September's hidden gem - Norwich
Published: Wednesday 26th Sep 2018
Written by: Georgia Dawson
Norwich is our September hidden gem.
Located 20 miles from the Norfolk coast, Norwich really is at the heart of the county. Norwich is one of the most complete medieval cities in the UK, and as well as offering a rich history, the city has a vibrant cultural scene. The city boasts fantastic high street shopping, including two bustling shopping centres, Chapelfield and The Castle Mall, the famous Norwich Market and the wonderful independent department store Jarrolds. Bustling restaurants, cosy cafes and exciting nightlife also line the streets of Norwich.
Norwich is a delight to explore. Incredibly, it is the only English city in a National Park, the Norfolk Broads. Beautiful landmarks decorate the Norwich landscape, including the 900-year-old Castle, the grand 96-metre cathedral and the clock tower of the City Hall.
The amazing Norwich Castle stands upon a mound in the heart of Norwich and is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. The Castle was built as a Royal Palace by the Normans over 900 years ago and is now a museum and art gallery. Visitors can participate in guided tours of the Castle, including climbing the 62 steps of the Norman staircase to enjoy a 360-degree view of Norwich during the Battlements experience. Alternatively, head down into the dungeons of the Castle and hear about the crime and punishment of the times gone by in the Dungeon tour. Finally, take a walk through the Castle’s fighting gallery and discover how the Castle survived under siege in the Fighting Gallery tours.
The breath-taking Norwich Cathedral sits within England’s largest Cathedral Close and owns the second tallest spire in the UK – it stands at 96m tall and is second to Salisbury. Norwich Cathedral hosts over 1000 roof bosses, making it the largest collection in the Christian world. When visiting the iconic landmark, a free guided tour is a must. With so much history to discover, don’t forget about the peregrine falcons which live up in the spire. They hatched chicks for the first time in Norwich living memory a few years ago and thousands visit Cathedral Close every year to see the birds.
Norwich is brimming with other wonderful, fascinating places to visit. From the old to the new, Norwich has it all. Elm Hill is one of the most famous and most complete streets in the entire city. The street was almost destroyed back in 1507 when a fire broke out, however the buildings have since been rebuilt. Discover the beautiful craft shops, cute tea shops, and the only survivor of the 1507 fire, The Britons Arms.
Tombland, which was once the main market area of Norwich, now offers a range of restaurants and bars. However, it holds quite a dark past. Tombland used to host a very popular annual fair, where fights used to break out between the monks of Norwich Priory and the citizens of Norwich. In 1272, some citizens were killed by the monks who claimed they had their own justice system. The monks locked the cathedral gates and ordered their men to attack anyone who came close. Eventually, the men rampaged through the city and burnt down Cathedral gates, St Ethelbert’s Church and damaged the cathedral. The riot continued for 3 days, before King Henry III visited Norwich and blamed the citizens for the damage to the city, charging them fines and ordering them to build a brand-new entrance to the monastery area of the Cathedral – this became St Ethelbert’s Gate.
The wonderful Royal Arcade in Norwich was built and opened by the famous architect George Skipper on 24th May 1899 when arcade shopping was very popular. It introduced the citizens of Norwich to the fashionable yet unusual architecture of Art Nouveau for the first time. George Skipper went on to create Jarrolds, the Commercial Chambers and the Norwich Union offices.
The Forum opened in Norwich in November 2001 and has become an iconic landmark. Open to the public all year round, The Forum is home to free exhibitions, events and activities. The most popular public library in the UK, the Norfolk and Norwich Millenium Library, sits within the building. Dining is available within The Forum, with Café Bar Marzano on the ground floor and Pizza Express on the mezzanine level. The Forum is also home to BBC East, which broadcasts daily TV and radio news across the region.
Sleeping two, Quayside sits on a pedestrianised road, overlooking the River Wensum in one of the most attractive and historical parts of Norwich. The Cathedral, Tombland and Elm Hill are within easy walking distance, perfect for exploring the beauty of Norwich.
Located just four miles south-west of Norwich, this one-level cottage is beautifully furnished and sleeps two. Garden Cottage sits to the side of the owner’s 400-year-old farmhouse and there is access to the owner’s tennis court on request.
This recently built second floor apartment offers stunning panoramic views towards Whitlingham Broad. Located in Thorpe St Andrew, just one mile east of the city centre, Whitlingham View sleeps four and is ideal for a family break to the city.
The Dollery is a 400-year-old, listed barn conversion which sleeps four and is just six miles north of Norwich. Situated in a peaceful location, where lovely walks and cycle rides in the country lanes are just on the doorstep, this holiday home is elegantly furnished with cosy beds and super walk-in showers.
The Courtyard, Lodge Farm
Set in the grounds of Lodge Farm, a Jacobean Grade II listed farmhouse, The Courtyard has recently been converted from a barn used by the farm into a single storey, modern contemporary holiday home. Sleeping four, this delightful holiday home is located just five miles west of Norwich.
16 St Edmunds Wharf
16 St Edmunds Wharf is a modern two storey town house in the centre of Norwich. Spacious and comfortable, the river, Tombland and the Cathedral are on your doorstep. Sleeping five, this holiday home is ideal for a family trip to the vibrant city.
Sleeping six, Windfalls is an attractive, comfortable house, with a very large garden which is great for letting off steam. Located just five miles east of Norwich, enjoy gorgeous views over open countryside to the front and rear.
Sleeping 12, this lovely large riverside property is complete with a games room and hot tub. Four Seasons is located in Thorpe St Andrew on the outskirts of Norwich. Welcoming three dogs, this grand property is ideal for the whole family.