Norwich Car Hire
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- Norwich is unofficially seen as the capital of East Anglia and was once the biggest city in England behind and currently has 140,000 inhabitants.
- Norwich is the home of the University of East Anglia which currently has 15,000 students most of them from outside of the UK.
- There are no motorways in and out of Norwich and only recently a dual carriageway was built making the journey to London fully duelled. The road runs through Elveden where there is one of the country’s most popular Center-Parcs.
- There are numerous hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars in the centre of the city, it’s a pleasant and compact city centre with the majority of shopping centres, a castle and market. The train station is walking distance from the city centre and close to the football stadium and riverside entertainment complex.
- Norwich market is one of the oldest in the UK and is overlooked by the Castle and the City Hall and within the main shopping streets.
- Norwich is the home of Norwich City Football Club nicknames the canaries who play their home games at Carrow Road.
- The speed limit on the dual carriageways is 70 MPH, the trunk roads 60 MPH and built up areas unless otherwise indicated are 30 MPH. School areas are often limited further to 20 MPH.
Guide to Norwich
Norfolk shopping hub
Norwich is great for shopping and boasts two fantastic Malls, one which was build under the castle in September 1993 and the other Chapelfield that was build on the grounds of the old Roundtree chocolate factory.
The “Castle Mall” now renamed “Castle Quarter” has a cinema, a brand-new bowling alley and some small boutique shops along side some major brands. The shopping centre built under the castle has access from various parts of the city and has gardens which are great to relax in with a great view of the castle in the summer.
Chaplefield is a modern and stylish shopping centre with all the biggest brands from Apple to Zara and with top floor food court upstairs can should be a staple of any visit to Norwich. If you are looking to spend some hard-earned cash then this is the first place to visit and during Christmas also has some small stalls outside offering festive treats.
Potted History of Norwich
Norwich’s growth as a city is due to the river Wensum which grew the small Anglo-Saxon settlement into what was the biggest city in the UK second only to London. Whilst the Romans were conquering England the city of Norwich and East Anglia was occupied by Celtic Iceni and lead by the infamous Boudicca, her rein was short lived but her name was firmly engraved in the history of the region.
After the Norman took over after the invasion of 1066, they quickly made Norwich and important location and built a castle, originally made of wood it was then build into stone less than 50 years later. The King eventually gave the castle to the city and it was turned into the city gaol where the leader of a rebellion in 1549 Robert Kett was hung in chains from the walls.
Norwich Cathedral was built at a similar time to the castle and is only second to Salisbury with a glorious 96 metre high spire and took 200 years to build due to bringing the stone in from Caen in Normandy. The Cathedral is located in Tombland which means “open space” in Anglo Saxon times. During the times of the build of the castle and cathedral the market place was moved to its current location and still stands over 900 years later and is one of the oldest open air markets in the UK.
During Medieval times a wall was built around the city and encircles 2.5 miles of the city with 12 defensive gates with catapults, parts of these walls are still standing and can be easily seen when walking around the city. Rumour has it that within these city walls were 52 churches, one for every day of the year and 365 bars/pubs, one for every day of the year. Even with the high percentage of churches in the city centre Norwich is seen as the least religious city in the UK after a recent census.
Norwich is renown for its industry and can boast such brands as Colemans mustard and also the home of Norwich Union insurance which is now Aviva, the first of the Norwich Union building can be found in the city centre and is known as the “home of insurance”
Norwich attractions and things to do
Visit the coast
Norwich is only 30 minutes from the coast and is close to a seaside town called Great Yarmouth which is famous for family holidays before the appearance of the cheap flights abroad. If it is old fashioned arcades, donkey rides or the pleasure beach then this is the place to go. If you are looking for something more peaceful you can find amazing small seaside towns in Sheringham and Wells these are only a short drive from Norwich but feel like a million miles away from Great Yarmouth.
The famous Norfolk broads are only a short drive from Norwich and they are a perfect way to spend a summer day, rent a boat and take stops at amazing waterside pubs from a drink and a quick bite in the sun. Start your journey in Wroxham where you can rent a boat, pack a picnic and just float the day away.
If it is good enough for the Royal Family to spend their time there over Christmas then it is good enough for you. Visit the Sandringham Estate and if you are lucky enough you may even be able to catch a sight of the Queen as she goes to church for the Christmas service.
Eating out in Norwich
You’ll find that Norwich is a great place to eat and will cater for almost all tastes, with some fantastic independent restaurants and pub grub you cannot go wrong:
Rooftop Garden. Close to both the city and the train station as the name suggests this rooftop restaurant which opened recently had a great menu and some even better cocktails. The views will top off the experience where you are able to see the city and the amazing views of the cathedral.
Address: The Union Building, 51-59 Rose Ln, Norwich NR1 1BY
Haggle: Another new addition to the city in the most upcoming and trendy street in the city called St Benedict. A really vibrant restaurant you can eat great middle eastern inspired food also offering vegan options. If you can’t choose from the great menu ask for a bit of everything and you will not be disappointed.
Address: 13 St Benedicts St, Norwich NR2 4PE
Middletons: If you like steaks then look no further, this restaurant is the place to go for the big meat eaters. Located in the centre of the city it is easy walking distance from the shop and the bars if you are looking to combine it with a night out in the city. Also, very close to “The Murderers” pub where you can enjoy a great pint and watch the football.
Address: 11-15 Timber Hill, Norwich NR1 3JZ
Norwich bars and pubs
The Ten Bells: This pub is on the same street as Haggle and has changed considerably over the years, now it boasts some of the best whiskey cocktails in the city. A short walking distance away from the main centre but some good drinking spots on the way there and back.
Address: Ten Bells, St Benedicts St, Norwich NR2 4AR
The Belgian Monk: As the name suggests this is place to go to sample some amazing Belgium beer, with a list on the wall showing the percentages there is a reason they are only served in smaller glasses. A recommendation is to try the cherry beer and the mussels and chips, make sure you ask for the garlic dip.
Address: 7 Pottergate, Norwich NR2 1DS
Where to stay in Norwich
The Maid’s Head: If you want history then this is place to stay, located on Tombland and directly opposite the cathedral. The hotel has modern bedroom and they often have events such as murder mystery for the Hercule Poirot amongst you.
Address: 20 Tombland, Norwich NR3 1LB
Dunstan Hall: An Elizabethan Style mansion with a spa and golf course, a short drive out of the city but well worth the stay. Afternoon teas are also served if a round of golf isn’t your game and some beautiful grounds to relax in.
Address: Ipswich Rd, Norwich NR14 8PQ
Car hire in Norwich Airport
About Norwich Airport (NWI)
Norwich Airport NWI is 15 minutes from the city centre and train station and is very important to the Oil industry in the UK with flights from Norwich Airport to Aberdeen. Only recently Norwich Airport has increased flights to destinations such as Spain, Turkey and Greece where
Car hire companies onsite at the airport include the usual major brands such as Alamo and Europcar.
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