Enjoy the Norfolk Broads at your own pace from the comfort of a luxury cruiser
Not only is the historic Norman city of Norwich the only city in a National Park in England it’s one of the most captivating. Blessed with dozens of beautiful old buildings including an iconic castle and two cathedrals, Norwich has one of the most ground breaking arts scenes in the country, lively pubs and restaurants and is also a top 10 shopping location in the UK.
So why not take a trip up the Wensum and cruise right into the city centre where you can moor overnight?
Simply exploring Norwich’s historic Norman streets on foot is an enthralling experience. Everywhere you turn there’s another stunning building that has stood the test of time. We have featured three of the most iconic places in the city in detail – Norwich Cathedral, Norwich Castle and Elm Hill.
Other key sights include the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich’s colourful market – which is the largest six day market in the UK – City Hall and Norwich Guildhall.
Nearby, old meets new at the stunning Forum – a glass fronted Millennium Library that wows with its modern design that sensitively reflects the beautiful medieval St Peter Mancroft church opposite.
It’s also worth taking the lovely riverside walk behind Norwich Cathedral to see Cow Tower and Pulls Ferry.
A good option to learn more about Norwich is to take the open top, hop-on hop-off, sightseeing bus with commentary, which commences outside Norwich Theatre Royal at 10.30 am and runs hourly until 3.30 pm.
There is also a good choice of museums and art galleries including Norwich Castle, the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell, Stranger’s Hall museum and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (at the University of East Anglia).
Norwich Yacht Station – River Wensum.
Broads Authority facility with a quay attendant to help you moor up from 8am-8pm from the Saturday before Easter until the first week of November. Fee applies. Toilets, showers, pump out and rubbish facilities available. 01603 612980.
Our top three sights
With its spectacular spire climbing 315ft to the heavens Norwich Cathedral is the most complete Norman Cathedral in England and one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Europe.
Take your time wandering through this awe inspiring place which has the largest cathedral close and monastic cloisters in the land, the second highest spire of any cathedral in England and more than 1,000 roof bosses telling Bible stories- the greatest collection of any church in the world!
The cathedral is also famous for its pair of breeding peregrine falcons who nest on the cathedral spire. The best way to spot them is to drop into the Hawk and Owl Trust observation point in Cathedral Close (April to June).
Towering over the city centre is Norwich’s Norman Castle, which has stood guard since at least 1075. Built as a medieval royal palace it later became a notorious prison and has been a museum and art gallery ever since 1894. The museum showcases collections of archaeology, art and natural history. Don’t miss the castle keep, dungeons and battlements tours, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
Lined top to bottom with beautifully preserved timber framed Tudor buildings- including merchants’ houses, speciality shops and small cafes – the cobbled street of Elm Hill looks like something straight out of a film set.
Unsurprisingly, Elm Hill has actually been the setting for movies, most recently Stardust featuring Claire Danes in 2007, as well as receiving national acclaim last year by being voted one of the most beautiful streets in England by the Daily Express.
Elm Hill has its origins dating back to AD1200 but in 1507 a disastrous fire destroyed nearly all of its buildings. The fine houses you see today were nearly all built immediately after the fire giving a snapshot of the Tudor period after the disaster. The street gets its name from the elm trees which once stood here.
Consistently voted in the top 10 shopping venues in the UK, Norwich is a unique shopping destination, whether you want to explore major high street retailers or discover its thriving independent businesses.
In the award winning Norwich Lanes medieval streets are filled with an eclectic mix of independent shops, such as the Jarrold family run department store, as well as major high street chains including several other national department stores.
The city is also home to two shopping malls – the chic intu Chapelfield plus The Castle Mall located under the shadow of Norwich Castle. Finally, make sure you explore Norwich’s famous market and stroll along the elegant art deco Royal Arcade.
No visit to Norwich would be complete without sampling its buzzing cultural scene.
The city has some fantastic music venues including The University of East Anglia LCR, The Waterfront and Norwich Arts centre, which in 2014 was crowned Britain’s Best Small Music Venue by the NME.
Norwich has four cinemas and it’s also home to many theatres, ranging from the biggest in the region, Norwich Theatre Royal to Norwich Puppet Theatre.
The city is also famous for its festivals including the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, which attracts an array of weird and wonderful acts from around the world in May.
Norwich was once famous for having a pub for every day of the year and has a staggering array of drinking options from chic gastro wine bars to hipster hangouts and late night clubs. But what sets Norwich apart from other cities is its superb craft beer and real ale scene.
If you only try one real ale pub take a taxi ride to the Fat Cat on West End Street, which has been voted CAMERA National Pub of the Year twice and has over 20 real ales on tap. Two good choices closer to the city centre are the Coach and Horses on Thorpe Road, not far from the river, and the Kings Head on Magdalen Street. Finally, don’t miss Norwich’s oldest pub, the Adam and Eve, on Bishopgate, which dates back to 1249.
Whatever your taste or budget Norwich has a seemingly endless choice of restaurants, cafes and takeaways. Here are some of our favourites:
Authentic Japanese dishes in the historic Tombland area near Norwich Cathedral. 01603 619262.
Praised in the 2017 Michelin Guide for its British cuisine. Located on trendy St Benedict’s Street. 01603 926080.
Enjoy sweeping views of the city from this cafe located in the former Britannia Barracks on Mousehold Heath.01603 708770.
The Assembly House
Perfect for an afternoon tea in one of Norwich’s most splendid Georgian buildings. Located on Theatre Street.01603 626402.
Delicious pizzas, served in a fantastic backstreet craft beer and real ale pub, which was recently praised in the Telegraph. Located on Cowgate.01603 440992.
Grosvenor Fish Bar
This fish and chip takeaway, located on Lower Goat Lane, is a local institution! 01603 625855.