“ Norwich is a city in East Anglia, in Eastern England, and the regional administrative centre and county town of Norfolk. The suburban area of the city expands beyond its borough boundary, with large populated areas on most sides, particularly Thorpe St. Andrew on the eastern side. The Parliamentary seats cross over into adjacent local government districts. The population of the Norwich Travel to Work Area i.e. the area of Norwich in which most people both live and work, is 367,035 and the 1991 figure was 351,340. 121,600 people live in the Norwich City Council area. Norwich is the fourth most densely populated Local Authority District within the Eastern Region with 3,179 people per square kilometre (8,241 per square mile). „
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I arrived in Norwich three years a go as a student at University of East Anglia. I was a little bit doubtful, but when I saw the city, it was love at the first sight.
Norwich claims itself as a fine city. What it did not say, it is also a beautiful, historical, and safe. In 2011, it has recorded the lowest rate of crime in England, and took the first place of the safest city in England from the city of York. As I have always been my dad's favourite daughter, it makes it much easier for him to let me go to the other side of the planet.
If you take your time to walk in the city, you would be able to find the remains of the old city wall. It was the wall that surrounded the City of Norwich, which is now known as Norwich City Centre. Now it is where my favourite shops are.
It is said that in Norwich, you could have one church for every Sunday, and one pub for every day of the year. Yes, there are allegedly, more than 50 churches, and more than 300 local pub in Norwich. I have not yet got the time to start counting, but if you have a plan to go to Norwich, you know you are not going to miss your beer.
This city is very beautiful too. It does not matter whether it is summer, or fall, or even when the city was covered with snow. It always looks stunning. The silhouette of the Norwich cathedral, or the reflection of the sun in the river while you're standing at the Elm Hill Quay. The old bumpy Elm Hill street with the crooked antique shops. Every corner of the city has its own way to charm me.
I could write a book about how this city deserve a five dooyoo hearts, but I guess anyone need to see it themselves to understand why.
The Norwich Beer Festival is an annual event organised by the Norwich & Norfolk Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
Its main concern is with the promotion of cask conditioned beers (commonly referred to as "real ale") allied to traditional British breweries and pubs.
It is a volunteer-led organisation and all local events are organised by volunteers in their own time.
The beer festival is always held at St. Andrew's and Blackfriars' Halls which are located on St. Andrew's Plain, at the junction of St. Andrew's Street and St. George's Street, in the centre of Norwich
Norwich Railway Station is approximately 10 minutes walk from the halls, and city centre bus stops are a few minutes away.
Norwich Beer Festival has for many years had an image of a dragon incorporated in the festival logotype but not all the logos have had a dragon in them.
The main inspiration comes from the Snap dragon which has featured in the history of Norwich. A representation of a dragon was at one time paraded around the city as part of civic ceremonies, and the last version to have been so treated is still on display in the city.
The 1990 Norwich Beer Festival logo featured a very friendly dragon (drawn by David Read) enjoying a pint of ale, and this image was subsequently adopted (with some slight modifications) as the branch logo and in 1997 a pint glass was produced with this image on it.
Session times and prices
There are two sessions per day. A lunchtime one running from 11.30 am to 3.00 pm and an evening session running from 5.30 pm to 11.00 pm.
Lunch time sessions are typically £1 to get in and evening sessions up to £5 depending on the night.
Last admissions are half an hour before the session ends (if you can actually get in that is) which I think is quite generous. There are many pubs around where I live that refuse entry an hour before the pub closes.
It is not only cask ales that are served during the beer festival. There are also bottled beers (both national and international) and ciders.
This review is about my experience of the beer festival and I can't see any value in listing every type of cask beer, bolted beer or cider available.
I will say that there were over 100 breweries represented at the festival and each with several types of beer. Trying all of these would be an amazing feat!
If you are interested in the breweries represented and the beers then please follow the links below:
I will also include my favourite beers of the festival:
Sara Hughes Dark Ruby Mild, ABV 6%. It is a dark ruby strong ale with a rich malty flavour. This was a really popular beer and in order to get a taste you had to be very quick. I made it my mission to find this first and start the session with this to ensure I had some. Sarah Hughes is so popular that it wasn't available every session. The organisers put it on for only one session a day to ensure that it lasted throughout the duration of the festival
Woodfordes Head Cracker, ABV 7%. It has an fruity orange aroma and is pale in colour but it is a full bodied barley wine. Like the Dark Ruby Mild this was difficult to get hold and there was limited supply.
Adnams Tally Ho, ABV 7%. It is a rich and complex barley wine which is matured for a year. There are hints of sherry and complex fruitiness. This one was available at every session and was in plentiful supply.
My favourite beers were a bit head strong and you could certainly tell that you'd had them once finished. They weren't as strong as some other beers (well barley wines) that were available such as the Museum at 10.2%, Humpty Dumpty No. 10 at 9.2% and the strongest one of the festival Warthog at c. 13.5%.
Whilst I did get to drink a half pint of the Humpty Dumpty No. 10 (I can't begin to describe the strong taste of this and I didn't like it) and a sample of the Museum (you can have a 'shot' sized taster before you buy) I did not get to try the Warthog.
I did try a fruity beer, a Krick which is a cherry beer but I found it absolutely foul and did not try any others.
I cannot comment on the ciders since I am not a cider drinker and did not indulge this year.
Unfortunately, queuing is a fact of modern day society and I am sure that I have read somewhere that the average person will queue for approximately 5 years in their entire life. So you've got to expect to queue regardless of the session attended or the time you actually get to the rooms.
Once it is moving the queue runs very smoothly and the maximum time we waited was 45 minutes. This was the Friday lunchtime session and this is traditionally busy as many people take the afternoon off work. We also arrived at 11.00 am, half an hour before the rooms opened,
The crowd control do a fantastic job of ensuring that the queue does not interfere with daily life and that shoppers, students (the venue is near the City Art College), workers and cars can pass easily.
The crowd control also prevents queue jumpers and those individuals who arrive later and finds a 'friend' in the queue to jump in with. One of my pet hates!
CAMRA members do not have to queue and can walk straight in.
Advance ticket holders enjoy the same benefit although advance tickets are only available for the Friday and Saturday night sessions! These are very busy and you are advised to get tickets for these nights since they guarantee entry. In past years I have walked past the rooms on a Friday night and there is still a large queue at 10 o'clock and those at the back have had no chance in getting in.
Getting the beer and payment
Once in the rooms you have to purchase a glass (unless you have already bought one with you) and some tokens. To speed this process up starter kits are available consisting of a pint glass with £5 or £10 of tokens. The glass costs £2.50 and considering this is a one-off for this year only (the design is changed every year) it is well worth it.
A half pint glass is available, although I am unsure how much these cost.
Drinks are paid with beer tokens and not cash. Whilst this is a great idea as the bar staff can serve quicker without having to faff about with change, it can be quite annoying since each token is worth 10p. That's right a measly 10p. This means that for an average priced half you have to part with 13 of them and they come in strips of 5.
As the session progresses it becomes more and more difficult to tear off the tokens and many of them start being ripped in half, or even more pieces. However, the staff are very understanding and will never reject a token.
A tip is to purchase a pint glass and buy half pint measures since you always get more than a half pint measure. For those alpha males who think that buying a half pint is not "manly" regardless of whether you can actually finish it or not need not worry since almost everyone drinks half pints unless they have found a favourite and are going to stick to it or it is something that is very popular and being consumed very quickly.
There are so many beers available and so many that I wanted to try I did not buy one single pint measure this year. I only drink real ales on occasions, like beer festivals, and as such I find it is a totally different beast to lager. I find real ale sits heavier and is a lot more potent than lager and half measures are more than enough.
Beer of the festival
Every year there is a beer of the festival competition. Throughout the week the drinkers are invited to vote for their favourite beer by writing down the brewery and the type on a sheet of paper and putting it in a ballot box. At the end of the week the votes are counted up and the "beer of the festival" is revealed on the Saturday night.
Other than people who work for the venue all other staff are unpaid volunteers that do the job for the love of it. They do get to drink whilst on duty and if they attend the festival on sessions where they are not working they can queue jump and will get free drinks but, in my opinion, this is the least they should get for doing such a great job.
