Norwich is an historic city and the county town of Norfolk, in eastern England. The city’s rich heritage is reflected in its many beautiful old churches and two cathedrals.
Recently, due to its status as a university town, Norwich’s cultural scene has flourished, and it is a wonderful place for a holiday.
Two Cathedrals and Fifty Two Churches
Whether or not you are particularly interested in the history of the city, it is hard not to be impressed by Norwich’s architectural splendour. The city is famous for having 52 churches, one for every week of the year, and if you’re feeling up to it, try and tick them all off the list before you leave.
One church that you really must visit is Norwich Cathedral. The 900-year old Norman building is the focal point of the city and once served as the centre of Christianity in the East of England. Make sure you catch a glimpse of ‘Old As I Am’, a grinning stone skeleton on the cathedral’s southern wall.
Also worth a look is the Roman Catholic Cathedral, which is about a ten-minute walk from the Church of England one. If you don’t have time to see all 52 smaller churches, of particular note are St John Maddermarket and St Peter Mancroft, two fine examples of medieval architecture.
After you’ve seen all that Norwich’s rich history has to offer, bring yourself back into the present by delving into its dynamic cultural scene. The Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery has some excellent exhibits chronicling the history of the city, as well as an ever-changing collection of British art.
In the 1960s, Norwich became a university city with the foundation of the University of East Anglia (UEA). The campus itself is a great example of British post-war Brutalist architecture. The jewel in its crown is the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, an incredible glass building housing changing exhibitions of rare art, ceramics and textiles.
For the shopaholics among you, Norwich has some fantastic retail outlets and markets. There are the big department stores John Lewis and Debenhams, in the centre of town, as well as the locally owned Jarrolds, which is a fabulous place to pick up a holiday souvenir.
The city is also home to Europe’s largest permanent outdoor market, in the aptly named Market Place. The market has everything from bric-a-brac to locally sourced fruit and veg, and is open all week except Sunday.
Food and drink
After a long day of culture and shopping, you’ll no doubt be hungry. Luckily, Norwich is blessed with many excellent restaurants serving all kinds of different cuisine. There are many Thai restaurants in the city but the pick of the bunch is Sugar Hut, where the green curry is to die for.
For more spice, head to Oasis, a quality Indian restaurant on Queens Road. The restaurant is housed within a converted church and so makes a memorable setting for a delicious meal.
Real ale enthusiasts will be in heaven in Norwich as the city has a strong brewing heritage. Of the many good beer pubs, the Fat Cat is the best, with over 25 different ales on tap and a brilliant atmosphere.
With so much to see and do in the city, Norwich hotels offer the perfect base for an action-packed holiday.
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