Living in Norwich
What is life like in Norwich
The beating heart of East Anglia is a wonderful place to live, providing not only good value, high-quality housing, but a vibrant social scene and all manner of cultural highlights.
A flint front adorns many of the medieval buildings that make up the oldest part of the city centre, where there are as many churches as there are coffee shops, giving some idea of the depth of history that is found in Norwich.
Two cathedrals are found in the city, and the splendid university is an undoubted aesthetic treat. Excellent local transport links make moving about easy and Norwich is deemed by some to be England's greenest city, underlining just how pleasant it is to live there.
In addition to the plus points of the city itself, access to the nearby countryside is another significant benefit. In particular, the Broads and the north Norfolk coast are both just a short distance away and the perfect places to relax on a Sunday afternoon.
Just outside Norwich lies the remains of Caistor St Edmunds, which was the Roman regional capital. It was founded following the famous defeat of the area's Iceni tribe, who were led by Queen Boudicca.
Norwich went on to become England's second city throughout the medieval era and until the Industrial Revolution. The city has always been a place of industry and cultural activity, making it popular through the centuries.
As the city expanded an imposing castle and defensive wall grew, while it stuck with its medieval street pattern that was the largest in Europe. All of these sites are still available to see today and provide a fascinating insight into the Norwich of years gone by.
The magnificent Edwardian building of Surrey House, the Georgian Assembly House and the landmark millennium structure, The Forum, are among the highlights of any tour of the city.
Many famous people can trace their roots back to the city of Norwich, with politician Ed Balls and actress Olivia Colman among the most high-profile. Delia Smith and Stephen Fry are also widely associated with the city and, in particular, its football club, although neither were actually born in Norwich.
Entertainment, sport and days out
The Norwich Arts Centre is one of the city's cultural hubs and puts on a range of shows and performances that will entertain and amuse. There is also a calendar of events, functions and courses at the venue for local people to enjoy.
The Theatre Royal is a similarly impressive stage on which to perform in the city and locals flock to it to take in music, comedy and drama productions.
Another great venue is Cinema City at the Playhouse, which is a locally-supported arthouse cinema. Alternatively, people might like to visit the Riverside, which houses cinema, bowling and other leisure facilities, along with a plethora of restaurants.
Norwich City FC are the area's top sports team, with several recent stints in the Premier League. They play home matches at their Carrow Road stadium in the city centre.
When it comes to taking a day trip from Norwich, the number one choice has to be the Broads, which is the UK's most famous and popular inland waterway network. Another good option is the north Norfolk coast, which is renowned for its fabulous beaches and quaint villages.
Eating, drinking & shopping
It is possible to eat food from all over the world in central Norwich, with a vast range of restaurants in operation. These include popular options such as Italian, Thai and Indian food, with Paolo's Pizzeria, Pinocchio's, Figaro Restaurant, Thai Dragon and Elm Hill Brasserie among the popular options available.
As there is in any historic and picturesque town or city, there are plenty of traditional pubs and inns dotted around Norwich.
There are two main shopping centres in Norwich, one of which is intu Chapelfield. This boasts more than 90 shops, cafes and restaurants in modern and stylish surroundings. Whether people are interested in designer clothing or a bargain buy, they will find it at the mall. The other shopping centre in Norwich is Castle Mall, which is in the heart of the city and boasts many major high street names, including TK Maxx, New Look and Peacocks.
Norwich is also home to several out-of-town retail parks with large stores and local shopping areas with independent boutiques and outlets.
Schools & healthcare
Norwich is home to plenty of high-performing schools that offer a good education to all students. Among those that are scored highly by Ofsted are Colman and Avenue, which is a prime choice for those seeking a middle school. The best secondary schools include Notre Dame High and Framlingham Earl, while the City of Norwich institution is also favourable.
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is the main medical facility and is ideally located in the west of the city for all those who require care or treatment. There is also a good number of local surgeries and clinics spread across the city.
Travelling around Norwich and the surrounding area is extremely easy, with an excellent and wide-reaching bus service already in place. This connects all four corners of the city and means no journey is impossible by public transport.
Rail services are also good and all of the largest towns and cities in East Anglia are accessible by train. Services to London leave Norwich every 30 minutes and take roughly two hours to reach the capital, while there is a regular train to Cambridge that takes about 75 minutes.
The region's roads are not its strongest point, but the A14 does a good job of connecting East Anglia and leads all the way to London.