The staff are really knowledgeable and are only too happy to recommend a suitable drink based on your taste requirements. This is good because being faced with so many barrels and not really knowing what to go for is daunting and many people make the mistake of buying beer with funny names or based on the strength and hence missing out on some great tasting ales.
If you find some beers in the same location then a good tip is to keep going back to the same member of bar staff. Always ask for their recommendation and have a bit of banter with them and you'll find the half pint measures get larger and larger and in some cases reach the dizzy heights of the pint line!
On the other hand if you upset a member of staff (like a girl in our group managed to do) then you'll find that the measures are as they should be and other people will be served ahead of you. DO this at your peril.
Despite the sheer number of attendees and the business of the event the atmosphere is chilled out and relaxed. I guess it follows the 'normal' speed of the sleepy Norfolk lifestyle.
There are security guards, used as crowd organisers, dotted about throughout the venue but they aren't really needed. I think they are only there to adhere to the strict health and safety requirements imposed on modern day society.
The diverse range of people who attend the beer festival never ceases to amaze me. If we are to "pigeon hole" then there are representatives of every social group, other under 18s, from suits to OAPs to hoodies etc, and whilst there is a distinct social divide on the streets this evaporates as soon as you set foot in the rooms.
Everyone is so friendly and chatty. Standing at the bar you get recommendations of what's good and what's not so good, as well as the beer connoisseurs swilling the glasses, smelling the content and commenting on the fruitiness or the oak smell. The only thing they don't do is spit any out which is good because buckets are not provided at this event!
I suppose it is the fact that everyone is there for the same reason - to taste beers from around the country, as well as German and Belgian bottled beers, that they would not usually get the opportunity to taste that creates the banter. In normal circumstances I don't like small talk but it is different at the beer festival.
As the sessions progress and the beers starts to run dry the attendees get progressively more and more tipsy. Despite the alcohol fuelled bodies and the gently pushing and shoving as people mill about there is no trouble whatsoever.
If the session was a typical clubbing night then the alcohol and testosterone would kick in and there would be brawls, fights and conflicts all over the place but not at the beer festival. You can actually make eye contact, and nod, without being accused of "trying to kick off". It is a really safe environment - which is good considering the security/crowd control are volunteers who are only there to sample the beers for free and avoid queuing to get in!
Food is served throughout every single session in the Black Friars Hall. The choices are not extensive but this is not a restaurant and the attendees are not here for an eating experience.
It does help to soak up some of the beer, enabling you to try more of the beers available and it does cure the inevitable munchies.
The food available includes cold items such as sandwiches, crisps and pastries as well as hot offerings such as hot baguettes (pork and beef), chilli and chips (with or without cheese), fish and chips, pie and chips or just chips (in portions of varying sizes).
Prices are inflated to a premium, as expected at events where there are captive audiences, but they are not as extortionate as some events I have been to.
As an idea, a hot baguette is £4.00, chilli and chips is £3.00 (£.50 with cheese), fish and chips is £4.50 and chips vary in price from 80p to £2.00 (depending on the portion size). The cold food prices are from £1.80 to £3.00 depending upon the specific requirements.
The chilli is highly recommended (if you like spicy food) and the portion sizes are very generous.
Entertainment of some kind is provided during every session.
The entertainment varies from the Matthews Norfolk Brass Band (who are very, very good) to the Mike Capocci quartet, to the Gallery String Quartet, to the Cromer Smugglers (a vocal group singing sea shantys) to a steel band.
In the absence of any external band the rooms will provide a pipe organist.
The entertainment is not actually needed but it is a nice touch and the fact that it is free makes it even better. Most of the time you can't hear the entertainment, unless you're right by the stage, as there is so much background noise in the rooms.
I couldn't finish this review without mentioning the smell of the rooms. Whilst at the start of the session the smell of real ales and ciders fill the nostrils, unless you are in the Black Friars Hall where the food is being served this smell changes as the sessions progress.
The smell of recycled ale becomes more and more prevalent, and I don't mean through vomit..... There is a distinct smell of gas and real ale is well known for creating flatulence.
A lot of people seem to find farting quite funny (myself included in the right situations) and you can find numerous farting competitions throughout the rooms. Whilst you'd think they would be young men (maybe I am stereo typing here?) they tend to be mixed sex groups of the older generation - 60 years plus.
Some times you need to go to the toilets to get a break from the smell!
Ok, so as a proper Norfolk girl I'm SLIGHTLY biased here- but I genuinely believe that Naaaridge is an amazing city.
I'm away from home living in Staffordshire for uni, and as much as I love it here, the main thing I miss is the accent! "Alright duck/ chuck/ shoog" (as in sugar) is a lovely greeting, but just doesn't compare with the Norfolk "Alroight moi daaaahlin?/ moi woman".
Also, nobody knows what a bishybarnaby is, something which disturbed me greatly as I naturally assumed it was just standard English for ladybird! When I'm on the train home between Nottingham and Norwich, I never feel happier than when a load of proper old Norfolk boys get on somewhere around Ely and start talking loudly nearby!
Secondly, it can be a bit chavvy. But so what? Chavs in Norfolk are nowhere near as scary as in some places. Even gangs like the last man standing and above the law are regarded as slightly threatening, but mostly with amusement.
Our football supporters are another plus point. I had no idea until I had the misfortune of sitting near some Stockport fans on a train how amazing ours our. First of all, they're loyal. They have to be. Yes, other teams may win a lot, and have the money to buy the best players. But by doing this, they're also buying supporters. Norwich supporters aren't glory hunters, they're just there supporting the team they supported when they were 5 years old and went to matches with their dads. And they don't generally get angry and stab people, which is always a bonus.
Also, mustard. And Bernard Matthews, although we no longer speak of him. The Puppet Man. The Castle. The Evening News. Delia Smith. Stacia Briggs. That guy off Anglia News who I see around a lot. Horatio Nelson, who went to my sixth form college (although we weren't in the same year... clearly). The emo's who sit on the haymarket. The impossible road to cross outside the trainstation and the dungeons and battlements tour that scared me when I was 7. So many things to love.
It's probably true when my grandparents tell me there's nothing in Norfolk for young people. But for me there'll always be a sense of really loving the place I grew up in.
So yeah, I'm biased. But Norwich: A roight foine city, hent et?
Norwich - Norfolk
Norwich - full of carrot munching farmers ooh arr, with tractor exhibitions and combine harvesters. Is this your view of Norwich?
Read on, and I hope to give you an insight into Norwich which will change your stereotypical opinion.
I live in Norfolk, and Norwich is the capital of the county. It is a "Fine City" don't you know? Well at least that is what the signs tell you as you enter the outskirts of Norwich.
Norwich is serviced by the A11, A47 and the A140 to name the major routes. As visitors to Norfolk will know much to their disdain, Norfolk doesn't have any motorways. Good for people who don't want to leave Norfolk, and bad for people who want to travel outside of this beautiful county! However it might be a clever ploy to retain people within the county.
Norwich is the home to over 50 national and regional headquarters and household names such as Norwich Union, Virgin, Unilever, Kettle Foods, KLM, Lotus, Archant to name but a few.
At one time Norwich Union (now AVIVA) boasted that it could provide a job for life for all school leavers in Norwich. This obviously isn't the case anymore, but most people around the Norwich area have probably worked for AVIVA at one time or another (I certainly have - in fact I met my now husband there!)
Norwich has its very own airport, yes Norwich international. There are flights daily to Schiphol airport in Amsterdam which then provides worldwide links. Flybe is one of those cheaper airlines which now has flights going to and from Norwich as well.
The UEA (University of East Anglia) can be found in Norwich, and this is one of the UK's top universities , with an international reputation for teaching and research. Just round the corner from the UEA is the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital Foundation trust, which is a pretty new hospital which was moved from the city centre to Colney. It plays an important role in the teaching and training of a very wide range of health professionals.
The UEA also has one of the highest graduate retention rates in the country, with over 40% of graduates from the UEA living and working locally. People just don't want to leave once they have lived in Norfolk!
One of the reasons might be the nightlife! Norwich was voted best city for student nightlife and is packed with bars and cafes. A riverside complex was built with numerous bars, and nightclubs also cinema and bowling alley. Other than that the tombland area of Norwich is good for clubs and bars, and there are a few tasty Spanish tapas bars, and Italian restaurants round here too.
