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Top places to live in Norfolk Norwich

With its indie shops, buzzy cultural scene and riverside walks Norwich is one of the UK's coolest cities with a radical history and vibrant future-facing energy.

WHY? 

It’s UNESCO City of Literature and has a zillion other awards besides – and when it comes to independent shops, bars, cafés, restaurants, galleries and theatres you’re in heaven. Plus, it’s known as the most vegan-friendly city in the UK, with a strong sustainability ethos – and it’s less than an hour from the coast!

EAT

Mentioning all the foodie fabulousness in Norwich will take a whole book so we literally stuck a pin in the map and came up with this lucky dip. There are Muddy finalists aplenty but every one of these is a winner! All of them celebrating fantastic seasonal eating and most of them family run. Cafe No. 33 is a favourite for brunch, lunch and lush cakes. Funky ‘bistronomy’ dining always delights at The Farmyard, as does plant-based cuisine at The Gatherers, and the heavenly dessert-only menu at The Fig Bar. Special occasion? Head to celebrity chef territory – The Last Wine BarBenedicts and Roger Hickman’s. Cocktail queens will love Gonzos Tea Room, Mr Postles Apothecary, Rooftop Gardens and Gyre & Gimble. The Assembly House is a must for afternoon tea (and more!) as is Norwich institution Biddy’s Tea Room which has gorgeous bakes and over 50 blends of tea. Fave pubs include the groovy Earlham (host of the Muddy Awards 2021), The Unthank in the Golden Triangle and the Fat Cat Brewery Tap in the north of the city. And no need to travel for authentic flavour when you can eat the world at fantastique family bistro Français L’Hexagone, Turkish inspired speakeasy Haggle, The Merchants of Spice with its renowned Indian signature dishes, and delectable Japanese Shiki in Tombland.

Plus the veggie/vegan scene is fantastic so check out our list of best places for green eating here.

SHOP

Pop to The Lanes via Norwich Market, a hive of both small street food vendors and indie outlets, including Muddy Award-winning gift and jewellery boutique Lisa Angel. Don’t miss Gentleman’s Walk and its brilliant 250-year-old family-run department store Jarrold with an innovative Store Folk section championing eclectic indies artisan makers across the county. Fashionistas head to Vanilla and for excellent personal service, niche brands and Danish style and Ginger on Timberhill (so much good stuff on this street!). Carrie Bradshaws will love Milly J Shoes for strikingly unconventional shoe clips to jazz up your old size nines and lovers of pearls check out Stoned and Hammered on Elm Hill – exquisite! And we LOVE Atwin Store – a gorgeous lifestyle hub with its heart and soul in Norfolk’s vibrant community of indie makers and designers. Meanwhile Seven Wolves is the biz for cool menswear and Dogfish for street gear. And all the main brands can be found at Chantry Place.

If you’re shopping for little ones you NEED Muddy Award winning Flicka for beautiful Scandi gifts or classic toy shop Langleys in the Royal Arcade. Also in the Arcade is gorgeous Muddy Award winning jeweller Sonkai plus Saffire Chocolates and Masterchef Finalist Tim Kinnaid’s Macarons and More – both super glam sugar fixes. And in this most bookish of cities your luck’s in with the brilliant Book Hive and joyous, uber child-friendly Muddy Award winner Bookbugs and Dragon Tales.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

Norwich Castle graces the city skyline and is great for a family day out. There’s world-class entertainment at Muddy Award-winning Norwich Theatre Royal, Norwich Arts Centre and Norwich Playhouse and more. The Sainsbury Centre on the UEA campus is a fantastic space with a fabulous permanent collection, exhibitions and sculpture park in the landscaped grounds. Fans of the Marvel movies will be in for a surprise too! (Clue: it features in Avengers: Age of Ultron.) There are lovely parks and green spaces, two cathedrals and two rivers the Yare and the Wensum – Norfolk Paddleboards will get you out on the peaceful city backwaters. Plus the Broads and stunning coastline are in easy reach.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

£272,818. On average, terraced properties sell for £243,409, semi-detached £255,400 and detached £390,602. Good local estate agents in the area are Minors & Brady, Websters and Pymm & Co.

HOT PROPERTY

This Grade II-listed city centre townhouse with courtyard garden is tucked away in a sought-after pocket of Norwich. £550,000 via Brown&Co

SCHOOLS

Plenty of excellent private school options in the city centre including Norwich School in the cathedral grounds, Norwich High School for Girls and Town Close. Nearby countryside boarding options – Wymondham College and Langley. State options include the many Good and Outstanding primaries across the city. High schools include Ofsted Good Jane Austen College with an Outstanding sixth form, which specialises in English, humanities and the arts, in partnership with Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form, the UK’s first specialist science and mathematics sixth form. Also rated Outstanding is Notre Dame High School and Sixth Form. Creative teens eyeing up London art schools should look at City College‘s UAL diplomas taught in modern Creative Arts studios. There’s an impressive range of traditional and alternative courses plus the uber cool new multi-million-pound Digi-Tech Factory.

BEST KEPT SECRET

Norwich’s own Diagon Alley – completely hidden secret passageways and abandoned houses have been discovered beneath Castle Street. The Shoebox Community Hub offers tours with a historian storyteller. If you love crime novels, read The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths which features disturbing goings on in these old tunnels deep under the city.

COMMUTE

118 miles and 2 hours 17 drive from Norwich to London or 1 hour 30 mins by direct train into Liverpool Street. Cambridge is 1 hour 14 mins by car or 1 hour 20 mins by train.

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live

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Norfolk

Best Place to Live in Norfolk Reader Vote

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Burnham Market

Remember the Stella Artois campaign 'Reassuringly expensive'? There's a reason Burnham Market's nicknamed Chelsea-on-Sea and it's not because of iced buns.

Kings Lynn

Maritime West Norfolk town on the banks of the River Ouse with a beautiful historic quarter and rich cultural life.

Diss

Built around a six-acre lake known as ‘The Mere’, this ancient market 'slow town' on the border of Norfolk and Suffolk sits at the gateway to the Waveney Valley.

Reepham

Vibrant mid-Norfolk market town with lovely architecture between the Bure and Wensum valleys.

sheringham beach with people sunbathing and swimming in the sea

Sheringham

This traditional seaside fishing town sits on the tail end of the posher North Norfolk coast, making it more accessible and more fun.

Hungate Street in Aylsham

Aylsham

In the 'middle of everywhere' – this market town offers all the benefits of country life, plus lovely independent shops and unique places to relish some of the UK's finest food.

wymondham town sign with tudor building in background

Wymondham

Wymondham is packed with rich heritage including an Abbey plus a nice selection of shops, eateries and great schools.

Norwich

With its indie shops, buzzy cultural scene and riverside walks Norwich is one of the UK's coolest cities with a radical history and vibrant future-facing energy.

Know another brilliant place to live in Norfolk?

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