Its been a long winter in London and even longer since we treked out of London for some sight seeing in this great country Britain. We just wanted to get away for a change of scenery.
A quaint Norwich street in the old part of the town
We took a train out of London Liverpool street to head east up to Norwich, which is near the eastern coastline. We have left London via all the 10 main stations, except for two, being Charing Cross and Euston.
It was a sort of sunny day, but the both of us soon had our heads in magazines. Though once we got a bit further out and nearly to Norwich, there was countryside and I thought we saw hares, but apparently they were small deer in tall grass. So the misunderstanding, you know they both have long ears and bounce around!!
Norwich street markets
When we pulled into Norwich, it was a pretty station (they have won a few prettiest town competitions) and a far cry from some of the previous stations with the loitering and very bored looking teenagers.
Mark was in charge of directions to the hotel, so consequently we got lost along the way because he did it from memory, it didn't help that the street we were after changed names before we got near it. Oh and he nearly got hit by a bus!
This is because in Norwich they have pedestrian crossings that have the walk sign/little man next to you, before you cross the road (so you cannot pay attention to the road) instead across the road. Though even though we had a green light, a bus went through in a bus lane that seemed to ignore that it was green for pedestrians. A bit scary.
The Earth from the Air display
Our hotel was nice, very central too (but still no face cloths). We were firstly starving and after wandering through all the little windy streets, we found a decent pub for a quick lunch. We then headed back up to the main market square area to a place called the forum, near one of the millions of churches (oh I so lost count - it was seriously rediculous).
There they had an open air exhibition for The Earth from the Air by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. This is 120 giant pictures from the A3 book I have at home with all the amazing pictures from different parts of the world (Av you've got this book too). There was even a giant world map which you could walk all over, you had to take off your shoes though.
After visiting the tourist info shop we worked out the "must do" sites in Norwich and decided first stop would have to be the Cathedral, as it would be closed the next day. It was a lovely cathedral that is about 900 years old, not as nice as Windsor, but am sure it never meant to service the Queen either. I even got to take photos inside, which turned out for a change.
The Choir pews, first dates back to the Benedictine Monks
The Peace Globe with the 15th century stained glass above
The Spire from the Cloisters
We then decided to do a bit of shopping and wandered through all 5 or 6 different shopping areas in central Norwich, quite good really as all the good shops were there (hard to say that for central London. Mark even picked up a pair of Billabong jeans for a bargain £16 (AUD$40) - you couldn't get them that cheap in Aus even. Mostly we just wandered around, then for dinner we found a fabulous authentic Greek restaurant for dinner (lovely!).
Historic cow tower along the river
Sunday was clear and bright, but damn near freezing and even colder with the blustering winds. We weren't dressed for it so it made it even more unpleasant than it should have been. We first had a big fry up breakfast at the hotel, have to make the most of breakfast when its included.
Norwich is on a river, which borders the North East of the town, and because the walk is quite pretty we went for a bit of a wander along it on our way up to Dragon Hall.
A house along the river
It sounds a bit scary, well its not, as it basically a building that was back in 1430 a medieval trading hall by a wealthy merchant.
Dragon hall interior, with a dragond depicted in the roof beams
Once we left there, it was raining outside, well we thought it was - it was actually snowing! I did say it was cold (just the sort that disapears instantly though). Burrrr, we practically ran back to the shopping mall for a hot chocolate to warm up again. Then we were off to Norwich Castle, right above the shopping mall (v. convenient). It was build by the Normans, that is why its a big square castle, back about 900 years ago as a Royal Palace. Though it spent 500 years, the most recent end of that, as a prison!
Inside Norwich Castle
Hummm, what to do next. It was a Sunday, so off to a pub - The Bell - for a Sunday roast, quite a good one too. Unfortunately after the lunch we had to move to a different pub to watch, well for Mark to watch, the soccer. I had a magazine to read so I was happy with that.
It would have been better if we'd had a car, as we were literally a stones throw from a few other interesting places including the coastline, but we now know a bit of extra research will help to be sure what we want to visit.
All good things must come to an end, the weekend that is, so by 8pm we were back at the train station to head back to London.
A Norwich cobbled stone street