Norwich proudly displays its historic heritage. You can still see the original walls that guarded it in some parts, and there are plenty of intriguing buildings from the city’s rich cultural heritage, including the striking Norman cathedral.

The city also has a contrastingly modern dynamic, reflected in its striking riverside and forum development, and in its well-earned reputation as an individual and attractive shopping destination.

Norwich sits in the heart of beautiful countryside, close by to the Broads, making it a great place to visit if you want a wide choice of things to do on your self-catering, holiday cottage holiday.

Two Cathedrals

The Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist is regarded as one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Britain. This 19th century building contains fine carvings and stained glass and provides vivid views of the city from its tower.

The much older, Anglican Norwich Cathedral is a stunning example of early medieval architecture, dating from the Normans, with the largest monastic cloisters in England. It also has a spectacularly high spire, the second tallest in the country. Strangely, because of the layout of the surrounding streets, the cathedral can appear almost hidden, which makes it feel like a real reward when you come upon it.

Norwich Cathedral has a licensed restaurant attached to its cloisters, and it hosts choral and orchestral concerts as well as lectures.

Norwich Castle

This imposing Norman building is a central landmark of the city, standing squarely on a hill, it was built as a royal fortification and is mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Survey.

As well as its impressive Norman keep, the castle includes a museum and two galleries. Here you’ll find ceramics, jewellery and textiles on display, dating back as far as the Ancient Britons. There is also a gallery housing paintings from the 17th century to modern, contemporary artists.

There are also interactive and digital displays and models that help tell the story of Norwich Castle.

Shopping in Norwich

Norwich has a deserved reputation as a major shopping centre. With its two contemporary malls – Chapelfield and the Castle Mall – and numerous independent and specialist shops, it has pretty much something for everyone.

Visit the medieval Norwich Lanes for a whole range of unique shops, cafes and bars.

Norwich Market is the largest open air market in the country, selling food, clothing, flowers, accessories and household goods.

In the Market Square in the Victorian Old Skating Ring Gallery building, Country and Eastern is a vast treasure-trove of oriental rugs and textiles, antique furniture, clothes, accessories and decorative objects. The high-ceilinged, arched wooden building is an attraction on its own.

Cultural Attractions

Norwich is a year-round cultural destination. It is the first ever UNESCO City of Literature, making part of a network of 20 cities worldwide. The city has a programme to help young writers develop and helps fund and promote literature-associated events.

There are several festivals held in the area throughout the year, including the Norfolk and Norwich Festival (showcasing performing arts and literature) a Food and Drink Festival and a Science Festival.

The city has various museums and art galleries, such as the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, part of the University of East Anglia. Here you’ll find Henry Moore sculptures, paintings by Picasso and Degas and one-off exhibitions and special events.

The 14th century Strangers’ Hall is a fascinating period building in the centre of Norwich. This was the home of mayors and merchants in the city’s heyday. It is a beautifully preserved, impressive set of rooms.

Finally, for lovers of condiments, there is the Colmans Mustard Shop & Museum, celebrating over 200 years of Norfolk-made mustards.