Until the start of the Industrial Revolution, Norwich was England’s second city. These days Norwich may not be our second city but it still has lots to offer. As a medieval city, Norwich has more than 1500 historical buildings. Among the best are those on Elm Hill (a complete medieval cobbled street often used for TV and film) and Cow Tower, a 14th century military tower.
Above, the nearby picturesque Norfolk Broads, a series of connecting rivers and lakes, are very popular for boating and cottage holidays.
National Express East Anglia run rail services to Norwich city from London, and the Norwich rail station is located in the city centre. First Eastern Counties Buses offer a service on bus 27 to the airport from the city centre on Sundays and public holidays. The bus goes to Hellesdon during the week, which is within walking distance of the airport. There are also taxi and car rental services available.
With tall oak trees lining the drive to the stately manor house, Sprowston Manor – a Marriott Hotel & Country Club – exudes a historic charm combined with modern touches. Guests can enjoy an 18-hole golf course, spa and two restaurants. www.marriott.co.uk
De Vere Dunston Hall is an Elizabethan-style mansion built in 1859 that has been restored to its former glory. Built against 150 acres of wooded parkland, guests can enjoy the PGA rated golf course, relax in the spa and pool or take advantage of the business facilities.www.devere-hotels.co.uk
Celebrating 10 years of service, the Lavender House is a busy restaurant and cookery school housed in a famous sixteenth-century thatched listed building. www.thelavenderhouse.co.uk
The Ingham Swan is a 14th Century coaching inn with historic charm, overlooking the picturesque North Norfolk countryside. The building was originally part of Ingham Priory, was until Henry VIII ordered its dissolution. Fortunately, it survived and continues to provide personal service and good, seasonal food. www.theinghamswan.co.uk
Norwich Castle, one of the city’s most famous landmarks, is now a museum and art gallery that is home to some outstanding collections of fine art, archaeology and natural history. www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
Try a boating day out on the popular Norfolk Broads – Britain’s largest protected wetland with status equivalent to a National Park. It is home to some of the rarest plants and wildlife in the UK .