City Guide

Things to Do in Norwich

Ben Maples  · Feb 25th 2021
Lenwade House on the riverside in Norwich

Norwich is one of the most popular student cities in the United Kingdom and is seen as the unofficial capital of East Anglia.

In this guide, we will show you the various things to do in Norwich.

Things to do in Norwich


Norwich is one of the most popular university cities in the UK. Sitting on the River Wensum, the city has long been one of the favoured places for students to visit whether it be for the city’s incredibly immersive nightlife or the charming nature of the city itself. 213,166 is the reported population figure of Norwich making it one of the biggest cities in the country.

Things to do in Norwich

Norwich is one of the best places in the UK to watch the very best and the most recent films from Hollywood. It’s home to its own IMAX Cinema (Truly the best way to watch the very latest in film offerings), Vue Cinemas and Cinema City, which takes up residence in an old 16th century building If you’re looking for more independent films however, we recommend that you look into one of the city’s many film societies.

The nightlife of Norwich has long been one of the attractions for people studying in the city, whether it be a night out with live music, a DJ set or a chilled out night in a pub with your friends or even just a nice restaurant to relax for the evening. Norwich has most certainly got you covered. We’ve created a short list of three places that we think will be right up your alley!

First up we have Mercy Nightclub, which has an enormous amount of great reviews from the locals and students. A nightclub that exists purely to cater to your every need. Whether that be to listen to the best in new music or to just have a great night out with your friends, there’s always something here for you, and you’ll always be coming back. Secondly, we have Mantra Club & Lounge. The place that you’ll want to be heading to in your first week, as it runs a Fresher’s Fest(ival) and allows you to meet up with people new to the city like yourself. The club comes with a very high reputation, and we cannot recommend it enough. And thirdly we have Be at One, which is a bit of a change of pace from the other suggestions but is a fantastic night out, no matter what you’re looking for the bar can certainly offer it, it has everything you can need and more. The bar is always available for any Christmas dinners that you might want to have as well.

Norwich’s history is well celebrated by the locals and something that the city takes very seriously. The full extent of the history is commemorated and immortalised in the city’s museums, all of which are accessible and affordable for everyone. Norwich Castle, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, City of Norwich Aviation Museum and Strumpshaw Hall Steam Museum are some of the best museums in the city.

Norwich has plenty of different activities that are offered annually. Festivals are one of the many things that have been provided by the city like the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, which celebrates everything from dance to comedy to music to just about everything else that you can imagine. We recommend looking into the festival because it can sell out pretty quickly!

Things to do with kids in Norwich


The transport in the city is as vast as it is efficient.

There are bus services in the city that run all the time, such as BorderBus, Konectbus, First Norfolk & Suffolk and Sanders Coaches. For those looking to travel to other major cities, there is the National Express service, which runs over five-times-a-day. The city also has a Park & Ride scheme that is run as part of the aforementioned Konectbus.

The main train station is the Norwich Railway Station with the main rail service in the city being operated by Greater Anglia. There are also services to major cities such as London, Manchester, Nottingham, Peterborough and Sheffield.

There is also an airport in the city as well, Norwich Airport. The airport flies internationally, regionally and commercially.

Universities in the City

There are two universities in the city, the University of East Anglia and Norwich University of the Arts.

The University of East Anglia was established in 1963.

The student body of the university is represented by the Union of UEA Students (UEASU). Students are automatically enrolled into the union, though they can leave whenever they wish. The union represents a number of sporting teams and also represents a number of oncampus media outlets, such as Concrete, the student newspaper, UEA:TV (formerly Nexus UTV), the student TV channel and Livewire1350AM, the student radio station.

The university competes in the Derby Day Trophy against the University of Essex and have win the trophy every year since its inception in 2013.

The Norwich University of the Arts was established originally as the Norwich School of Design in 1845, however, the institute was eventually granted university status in 2013 and rebranded as the Norwich University of the Arts.

Things to do with family in Norwich


The settlement of Norwich was originally discovered in the Roman era. The settlement was originally the capital for the local Iceni tribe, near Caistor St. Edmund.

After the Romans left, there is a discrepancy regarding what may have happened next or who may have led to the settlement’s next direction, however, the settlement eventually became the property of the invading Normans. According to The Domesday Book, the settlement had over twenty churches in its area and a population between 5,000 and 10,000. The Book also notes that over 95 homes were dismantled or otherwise destroyed in order to make way for the new Norwich Castle. Norwich was given city status in 1194. In 1216, Norwich Castle fell to Louis, Dauphin of France, which also led to the founding of Hildebrand's Hospital.

Norwich soon began to establish itself as a city of industry and, before long, the industry of wool began to see an upturn in the city’s fortunes. The finance that this generated for the city led to the construction of, yep, you guessed it, more churches, which means that Norwich has the distinction of having more medieval churches than any other city in Western Europe north of the Alps. Between the years of 1280 and 1340, the city began to build walls around the city.

By the time the industrial revolution hit, Norwich was one of the wealthiest cities in the country and was also a regular city for immigrants from all over Europe to live in as well. There were several outbreaks of the plague in the city over the years, however, the city’s population of around 30,000 was still one of the strongest in Europe for a non-major city. The first newspaper in the city was also the first provincial newspaper, The Norwich Post, which started in 1701.

As the 20th century hit, the city was renowned for its shoe manufacture, joinery, structural engineering, aircraft design and clothing manufacture was also a big part of the city’s ever-growing repertoire.

Norwich was bombed heavily by the Nazis in World War II, mainly as part of the Baedeker Raids. Morgan's Brewery building, the Mackintosh chocolate factory, City Station and Colman's Wincarnis works were the main structural casualties in the city with 229 citizens killed and around 1,000 injured.


The main source of football in the city is Norwich City FC, who play in the Championship, having been relegated from the Premier League in 2020. Norwich City play at Carrow Road Stadium. There is a second club in the city, Norwich United, who play in the Eastern Counties League, along with Norwich CBS.

There are two main rowing clubs in the city as well, The Yare Boat Club and the Norwich Rowing Club, the latter of which is also partnered with the Norwich Canoe Club, UEA Boat Club, Norwich School Boat Club and the Norwich High School Rowing Club.

Who’s from Norwich?

There are plenty of famous people from the city of Norwich including; Stephen Fry, John Crome, Ed Balls, Ed Sheeran, Delia Smith, Olivia Colman, Charles Clarke and Stuart Ashen.

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