Norwich city centre is very beautiful, there are over 1500 historic buildings within the walled centre, two cathedrals and a Norman castle to name a few. There are six theatres, including the Theatre Royal , and one of only two puppet theatres in England. The Norwich puppet theatre is currently surviving on emergency funding and the theatre has got enough to stay open until Easter 2009 - if you wish to donate any money the link is http://www.justgiving.com/puppettheatre
Recently we had the elephant trail in Norwich, which was brilliant. Fifty-Three elephants (not real ones) were decorated and placed on the streets around Norwich and people were invited to take part in the elephant trail where they went round with map and camera in hand finding all of the elephants.
The elephants have just been auctioned off and raised a staggering £203,000 to go towards their real life counterparts as well as children with cancer.
Norwich City Football Club, or the canaries, are they are known, are based in Norwich. In their time they used to be okay, and have won the league cup twice, in 1962 and 1985. They are currently in the Championship and play at Carrow Road. Delia Smith (well know TV Cook) is one of the majority shareholders in the football club.
Here are a couple of other fascinating facts that I have found through my research:
In 1878, the first commercial long distance call in the UK was made between Colmans Carrow Works and Canon Street in London (maybe that was why they never bothered building the motorways!)
Following the 'riot' of 1274, Norwich had the rare distinction of being the only English city to be excommunicated by the Pope (again, is this why we never got a motorway?)
So there you have it, Norwich isn't just about farmers and agriculture, I hope I have managed to inspire you to visit this "Fine City" and see some of her worthwhile sights. As long as you don't mind taking the scenic route on the dual carriageways...
INTRODUCTION Norwich is one of the biggest cities in East Anglia. Three hundred years ago, it was the largest provincial city in the country, and some still see it as the capital of East Anglia. It is situated in Norfolk, a county renowned for its scenic broads and unspoilt coastline. The city itself is served by several major roads, including the M11, A14, A12 and A140. The main city railway station is located to the south and is about 10 minutes walk from the main shopping area. Anglia Railways run services every 30 minutes from Norwich to London Liverpool Street, and Central Trains run services to Peterborough and the North (Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester). Norwich also has its own airport, with flights to over 300 destinations worldwide, including Amsterdam and Paris. HISTORY OF NORWICH Norwich has such a long history that it is impossible to do it justice in a few lines. I shall therefore concentrate on the main events which have led up to the current day. The city was first founded by the Anglo-Saxons. It was a vibrant place in the Norman period and soon became an important centre for trading. The city's Norman castle was built in 1067, and its magnificient cathedral almost 30 years later in 1096. Norwich was made a city in 1194 by Richard I. It remained an important trading city up until the 14th century, with 130 different crafts and trades. Then came the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. This caused vast amounts of damage to the city as fires swept through the Tudor timbered and thatched houses. There was subsequently a major decline in the city's industry. Refugees from the Netherlands were brought over to teach local weavers how to produce different types of cloth. Their presence meant that by the 16th century Norwich was beginning to prosper once again, and by the 17th century, Norwich cloth was transported worldwide. Since this time, the city has gone from strength to stren
gth. Breweries and maltings sprung up in the 18th century, and large companies like Norwich Union were set up. FACILITIES Norwich is home to an excellent range of shops. Much of the shopping area is completely pedestrianised, but St. Stephens is more like a typical high street, with names such as BHS and Marks & Spensers. The Castle Mall shopping centre is fairly new. It boasts everything from Virgin and Argos, to Boots and smaller boutiques. In recent years, Norwich has also seen the redevelopment of the Riverside area. This is now home to a whole host of retailers, including Morrisons, BigW, Argos and Boots, to name but a few. There are also varous nightclubs, a UCI cinema and new riverside apartments. As well as new shopping areas, Norwich has recently acquired a Millenium library, called "The Forum". It replaces the old library which was destroyed by fire in 1994. The building itself is very contemporary, and homes not only the library, but also BBC local Radio and television. Its prominent position over the main city centre means that it is always a popular sight for visitors. Norwich is also home to the University of East Anglia (UEA). There is an excellent sports park nearby which opened several years ago, housing an olympic sized swimming pool, athletics track and climbing wall amongst other things. Close by is the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. This is full of interesting works, with recent exhibitions on Art Nouveau and Brazilian art. OVERALL To conclude, I would say that Norwich is a charming city with something for everyone. It has built upon its vibrant past and continues to do so, both economically and socially. It is certainly a city with a very bright future.
Now, from the title it sounds as if I'm not impressed with Norwich doesn't it? Well, that's not the case. However, saying that, I'm not the other way inclined either. When it comes to agreeing with the signs that greet you from at least three separate points around the city, I can't. Apparently 'Norwich is a fine city'. I have no reason to doubt this, but since I've lived here for the last 28 years, I've nothing to compare life here in 'Naarridge' with. I?m remaining impartial. You have to admit .... The football team is crap though. But as I neither watch, or like the game, it doesn't really matter does it? Anyhoo ........ For those of you that fell asleep in Geography, Norwich is in East Anglia. And for those of you that don't know where East Anglia is, well, we are the sticky out bit on the right of the map of the UK. Unless of course you've got it the wrong way round, and then we are Wales!!! Picture life in 1066. And Norwich was one of the largest towns in England. Built on a, or is it in a, bend of the River Wensum, for defence purposes. In medieval times East Anglia was somewhat isolated by the marshes and Fenland. Of course, if getting in was a problem, so was getting out, and so for 800 odd years the river was the life line of the city, and one of the few direct links with the outside world. Throughout the years the city grew in prosperity and population, it boasted a Cathedral and a Castle and by the early 16th century it was the second city of England. Team point for anybody who knows what was the first?!? Today, cos I'm fed up writing about all that old stuff ~ always have hated History since I found out I wasn't learning about the Vikings for GSCE and had to do a war instead, I forget which ~ Norwich still boasts the Cathedral [of which my Father, a Coppersmith, helped to make and secure the gold cross on the top of the spire many
years ago. Not the first one mind you. He's old, just not that old!!] and the Castle. Although, things have changed for the honeycomb coloured building stuck on a mound stuck in the middle of the city centre. Once upon a time the castle was, well a Castle, but through the ages it?s also been a County Goal, but was converted to a civic museum in 1894. Oh many a childhood Saturday I spent trawling the rooms of that place. No, not because I was a precosious child, and enjoyed delving into the then [and if I'm honest, still] unknown. But because it was only 5p for entry and it was somewhere to spend the day for minimal spenditure but with maximum fun ~ I, we, were strange kids!! Frequently the Castle holds special exhibitions concerning Artists and their work. But normally sits on it's mound stuck in the middle of the city looking down it's shops, and business' and it's people and playing host to literally hundreds if not thousands [of which I can't understand. They have the world, or another part of it to see and they want to come to Naarridge?] of tourists a year. It is pretty much your run of the mill Museum. Stuffed animals, Mummy's, works of Art, China Bowls and, well, a lot of history. Oh, and a deep well! Doesn't stand up there in the list of 'noteable Museums' but it bodes Norwich, her people and her visitors well. If you fancy a visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/tourism/museums for more details. Of course, when a City has as much history as ours, don't be suprised to find that we have more than one Museum. In fact, we have several, well a few anyway, more. Although, as you can imagine, none so grand as the Castle. The smaller Museums offer a better insight to Medieval Norwich, and all you need to know about local trades and industries can be found at The Bridewell Museum located next to St Andrews Church in Bridewell Alley. If looking at old stuff really isn't your
thing, apart from keeping away from the Museums, I'd keep my eyes closed when walking around certain parts of the City. For the place is littered with old buildings and references to days gone by. The most notable of such streets is Elm Hill and Tombland. Situated a few moments walk from the Castle [a centre point for not only the City, but this op as well!] here you can walk upon the cobbled road, and let your mind wander back to many many moons ago. I admit, I love walking down this road. None of that namby pamby walking on the relatively flat and easier walking pavement for me. No siree, I risk life and limb in order to walk, or trip as the case usually is, along the cobbles. Imaging life several hundred years ago and wishing the stones could talk. Nowadays, the Hill plays host to small quaint shops, collectors offerings mainly, from Teddy Bears to old Coins and Stamps. Oh, and Antique shops feature heavily around that area too. I admit, again, that I often head down that way in order to catch a glimpse of Love~'Ian extremely gorgeous McShane'~joy, but of course, he was only here for one episode, and he doesn't really exist so understandably I've not come across him yet :( Another olde worlde street, this time one that offers nothing but a few dated buildings is King Street. Again, a few moments walk from the Castle. When the city was in it's infancy, this was one of the main streets in Norwich. Situated close to the River, it was a perfect location for merchants to set up home and sell their wares. As I said, the city is littered with buildings and small streets showing the heritage of the city. And of course, not forgetting the city wall. Now, and understandably, only noticeable in a few number of places. Chapelfield Road being the most prominent. Again, if only walls could talk. Somewhere, somebody has said that at one point, Norwich has a Church for every week of the year and a pub for every
