Synopsis: Directions and things to do and see on a scenic day trip from London to Norwich.
For a day trip from London why not venture eastwards to the charming city of Norwich in the East Anglia region? Experience life at a gentler pace as you explore this historic cathedral city where you can indulge in a spot of shopping or visit some of it's fascinating medieval buildings.
What's to see in Norwich
In the 11th century, Norwich was second only to London in terms of size and importance, though it isn't quite in the same league any more. Today it continues to be a popular city break destination and it's one of the UK's top ten shopping destinations. It boasts a mix of chain retailers and independent stores as well as one of the largest outdoor markets in England.
For shopping, the Castle Mall and the Chapelfield Mall are both examples of the excellent retail options, and they're both located in the same area. There are also plenty of other shops scattered throughout the city.
Now for some sightseeing
The top tourist attraction in the city is Norwich Cathedral. This 900-year old Norman cathedral church is well worth a look. Though originally Catholic, the church is now a Church of England. And if you're lucky enough you might get a chance to enjoy one of the few choirs that sing in the church.
Another cathedral in Norwich is the St John the Baptist Cathedral. This is a Catholic cathedral and is equally impressive, though it was only built at the turn of the last century. Other churches in the area include St John Maddermarket, St Peter Mancroft, and St Stephens.
Another excellent landmark worth visiting is Norwich Castle.
Originally built by William the Conqueror, the castle has been rebuilt over the centuries and only the keep remains. It was for a time used as a gaol but today it's used as a museum and an art gallery.
Another medieval building in Norwich is Dragon Hall located on King Street. It was originally a trading hall but is now a museum. This Grade 1 listed building was bought by the City Council in the 70's and has been restored to its original state.
Situated opposite St Peter Mancroft Church is the Forum.
This contemporary building houses the Norfolk & Norwich Millennium (NML) Library as well as the local Tourist Information Center. The building itself is well worthwhile for all fans of modern architecture.
Located in the campus of the University of East Anglia you'll find the Sainsbury Center for Visual Arts. The building was designed by the renowned architect Norman Foster and was built in 1978. The collection found within was started with over 300 artworks and objects donated by Sir Robert and Lady Lisa Sainsbury. Now it houses several thousand works spanning over 5,000 years of human endeavor. It also houses the School of World Art Studies and Museology.
The Theater Royal is the largest theater in Norwich and presents a large range of drama, dance, comedy and music shows. Other theaters in the city include Maddermarket Theater and the Sewell Barn Theater.
How to get to Norwich
Norwich is located in East Anglia (the round peninsula on the back of England) about 190 km north-east of Central London.
If you're heading there from Central London, drive east towards White Chapel. In White Chapel you should be able to get onto the A11 and continue east until you turn left onto the A12. Stay on the A12 until you meet the North Circular Road. Turn left onto the North Circular Road, after about 800 meters you'll then need to take the off ramp for the M11.
If you're heading there from Heathrow Airport, follow signs for the M25. Stay on the M25, heading north and then east, for about 70km until you get to Junction 27 where you can exit onto the M11 towards Harlow/Cambridge/Norwich.
Once on the M11 beyond the M25, continue for about 50km before turning off east and rejoining the A11. This will take you the rest of the way to Norwich. The entire journey shouldn't take much longer than 2.5 hours.
Reference: Mairead Foley writes for Novacarhire.com where you can book car hire at airports, ferry ports, rail stations, cities and towns all over the world.