Self-catering country cottages and holiday accommodation in and near Norwich
First impressions of Norwich are the large number of churches - another presented itself each time we turned a corner. With the decline in church attendance some of the churches have been re-incarnated as arts or social centres. The sheer numbers of elaborate places of worship testify to the faith of the population of earlier centuries.
Norwich Cathedral is a beautiful building with traditional services held regularly. We visited in early November and were delighted to see the Justice Service, an annual service that bewigged and robed dignitaries of the Justice system attend. This is highly recommended for anyone interested in English culture and traditions.
The vaulting and roof bosses in Norwich Cathedral are particularly splendid, and the cathedral boasts an interactive display complete with touch screen for those interested in the details. The cathedral grounds are delightful at any time of year. Entry to Cathedral Close is via two medieval gates where there is the old Bishop's Palace (now a school) and two British naval men stand proudly associated with Norwich: Wellington and Nelson.
|Wellington on his pedestal in the Cathedral Gardens||Following Evensong in Norwich Cathedral|
Judging by the latest building projects, the new religion in Norwich is shopping. The town can be proud of many of its buildings. In addition to many magnificent period buildings, the modern glass domed Castle Mall and the Forum (contains the library, learning centre, shops, tourist information, pizza restaurant, Origins visitor attraction) buildings are particularly memorable. A photograph of the Forum taken at night is shown on the left.
Major retail chains are well-represented in the extensive shopping centre including a large Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, John Lewis and Next. Largely pedestrianised and cobbled in parts with narrow winding lanes leading away from the main roads, Norwich offers an enjoyable shopping experience. There is the weird and wonderful with quasi-spiritual shops, book shops, fashion stores, and a great number of pubs, cafes and restaurants. The taste is international with cuisine from Lebanon, Morocco, India, Thailand, China, and Russia, as well as the everyday home-grown variety and fast-food outlets.
Norwich is a lively university town with plenty of young people about contributing to the air of vibrancy. There is an art gallery attached to the art school and plenty of other galleries and arts and crafts shops around the town. The streets are crowded with shoppers on Saturdays, the market in the centre appears to be thriving. Car parking is limited unless you're prepared to park a short way out of the town centre and walk.
|Norwich Market with City Hall at back||One of the narrow streets near the centre with medieval buildings and church|
|Norwich Skyline as viewed from Castle Hill|
The city centre is quite beautiful at night. The castle, cathedral and many of the churches are illuminated at night, so if you get the opportunity, do take an evening walk. The pubs and restaurants contributed their own coloured lighting to produce scenes reminiscent of Parisian street paintings. There's a tremendous selection of pubs, clubs, and wine bars, themed, or offering music, or other entertainment. An art house cinema is housed in a splendid period building with double doors containing leaded-lights. There are also multi-screen cinemas, theatres, concert halls, and a puppet theatre. With plenty of nightlife on offer, Norwich is a good place to visit at any time of year.
|La Tasca - nicely illuminated and welcoming Spanish restaurant||Glowing lights and cobbled streets near this pub|
Tourists may consider taking one of the boat excursions or open-topped bus tours for an introduction to the city. Walking tours, including a popular ghost tour, are held during the peak summer months. For families, the aqua park with its flumes and pools offers an enjoyable experience for the whole family, INSPIRE is a science based activity centre where children can gain a hands-on experience. The Castle museum and art gallery is open daily, plus there is a host of other museums and visitor attractions to provide interesting and amusing things to look at during your stay.
The beaches and resorts of the north and east coasts like Cromer, Sheringham and Great Yarmouth are all within easy reach by car. The Norfolk Broads, are just a short distance to the east. Norwich is an ideal base for a touring holiday of Norfolk where you will discover nature reserves, stately homes and gardens, tourist attractions, flint houses and pretty villages set in peaceful countryside.
Old School Cottage (4*) is an 18th century brick and flint cottage on the edge of Great Hockham, a quiet conservation village bordering Thetford Forest, close to the Norfolk/Suffolk/Cambridgeshire borders. It's about a 20 minute drive from the 'Go Ape' experience and the visitor centre. Old School Cottage has been renovated to a very high standard and has a wealth of beams and other period features. The cottage has a pretty, south-facing and enclosed 'cottage' garden with patio, garden furniture and barbecue. There is off-road parking for 2 cars.
Old School Cottage offers plenty of home comforts including a washing machine, tumble drier, electric cooker, fridge, microwave, dishwasher, colour TV, video recorder, CD player, payphone, cot high chair etc. There is also a vast range of tourist brochures, books, games and local videos. Linen (duvets), towels, electricity and oil fired central heating are included in the cost. View details under Norfolk on left.
|Contact: for availability and bookings, Telephone: 01953 498277|
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