Now that the nights are drawing out and the promise of spring is in the air, I thought I’d take a look at all the fun things to do in Norfolk and Norwich when the warm weather arrives.
It’s taken a while to put the list together – and I’m sure there will be things that I’ve missed – but it’s made me grateful to live in such a great county and hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did putting it together. Here are my five favourite things to do in Norfolk…
Exploring the local history
Norfolk has a rich history, which can be seen everywhere – from Norwich Castle and Norwich Cathedral to stately homes (like Blickling Hall and Holkham Hall) and ancient churches dotting the landscape. It’s no surprise that I always look forward to September’s Heritage Open Days. There’s so much to learn about the events that shaped the county and made it what it is today that I try to book into every single event.
Seeing these places also bring the history of the county to life, from Kett’s Rebellion, to the antics of the Paston family. It’s far more interesting than any school textbook and has given me a real passion for finding out more about where I live.
And there’s a sense of history being made too, with the Norfolk and Norwich developing and changing all the time. Take The Forum on Millennium Plain. It’s a huge glass building in the heart of the city, that’s also become the heart of the community, where you can find a book to read, grab a cup of tea with friends and take part in community events throughout the year.
Of course, it wouldn’t be my blog if I didn’t mention places to eat in Norfolk. There are so many restaurants in Norfolk that it would be hard to narrow it down to just one though.
From gastropubs like the Ingham Swan, to fine dining at Roger Hickman’s Restaurant, fish and chips in Wells-next-the-Sea or lunch at Pandora’s Kitchen, there are so many delicious options. In fact, there are decent eateries for vegetarians and out-and-out carnivores too, depending on your personal preference.
I’m not adverse to a little shopping in Norwich, I will be honest. And there’s a huge variety of stores in the county in general. While I try to put a spotlight on independent traders, it’s great to have big name brands here, like John Lewis and Marks & Spencer – while Jarrold brings lots of great brands, like Tom Ford and Jo Malone to the city too.
But I love nothing more than exploring secondhand book shops in Holt, poking around antique shops in Burnham Market and picking up trinkets at seaside shops on the coast. It fills me with a sense of anticipation because I never know what I’m going to find, but I know it will almost certainly be individual.
Plus, there are a huge number of independent companies online, selling cute items and gifts, like the door numbers I bought last Christmas and I still totally love.
Socialising with friends
There are some brilliant pubs in Norfolk. And while I’m not advocating drinking like a fish, there are some great places for a night out, whether you want a quiet night out or a night on the dance floor. Personally, I love a village pub, like my former local – The Cellar House – with a roaring fire in winter and a friendly welcome all year round.
But more than alcohol, I love a good brew. And thankfully there are also lots of great little tea rooms and coffeehouses to slake my thirst, like Biddy’s and Strangers in Norwich, where you can easily while away an afternoon, putting the world to rights with a bun. Even places like Woodgate Nursery and Notcutts have fine watering holes, so you can treat yourself in between chores.
Norfolk is a stunning backdrop for all of these things. And while people think that Norfolk is totally flat, they’ve never tried running a 10k in Wymondham. Let me tell you: Norfolk isn’t flat!
But joking aside, there’s so many different landscapes to explore. From stunning windswept beaches in north Norfolk, to the wide open skies of the Norfolk Broads, the gentle hills of south Norfolk and the built-up beauty of Norwich, with its winding streets, beautiful parks and scenery, I couldn’t think of anywhere else in the world I’d rather live.
What do you love to do in Norfolk and Norwich? I’m always looking for fun new things to explore and write about and would love to hear from you.