Spend this summer in the City of Stories.
Now you can travel from Liverpool Street to Norwich in just 90 minutes. With 2 trains a day leaving at 11am and 7pm, Monday to Saturday, treat yourself to a short break. For your return journey, trains taking just 90 minutes to London depart at 9am and 5pm, Monday to Saturday. Other services leave every half an hour.
It’s a lot cheaper than you might think, with Advance fares from just £10 each way! Book in advance for the best fares.
A city that doesn’t hold itself to its history but grows from it. One that you don’t pass by but go to by choice. A city where stories of mavericks are hidden in the city walls, on market stalls and down secret stairways leading to the most beautiful Victorian sunken garden ever found in a chalk pit.
You can now reach Norwich in 90 minutes from London. That’s an hour and a half out of the big smoke and into the only city located in a national park anywhere in the UK.
And what a city.
Founded on over a thousand years of history (with more than a few riots and rebellions under its belt), Norwich’s reputation for its maverick spirit is only growing. In the Norwich Lanes – the city’s beating indie heart – find plant shops, vintage stores and the best fried-squid-for-6-quid. We’ve got somewhere you can find the oriental rug of your dreams, and an old church that’s full to the brim of antiques, memorabilia and unexpected collectables.
And this year, Norwich was also named the place where you’ll find the best covered market in Britain. Standing in its current spot for 900 years, the outdoor market has changed but is no less loved. The stalls here are a marvel, and a couple of bars close by will let you bring your food into their establishment to enjoy with a pint of IPA.
Families will love the variety that this city has to offer. For rainy days, lazy days, or lots-of-unspent energy days, Norwich’s compact centre has plenty to do. Delve into medieval history at the incredible Norwich Castle or visit the city's iconic Norwich Cathedral. If the weather’s fine, then why not take a picnic to Chapelfield Gardens or St George’s Green (both of which have playgrounds and plenty of green space).
For couples, Norwich is a perfectly placed retreat, between city, coast and countryside. Whether your ideal weekend away is windswept walks along rugged Norfolk beaches, a picnic boat for two on the broads, or candlelit conversation over cocktails, you’ll find it here. In the heart of the city, there are shops to wander at your own pace, with loads of pubs, bars and restaurants in between. Experience one of the most impressive art collections outside of the national institutions at the Sainsbury's Centre for Visual Arts, and see off-the-wall theatre, music or spoken word at the intimate Norwich Playhouse.
Where to stay
Gothic House – Magdalen Street
Prices from £75.00 per night
Find this uniquely stylish B&B on bustling Magdalen Street. Over the river and heading North, this part of the city is famed for its many antiques and vintage shops. Gothic House is hidden just off the main street in a secluded courtyard and is beautifully decorated with exotic furniture and gorgeous linens. Expect a warm welcome from owner Clive, and Khmer the cat.
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A visit to Loose’s Emporium to experience the maze of antiques, vintage furniture and unexpected bits and pieces that cover its two floors.
Take a 10-minute walk and pick up something incredible from one of the food stalls on Norwich Market (we love Indian Feast!), and take it to Sir Toby’s Beers (also on the market), where they will pair your food with one of their craft beers for you to enjoy in their tiny bar.
Just around the corner find the South Asia Collection Museum and Shop is unmissable. See the pre-eminent collection of its type in the UK and browse the shop for something very special to take home. Their home is an enormous, old Victorian skating rink, making it quite the spectacle for both new and returning visitors.
The Maid’s Head Hotel – Tombland
Prices from £95.00 per night
In the shadow of Norwich Cathedral in the historic Tombland area (recently made famous by the C.J. Samson novel) is this spacious hotel, which claims to be the oldest in the UK. This is perfect for couples, solo travellers or families, and is ideally located right in the heart of the city. Packed to the rafters with character and charm, this 4-star hotel is particularly good for anyone who wants to get up close and personal with Norwich’s extraordinary history.
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Of course, a visit to Norwich Cathedral which is just next door! But did you know Norwich has two Cathedrals? West of the city is the gothic-revival Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist. They offer tower tours, which allow visitors an unparalleled view of the city centre.
Over summer, the Ghost Walks haunt the parting pathways and hidden doorways of Norwich. Join the Witch Doctor, Le Morté and The Jack of Crows of an evening, and let them tell you stories to give you chills!
Bowling like never before. The Bowling House – found in an old cinema – is a retro bowling experience, where pins are on strings and you wait your turn on vintage cinema seats. They do food too, and grown-ups can enjoy a cocktail (or three) while they play…
The Assembly House – Theatre Street
Prices from £140.00 per night
A truly luxurious stay, The Assembly House is the finest mix of Georgian splendour and contemporary comfort. With individually styled boutique rooms of the highest standard, we promise you’ll be hard-pressed to leave your room. When you eventually make it, you’re in the heart of the city, and just a minutes’ walk from Norwich Market. This is a truly special stay, and one to remember for a long time.
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Right next door to The Assembly House is Norwich Theatre Royal – the Art Deco theatre with over 250 years of history. Today, the theatre brings the very best international performance to its stage, from grand opera, to comedy to contemporary dance.
Still in the Lanes, elegant-yet-understated Benedicts is owned by chef-patron Richard Bainbridge, who you might recognise from the BBC’s ‘Great British Menu’. And what a place. This is some of the most special, innovative cooking around, which – coupled with the very best hospitality and a superb wine flight – makes for an evening to take it easy and treat yourself. Expect brilliant things, in Scandi-cool surroundings.
The Norwich Lanes are less than a 2-minute walk from the Assembly House, so put a day aside to wander the cobbled streets here. You’ll find over 300 independent shops, cafes and bars, with Jarrold – Norwich’s flagship independent department store, set over 5 floors – a real must-see for anyone who likes a glass of wine with their retail therapy!