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A City of Culture NO one comes to Norwich by mistake. It’s not en route to somewhere else and it doesn’t pretend to be like any other city on the planet. Which is why so many of the people who live and work here come to be part of Norwich’s vibrant cultural scene. But it’s also a bit of a secret too. Did you know, for instance, that Norwich is home to one of the UK’s top five city arts festivals – the oldest of its kind in the UK? Did you know its reputation for great literature has bred a whole new generation of writers and literary events? Were you aware that Europe’s biggest digital screen gallery is permanently open and free and housed here in Norwich? Are you surprised that top West End shows, operas and ballets come to the city and attract audiences of nearly 380,000 every year? Have you missed Picasso and Henry Moore in their East Anglian setting? Just about everywhere you look in the city of Norwich you will see something of its prodigious appetite for culture and the arts. Visit Norwich during May and you will find a city where performing and visual arts are literally spilling out into the streets as Norfolk & Norwich Festival stages some 350 events and performances in the space of 16 heady days. A world-class cast of artists from all over the globe bring music, theatre, circus, dance, literature and visual arts to suit all ages and all tastes into the heart of the city. Shows, events and interventions take place in medieval churches, in state-of-the art theatres and music venues, a 1930s-style Spiegeltent and outside on street corners, transforming the city into one enormous playground. And what a playground! As architecturally varied as it is stunning, Norwich boasts not one but two cathedrals, medieval churches by the score, landmark modern architecture such as Sir Michael Hopkins’ imposing Forum building and hidden gems such as Dragon Hall, the Guildhall and winding lanes and alleyways full of independent cafes and bars.

From the Georgian Assembly House where you can take tea, see visual arts exhibitions or take in a lunchtime concert, to the iconic Castle standing proud over the city centre, to the Puppet Theatre – one of only two in the UK – where you can see a show or book a tailor-made workshop or Sir Norman Foster’s Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, there are ample ways for groups or individuals to enjoy unique experiences almost everywhere you look. Norwich Theatre Royal, completely refurbished in 2007, presents a wide-ranging programme of entertainment throughout the year, including touring productions of top musicals like Les Miserables and Chess, prestigious ballet and opera companies like Glyndebourne and the Northern Ballet Theatre, and also produces its own hugely popular annual pantomime in-house. If your first love is the written word, Writers’ Centre Norwich, an internationally respected organisation, hosts literary events throughout the year including the Worlds Literature Festival each summer. But at any time of the year, Norwich moves to the beat of its own drum – unique, confident, diverse, talented and truly exceptional – and yours for the taking. Norwich is bidding to become the first UK City of Culture in 2013 and has already been shortlisted for this prestigious title. See page 2 for some top cultural highlights.


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The secret’s out

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Norwich, Norfolk Broads & Countryside Imagine a modern heritage city with beautiful historic buildings and a vibrant arts scene, together with sophisticated shopping, a wealth of attractions and mouth-watering restaurants. Imagine an area brimming with stunning wildlife, endless waterways and pretty villages, perfect for walking, boating, birdwatching or simply peace and relaxation. Imagine a place where wide skies stretch out over idyllic rustic landscapes, dotted with ancient churches, historic houses and picturesque market towns. You’ve just found Norwich - the perfect group-friendly destination for your clients! Set in the heart of East Anglia, the historic city of Norwich has everything you would desire of a vibrant regional capital. Not only is Norwich the most complete medieval city in Britain, with not one but two cathedrals, it’s also one of the UK’s top 10 places to shop. Such contrasts point to a rare blend of historic interest and modern sophistication. Alongside remnants of its old walls, you can explore the city’s intricate network of winding medieval streets and over 1,500 historic buildings from the breathtaking splendour of the Norman Cathedral and the imposing grandeur of Norwich Castle to the charming cobbles of Elm Hill with its timber-framed merchants’ houses. A wealth of museums and galleries, including the

