Five of Britain’s best steam train journeys
31/12/2015 · By Matthew Ellis
Journey through time aboard some of Britain's finest steam trains. Discover the allure and nostalgia of these historic railways with Rail Discoveries.Read more
The beautiful and historic city of Norwich, the capital of the county of Norfolk in east England, has much to recommend it. Dominated by a magnificent Anglo-Norman cathedral built in 1096, Norwich is a pleasing jumble of historic and modern architecture, its shopping streets and open squares revealing museums, medieval churches, public gardens and other attractions seemingly at every turn. Deceptively compact, Norwich is both delightful and rewarding to explore on foot.
Following the departure of the Romans from their nearby town of Venta Icenorum in the fifth century, Anglo-Saxons founded a settlement called Northwic on the site of the modern city. By the ninth century the town had become an established centre of trade and commerce, minting its own coins. The Norman conquest of 1066 further shaped Norwich, by now one of the largest cities in England, with invaders adding a castle, a new borough and the cathedral to the city. From the Middle Ages onward a booming wool and textile industry brought prosperity which contributed to Norwich's establishment as a city of culture and recreation.
In modern times Norwich's economy derives from the service industries, although the city remains famous for shoemaking and mustard production. Today, this vibrant university town effortlessly blends history, culture and a wealth of modern attractions, entertainments and shops to create a city that truly provides something for every visitor to enjoy.
The city's breath-taking castle was intended for use as a Norman Royal Palace, but today this beautiful building serves as an excellent interactive museum and gallery whose treasures include important archaeological finds, fine artworks, costumes and textiles and collections and displays covering Norfolk's local, natural, social and regimental history.
Prior to the Norman Conquest of 1066, Norwich's colourful market was held in the space now occupied by the city's cathedral. Relocated to the city centre, Britain's largest Monday-to-Saturday open-air market is still going strong more than nine hundred years later and this atmospheric gathering of around two hundred stalls is an excellent place to find fresh local produce including fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, bread and cakes, cheeses and sweets.
Established in 1856 and tucked away at the heart of the city, the Plantation Garden is a hidden botanical gem which offers three acres of immaculate lawns, beautiful flower beds and features including an Italian terrace, a rustic bridge and a stunning Gothic fountain.
This unspoilt area close to the cathedral contains a host of Norwich's most historic buildings and architecture among its winding alleyways as well as an eclectic assortment of independent shops and many restaurants.