15 Best Things to Do in Norwich, England

15 Best Things to Do in Norwich, England

By will

Are you looking for a vacation destination that offers something for everyone?

Then look no further than Norwich, England!

This vibrant city has a little bit of everything – from bustling markets to iconic historical buildings.

Whether you’re an art lover, a foodie, or just looking for some R&R, there’s something in Norwich just waiting to be explored.

Here are 15 of the best things to do in Norwich that will guarantee an unforgettable experience.

1. Norman Cathedral

Durham Cathedral Cloisters
Photo by David Dixon

Norman Cathedral in Norwich, England is a must-see.

Located in the heart of the city, this awe-inspiring building dates back to 1096 and is a great example of Norman architecture.

Upon entering the cathedral, visitors can admire its intricate stained glass windows, soaring arches, and impressive stone carvings.

For those looking to explore more deeply, there are daily guided tours that explain the history and significance of this iconic site.

Alternatively, visitors can join one of the free events held at the cathedral such as concerts or lectures which provide even greater insight into its rich past.

With plenty to see and do, Norman Cathedral offers a unique experience for those wishing to explore Norwich’s rich history and culture.

Norwich Castle
Photo by Ashley Dace

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery offer visitors a unique opportunity to explore the city’s rich heritage.

Located in the heart of Norwich, the museum is a must-see for anyone looking to learn about the history of this vibrant city.

With its impressive collection of art and artifacts, it provides an unparalleled insight into the city’s past.

The museum houses some remarkable pieces, including rare works by masters such as Turner and Constable.

A wide range of other exhibits explores Norwich’s cultural heritage, covering everything from medieval manuscripts and fine art to archaeology and natural history.

The museum also hosts special exhibitions that delve deeper into particular topics.

The castle itself has been standing since 1067 and is one of the most iconic sights in the city.

Its grounds are perfect for a leisurely stroll, offering stunning views of the countryside beyond.

It’s definitely worth making a stop here – you won’t be disappointed!

3. Cathedral Of St John The Baptist

The Cathedral of St John the Baptist
Photo by Matthew Chadwick

The Cathedral of St John the Baptist is one of Norwich’s most iconic landmarks.

It stands tall and proud in the center of the city, a reminder of the city’s long and illustrious history.

The building itself dates back to 1096 and has been a place of worship for over 900 years.

Inside its walls, you’ll find an array of beautiful stained glass windows, ancient carvings, and intricately detailed ceiling frescos.

It’s a stunning sight that speaks to Norwich’s medieval past.

Visiting this remarkable cathedral is something no traveler should miss.

You can take part in daily services or explore the many exhibitions on offer throughout the year.

There are also guided tours available on selected days, which give you an intimate insight into the building’s rich history and architecture.

With such a wide range of activities available, it’s easy to understand why this treasured landmark continues to draw visitors from near and far.

4. The Royal Arcade

The Royal Arcade in Norwich is a must-see for any visitor.

It’s one of the oldest shopping arcades in England, with its entrance dating back to 1899.

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Step through its grand archway and you’ll feel transported back to Edwardian times.

The arcade boasts a range of independent retailers, so there are plenty of choices when it comes to souvenir shopping.

From vintage homeware and unique jewelry to handmade crafts and antiques – you’re sure to find something special here.

But the Royal Arcade isn’t just about shopping; it’s also a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Take time to relax in one of the lovely cafes or bars, admire the beautiful architecture around you, or simply sit back and people-watch while enjoying an ice cream cone.

There are also regular events held throughout the year that bring together local musicians, artists, and performers; providing yet another reason why this place is so special – it’s as much about creating an experience as it is about doing some retail therapy!

5. Norwich Market

Turning away from the Royal Arcade and its unique shopping experience, Norwich Market is a must-see attraction for visitors to the city.

Located in the heart of Norwich on Gentleman Walk and near the Forum, Norwich Market has been in operation since 1071.

It is said to be one of the oldest outdoor markets in England.

Norwich Market boasts an impressive array of stalls offering both local produce and goods from around the world.

Here you can buy anything from fresh fruits and vegetables to handmade jewelry, clothing, books, and crafts.

The market’s vibrant atmosphere is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a spot of lunch at one of the many eateries located within it.

Whether you’re looking for a gift or simply want to soak up the atmosphere, you’ll find everything you need at Norwich Market.

Take some time out of your day to wander through this historic marketplace and enjoy all that it has to offer.

With something for everyone, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience!

6. Elm Hill

Nestled in the heart of Norwich is the beautiful Elm Hill, a cobbled street lined with quaint Tudor buildings.

