Hit television comedy I’m Alan Partridge may be the first thought that springs to mind when discussing Norwich, but the city is much more than the show that put this corner of England on the public radar - perhaps for all the wrong reasons. Far from boring and bland, this charming easterly city is England’s first UNESCO City of Literature, and steeped in history boasting castles, cathedrals and other fine landmarks.
In fact Norwich is the most complete, medieval city in Britain, and with over 1,500 historic buildings lying in wait to be explored, here are some of the top sites to see when you take your journey through time.
Over 900 years ago, the Normans constructed this mammoth medieval castle as a palace for William the Conqueror. The royal fort, which was a palace and later a jail, offers visitors a look into the past and although it no longer fits the purpose of the original build, the castle now houses a collection of fine art, natural history and archaeology.
As one of Europe’s finest Romanesque cathedrals, Norwich Cathedral offers visitors the chance to witness the second tallest spire and the largest monastic cloisters in the country. The religious building’s periodic architecture and structure are second to none, while it is also home to Norman wall paintings and medieval graffiti.
Branch out with a visit to Elm Hill, one of the oldest streets in the city. With more Tudor buildings packed into this one narrow cobbled lane than found in the whole of central London, it has retained oodles of 16th century charm and character. The street is also famous for a blazing fire that ripped through and destroyed most of the street in 1507, which is why you will struggle to find any houses that pre-date that year.
Just south of the city lies Boudicca Way, a far-reaching footpath which is believed to be the route Queen Boudicca and her army travelled down on their march against the Romans. The trail is 36 miles long between Diss and Norwich although it is broken down in four easier sections.
To explore this historic city, hire a care from our Norwich pick up point.