Area Guide: Norwich

Norwich is packed with history, well connected and close to some of the UK’s best green spaces.

In this Norwich guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the City and where to live.
Area guide header norwich

Where is Norwich?

Norwich is the only city in Norfolk and the largest in East Anglia, around 100 miles northeast of London.

What is Norwich famous for?

Norwich is best known for its medieval history and is home to some of the most complete buildings from the Middle Ages.

Lord Nelson, meanwhile, was educated in the city, which is also known for its superb food, like locally caught Cromer crab, and the stunning Broads National Park.

Is Norwich a good place to live?

Norwich was named one of the best places to live in the UK by the Sunday Times, which highlighted the city’s transport links, affordable house prices and good schooling.

Is Norwich safe?

Norwich has historically enjoyed low crime rates and was named one of the safest cities to live in the UK.

Is Norwich expensive?

Compared with many other UK towns and cities, Norwich is an affordable place to live. According to Numbeo, Norwich is 18% less expensive than London, without taking rent into account. Rents, however, are 64% cheaper than London on average, making the city much more affordable than the capital.

Property in Norwich

Properties in Norwich include a host of modern apartments and period homes in and close to the city centre, Victorian terraces in areas like the Golden Triangle and North City and modern estates such as Thorpe Marriott, Dussindale and Queens Hills.

Other popular areas include Sprowston, Old Catton, Thorpe St Andrew and Taverham.

Schools in Norwich

Schooling in Norwich is often highlighted as one of the top reasons for families to move to the area. There are many ‘Outstanding’-rated primary schools and secondary schools within five miles of the city, meaning plenty of choice for parents.

City College Norwich is a leading further and higher education college that provides the largest choice of courses in Norfolk.

Norwich is also home to two universities: The University of East Anglia (UEA) and Norwich University of the Arts (NUA).

UEA is regularly ranked among the UK’s 25 best universities and offers courses to around 15,000 students, from all over the world, each year.

NUA was ranked in the UK’s top 10 for teaching quality in 2018 by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide. It was also ranked in the 2021 Top 50 Creative Media & Entertainment Schools and Colleges in the World by The Rookies.

Norwich transport links

Norwich offers transport links to the rest of Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Suffolk, Essex, and London.

Norwich rail links

Trains from Norwich to London Liverpool Street arrive at the capital in one hour 43 minutes. Meanwhile, direct trains to Cambridge take just over an hour and services to Ipswich take 40 minutes.

Norwich road links

The A140 links Norwich to Ipswich and Suffolk, while the A11 runs directly to Cambridge.

Road routes from Norwich into London and the M25 are via the A12 at Colchester or the M11 from Cambridge.

The Norfolk A47 runs from Great Yarmouth through to Kings Lynn.

The newly constructed Broadland Northway connects Postwick in the east to Taverham in the west and many areas in between without having to travel through the City.

Norwich airport links

Norwich Airport offers flights across Europe and domestically, while Stansted Airport is around 80 miles south.

Things to do in Norwich

Norwich sits just to the west of the stunning Broads National Park, so no visit is complete without a boat trip along the many intertwined rivers and lakes. The Broads is estimated to be home to 25% of the UK’s rarest wildlife, so keep an eye out for Chinese water deer and otters, as well as kingfishers, reed warblers and a whole host of other birdlife.

Back on dry land, Norwich Cathedral has stood in the city since 1096 and is the central feature of Norwich’s medieval history. As well as its cathedral, Norwich’s other medieval focal point is the imposing castle that sits high upon a hill in the heart of the city centre.

For more fresh air, peace and tranquillity, head to one of the three Green Flag award-winning parks in Norwich – Mousehold Heath, Waterloo Park and Eaton Park which is located in the city’s popular Golden Triangle area.

Eaton Park offers 80 acres of green space, a children’s playground, a skate park, boat pond, pitch and putt golf course, bandstand, pavilion, and café.

Sports fans, meanwhile, should take in a game at Norwich City’s Carrow Road stadium, where top-flight football is the order of the day.

If shopping is more your thing, head to Norwich’s medieval cobbled streets where locally owned boutique shops sit alongside high street favourites like John Lewis.

Norwich is home to the independent department store, Jarrold’s, which offers everything from high-end fashion to homeware and furniture.

There are two indoor shopping centres in Norwich – Castle Quarter and Chantry Place.

Both centres house familiar brand names and are a great way to get all your shopping done under cover.

Norwich Market was named ‘Best large outdoor market in Britain’ in 2019. Here you will find food stalls showcasing tastes from all over the world alongside stalls selling everything from vintage clothes and records to household items, jewellery, and flowers.