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and Castle Museum, theatres, concerts, art-house cinema, a buzzing nightlife and a year round programme of festivals, celebrating everything from music and literature to food and beer, combine to offer vibrant entertainment and give the city a truly cosmopolitan feel. There is a huge choice of things for groups of all sizes to experience and enjoy in Norwich from visiting the city’s wide range of attractions, admiring its stunning historic sites, taking in its amazing shopping to simply enjoying a walking, bus or boat tour. Groups can book a Blue Badge Guide with Norwich Tourist Information Centre, step aboard the City Sightseeing Bus or choose from a number of self-guided trails around the city. Beyond its historic city walls Norwich is surrounded by idyllic countryside where pretty villages, ancient churches, bustling markets, antiques and auctions, individual shops, tempting cafés stir your senses and inspire you to visit time and again. With one of the rivers of the Norfolk Broads running through it, Norwich is the only city in the land with a National Park at its heart. From the doorstep of the city the rivers, lakes and fens of the Broads extend far in to the Norfolk countryside

Cultural highlights Assembly House, Norwich Maddermarket Theatre Norfolk & Norwich Festival Norfolk Contemporary Arts Society Norfolk Dance Norwich Arts Centre Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery Norwich Cathedral Norwich Fringe Festival Norwich HEART Norwich Playhouse Norwich Puppet Theatre Norwich Theatre Royal Norwich University College of the Arts Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts The Forum Norwich Writers’ Centre Norwich

www.assemblyhousenorwich.co.uk www.maddermarket.co.uk www.nnfestival.org.uk www.n-c-a-s.org.uk www.norfolkdance.co.uk www.norwichartscentre.co.uk www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk www.cathedral.org.uk www.norwichfringefestival.com www.heritagecity.org www.norwichplayhouse.org.uk www.puppettheatre.co.uk www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk www.nuca.ac.uk www.scva.org.uk www.theforumnorwich.co.uk www.writerscentrenorwich.org.uk

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surrounded by gentle rolling fields, quiet lanes and charming villages. With its unique wetland habitat providing both a haven for wildlife and 200kms of navigable waterways, the Broads provides the perfect place to explore or simply relax and unwind in stunning natural surroundings topped with wide open skies.

See you soon...

Don’t miss the Norfolk Travel Trade Manual – your indispensable guide with places to visit and stay, meal stops, guided tours and special event information. Request your free copy on 01603 727979.


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The most complete medieval city in Britain

1,000 years of history Over 1,500 historic buildings lie within the city walls of Norwich and its compact scale means you can easily explore the city on foot. Its ancient buildings and city wall remains make Norwich the most complete medieval city in Britain. As well as two magnificent cathedrals and an imposing Norman castle, you’ll find over 30 beautiful flint churches within the pretty medieval streets such as the beautifully preserved Elm Hill. Twelve of the city’s finest heritage buildings are now grouped together as the Norwich 12 www.norwich12.co.uk – the UK’s finest collection of individually outstanding heritage buildings spanning 1,000 years of history from the Norman, medieval, Georgian and Victorian eras to the modern day. Together they form an internationally important showcase of English urban and cultural

Heritage Highlights Norwich Castle is architecturally the most ambitious secular Norman building in Europe. Now a museum and art gallery, it is home to outstanding collections of fine art, archaeology and natural history. Norwich Cathedral is celebrated as one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Europe. Its new £10m Hostry provides a visitor centre, exhibition space and educational facilities and The Refectory is an ideal refreshment stop for groups. Dragon Hall is a magnificent medieval Grade 1 merchant’s trading hall and is unique in Europe. Hands-on displays and free audio tours make it ideal for all ages.

development. Come and explore these iconic landmarks through guided walks and tours, visitor attractions, exhibitions, music and performances, cafés, restaurants and gift shops. From July this year a series of four new guided walking tours will be available taking in three of the iconic buildings that make up Norwich 12. It will be a great opportunity for groups to get a taste of the heritage Norwich has to offer and experience some of the building’s 1,000 years of history in just a few hours. The tours will be led by an experienced Blue Badge Guide and, wherever possible, will include visits to the interiors of the buildings. Tours will run for groups of up to 20 people on Thursdays and Fridays from July to September and will take around three hours each.