day. This I don't doubt. Although, when Norwich turned in to a city of drinkers I don't know? However, I'm neither inclined or have the time to prove this statement wrong. But on turning almost every street corner in the city and finding a place to worship God or the over priced pint, I don't somehow feel the need. And the fact that brewing was one of the chief industries of the city for over two centuries kinda validates the comment anyway. Situated down by the Cathedral, tucked out of the way, and yet commanding a full staff to cope with the clientele is the Adam & Eve pub. One look at the outside and its claim to be the oldest pub in Norwich is viable. One step over the threshold and you have physically been transported to 1249 when the pub was first built. Reported to be haunted although we saw no sign when, with a group of friends I did a 'Ghost Hunt' one Halloween and was given this particular pub ~ The cleaner was the first sign of life we saw, human or otherwise, and gave us such a fright I dread to think what we would have if something had decided to visit that night! Any visit to the city is not complete without a drink, and or a meal, or even a little look, at this pub. To name pubs, that has over the years had the pleasure of my company, and the contents of my purse would turn into an extract from the Yellow Pages! Virtually teetotal now but not always the case. And what I like in a pub might not be what you want, and look for from a drinking hole. There are so many to choose from, if you don't like the one you're in, move on to the next. One thing for sure, you'll never be spoilt for choice. Now, I admit, I know nothing about Churches. Nor do I want to. However, I realise that a great many of you do, therefore ... Apart from the majestic presence of the Cathedral, in Medieval Norwich, there stood 57 Churches within the city walls. Today, 31 of them still exist. And if so inclin
ed, the city can also boast the fact that it still has more medieval churches than any other city in Western Europe. The older ones can be spotted by their perpendicular style and the fact that they have been built of local flint. The majority of the medieval Churches that remain are Christian, although only ten remain in use for worship. Norwich plays host to probably the finest example in the UK of Victorian ecclesiastical architecture in Early English Gothic style, the Catholic Cathedral Church of St John the Baptist As I said, Churches ain't my thing, but even I can appreciate this building. This building alone attracts many visitors during the year. For more details ... http://www.stjohncathedral.co.uk St Peter Mancroft .... Often mistaken for the Cathedral by visitors because of its size. It's the largest Church in Norwich. St Andrews .... The second largest in the city and another example of fine architecture, this time East Anglian ecclesiastical. St Giles .... This church boasts the tallest parish church tower in Norwich, standing at 120ft off the ground. Norwich is not known for its nightlife. Ok, so people might come from the surrounding towns and villages to 'get down and boogie' but it's through need [the need being to 'get down and boogie'] and not choice. Unless they want to head into Gt.Yarmouth there isn't anywhere else! Now, call me old and past it, but my clubbing days are over. Standing shivering waiting for a non existent taxi at 3.00 in the morning while the world is spinning and some thoughtful person [?] has moved the music into my head is no longer my idea of fun. However, if clubbing is your thing head for Tombland, Prince of Wales Road or the new complex on Riverside. Here you will find a myriad of pubs, clubs and yuppie wine bars [old news I know, but Norwich could never really be called 'up to date'!] All selling the same overpriced drinks
to the same non descriptive people that only go there in order to tell their friends Monday morning that they spent Saturday evening in Maximo's or The Slug and the Lettuce!! If yuppie wine bars don't float your boat, Chicago Rock Cafe, Ikon, Concept, the new Time, and various other venues offering drinking and dancing. They are all pretty much of a muchness. There is also an abundance of eateries around this area too. Prince of Wales road offers grub from all ends of the fast food spectrum. Starting from the Station end of the road we hit K.F.C followed by local franchises that offer Kebabs, baguettes, a Mediterranean 'Medina' restaurant [that is apparently to 'die for' ~ conversation over heard on bus one morning. Not that I'm in the habit of ear wigging you understand. The fact that she was speaking loud enough to tell the complete collection of city workers and shoppers that morning enabled my day to be better for knowing it!!! Oh and she also had time for 'a couple in Maximos' too. Purleese?!] a Chinese and a couple of Indians. If of course you are looking for some 'grubbage' and it isn't 2 o'clock in the morning, you are not slightly [ok, a lot] inebriated, and it doesn't have to be 'quick before the taxi gets here', there are several other restaurants to tempt the most fickle of palettes. Looking for expensive and swish ..... Try Adlards. Will kill your purse if not your appetite. From the amount of Mexican, Cajun and Burger type places we have situated in, and around Norwich, I'm guessing that somehow, somewhere we have hidden a whole sub city of our amigos that need feeding?? 'Fatsos', 'Ben & Jerry's', 'Chigago Rock Cafe' [all Prince of Wales/Riverside end of the city] or Zaks [2 of em within half a mile of each other!] Mambo Jambos or Pedros all offer basically the same and most at reasonable prices. Oh, and not forget
ting the obligatory McDonalds, Burger King, Bella Pasta [of which should most assuredly be kept away from] and Pizza Hut. If you want Italian, we have Italian, if you want Greek, we have Greek [just off Bridewell Alley ~ guaranteed the warmest of welcomes, the biggest of dishes, and the best of fun] we have Chinese, Indian [of which some have won local 'curry' based' awards] and if you look closely, we also have a couple of rather nice fish restaurants too. Now, apart from actually living in it, or rather living in one of its suburbs, the only reason I head into the city nowadays is shopping [and it really isn't that often anymore]. And while it serves 'country hicks' [in the nicest possible description you understand :)] from surrounding areas, with all the will in the world, Norwich will probably never find itself on the list for 'best shopping venues'. Oh don't get me wrong, it caters for the people [especially on a Saturday afternoon] and will give you all that you'll find on every other high street in every other town or city. But when you have been shopping in it for neigh on 12 ~ 13 years, Dorothy Perkins, Next, and River Island does tend to get boring. Boots, Argos, Woolworths and Marks & Spencers [of which I only go in if my Mother makes me anyway!!] become predicable. And shopping on a regular basis with a fistful of crisp ones result in me bringing home the said fistful minus the £3.00 that I dropped for the Caramel Macchiato that was consumed whilst sitting window side at Starbucks [again two of them within half a mile of each other??] watching the world, and my neighbours scurry by with their carrier bags galore and wondering what the hell they'd been buying. I admit, I'm fussy when it comes to clothes. And have, some would say, weird taste in attire too. As I type I've got my most treasured possession in the whole world [well not quite but I'd go back for them if the
house was on fire] on, my flowered Air Wear. Friends, family and people in the street laugh at, and hate them. I love em! Anyhoo, I digress. What I'm trying to say it that if you require the norm from a shopping experience in the 'fine old city of Naawridge', you'll be delighted. If you require something more, head southwards on the M11 and stop when you get to the 'big smoke' [for those that are not familiar with idodoyo speak .... big smoke = London [BABY!! ~ sorry, say London, hear Joey, can't help myself] Around 5 or 6 years ago, the powers that be of Norwich decided to dig a huge, and I mean huge, hole by the side of the Castle mound. And instead of filling it with water and planting a Nessie [or some other worthwhile city visiting ploy] they built a shopping mall. And here they filled it with pretty much the same shops that they have on the other main shopping thoroughfares in the city ~ St Stephens Street and Gentleman's walk. As I said, shopping is of the basic variety. Just recently, Riverside has been developed from what was once a total eyesore to 'an out of town albeit literally a 5 min walk out of town' shopping estate. It's new [well the buildings are anyway, the shops ..... well, you'll find the majority of them 5 mins back the way you've just come from] mildly exciting, and a way of passing the morning. The newest addition to the city is the new Library, The Forum, which you can find by the Police Headquarters and overlooking the Market Place. Built with several, several millions pounds its a big glass, metal, and stone monstrosity that now lives on the site of the previous Library, of which burnt to its grave one summers day about 4 years ago. Now that was a sight believe me. In order to pre empt my fellow 'Norwichites', or other frequent visitors and their comments, yes I know that I have missed things out. But in my defence if I l
ist and describe everything that the city has on offer, this op would be much, much longer than it already is And I'm sure that there are readers that have dropped off by now? So for the buildings, the services and other things that I have left out that mean something, or are considered to be worthy of a mention to my neighbours, I'm sorry! And just in case there are those of you that have been left wondering what I haven't considered important enough to add, I haven't mentioned the Mustard. The U.E.A. The Station. The Airport. The Theatre. The crap Canaries. Or any other various points of interest that I imagine you are now asking yourself ... 'Why did I leave that out?'. However, if you want to learn about these, head opwards to the Norwich category here on Dooyoo. Failing that head webwards to www.norwich.gov.uk where you'll find all manner of titbits to satisfy your lust for Norwichesque info. Right, well that's it for me. If I haven't quenched your thirst for knowledge about the city where idodoyou lays her hat [usually a Gap cap when she's having a bad hair day, or a multi coloured myriad of tassels and things that stick out when it's cold ~ That'll be 8 months of the year then!!] I've exhausted my inclination to inform you about it. If you find yourself in 'Naaawridge' in the foreseeable future, stop for a coffee [I totally reccomend the Macciato} and ponder upon the words of idodoyou. All 3079 of them. Sorry :) Norwich City Council City Hall Norwich NR2 1NH Tel: 01603 622233 Fax: 01603 213000 http://www.knowhere.co.uk/255.html Check out this web site for some excellent info on the city. This gives streetwise information and is no doubt a great help to the hundreds of foreign students that flood the city's streets during the summer months.
