Out & About
Discover… Norwich Lanes
Medieval architecture and cobbled streets house a multitude of independent businesses
The Norwich Lanes are a series of historic alleyways, courtyards and open spaces set near Norwich City Hall. The medieval architecture here is some of the finest you’ll find anywhere in the UK. Mainly pedestrianised, the cobbled Lanes are home to over 300 independent retailers, cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars. You’ll also find Cinema City, a beloved independent cinema; Maddermarket, a community theatre; two museums, several galleries and a host of live music venues.
What to see and do
Whether you’re visiting for the first time or you’ve been a resident of the Fine City all your life, a trip to the Museum of Norwich is essential to understand the history of this area. From the textile trade – once at the heart of the city’s wealth – to the production of shoes, chocolate and of course, mustard, discover the story of Norwich.
If you came here to shop ‘til you drop, you won’t be disappointed – you’ll find everything from vintage clothes, books and jewellers to boardgames, antiques and eco living products.
If you’re hungry after all that shopping, you’re in the right place, as there are countless fantastic eateries to choose from. A firm favourite here at Places&Faces is the Waffle House, one of the city’s first independent restaurants. Served in a relaxed, friendly setting, the famed Belgian waffles offer an unexpectedly perfect base for a variety of toppings both savoury and sweet. Low gluten and vegan waffles are also available. Torn between two? Get both! We recommend the Organic Beef Bolognaise followed by the Bakewell Style Waffle.
Tiny but mighty, you can’t beat Frank’s Bar for a drink (whether alcoholic or not) in a truly quirky, chilled out setting. Frequently exhibiting the work of local artists, Frank’s is cosily and tastefully decorated so there’s always something to look at. As a café/bar, the impressive selection of cocktails, wines, beers and spirits is matched by a good choice of teas, coffees and soft drinks. Vegans are well-catered to here (a friend was particularly overjoyed at their vegan marshmallows) and there’s a tasty array of bar snacks and nibbles if you’re feeling peckish.
Stay the night
38 St Giles
This boutique B&B in the heart of Norwich is a stone’s throw from the Lanes, Theatre Royal and the market, making it an ideal base for exploring, eating and drinking in this historic part of the city. The beautiful Georgian grade II listed townhouse offers six individually designed and comfortably furnished en-suite rooms and two luxurious suites. Homemade cakes are served on arrival with a choice of teas or coffee, while breakfast in the morning is a sumptuous affair with homemade preserves and all ingredients sourced from the finest local suppliers. The staff simply cannot do enough for you, and will happily help you cater to special events such as anniversaries and birthday celebrations.