The Assembly House is one of the most glorious examples of Georgian assembly rooms architecture in the country. It is now a centre for the arts and performance with concert rooms, galleries and a restaurant. St John’s Roman Catholic Cathedral is a 20th century Gothic masterpiece. Visitors can learn more about the Cathedral in the relaxed surroundings of the new Narthex. The Forum is the landmark millennium building for the East of England and a stunning example of 21st century design. Be inspired by Fusion, the giant digital gallery; tour the headquarters of BBC East; enjoy a changing programme of free and ticketed events or relax and revive over coffee and lunch.

Eating out in style Some of Norwich’s finest independently owned restaurants are housed in some of the city’s most impressive and unique buildings. Don’t miss the elegant restaurant within the Georgian Assembly House, Caley’s Cocoa Café in the 15th century Guildhall, The Refectory at Norwich Cathedral, The Library in the city's former records library and The Dining Rooms in 15th century Suckling Hall. Delia Smith has two restaurants, Delia's and Yellows, at her beloved Norwich City Football Club and it might be a chain but few PizzaExpress locations can rival the impressive cityscape view from the first floor restaurant in The Forum. For details of over 60 great places to eat out in the Norwich area, including many that welcome groups and 24 that offer discount vouchers, pick up a copy of the Eating Out guide from Norwich Tourist Information Centre or see www.visitnorwich.co.uk

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Shop Norwich

@VisitNorwich

Norwich Lanes

One of the UK’s top 10 places to shop* It’s not hard to see why Norwich ranks so high for shopping. With its large pedestrian areas and bustling lanes, its quirky, independent shops, 6 day open-air market and spacious modern shopping malls, Norwich is truly a unique shopping destination. Range, quality and that element of surprise are all part of the Norwich shopping experience. The city’s ‘high street’ includes St Stephen’s and pedestrianised thoroughfares like Gentleman’s Walk and London Street. The Mall Norwich and Chapelfield shopping centres have over 150 stores between them and, as a whole, Norwich has all the UK’s leading department stores, including John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser, Bhs and Debenhams.

Norwich is a proud finalist for Best Shopping Venue for Groups Town or Shopping Centre.

Dozens of independent shops bring an extra dimension to any trip. Jarrold has been named UK Independent Department Store of the Year twice and the Norwich Lanes and Timberhill offer individual fashion and lifestyle shopping, against a background of narrow alleys and beautiful historic buildings. Elm Hill, Norwich’s most famous medieval cobbled street, combines beautifully preserved timber framed houses with delightful shops selling fine art, antiques - and teddy bears! For more information about the city’s outstanding retail offer ask for a copy of the Norwich Visitor & Shopping Map available free from Norwich Tourist Information Centre or download it from www.shopnorwich.co.uk * Venuescore Survey, The Javelin Group 2009

Get your invaluable guide to attractions and shopping in Norwich free from Norwich Tourist Information Centre call 01603 213999.

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The historic Norwich Lanes area of the city boasts some of the best and most varied shopping, leisure and entertainment experiences in the region. Shopping in Norwich Lanes along its cobbled streets and narrow alleys, lined with beautiful historic buildings, is always a pleasure and the area is packed full of small, independent and creative shops for your enjoyment. The Norwich Lanes embrace all aspects of contemporary lifestyle shopping! Wander the Norwich Lanes and find fashion boutiques, handmade jewellery, shoe shops, hair, make-up and beauty salons. You will also find remedies, chemists, health shops and specialist grocers offering both traditional and more unusual provisions from around the world. There’s also a range of furniture shops, second hand shops, record, CD and music stores, book shops and many interesting gift shops. And for your relaxation and entertainment Norwich Lanes offers a variety of experiences with restaurants, pubs, juice bars and cafés, music venues, theatres, craft fairs, museums and churches. You’ll wander through the Norwich Lanes admiring the architecture and simply fall in love with this exclusive, vibrant and eclectic mix of shops and venues. And behind every one of Norwich Lanes’ shops there are friendly retailers and staff offering the personal touch that make Norwich Lanes special and quite unlike anywhere else in the City. www.norwichlanes.co.uk