Please note, this is not a travel guide to Norwich and Norfolk, just some demented jottings from me, a long-time visitor. I live in West London, and my In-Laws live in Norfolk – therefore I go there quite often. Speaking to other people in my neck of the woods reveals that hardly any of them have been there. This set me thinking why this is, when Norfolk is relatively close to London, well, in distance at least. Travelling time is something else. Of course! – then it struck me - Norfolk sticks out into the sea. So what? I hear you cry. Well, this means that, like Cornwall, you are either going there to actually get there, or you’re not going at all. With the exception of some Essex and Suffolk dwellers, you don’t tend to pass through Norfolk to get anywhere else and this salient fact cuts down the number of people with any passing knowledge of the place at all. Norfolk is a big county – well it is if you live in the defunct Middlesex. It has borders with Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. If I’ve left any out, blame a) my reading glasses and b) my road atlas. Entering Norfolk from Suffolk, by driving along the M11/A11 route, Thetford is the first Norfolk town you come to (or by-pass, which is more likely the case). Even then, you’re still 30 miles from Norwich, and about another 30-odd from the north Norfolk coast. Norfolk’s relative insularity can be put down, historically at least, to the A11 and what a lousy road it used to be. It was almost like Norwich having a drawbridge called the A11 to keeps “foreigners” out. Over the years, I’ve seen the inevitable bypasses come “on-stream” one by one. Barton Mills, Red Lodge, Thetford, Attleborough, Wymonham, Cringleford, these were all places that I USED to drive through. In fact, a stranger to Britain might be forgiven for thinking that there are no towns in
between Hounslow where I live and Norwich for all the evidence there is. After all, I get on the M40, the M25, the M11 followed by the A11 - apart from “in cars”, where are all the people? The next stage will bypass Snetterton, which is fine by me. The hours I’ve wasted in queues on the Attleborough by-pass (only single carriageway) that are nothing to do with me, thanks to the Sunday Morning Market at the racing circuit are legion, so, dig on “moi booties” – it can’t be completed quick enough for me! Rail links are relatively quick, if you want to shuttle back and forth to London that is, since the line to Liverpool St. is electrified. Rail links to other destinations tend to be on those bloody awful 2-car Sprinter* things. Being a bit of a train fan, I once went from Norwich Thorpe to Birmingham New St, via Ely, Peterborough and Leicester on one of these efforts. It took over five hours thanks partly to the fact that it has to cross most of the main lines radiating northwards out of London, each crossing involving a lengthy wait either for coupling up to trains coming in from Ipswich (WOW, a FOUR car Sprinter) or just having to give priority to expresses passing through. It would ACTUALLY have been quicker to go down to Liverpool St., jog to Euston, and go back up to Birmingham from there! *Sprinter - Now there’s a misnomer! Perhaps it refers to the fact that if you run yourself, you’ll get there quicker. However, the awkwardness in getting there is offset by the feeling of being quite a long way from home when you eventually do get there, despite the fact that’s it’s not really any further than Birmingham is from London. Here is a largely rural county with its main city slap-bang in the middle – and what a great city it is. Even the “You Are Entering Norwich” sign, (as you deploy drogue-chutes and fire main ret
ro’s for re-entry from the dual-carriageway), tells you it’s a “Fine City” so I guess it must be. The city centre of Norwich has the good fortune to have been modernised just enough to be useful in a modern way without the old heart having been totally ripped out of it. The centre is dominated by the largest open-air market in Europe, and by the Castle Hill with its …err….Castle.. The famous Cathedral is a splendid structure, and no doubt familiar, at least in outline, to anyone with a CGNU insurance policy! If he weren’t dead already, I’d like to march Noel Cowerd at gun point to the top of Castle Hill, and say “Now, give me that ‘Very flat – Norfolk’ line again” Being the main town for miles around does at least mean that Norwich has a big branch of most of the High St stores, and Bonds, at department store in the John Lewis group. This is at variance to the London suburban experience, where you only tend to have access to smaller versions, unless you want to go to Oxford Street, that is. I do like cities that feel as if they are actually USEFUL to the people that live there. There’s only so much stripped pine and so many wind chimes that each house needs or has room for! Not being a shopaholic, I’ll leave any in-depth discussions on this subject to our pal Moose, who lives (and does the occasional bit of shopping) there! One thing I have noticed over a period of many years is the increase in the number of good quality cosmopolitan eateries to be found in Norwich. Time was when it used to have A Greek, AN Indian, A Chinese and so on. Competition can only be a good thing here, although I still feel that Norfolk’s culinary strength lies in the countryside pubs and restaurants. We went to one called Taps in Horning two nights ago, and it was excellent. The Ark at Erpingham is also great, especially for those ̶
0;push the boat out” occasions. P***-artists are also well catered-for, with a variety of real ale pubs, wine bars, some cosy, some “chrome-plated” modern. For those in search of history, Norwich has more than its fair share of old timber-framed buildings and cobbled side streets with less of the twee knick-knackery (candle shops, Beatrix Potter gift shops, shops that only sell olives etc) sometimes associated with spots like The Shambles in York or Bath (sorry York and Bath, you’ll now tell me you haven’t got any of those). Presumably, people living in cities like this go to Tesco’s/Sainsbury’s on the “ring-road” like the rest of us. Having a couple of rivers in the city centre all helps add to the atmosphere, and as you can guess, had led to a rash of waterside developments designed especially to p*** the locals off with bijou flats that mainly only outsiders can afford! Docklands comes to East Anglia. Of course, Norwich is NOT Norfolk, as the country dwellers are quick to tell you, as if you’d introduced Gomorrah into the conversation. Perhaps this is from where Noel Cowerd got his “flat” idea. Of course, around the Broads**, it has to be flat, otherwise they would have to flow up hill, which is great for Irish Water-skiing, but not much else. Even so, Norfolk doesn’t so much have hills as it undulates. ** Imagine the disappointment of all those wartime US servicemen who were told they were being stationed right next to the “Norfolk Broads” SO WHAT DO I LIKE ABOUT IT? Well, here in no particular order are a few bullet points. The moody tranquillity of an early morning walk around the reed-bound edge of Hickling Broad with nothing but the in-law’s dog and bird calls for company. It’s enough to make a lad buy a book on birds (and get a dog)! The genuine Christmassy f