With its picturesque charm and vibrant atmosphere, it’s no wonder that this is one of Norwich’s most popular tourist attractions.

Step through time and be transported back to the days of old as you wander down this enchanting street.

From the traditional shops, tea rooms, and restaurants, to the old-world buildings complete with original wood beams and paneled walls, Elm Hill will make your visit to Norwich truly special.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic stroll or an afternoon of discovery, Elm Hill won’t disappoint.

With its unique blend of history and modernity, it provides something for everyone.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the historic cobbles, take some time out to take in the beauty of St Andrews Hall, or pick up a souvenir from one of many boutiques lining the street – whatever you choose to do here will be sure to leave lasting memories!

7. Bishop’s House Gardens

Leaving the timeless charm of Elm Hill, visitors will find themselves just a short hop away from Bishop’s House Gardens.

This tranquil oasis in the city is filled with verdant trees, colorful blooms, and lush green grass.

It’s the perfect place to sit back and relax, surrounded by nature and peace.

The gardens are home to a variety of exotic plants, shrubs, and flowers – there’s plenty to explore for even the most avid of plant enthusiasts!

There’s also a delightful café on site, which serves homemade cakes and refreshments.

For those seeking a bit more adventure, it’s also possible to hire bicycles or row boats in the park.

Whether you’re looking for relaxation or excitement, Bishop’s House Gardens has something for everyone.

8. King Street Quarter

The King Street Quarter is a vibrant city center district in Norwich, England.

It’s the perfect place to experience all the best of the city.

From shopping to dining, there’s something for everyone here.

The area is home to an array of boutique shops and independent retailers, making it a great spot for retail therapy.

There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from – from traditional English pubs to trendy eateries – so you can find something that suits your taste buds.

And if you’re looking for some nightlife, head to one of the many bars and clubs in the area.

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King Street Quarter is also home to some of Norwich’s most iconic landmarks – including The Forum and St Peter Mancroft Church – as well as plenty of green space for relaxing strolls or lazy afternoons.

So whether you’re looking for a day out with friends or just want to explore all that Norwich has to offer, this is the perfect place to do it!

9. Afternoon Tea At The Assembly House

Leaving the King Street Quarter behind, head to The Assembly House for an afternoon of classic English tea.

Located in the heart of Norwich’s historic city center, this beautiful 18th-century Georgian mansion provides a truly unique experience.

From the moment you walk through the door, you’ll be greeted with stunning interiors that have been carefully crafted to preserve their original character.

As you sit and enjoy your afternoon tea, take in the grandeur of this historical building and get lost in its stories and secrets.

Afternoon tea at The Assembly House is served on vintage china and includes a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, cakes, pastries, and a range of teas.

It’s the perfect spot to relax, catch up with friends or spend quality time with family.

With delicious food and drinks in a picturesque setting, it’s easy to see why Afternoon Tea at The Assembly House is one of the best things to do in Norwich.

10. The Forum

The Forum in Norwich, England is an incredible place to experience a wide variety of entertainment and leisure activities.

Located in the very heart of the city center, The Forum is home to an array of exciting attractions, including a cinema, museum, cafe, and even a theatre.

Whether you’re looking for something to do on your own or with friends and family, The Forum has something for everyone.

When visiting The Forum you can take advantage of the many interactive activities it offers.

From engaging art exhibitions to educational talks and live music performances, there’s always something new to explore here.

You can also browse through the shops or enjoy some delicious food at one of the eateries located inside the building.

Plus, with regular events such as movie screenings and local festivals taking place throughout the year, there’s no shortage of things to do.

With so much to offer, The Forum is sure to provide a unique experience that will leave you wanting more!

11. Sainsbury Centre For Visual Arts

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is an unmissable destination when visiting Norwich.

Set within a stunning parkland, the center houses a diverse collection of art from all over the world.

The museum offers an inspiring range of exhibitions and events for visitors to enjoy.

From Renaissance portraiture to contemporary sculpture, there’s something here for everyone.

If you’re looking to relax in some beautiful surroundings, the center also has tranquil gardens and peaceful walking trails.

For those who want to explore further, a guided tour of the grounds is available. Here you can get up close and personal with some fascinating works of art from many different cultures and eras.

The knowledgeable guides will be sure to bring these pieces to life with their stories and insights.

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is a must-see attraction for any traveler seeking culture, relaxation, or simply an enjoyable day out with friends or family.

Whether you’re looking for a moment of quiet contemplation or an educational experience – this is the place to go!

12. Plantation Garden

Next on the list of must-see attractions in Norwich is Plantation Garden.

