Modernity and history go hand-in-hand beautifully in Norwich and it is hard to find a city quite like it. The county town of Norfolk, it was given city status in 1194, as even then it was a thriving market town with strong agricultural roots. There was also a rapidly expanding textile industry which was helped by the River Wensom running through the city, providing transport for goods to London and other major towns. Colman's Mustard was originally produced in Norwich and close to the Norwich City Football Stadium at Carrow, you can see the mills and silos which operated for around two centuries; do visit the famous Coleman's Mustard Shop and Museum in the Royal Arcade.
As you would expect from such a vibrant place, you will be spoilt for choice as to how to spend your time. First settled by the Romans, it is the most complete medieval city in the UK and has around 30 churches within the old city walls. It is very easy to walk around as you will soon notice there are no steep hills – this is because the area used to be underwater. Take a stroll around the cobbled streets in and around Elm Hill, where you will see beautiful half-timbered houses such as Dragon Hall. The gorgeous Royal Arcade dates back to 1899 and from here you can meander through atmospheric medieval lanes to the river where you will arrive at Pull's Ferry, a picturesque flint house dating from the 17th century and the former home of the last ferryman.
Norwich market, held close to the flint built 15th century Guildhall, is also a great place to visit and there are many bargains and local products to be bought. Norwich is of course a shoppers paradise with no less that two shopping centres and four department stores, but go to the Lanes and Timber Hill where you will be enthralled by the boutiques and the quaintness of the area. You will never get lost in Norwich as it has many landmarks that can be seen from all over the city – each one is worth a visit - such as the majestic Norman Norwich Cathedral with its towering spire, the clock tower at City Hall and best of all Norwich Castle, where there is also a museum and art gallery.
For a day out perhaps visit one of the two zoos, or for something different that will enchant the kiddies, visit Africa Alive, where you will be taken on a walking safari through an incredible recreation of the African savannah and see the animals roaming freely. But an absolute must is to take the Broads Tour on one of the double decker boats, which will take you on a trip through the wetlands The Skipper will ensure that you do not miss any of the sights and wildlife as he explains the history of the Broads.
Once the sun goes down, so Norwich starts to party, whatever your age. It has a great music scene, no matter whether you prefer current music trends, jazz, blues or perhaps an open-air orchestral concert. Multiscreen cinemas showing all the latest films, cool nightclubs and crazy discos will keep you fully entertained; however if you like fine dining and the theatre, Norwich excels at this also. See what is on at the Norwich Playhouse or the Theatre Royal to name but two – there will always be some wonderful shows at any time of the year. For something completely different, visit the Norwich Puppet Theatre - perfect for adults and children alike.
Finally, do take a stroll up to Mousehold Heath, which is to the northeast of Norwich. Not only is it a stunning area, but the view of the Norwich skyline at sunset is a sight that will stay in your memory forever.
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