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Norwich first came to prominence in the early 10th century, mainly because it had its own mint. Around this time, the city also became a major centre for trade, as the River Wensum provided easy access to Great Yarmouth, and from there to the rest of Europe. Coins from Norwich's mint have been discovered as far away as Scandinavia and the Rhineland, giving an impression of the extent of the city's trade. As a result, by the 11th century Norwich was England's largest city, after London. This was a position it held until about the time of the Industrial Revolution.

Several reminders of this prosperous time remain in Norwich today, and exploring the rich collection of twisting lanes and narrow passageways on foot is easy. There are a number of architectural gems scattered across the centre; Norwich Castle was constructed in 1067, as William the Conqueror realised the importance of protecting this wealthy city. Open as a museum today, the castle gives a fascinating insight into the history of the region, and has a range of displays on other subjects such as Queen Boudica of the Iceni Tribe.

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Norwich and the Norfolk Broads
Mr A Pilbeam
“We were well satisfied with the tour, the only snags were that we could have used more time at Sandringham and some people found the stairs at the hotel a problem

Norwich Cathedral

The imposing cathedral was built between 1096 and 1145, and is arguably the most magnificent landmark in all of Norfolk. Despite some minor alterations, it has remained surprisingly unchanged since this time; so much of the beautiful structure is in the Norman style. Its huge spire is the tallest in England after Salisbury.

The Cathedral Close is also a nice place to walk to, with its handsome houses and auxiliary buildings, including the old chapel and King Edward VI School - which is where the cathedral choir are currently educated. Other highlights of this beautiful town include its second cathedral. The Cathedral of St John the Baptist is the second-largest Catholic Church in England, and is a delight to discover. With its excellent access to the Broads and many nearby beaches, Norwich is a fantastic place from which to explore Norfolk.



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