The third best city in the UK? Norwich

Norwich often catches many people by surprise when they arrive as it not what was expected. It has the usual trademarks of Norfolk – a road network that leaves much to be desired, sunshine and water in the form of the river Wensum and Yare and the Broads dotted around it.

What is not expected though is the culture, the history, the retail and restaurant experience, unless you know of it.

As cities go, Norwich is one of the best.

Let’s start with its geography – it is about 20 miles from Fairway Lakes and you can go through Bradwell or the most direct way is through Haddiscoe, passing Loddon en route. You can also catch a train from Haddiscoe, where they run every 30 minutes taking in some fantastic scenery on the way. Norwich railway station is not the most convenient for the actual city centre though, but perfect for Riverside and Prince of Wales Road.

In terms of shopping, Norwich has an Intu Chapelfield, with House of Fraser and a large Apple Store, Castle Mall, perched under Norwich castle, Jarrold’s department store and John Lewis, as well a large open air market in the heart of the city centre. It’s a safe and cosmopolitan city, with students at the UEA and Norwich University of the Arts, as well as major employers like Aviva.

The history is impressive too: you can visit Stranger’s Hall, as well as the two cathedrals in the city which are impressive. Tucked near the Roman Catholic cathedral is a real hidden gem, the “Plantation Garden”. The stone for the castle and cathedral was transported from Caen in France and it’s aptly twinned withy Rouen, a fine northern French city too.

Cinemas, theatres and live music can be found centrally, as well as fine independent shops in the area called “The Lanes”.

Those who visit Fairway Lakes are advised to visit Norwich – it’s the Unesco City of Literature and dubs itself “a Fine City”, which no one could argue with.

30 minutes from your luxury lodge you have one of the best cities in the UK.