eel of (no, not the bloody Bernard Matthews turkeys!) crisp biting winds and crunchy frost underfoot. Even here, snow isn’t a frequent feature, despite wind from the North Sea. Boxing Day on the beach at the aptly named Winterton - with that “Damned Dog” again! Saying Hallo to complete strangers, usually because DD is sniffing/biting/swallowing the genitalia of their dog! A pint (or three) of Woodforde’s “Norfolk Wherry”. In the words of Sam Weller, wherry nice!” The accent. Forget the Singing Postman, he was from Suffolk anyway. It's interesting to hear a rural accent with more glottal stops than there are "fevvers on a frushes froat". Therefore, it's not "moi booty" with a well-pronounced T, it's more “moi boo'y”, or at least that's the way my wife speaks. She could be having me on though. Crabs in Cromer, or should that be Craybs in Croomer, borr? Also place names are a hoot. My wife, a Norfolk girl (girl?) born and bred was looking for a village near Coltishall called Hautbois. She asked a local the way, much to his puzzlement after she attempted the "French" pronunciation. "Ah", he said,” You want Obboss!". By the same token Wymondham becomes Windham and Costessey is Cossey. My favourite is Happisburgh, which is pronounced Haysborough – you can almost hear the American tourists asking for Happy’s Burg. Doing something really tacky like buying a stick of rock in Great Yarmouth Putting my feet (briefly) into the North Sea at Trimmingham, and making a mental note not to do it again in October. The Crown at Smallburgh – nice landlord (Carl), nice fires, nice beer and Ruddles the cat. (We daren’t take the dog) Getting “fruity” with “Gel Shirley” on the till at the nearby farm shop, usually after a
“few” in the Crown. Spending hours in Latham’s (a popular bargain store) at Potter Heigham, and convincing myself that you can’t get this stuff in Poundland in Hounslow as I load the car up with “useful” tat! Of course, you could always go to the “largest village store in the country”, Roy’s Of Wroxham, which is really a small department store. Yes, Mr. Roy, why is it in Hoveton, not Wroxham? Also, if I’m brave/stupid enough to venture near the centre of Norwich at Christmas, I like to finish off my gift shopping there. It’s that kind of place. Generally speaking, I just like being there, particularly at Christmas, as you may have gathered. WHAT DON’T I LIKE? Getting there. Trying in vain to hear a local accent in Burnham Market. This seems to have taken on the role of Chelsea-Next-The Sea, if the number of antique shops and "Beemers" is anything to go by. The fact that given another 30 years, some of it may have been reclaimed by the sea, if government spending on sea walls is a guide on this. This will no doubt coincide with the completion of the dualling of the A11! Oh yes, and THAT man who always wears a trilby hat and drives an H-Reg (from the first time round) Austin 1300 very slowly in front of me. How does he know where I’m going to be next?
I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about the wonders of Norfolk and all the great things there are to do around there whether you live there or just visit for a city break as I do whenever I get the chance. (by the way was the title catchy hee hee) Norfolk is only an hour and a half drive for me from London and it is amazing how much things can change in such a short journey and it is not long before you are driving past fields and animals gazing to the great amusement of my three year old daughter who always gets really excited when she knows we are on our way to the cottage which is in a small village called Castle Acre where there is a really great old Abbey which for the grand sum of £1.50 you can take a wander around inside the remaining intact part of the building and the history really does hit you and you can imagine what it must have been like for all the monks that had ever lived there. Just a 5 minute walk away is the old ruins of the Castle which at one point was connected to the Abbey and the very old church which is in the centre of the village the church is located in the village and is still used for service today. Once you have worn yourself out walking around the village and Abbey you have a choice of a Tea shop, pub x2, Local shop and post office to take in refreshments or buy a wee reminder of where you have been be it a beautiful picture painted by a local artist or a tacky monk key ring. After a while and for us loads of visits the village can become a little boring so that is when we take to the coast there are loads of beaches all within 30 mins drive of Castle Acre but my favourite has to be Brancaster Beach with it’s long beach and a tide that goes way out it is ideal for letting the little ones run off and search for beach treasures and no matter where they are you will be able to see them(caution always taken of course). If you have a dg this beach is ideal as there are no anima
l restrictions so you can let it off to have a huge run and therefore minimising the amount of work you have to do if your that lazy. Another really good beach is Hunstanton which is much more commercial and the kids will love it here much more with a fair and stalls all along the beach front with plenty of shops to buy all those beach day things such as buckets and spades yes we even go in the winter just wrap up warm and you can still have loads of fun. Also in Hunstanton you have the Sealife Centre which costs about £5.00 for children and £10.00 for adults yes a bit steep but it really is a great centre with rays you can stroke and seal feeding not Plenty of little cheap gifts in their gift shop to make up for the expensive entry fee plastic fish etc etc. Blakeney is famous for it’s crabbing and for those who do not know crabbing is an old aged and fun way to fish simply take some old meat bacon is best tie it to the end of a line and dangle it over the harbours edge and wait for the crabs to bite then haul them in put them in a bucket of water and see who can catch the biggest, don’t forget to release them when you leave. For £2.50 you can buy a line in any of the local shops and away you go, also Balcony is well known for it’s fishing boat trip’s to see the seals on a nearby island a great treat for the kids and I am sure you will love it as well. For those who start to miss the big city and most of all shopping you can drive to Norwich Town Centre in about 30 minutes and then you will have all the shops your heart could desire mixed in with a beautiful old town with many of the original buildings still standing and being used as shops etc. A must if you go into Norwich is the market square which is always packed with all kinds of market stalls from clothes to butchers and cheese sellers a real treat and the ideal place to buy the ingredients for a lovely dinner. For those who are on h
oliday and feel they don’t want to cook you have a huge choice of restaurants and coffee shops and if you are staying in Castle Acre which is just outside Swaffam then the Pub in the village called the Ostrich sells a brilliant sit down meal of fish and chips but the menu will cater for all tastes and a meal for two would set you back about £30.00 including a bottle of wine and desert/coffee. I have only told you about a small part of a big place but these are by far my favourites and I would strongly recommend Norfolk for a city break or even summer holiday.
