It's been announced that Taylor Swift is to play her first UK festival show in Norwich, as part of Radio 1's Big Weekend, which will take place on 23-24 May, 2015.
Tucked away in the East of England, the quaint city of Norwich can often feel like a forgotten gem of weekend travellers. Norwich is filled with arts, culture, and a great places to eat. Less than two hours from London this medieval city is a mecca for independent shops, history, and literature.
Norwich has a lot to offer - it's not just about Alan Partridge. It’s an easy train or bus ride from London and transports visitors into a quieter time. The people are friendly, the shops are unique, and the buildings are picturesque. It might just be time to take a trip to the East of England.
The best places to visit in Norwich
The best places to visit in Norwich
1/6 Medieval market place
The city is famous for its vibrant medieval market place in the centre. Founded in the eleventh century, the market is a long standing tradition and trademark of Norwich. Brightly coloured stalls beckon tourists into this eclectic shopping experience. There is something for everyone. Venders include an olive oil shop, a few fish mongers, a flower shop, and even an underwear stall!
2/6 Norwich Cathedral
Once the market gets you in the mood for the medieval experience head over to Norwich Cathedral. One of twelve Norwich heritage sites, it boasts of having the largest and debatably most beautiful cathedral close in all of England. The extensive cathedral grounds are free to enter and include a Japanese Garden, Labyrinth, and Herb Garden. Inside, the Cathedral visitors will experience nearly 1,000 years of history and take in some of the best Romanesque and Gothic architecture in the region. Make sure to check out the Cathedral website for “what’s on”. The cathedral is host to music nights, lectures, and candle light choir recitals.
3/6 River Wensum
On a nice spring day there is nothing more pleasant than a walk along the River Wensum. Visitors can pick up a river trail at the back of the Cathedral close. Make sure to check out Pulls Ferry, a fifteenth century watergate, and favourite hide out for swans. If you travel to Norwich between May and September don’t miss tea time at the top of Pulls Ferry. This tea shop is volunteer run by the Girl’s Guide organisation on Saturdays, and sells homemade tea and cake for £1. The quaint experience is like something out of the Midsommer Murders. If you are out with children, keep an eye out the river’s wildlife — there is rumoured to be otters!
4/6 Belgian Monk
Are you ready for a pint? Check out the Belgian Monk for some of the best Belgian beers. Located in the heart of historic Potter Gate Street, the pub has a warm and homey atmosphere. The beer list is extensive, specializing in Belgian brews — watch out, many of these delicious beers have a higher than average alcohol content. Check out the cookie flavoured beer for a unique experience.
5/6 The Bicycle Shop
Hungry? Try out The Bicycle Shop. No, it does not sell bicycles, but it does sell some yummy food. Inside, it feels a bit like customers are stepping into a forgotten attic that just needed to be explored. Each table is fitted with a long stem candle that sits in a wine bottle or water jug creating intimate mood lighting. There are also extensive vegetarian and gluten free options. Try out the mouth-watering falafels, sure to impress. Main course prices range from £7.95-10.50. If you are looking for night time events The Bicycle Shop has literary readings and music on several days of the week.
6/6 The Book Hive
Norwich prides itself on its independent shops and restaurants. One of the best hideaways is The Book Hive, an independent book store rumoured to be a favourite of Stephen Fry. The bookshop has a large selection of new and local East Anglian authors. Owned and run by writers and artists, there is always someone to ask for a recommendation. Check out the website for upcoming events before coming. This store is known for hosting book launches and author readings.
Tim Jokl, Flickr