Situated a two-and-a-half drive, or two-hour train journey from the busy streets of London, Norwich has plenty to draw people out of the capital and into this vibrant city. Voted as one of the top 20 most friendly places to live in the UK, Norwich has everything from architecture to art, café culture to Cromer crabs and shopping and shoreline. Here are just a few of the reasons people love living in Norwich and why you should consider a weekend away in this characterful county.

City Sights for Sore Eyes

Dominated by the impressive cathedral, the city of Norwich has many stunning buildings to interest residents and tourists alike. Amble along the old-fashioned cobbled streets and marvel at the unchanged beauty of the city, popping into the 900-year-old to discover its wealth of treasures.

Norwich Nourishment

Not far from the city centre lies a little village where you can relax in the countryside while reaping the benefits of the nearby city attractions. In the village of Holt accommodation options include everything from bell tents to modern apartments, country cottages and upmarket hotels. Just half an hour away from Norwich, Holt is close enough to pop into the city for an evening meal so head over and try the delights of the best fish and chip shop in the country – the Grosvenor Fish Bar.

Broads and Beaches

Beyond the city limits, the county of Norfolk is famed for its long golden beaches and unspoilt landscapes. To explore the Norfolk Broads, take to the water or relax at a riverside pub. The village of Wroxham is situated in the heart of the beautiful countryside in the area and guests at the Langham Norfolk can enjoy a scenic 45-minute drive getting there. In terms of beaches, Cromer is a quaint seaside village, famed for its Cromer crabs so pop along, explore the beach and then tuck into this local delicacy.

Quench your Thirst

Whether you prefer a cosy café or a pumping pub, you’ll find them in Norwich. Situated just outside the city centre is The Brickmakers where you can attend a tasting session on the first Monday or each month or just enjoy a glass of one of their world-class wines. If coffee is your beverage of choice, head to The Window Coffee shop and taste one of their artfully handcrafted brews. Alternatively, head over to Biddy’s Tea Room and indulge in the typically English fare of tea and cake.

Countryside Culture

Not only is Norfolk England’s first UNESCO City of Literature, it’s also famed for its live music scene. Local performers such as Ed Sheeran kick-started their careers at the Waterfront, a riverside venue that hosts regular live music shows and club nights. More recent stars, like the girl band, Let’s East Grandma, also started off playing in Norwich and are now reinventing pop music nationwide.

Rustic Retail Therapy

Even top shopping destinations, like London’s Oxford Street, struggle to find the diversity of outlets available in the city of Norwich. Specialty shops like the Colman Mustard Shop and Museum and the Giggly Goat with their range of local, handmade gifts, there is plenty to interest even the most sluggish of shoppers.