‘A Fine City’ the welcome boards say as you enter Norwich. Having lived no further than 15 miles away from Norwich my whole life (sad isn’t it!) I wanted to try and bring this fine city to others attention. LOCATION Norwich is the county administrative centre for Norfolk, situated on the east coast of England (you know the bit that sticks out of the side!) It is approximately 120 miles north of London. Main roads into Norwich are the A11, A47 and A140. PUBS Yep, important bit first! Norwich has a wealth of pubs – it has been said that there are enough pubs to visit a different one every day of the year and still have some left over (I haven’t tried it yet, but if anyone wants to take up the challenge please feel free.). There are many situated in the main city centre as well as those on the outskirts. They range from ultra-modern to theme pubs to small, country style – something for everyone. Popular places for a drink are the Rat and Parrot in the city centre, along with Seamus O’Rourkes and Finnegans Wake. PLACES TO EAT Again, more wide variety. As well as the usual fast-food outlets there are many different places to eat in Norwich. If you are out for a high quality meal, try Adlards, the city’s only Michelin-starred restaurant. If Mexican is your thing, there is Pedro’s in the middle of Chapelfield Gardens (but beware the deep-fried jalapenos!). Good American style food can be found at Fatso’s, or for pizza in a relaxed atmosphere there is Pizza One, Pancakes Too in Tombland. One of my favourites is the Waffle House on St Giles Street, freshly baked waffles with delicious savoury and sweet toppings – lovely! Whatever you fancy, there is sure to be something to suit your tastes. SHOPPING Much of Norwich’s shopping area is pedestrian. The main area in Gentleman’s walk has a range of usual high street stores together
with the famous covered market – the largest in the country. Castle Mall boasts a variety of stores on 4 levels. If you’re looking for something different, try the cobbled streets of Elm Hill for some interesting shops. There are also several out-of-town retail parks, good for furniture, electrical goods and the like. All the major supermarkets have a presence in the city along with some of the newer discount stores such as Aldi and Lidl. ENTERTAINMENT The Theatre Royal plays host to a variety of top shows – recent productions have included West Side Story and Dr Doolittle. There are 2 multiplex cinemas as well as Cinema City – a smaller cinema showing less commercial films. Nightlife is plentiful with a range of clubs. FOOTBALL If you are a football fan, Norwich is probably not the place for you! The Canaries are our local team and are currently riding high in Division One (oh for the heady days of our triumphs in Europe and particularly that glorious win against Bayern Munich). Currently owned by Delia Smith and managed by Nigel Worthington, the team are doing far better so far this season than they usually do (that should put the kiss of death on them!). CULTURE Norwich boasts a wonderful castle which has recently been renovated. A tour round the castle is a great way to pass an afternoon – you can wander round all the exhibits in the museum, take a guided tour up to the battlements or down to the dungeons. There is also a beautiful cathedral and a wealth of churches (almost as many churches as pubs I believe). There is a large new library which has just been opened after the last library was burnt down some years ago. The Sainsbury’s centre at the University of East Anglia holds regular exhibits of art. ACTIVITIES If you are after a bit of action, there are 2 ten-pin bowling alleys. Swimming can be found at the Aquapark or the new swimming pool at the Univ
ersity of East Anglia. There are many gyms in and around the city if you fancy a workout or a game of squash. CHILDREN There is plenty to keep the children occupied. The Inspire Hands-on Science Centre is well worth a look. The Puppet Theatre has regular performances. There is an indoor soft play centre at Brewsters, just on the edge of the city. WHERE TO STAY The two main hotels in the city are the Hilton (next to the airport) and Sprowston Manor (which also boasts a golf course). Just outside the city is Dunston Hall, another hotel with a golf course. Smaller hotels include the Nelson, the Jarvis and the Posthouse. There are numerous places offering bed and breakfast accommodation. WHAT'S NEW The Riverside area of Norwich has recently been redeveloped and is now a thriving area. it boasts clubs and bars, restaurants, shopping, a cinema, ten-pin bowling and much more. Slightly out of the main city centre, it is well worth a look. EMPLOYMENT The major employer in the city is Norwich Union (now CGNU). Another big employer is Richard Branson, courtesy of his Virgin Direct services, whose headquarters are in Norwich. ACCESSABILITY This is unfortunately where Norwich falls down a bit. There is no motorway access to Norwich. The roads round here are fairly hopeless and a drive into Norwich can be fairly fraught. Once in the city, parking is reasonable and there are 4 park and ride schemes to help ease the flow of traffic. There are good rail links with London – a journey from Norwich to Liverpool Street takes about 2 hours. Norwich also has its own airport which is continually increasing both the number of flights and the number of destinations. LANGUAGE Now, this can also be a problem. Many people are familiar with the Norfolk dialect, but for some it can come as a bit of a shock! The true Norwich accent can be slightly different from the Norfolk one, b
ut to save confusion here are some ideas to help you through. Rood – pronounced as in hood, not as in food. This is what you drive on. Bootiful – Anyone who has seen the Bernard Matthews ads on TV probably thinks they know how to say this. Bernard Matthews cannot speak Norfolk. Anyone from Norfolk will tell you there is no ‘t’ in bootiful. Boar – not a wild pig but anybody of the male gender. Lorn Mar – what you use to cut your grass Get the idea? Listen carefully and you will be fine! ANYTHING ELSE? Norwich is conveniently located for the coast – the resorts of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth are only around 30 minutes drive away. There are lots of tourist attractions in Norfolk and most are within easy reach of Norwich. For more information on Norwich, phone the tourist centre on 01603 666071. VERDICT Ok, I’m biased but I think Norwich is great! It has something for everyone and is very friendly. It may not be the most cosmopolitan place in the country, but it makes up for it in so many ways. Well worth a visit.
I was brought up and lived in norwich for 17 years, it was a great place to live, but now i have moved to ipswich (i know help me someone please!!!). I just wanted to make sure all those horrible sterotypes of norfolk people go. When I lived in norwich, I never met a turkey farmer infact i never met a farmer. We are not all carrot crunchers. Norwich has many parts to it. You have the new riverside development and you have some older places too. The castle is the best place to learn about the history of norwich. If you go to the top of the castle you can see for miles and is a nice view. Norwich has two cathedals (sorry my brain isn't exactly tuned into spellings), you have the catholic cathedral and the roman catholic cathedral. The catholic cathedral is situated in the centre of norwich near tombland (where hy's and icon is). The roman catholic cathedral is on Earlham Road. Norwich has many different places to shop. We have the old market place, which also has a row of shops with little roads coming off that. If you walk down towards marks and spencers you will pass Next. Outside Next is where all the skateboarders hang out. You then have the castle mall. This is popular with the teenagers. There is also the main high street which contains the regulars such as woolworths and bhs. There is a lot more to norwich than most people think. There is plenty to do for all ages. There is the new skatepark, megazone, bowling alleys, cinemas, shops, theatres, parks, the football ground, museam, plus much more. I think that Norwich is a place that everyone should go to as it isn't like everything thinks it is. Everyone is not a farmer. These stereotypes need to be got rid of. Norwich is a great place to live with a good bus service.
It was the writer George Borrow who coined the term “a fine city” which Norwich has adopted as its welcome sign around the city. “A fine city whichever way you look at it”, and he was right. The earliest known settlement of Norwich dates back to the days of the Anglo-Saxons although there was limited Roman habitation in the area before that. A ‘wic’ was a settlement that had river access to the sea and one of the city’s earliest settlements sat on the north edge of the River Wensum. Thus we get ‘north wic’ from which the name Norwich is derived. The river, while not the commercial trunk of the city that it once was nevertheless remains a major part of what makes Norwich ‘a fine city’. Norwich has a magnificent gothic cathedral, not too dissimilar to Salisbury’s, that dates back to the Norman occupation of the city. It was the Norman’s who really turned the city around and made it a major power base in the region for centuries to come. In the grounds of the cathedral rests the body of Edith Cavell, the nurse who was executed by a German firing squad for alleged spying activities in the First World War. A statue stands in her memory just outside the main gates. Inside the ground stands a statue to Admiral Lord Nelson, the great British naval hero who was born in the region. Just outside the cathedral gates is a large pedestrianised area known as Tombland. This name is derived from its earlier name, the Tooms. This is not, as you might think, an area where once a giant graveyard sat, but in fact the Anglo-Saxon term for a marketplace. Tombland is indeed where the market tradesmen used to assemble to sell their wares. These days it is home to a number of pubs, coffee bars, cafes and restaurants, the cosmopolitan area of the revitalised city centre. The marketplace meanwhile is now assembled permanently in front of the City Hall where plans are currently
being drawn up for its renovation. A few years ago, disaster struck the city when fire claimed its major public library, burning it to the ground. Since then work has been underway to renovate the area and the city is soon to be blessed with a new public library centre called the Forum. It was conceived as part of the city’s millennium celebrations and should be open for business later this year. By August, another major landmark in the city, the Castle Museum, will be reopening its doors after a major refit lasting over a year. We are promised a stunning new museum aimed at competing with the very best in the country. Under the new administration, the museum will be in partnership with the Tate Britain to house regular artistic exhibitions. The castle itself, which is over 900 years old, is of classic Norman design and remains largely intact save for a few more modern extensions here and there. It sits on top of a hill flanked by recently sculpted parkland underneath which is the Castle Mall shopping complex. The architects’ ands builders have done a marvellous job of landscaping and designing so that the complex is largely unseen above ground, instead giving the city a beautiful piece of parkland which sets the castle off stunningly. The Mall has grown to house a number of big name stores and independent traders. All of this has brought other traders into the city occupying the surrounding areas giving the city a lively, cosmopolitan air. Norwich has its problem areas like any other city of course. Chief among these is the deplorable state of public transport. Thorpe Station is the terminus for Anglia Railways which has done a very good job of revitalising the local network and the station itself is of civic pride since its recent refurbishment. The bus service however is not in such good shape with rising prices, ever-changing local services and, believe or not, no Bus Station since Norwich Union sold off the lan
d on which the old one stood. This is a great shame as it prohibits the flow of people coming into and out of the city. All efforts now seem to be concentrated on an ever-growing park-and-ride bus service which though commendable does not service the needs of everyone in the city, or out of it for that matter. Norwich is attracting a number of gyms, health and sport centres that cater for the majority of tastes. It also has several cinemas, big and small showing all kinds of films. Many of these including a proposed new swimming complex, are housed in the new Riverside complex around Thorpe Station. And there are a large number of pubs and restaurants catering for a wide variety of tastes and international cusine. The majority are also very reasonably priced. The city also has a large number of B&Bs and hotels, one of the biggest of which, the Hotel Nelson, sits right opposite the railway station by the river side. And for the nightbirds, there are a wide number of clubs and bars in the area to keep you swinging through to the early hours. Too often Norfolk gets short shrift due to a perception of it being a land of carrot crunchers and yokels. This does both Norfolk and the city of Norwich a great disservice. They are home to American servicemen from the nearby US air bases, a variety of people of different nationalities, many students who come for the excellent facilities offered by the nationally acclaimed University of East Anglia, and many Londoner’s who seem to enjoy settling down in the region. It is true that people don’t pass through Norfolk, they have to be coming here as the county is slightly ‘off the beaten track’. It is however a visit worth making and Norwich can rightly take pride in its claim to be ‘a fine city’.