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Eating out of the National Parks family A member

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Enjoy the Broads THE BROADS is the perfect place for groups to explore or simply relax and unwind in stunning surroundings. With status equivalent to a National Park, the 200km of navigable waterways, woodland and marshes are a haven for wildlife and surrounded by gentle rolling countryside, quiet lanes and pretty towns and villages, topped with wide open skies. Admire the sedate progress of a majestic wherry or the stately silhouette of a windmill across a misty broad. Opportunities to take to the water are plentiful; just step aboard one of the many scheduled boat tours operating on the rivers around the Broads and watch the world go by. Most provide a full commentary and refreshments on board. Broads Tours offer a variety of tours all year round for groups of all sizes from their base at Wroxham (just 10 miles north east of Norwich or 20 miles from Great Yarmouth). For smaller groups, wildlife boat trips can be

enjoyed from Barton Broad on Ra (Britain’s first solar-powered passenger boat), Liana from Beccles, the Electric Eel from How Hill or the Helen of Ranworth which will take you from Ranworth Staithe to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Broads Wildlife Centre. Or why not be your own skipper and hire a boat for an hour, a day or longer? Explore the 180 acres of unique woodland and water garden at Fairhaven or the huge forest of family fun at BeWILDerwood and take advantage of their favourable group rates. Don’t forget Wroxham Barns, the award-winning ‘must visit’ for groups with its 10 craft studios, restaurant-café, plant centre and micro-brewery. Take a trip on the Bure Valley Railway, Norfolk’s longest narrow gauge steam railway that runs between Aylsham and Wroxham. The 18 mile round trip takes you through the beautiful countryside of the Bure Valley and can

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be combined with a cruise on the Broads. And it’s not just Norwich that has fantastic shops; Wroxham is home to ‘the world’s largest village store’, Roys of Wroxham, offering great value shopping on fashions and footwear, toys, gifts, homewares and much more. For a bargain don’t miss Lathams, the discount superstore in Potter Heigham which is part of the QD group. Round off your trip with a refreshment stop at a traditional waterside pub, restaurant or tearoom and look out for the Broads Quality Charter mark which highlights places that have been assessed for quality and where you’re sure to find a warm Norfolk welcome. For more information about the Broads ask for a free copy of Enjoy the Broads available from Norwich Tourist Information Centre or download it from www.enjoythebroads2010.com


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The perfect group destination, all year round

Seasonal itinerary ideas Spring

Winter

• The natural beauty of the Broads comes alive in spring. Fairhaven Woodland & Water Garden boasts 131 acres of beautiful ancient woodland, water gardens and a private broad, whilst if you visit Wroxham Barns this time of year and you could bottle feed the lambs! • Every May the Norfolk & Norwich Festival sees some of the world’s finest performers come to Norwich for one of the UK’s leading international arts festivals, with classical and choral music, jazz, world music, dance, comedy, ‘left-field’ events and outdoor spectaculars. www.nnfestival.org.uk • The National Trust’s Blickling Hall is a Jacobean treasure-trove with a large lake and spectacular stately gardens awash with vibrant spring colours.

• Visitors to Norwich during the run-up to Christmas will be rewarded with the city’s annual celebration of the festive season, Norwichristmas. Highlights include the tallest Christmas tree in the country, a 12 day craft event at The Forum, a historic Christmas fayre at Norwich Cathedral and a medieval Christmas market at Dragon Hall. See www.norwichristmas.co.uk for more. • From mid-November you can shop till late at many city centre shops and don’t forget Norwich Market, the largest six-day open air market in the country with more than 190 covered stalls, many offering local and festive specialities, food and gifts. Norwich’s Christmas lights will be switched on this year on Thursday 18 Nov. • Outside Norwich, the Bure Valley Railway and the Mid-Norfolk Railway all offer Mince Pie and Santa Specials throughout the festive season and Broads Tours offer special Santa Cruises on the Norfolk Broads.

