Norwich might not be the first place you would think of for a UK city break, it isn't even the first place we would recommend! However, having spent a weekend here in early July I would say it is definitely worth adding to your list of places to visit. It's not a big city which makes it a great one for a short weekend break, you can explore all of it's historic beauty and main sights on foot in the space of a few hours. We unintentionally arrived on the weekend of the Lord Mayor's show and there was a great atmosphere around the whole city.
Where to eat
The highlight of the weekend for food was Wild Thyme vegetarian cafe. It serves food throughout the day in a really cool converted industrial building. The staff are great and the whole menu is veggie/vegan. The food was great, we went for the katsu curry and the pad thai which were both delicious.
The Moorish Falafel Bar was a great lunch spot. We enjoyed enormous falafel wraps sat in outside in a lovely little lane watching all the people wonder in and out of the independent shops that fill Norwich's historic lanes.
Wild Thyme (wildthymenorwich.co.uk): Labour in Vain Yard, Norwich NR2 1JD
Moorish Falafel Bar (moorishfalafelbar.com): 17 Lower Goat Ln, Norwich NR2 1EL
Where to sleep
We stayed in the beautiful St. Giles House right in the heart of the city. While it wasn't cheap, around £130 for the one night we were there, the room was lovely and the staff were very helpful. We also forced down a huge breakfast on the Sunday morning to get our money's worth although neither of us were feeling particularly hungry after eating a large amount the night before! We were very lucky to be treated to a firework display on Saturday evening which we were able to view in all it's glory from the comfort of our room. The hotel was lovely but I'm sure there would be lots of other options in the city centre for as little as half the price, so it may be worth having a look around if price is a big factor when booking accommodation.
What to see
Sightseeing in Norwich has to start with the amazing Norwich Cathedral, one of two cathedrals in the city. Whether you are religious or not it is a spectacular building. Most of the Cathedral is free to walk around including the amazing courtyard area which offers fantastic views to the main spire through the old stone arches.
The second cathedral the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is less picturesque. There isn't as much to see here but around the back of the cathedral is the Plantation Garden. We visited at the perfect time of year which meant that we got to see the garden in full bloom. While the plantation garden isn't massive, it offers a peaceful place to relax in the centre of the city. We were told before we visited that you really can't hear the sounds of Norwich and that sure was true.
Compared to London, Norwich is very reasonably priced. Like most places in the UK that aren't London! Going out for a beer and a cocktail was noticeably cheaper than doing so in London, and we could easily have a meal out in the evening with drinks for less than £30 for the two of us.