things to do norwich

Last Updated on: 21st June 2024, 07:36 am

In this article, I will guide you through the best things to do in Norwich, UK. If you’re planning a trip to Norwich, you’re in for a treat as this charming city has plenty of exciting activities and attractions to offer. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an art lover, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. From exploring historic gems to immersing yourself in cultural hotspots, Norwich offers a variety of experiences that will ensure a memorable visit. Follow my guide and discover the top things to do in Norwich to make the most of your trip.

With its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant culture, Norwich is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of the UK. So, let’s get started on our journey to explore the top things to do in Norwich, UK.

Things to Do in Norwich

1. Visit Norwich Cathedral

Norwich Cathedral is an awe-inspiring historic landmark, steeped in fascinating history dating back to the 11th century. The stunning architecture and intricate details of the cathedral are a testament to the skilled craftsmen who built it.

Inside, visitors can explore the vast nave and transepts, admire the stunning stained-glass windows, or light a candle in the serene Lady Chapel. Don’t miss the iconic spire that dominates the Norwich skyline and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

A guided tour will give visitors a unique insight into the cathedral’s rich history and its significance in the local community. It’s also possible to attend a service or concert in the cathedral, adding to the authentic and immersive experience.

Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, Norwich Cathedral is a must-see attraction that should be on any traveler’s itinerary.

Norwich Cathedral Facts

Category Details
Architecture Norman and Gothic style; 315ft spire
History Built in 1096; currently a Church of England cathedral
Features The largest cathedral close in England; beautiful stained-glass windows, including the famous Jesse Window; the stunning Bosses
Events Regular services, concerts, tours, and exhibitions
Location The Cathedral Close, Norwich NR1 4DH

“Not only is it an incredible testament to the faith which built it and the people who have worshipped in it for nearly a millennium, but it also stands as one of the great pieces of medieval art that we have in this country.”

– Prince Charles on Norwich Cathedral’s importance to British heritage.

2. Explore Norwich Castle

If you’re looking for a true piece of history, Norwich Castle is an excellent choice. Originally constructed in the 11th century as a royal palace, this grand fortress was repurposed as a prison before becoming the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery.

The castle’s exhibitions offer a fascinating look into Norwich’s past, with displays covering the city’s Roman roots to its medieval era and beyond. You can also discover the castle’s many uses over the centuries, including its role as a scholastic center and an air raid headquarters during WWII.

One of the highlights of your visit will undoubtedly be the Castle Keep, which offers panoramic views of the city like the tallest castles in York. The Children’s Discovery Area is sure to be a hit with young ones, while the on-site café provides a spot to take a break and enjoy refreshments.

Whether you’re a history buff or just want to take in some stunning architecture and art, Norwich Castle is a must-see destination.

Norwich Castle

The Norwich Castle at a glance:

Opening hours 10:00 am to 4:30 pm, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Ticket prices Adults: £9.90, Concessions: £9.40, Children (4-18): £8.50, Under 4: Free
Address Castle Hill, Norwich NR1 3JU
Contact Telephone: 01603 493625, Email:

Make sure to check the website for any updates to opening hours, as seasonal changes may apply.

3. Wander through the Norwich Lanes

When I’m in Norwich, one of my favourite places to visit is the charming Norwich Lanes. This historic area is famous for its independent shops, cafes, and boutiques, each with its own unique character. Walking through the narrow streets is a treat in itself, as the beautiful architecture and vibrant atmosphere delights the senses.

As you stroll through the Norwich Lanes, you’ll find a variety of shops selling everything from second-hand books to handmade jewelry. Take your time to browse through these unique stores and discover hidden gems you won’t find anywhere else. The shops are perfect for finding souvenirs and gifts to take home, too.

After you’ve worked up an appetite, visit one of the many cafes or restaurants in the area for a delicious meal or snack. The Norwich Lanes offer a diverse range of food and drinks, from traditional English breakfast to exotic dishes from around the world. Don’t forget to try some of the local delicacies!

Finally, take the time to explore the hidden courtyards and alleyways in the Norwich Lanes. These are often overlooked, but they hide beautiful gardens and quirky shops that are worth discovering. You never know what you might find!

Norwich Lanes

“The Norwich Lanes are a true hidden gem, filled with unique shops, delicious food, and hidden courtyards. A must-visit for anyone travelling to Norwich.”

4. Visit the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

If you’re a lover of modern and contemporary art, then the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts should be at the top of your list. It’s located on the campus of the University of East Anglia, making it convenient to combine your artsy visit with a stroll through the beautiful campus.

The gallery showcases a broad collection of art, with pieces ranging from sculptures to abstract paintings. You’ll discover an extraordinary presentation of works by major artists such as Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, and Henry Moore.

Don’t forget to take the time to explore the exhibitions thoroughly. They’re constantly changing, so there’s always something new to discover. Additionally, check out the gallery’s events and workshops, which are designed to inspire your creativity and enhance your knowledge of modern and contemporary art.

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

“The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is an excellent place to enjoy contemporary art. There’s always something new and exciting to see, and it’s a perfect spot for visitors of all ages and backgrounds.” – Mary Smith

5. Enjoy a Leisurely Boat Tour on the River Wensum

When it’s time to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, a relaxing boat tour on the River Wensum is just what you need. This stunning river meanders its way through the heart of Norwich, offering incredible views of the city’s landmarks and natural beauty.

