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Norwich: Shopping, Norman Conquests, Alan Partridge And More

Feb 8, 2008
Norwich is the county city of Norfolk, which means that there is plenty to see and do when you pay a visit to the area.

Norwich can trace its roots back to Roman times and although it is some way from the coast, it played a large role in the times of the Norman Conquest, probably due to its importance for trade even in those days. Indeed at that time it is thought to have been one of the largest cities in the country.

Times have moved on and Norwich is now more famous for its shopping than its distant invaders.

Shoppers will be delighted to visit the ancient market place which has been thriving since the time of the Normans and is now the largest open air market in England, opening six days a week.

More modern shops can be found in The Mall (which recently changed its name from Castle Mall, so you may still find references to the old name in some guide books). This was built to blend in with the historic city and much of the building is built into the side of a hill.

Its main rival is the Chapelfield mall, which has been built on the site of an old chocolate factory.

As a university town, you can expect to find a wide range of other things to do, some cultural, some less so.

Make sure you book your Norwich hotel in advance if you visit at the same time as the annual Norfolk and Norwich Festival. This arts and music festival draws crowds in from across the county and from further afield and can trace its roots back to 1772. Recently, it has featured performers such as Ray Davies (of Kinks fame) and the London Philharmonic Orchestra playing a score from a Charlie Chaplin film. There are both indoor and outdoor performances during the festival, some of which are free events.

Norwich residents fortunately have a sense of humor: the fictitious radio DJ Alan Partridge, brainchild of actor Steve Coogan, broadcasts his shows from the city. His distaste for the city is misplaced but comes across in his humor.

Sports fans will hope to take in a game by the Canaries, the nickname of Norwich City football club when they play at Carrow Road.

Unexpectedly for a mainly fenland area, there is a Norfolk Ski and Snowboarding club at nearby Trowse. So you may be able to practice your skills when you are in town.

Perhaps because of its excellent shopping, Norwich is a popular city break destination. The shopping features both the usual national chain retailers as well as many local stores where you can come across a variety of more unusual items. You can also investigate the history of the area and walk down its cobbled streets, maybe on your way to one of the several museums who make there home here.

Historical buildings include Norwich Cathedral, which can trace its roots back to the eleventh century and the castle (which is now actually a museum) which is about 100 years younger than the cathedral.
About the Author
For a wide choice of Norwich hotels and other accommodation in the city of Norwich, visit http://www.4hotels.co.uk/uk/norwich.html
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