opening times vary seasonally, so check online before you visit. Children under 8 years are free and adult tickets are just £4.50 with concessions and family tickets also available, you need not break the bank to visit this museum.