Hidden away between the hustle and bustle of city life, this tranquil oasis offers an escape from the everyday.

Overlooking the city’s historic castle, it’s a great spot to take a stroll and soak up some of Norwich’s history.

The garden dates back to Victorian times and features winding paths, rockeries, ponds, and even a wishing well.

There are plenty of benches to relax on and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere or take in some amazing views from the terrace.

The garden also hosts regular events throughout the year including open-air theatre performances, vintage fairs, and classical music concerts.

It’s a great place for both locals and visitors alike to get out into nature and experience some true relaxation.

13. Norwich Theatre Royal

Nestled in the heart of Norfolk, Norwich Theatre Royal is one of the oldest and most iconic theatres in the country.

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It’s been around since 1758, and over its 250-year history has seen some of the greatest actors grace its stage.

From Laurence Olivier to Kenneth Branagh, this theatre is a beacon for all lovers of drama.

The theatre itself is an architectural marvel, with a classic Georgian façade and interior that oozes old-world charm.

Inside you’ll find three levels – stalls, dress circle, and upper circle – perfect for getting up close to the action.

The program is also top-notch, featuring both classical plays and contemporary productions.

From Shakespeare to hit musicals like Wicked, there’s something for everyone at Norwich Theatre Royal.

At Norwich Theatre Royal you can experience a unique slice of history while getting lost in some incredible performances.

There’s no better way to escape reality and enjoy an evening at the theatre!

14. Stranger’s Hall Museum

Leaving the grandiose atmosphere of Norwich Theatre Royal, visitors can explore a different kind of history at Stranger’s Hall Museum.

This museum is home to more than 600 years of history within its walls, from medieval to Victorian times.

The museum offers an interactive experience for all ages, no matter what their interest level in the past is.

From ancient objects and artifacts to period costumes and furniture, Stranger’s Hall Museum has something for everyone.

Kids can dress up in period costumes and try their hand at some traditional crafts like weaving or baking.

There are also plenty of activities on offer such as scavenger hunts and talks with knowledgeable staff who can answer any questions you may have about the exhibits.

For adults, there are guided tours available that take you through the entire building, telling stories about its rich history along the way.

There’s even a café where visitors can take a break and enjoy some refreshments while admiring the beautiful garden outside.

Stranger’s Hall Museum provides a great opportunity to learn about Norwich’s past while having fun at the same time!

Whether you’re visiting with family or friends, this museum will give you an insight into centuries gone by that you won’t find anywhere else in town.

15. The River Wensum

The River Wensum is the lifeblood of Norwich, winding its way through the city center.

It’s a great place to take a leisurely stroll or to take in some of the sights and sounds of the city.

The river banks are lined with beautiful trees, and there are plenty of benches along the way for you to rest and take in the views.

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are several boat tours available on the river that allow you to explore Norwich from a different perspective.

You can enjoy stunning views as you drift downriver, passing by historic buildings and nature reserves.

There’s nothing like being out on the water, feeling free and alive!

For those looking for more active pursuits such as fishing or kayaking, there are plenty of options too.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing stroll or an adrenaline-filled adventure, The River Wensum has something for everyone!

With its picture-perfect scenery, it’s no wonder why this is one of Norwich’s top attractions.

Best Things to Do in Norwich – Final Thoughts

I have explored some of the top attractions in Norwich, England.

From the Norman Cathedral to Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, there are plenty of sights to see in this beautiful city.

I also had the chance to explore The Royal Arcade, Norwich Market, Plantation Garden, Norwich Theatre Royal, and Stranger’s Hall Museum.

Norwich is a great destination for both locals and visitors alike.

It has something for everyone; history buffs can explore the ancient ruins and admire the architecture, art enthusiasts can get lost in the galleries and museums, while nature lovers can take a leisurely stroll along The River Wensum.

Whatever you choose to do in this charming city, you won’t be disappointed.

Overall, my visit to Norwich was an experience that I’ll never forget.

From its stunning architecture to its vibrant culture and atmosphere, it’s easy to see why so many people are drawn to this wonderful city.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an exciting family adventure, Norwich offers something for everyone!

FAQs

What are the best things to do in Norwich with kids?

The best things to do in Norwich with kids are visiting Norwich Castle, BeWILDerwood Norfolk, and Norwich Theatre Royal.

What to do during the day in Norwich?

The best things to do during the day in Norwich are visiting the Norwich Cathedral, East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden, and Felbrigg Hall.

Is Norwich worth visiting?

Yes, Norwich is worth visiting because it is rich in arts, music, and culture. Norwich also has some vibrant nightlife activities.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.