Norwich - set in the heart of Norfolk - is one of the Country's finest cities. Quickly growing in business and leisure, it attracts thousands upon thousands of people each year for different reasons. Here are just a few. SHOPPING ******** Well, this is probably one of the main reason people come here! For women, anyway! I'm not a lover of shopping myself, but even I enjoy wandering around the stores and little shops around the city. The shopping mall is a good reason in itself to go to Norwich. It's all undercover, and is easily accessible to disabled people. Car parking is ample, at a reasonable rate, and numerous entrances and exits are peppered throughout the mall. There are loads of shops, from high street names to little toy stores. The market, in the heart of the city, is so big, it will take you a good while wandering up and down the isles. This is a good meeting point with plenty of food and drink outlets, along with the fruit & veg stalls, herbal remedies and other lovely stalls. There is a part of Norwich where you will think you are going back in time. Where St Andrew's Church is, there are cobbled lanes with little shops like art and craft, teddy bears, stamp collecting shops, and little cafe's. ENTERTAINMENT ************* For entertainment, there are loads of things to choose from. The Castle is one good reason. This is where people used to be imprisoned and beheaded. At selected times, you can view where the people were incarcerated, along with a walk up to the top of the Castle, where you can see almost all of Norwich. There are cinema's, pubs, clubs and restaurants galore in Norwich, you will never get bored here. The cathedral is a lovely place to visit. Although it's free to enter, they do ask for a donation. It's such a peaceful place, and extremely beautiful. THE BROADS ********** The Norfolk Broads are widely known for its peacfulness and tran
quil surroundings. Hiring a boat can be done by the hour, day, or longer. Hire a small or large boat, depending on the number of your crew. A day on the broads is truely wonderful! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Norwich train station isn't too far a walk from the city itself, and a taxi is always at hand. Trains to and from Norwich are regular, and an easy form of travel. I love Norwich. It's pretty, lots of shopping and fun to be had, and over the years, has certainly bettered itself compared to how it used to be - especially since the shopping mall has been built! Anyone who has visited Norwich will agree - it's a fine city!
Norwich is the biggest place and the only city in Norfolk and East Anglia. It’s a City that is improving all the time and major new developments are making Norwich more popular, just a shame there isn’t much development with the football club! Norwich is a reasonably big UK city but not hugely populated, (only around a quarter of a million live here ) not even the famous Delia Smith decided to settle here. In recent years the development outside the football club has been poor, but new building such as the massive Morrison’s supermarket and the new 14 screen cinema. New blocks of flats will also arrive soon. I would recommend going to Norwich in the area outside the football club, as many other areas are not highly developed for young adult entertainment. The Squares club is hugely popular amongst my family in Norwich and they go there all the time. I have also been there once or twice and enjoyed myself. Just a stones throw away from these new developments you have The Nelson hotel, one of the best in Norwich. I stay there with my Mum and Dad all the time when we go to see Norwich play football and see family, because they are only a short walk away. Another new restaurant is Frankie and Benny’s, but I wouldn’t recommend it as the service is very poor and the food is limited. Now, let’s talk about the city centre. Not as new as the other parts of Norwich I was talking about. It looks very sort oldie worldly. Some of the buildings need a coat of paint. You would instantly think this. The Castle Mall is a very nice shopping centre and has many great sports shops and computer stores. Just outside the mall you will find hundreds of excellent shops and stores that you can shop from. Norwich is not always regularly visited by tourists and considered a place worth visiting, but I assure you, if you have never been to Norwich, you are missing out on a great place to visit. Norwich has some major companies such as Anglia
television, who supply regional coverage for quite a large part of England, the fruit drink Robinson’s, Colman’s Mustard and of course, the UK’s biggest insurance company, Norwich Union, on Surrey Street. I would only really recommend this place for a weekend or a week at most, as it can get rather boring. You might also want to go on the boat outside The Hotel Nelson, which takes you up the river Wensom and into the beautiful countryside of Norfolk, not exactly for the youngsters. I went on it when I was 12 and I was bored stiff. Definitely give it a try if you have the time and enjoy the countryside!
Only joking, you might see some tractors on your way to Norwich, but I very much doubt you will see one in the city! Norwich is the unofficial 'capital' of Norfolk. It's a city with an amazing history, with plenty of shops, clubs, bars and many places to visit. I live in the quiet town of Lowestoft, about 35 miles from Norwich. It's the closest city to where I live, so naturally I visit there all the time. I have decided to break this opinion into tiny pieces so you can read it easily: INTRODUCTION Norwich is a very clean city in comparison to most. It has a river running through it, therefore attracting tourists by boat off the Norfolk Broads. The river attracts vegetation and animals, you'll notice that Norwich isn't a typical city in that there is a lot of trees and plants, etc. GETTING THERE/TRANSPORT Norwich has it's own airport (see my opinion) and has reasonably good access from the midlands via the A47 and London by train or by the A14 via Cambridge or by the A12 via Lowestoft. They have an excellent bus service running within the city too, so it's really easy to move around within it. SHOPPING Norwich has a relatively huge shopping centre. You'll find most of the major shopping chains here, but also many smaller independant retailers. Norwich has it's own market too, which is very big and very popular. Thee are two main roads that form the basis of the shopping centre, they are Gentlemans Walk and St. Stephens Street. ATTRACTIONS Norwich has mainy smaller attractions, but its main feature is the focal point of Norwich, which is the Castle. It is on a big mound right in the centre of the city, it has been converted into a museum, that is open all year round. You can even go down into the dungeons which is great. In 1995, the mound on which the castle is located was excavated into a massive shopping centre called the cast
le mall. This is an experience in itself and a monument of a place to visit. Other attractions include, a sports centre, bars and coffee shops, the football ground, boating on the broads and the river and walking through its various well-looked after gardens. NIGHT LIFE Norwich has an ever expanding night life, with a new nightclub being opened everyday (not really but it seems that way). The main road from the train station to the city centre (called Prince of Wales Rd.) hosts a few clubs. Leading from that road goes to Anglia Square, this area has another collection of clubs to visit too. All in all the nightlife in Norwich is great, and is always getting better. The newest club in Norwich is called Time and is situated next door to the train station, its worth going too. Well, I have almost written a books-worth of text here, so I think i'll stop now. I hope this opinion is of some use to you, if not now but maybe in the future.
Norwich has turned into one of the best places to come for a holiday, or a day trip, or simply just for a few hours shopping. The shopping mall has plenty of shops and restaurants in to suit everyone's needs. The market, itself, is big and undercover with a whole range of different stalls to browse round from herbal remedies to pet stalls and the usual fruit & veg and pet stalls. The Castle Museum is a must to visit, and is situated, on a huge hill. There are guided tours at specific times where you can visit the dungeons and the roof top where you can see view almost the whole of Norwich. Or you can look round the Castle in your own time. The Cathedral you must visit when visiting Norwich. Situated in Tombland (not far from Anglia TV studios), there's wine bars, restaurants and cafes for you to relax in. Not forgetting the river that runs through Norwich, you can hire boats for an hour, day, week or whatever you wish for the whole family to enjoy. Walking down Elm Hill is like visiting the old part of Norwich. Walking on the cobbled lanes there's quaint little shops and cafes which I'm sure you will enjoy. Norwich is a pleasant city to visit which will leave you with plenty of happy memories.