On the tour, you’ll have the chance to sit back, relax, and soak up the sights and sounds of Norwich from a unique perspective. Knowledgeable guides will share interesting insights into the city’s history and wildlife along the way. It’s the perfect way to unwind and discover the beauty of Norwich.

Whether you’re traveling solo, with your partner, or with your whole family, a River Wensum boat tour is an experience you won’t forget. Make sure to bring your camera to capture the picturesque scenery.

River Wensum boat tour

Overall, the River Wensum boat tour is a great way to add some variety to your Norwich itinerary. It’s perfect for those looking to take a break from the busy city and enjoy some tranquility on the water. So why not hop on board and discover the hidden gems of Norwich’s picturesque river?

6. Discover the Norwich Market

As someone who loves to delve into local cultures, I highly recommend a visit to the Norwich Market. This historic market has been a bustling hub for over 900 years, and continues to attract locals and tourists alike.

The market offers a wide range of goods to satisfy any shopper’s needs, including fresh produce, flowers, clothing, antiques, and more. It’s the perfect place to browse for unique souvenirs and gifts to take back home.

One of my favourite things to do at the Norwich Market is trying out the local delicacies available. From traditional British pies to international cuisine, you can find it all here. The market’s lively atmosphere is complemented by the aroma of delicious food and drinks, making it a feast for the senses.

If you’re interested in the history of the market, make sure to check out the Norwich Market Timeline located within the market. It provides fascinating insight into the market’s evolution over the centuries, and how it has adapted to changing times and consumer needs.

Overall, a visit to Norwich Market is a must for anyone looking to experience the authentic charm and culture of Norwich.

7. Visit the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell

If you’re a history enthusiast, the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell is a must-see attraction. Housed in a beautifully restored 14th-century merchant’s house, this museum provides a fascinating insight into Norwich’s rich history and industries.

Explore the interactive displays, and take a journey through Norwich’s past. From the city’s early beginnings to the thriving textile industry, you’ll discover a great deal about this charming city’s evolution over the centuries. Learn about the fascinating stories behind the everyday objects that have been integral to Norwich’s past and browse through various collections.

The museum is home to a vast array of exhibitions, ranging from a recreated Victorian street to Norwich’s famous shoe-making industry. The famous “Norwich shawls,” made from expensive materials like silk and cashmere, are sure to impress with their intricate designs and vibrant colors.

Special Events at the Museum

The museum offers a range of special events such as talks, tours and workshops. These are great ways to learn even more about the city’s fascinating history and industries. Be sure to check the museum’s website for upcoming events and don’t miss out on a unique experience.

The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell is a great starting point to learn about Norwich’s history and culture. Its interactive displays, fascinating exhibits, and workshops provide an immersive experience like no other.

8. Immerse yourself in nature at Whitlingham Country Park

When I want to escape the urban buzz of Norwich, I head to Whitlingham Country Park. Located just a short distance from the city center, this beautiful park is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The park’s main attraction is the Great Broad, a large lake that offers a range of water sports, including kayaking, canoeing, and sailing. If you prefer to stay on land, you can explore the park’s many walking and cycling trails, which meander through woodlands and meadows. Keep an eye out for wildlife along the way, as the park is home to a variety of birds, mammals and insects.

In addition to the natural beauty of the park, there are also plenty of facilities for visitors to enjoy. There’s a picnic area, a cafe and a visitor center, as well as a playground for children. The park is also wheelchair accessible, with smooth paths and disabled toilets available.

If you’re looking for a peaceful day out in the great outdoors, Whitlingham Country Park is the perfect destination. Take in the stunning panoramic views, breathe in the fresh air and recharge your batteries.


In conclusion, I hope this guide has provided you with an insight into the best things to do in Norwich, UK. From visiting the historic Norwich Cathedral and exploring Norwich Castle to immersing yourself in the vibrancy of Norwich Lanes and discovering the art at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, there is something for everyone in this charming city.

Don’t forget to take a leisurely boat tour on the River Wensum, explore the bustling Norwich Market, step back in time at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell, and enjoy the great outdoors at Whitlingham Country Park.

Plan your itinerary carefully to ensure you make the most of your time in Norwich and experience all that this wonderful city has to offer. So pack your bags and get ready to discover the best things to do in Norwich, UK.


What are the top historical attractions to visit in Norwich?

Some of the top historical attractions to visit in Norwich include Norwich Cathedral, Norwich Castle, and the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell.

Where can I find unique shopping experiences in Norwich?

You can find unique shopping experiences in Norwich at the Norwich Lanes, known for its independent shops, cafes, and boutiques offering a variety of products for every taste.

Are there any art galleries or museums worth exploring in Norwich?

Yes, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts located at the University of East Anglia is a must-visit for modern and contemporary art enthusiasts. The Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery also offers a glimpse into Norwich’s rich past.

How can I enjoy the natural beauty of Norwich during my visit?

Enjoy the natural beauty of Norwich by taking a leisurely boat tour on the River Wensum or spend a day at Whitlingham Country Park, where you can engage in various outdoor activities and relax amidst nature.

What culinary experiences can I look forward to in Norwich?

In Norwich, you can explore the culinary delights at the Norwich Market, which offers a wide range of local delicacies and international cuisine, making it a vibrant hub for food lovers.

Is there a family-friendly attraction in Norwich that children would enjoy?

Families with children can visit Norwich Castle, where the Children’s Discovery Area and engaging exhibitions cater to young ones, providing an educational and entertaining experience.