Summer

Autumn

• The sun is shining so hop on the open top City Sightseeing bus tour, enjoy afternoon tea on the lawn at the Assembly House or explore the beautiful Plantation Garden. • Groups can enjoy many exciting and innovative events at The Forum all year round but in summer a programme of free and ticketed outdoor events, including exuberant street theatre, give the city a real buzz. Housed within The Forum, BBC Norwich offer studio tours that are perfect for the British summertime! • Make the most of the long summer nights and take an evening walking tour of the city with a Blue Badge Guide. Tours start at 6.30pm from the Tourist Information Centre and run twice weekly Jun-Sept.

• Heritage Open Days (9-12 Sept 2010) are a big deal in Norwich. In fact the city boasts the largest events programme of any city in England and Wales, outside of London, giving the opportunity to tour many heritage sites not normally open to the public. • Tickle your taste buds at the annual EDP Bidwells Norfolk Food Festival (29 Aug - 3 Oct 2010) with hundreds of fun foodie events across Norwich and Norfolk. Don’t miss the Battle of the Bangers Sausage Competition – it includes free tastings! • The annual Autumn International Literary Festival at the University of East Anglia attracts a glittering array of writers and is a must for literature lovers.

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ACCOMMODATION IN THE NORWICH AREA The Arlington Hotel Group Norwich, Wroxham, North Walsham & Swaffham All groups and tours are welcome at our friendly family-run hotels. Each hotel is entirely individual but all offer high standards of accommodation and service at affordable prices. Whether it’s city, town, country or by the Norfolk Broads, there’s an Arlington Hotel to suit your group’s needs and budget. T: 01603 617841 E: julie@arlingtonhotelgroup.co.uk W: www.arlingtonhotelgroup.co.uk

Holiday Inn Norwich Ipswich Road, Norwich NR4 6EP For service where you’re at the heart of everything we do, come and stay at the Holiday Inn Norwich on Ipswich Road. We’re in an ideal location for visiting Norwich and the Norfolk coast. Enjoy free parking, our Spirit Health Club and a great evening meal with our fresh dining menus. T: 01603 730341 / 01603 730342 E: reservations-norwich@ihg.com W: www.holidayinn.com/norwich

Holiday Inn Norwich City Carrow Road, Norwich NR1 1HU Norwich’s newest Holiday Inn. An ideal group base. Standards you’d expect from an international brand, tailored to your needs. 150 air conditioned non smoking contemporary rooms, most with two double beds in each and all en-suite. Ample coach parking. Our friendly and experienced team look forward to welcoming your guests. T: 0870 890 1000 E: reservations.norwich@kewgreen.co.uk W: www.holidayinn.com/norwichcity

Premier Inn Norwich City Centre (Duke Street) Duke Street, Norwich NR3 3AP Conveniently located close to all the main attractions in Norwich, this hotel also makes an ideal base from which to explore the local area. Friendly service. 117 spacious, clean, comfortable, modern en-suite bedrooms with king-size beds. The integrated restaurant serves a mix of both traditional and contemporary dishes. T: 01603 283340 E: norwichccdukestreet.pi@whitbread.com W: www.premierinn.com

Premier Inn Norwich Nelson City Centre Prince of Wales Road, Norwich NR1 1DX The newest, largest and most unique Premier Inn to Norwich. With beautiful gardens and a riverside setting, this city centre hotel boasts 159 bedrooms, a 300 cover Table Table restaurant and an integral Costa store. Free coach parking on-site, whether you’re staying at the hotel or just dining with us. T: 01603 760 260 E: reservations.norwichnelson@whitbread.com W: www.premierinn.com

For events, general information and ideas to inspire you, visit www.visitnorwich.co.uk or contact us on 01603 727979

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