Lydia Lockyer, Lillie Coles, Marty Ruczynska, Grace Fothergill and Melina Kouyialis give the inside scoop on getting to know Norwich
As much as we all love whiling our weekends away in the S.U pub, sometimes it’s tempting to breach the campus boundaries and see what Norwich and the rest of Norfolk has to offer. Spend a Saturday with your new flatmates discovering Norwich’s best spots or go further afield and escape to see some beautiful Norwich scenery.
If you’re in need of some country air and a bit of rural exploring, you’ve come to the right place. UEA, despite its city bearings, is closely located to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. The most accessible seaside towns from Norwich are Cromer, Sheringham and Great Yarmouth. In 45 minutes and for £4.75 (with a Young Persons Railcard) you’ll reach Cromer. On arrival it seems like a normal market town but walk towards the sea front and you’ll find little streets dotted with gift shops, independent bookstores, arcades, ice-cream stalls and award winning fish and chip shops. Make sure to walk down the Instagram-able pier, and don’t miss the world famous Cromer crab.
Sheringham, another traditional beach town, is bigger than Cromer and slightly further away – 1 hour from Norwich. Walk along the sandy beach front to see the picturesque beach huts and if you’re feeling adventurous, catch the North Norfolk Railway- a classic steam train which runs to Holt and back. For a more urban experience, visit Great Yarmouth where you’ll find an abundance of seaside foods, a huge pier and giant sandy beach- with the crowds to match.
Norfolk’s charm doesn’t only lie in its beaches, however. The Norfolk Broads are a series of beautiful lakes, waterways and rivers, and are UEA’s answer to punting in Cambridge. Hire a boat for the day and explore the vast interconnecting waterways, as you conquer marshy grasslands, shallow lakes and lots and lots of mud. In low season, hiring a boat for 3 hours will only cost you around £50 – club together with your mates and you’ve got a cheap day trip sorted.
If you’d prefer to stay closer to campus but still want to explore, check out Norwich’s biggest sights and hidden gems. You can’t miss Norwich castle as you walk through town but why not go and visit? Built by the Normans 900 years ago, the castle is one of Norwich’s oldest and most impressive landmarks with spectacular views. Inside, you’ll find a gallery and museum showcasing a collection of artwork, historical artefacts and even some taxidermy. Good for a rainy day and students get a discounted entry at £7.25.
Get off the beaten track and discover some less obvious places in Norwich too. Walk in the footsteps of Taylor Swift and Snoop Dog and visit Earlham Park, the location. Radio 1ís 2015 big weekend. With wide open spaces, riverside walkways and pretty woodland areas, Earlham park is a perfect place to escape from the library. Located on the other side of campus is Eaton Park, one of Norwich’s oldest green spaces. Grab a coffee or ice cream at Eaton Park café and wonder around the impressive dome-liked bandstand, the gorgeous boating pond and the scenic rose garden. Eaton Park also features a skate park and putting green. Challenge your flatmates for a round of Crazy Golf at only £4 per person. GF
Frank’s Bar Located behind Jarrolds department store, on Bedford Street, Frank’s Bar is a chilled out café-bar. It definitely provides a warm, lively atmosphere and would be a great place to start your night, as alongside your cocktails – I recommend the Apple Crumble & Custard and the Dark & Swarmy – you can order a few nibbles on the side, such as the tapas platter. Frank’s is more on the pricey side but is great for a celebration.
Lust & Liquor Similar to Frank’s Bar, Lust & Liquor is a cocktail bar and kitchen (as the majority are in Norwich). Every Wednesday is Buy One Get One Free night, and what student doesn’t love anything that is free?! Tuesdays are Taco Tuesdays: four tacos and a drink for £15. My personal cocktail favourites are Clover Club (simple, fruity and delicious) and Yellowbird Daiquiri.
Mr. Postle’s Apothecary Here, cocktails are referred to as potions ñ Mr Postles is a very quirky place but definitely worth a visit. The potions are often served in a very funky way (steaming cocktails anyone? Order one of the kettles or teapots). When I’m there I usually reach for Mr. Postles Meringue Martini or Elderflower Kir, and every Thursday they are 2-4-1!
Be at One, with a cool and London-like vibe, solely serving cocktails, their flavour options are practically endless as they offer all types of alcohol. Lychee Martini is what I reach for the most, as it’s just so easy to drink, but Mint Julep or El Presidente are also amazing. They often have 2-4-1 deals, and, if you download their app they offer 2 for £10 cocktails for an hour, so if you’re in a group it’s worth getting someone to download the app each hour!
The Birdcage is known for hosting music nights, and they often collaborate with our very own UEA Live Music Society. It is located opposite the Grosvenor Fish and Chip Bar, and you can buy a meal and then take it over to Birdcage to enjoy it alongside some live music and unique cocktails. They don’t provide a cocktail menu on their website, as there is not a huge range – but they are all fantastic and wonderfully presented. The Elderflower Prosecco is very refreshing, and if you’re feeling brave, they offer The Marauder – a comforting creamy cocktail served in a tiny milk bottle! MR
Feeling the need for a classic student night? Want to run into some friendly faces? The LCR on UEA campus is the place to be. Open every Tuesday and Saturday, you can find everything from themed parties to cheap drinks and even the occasional funfair.
However, if you’re a fan of alternative music, there’s a venue for that too – The Waterfront. Every Friday is Propaganda, a night of pop-punk and rock tunes. You get the benefits of student prices in a roomy venue by the river.
Everyone occasionally wants a bit of cheese, and in Norwich, you need look no further than the Loft. The main LGBTQ+ club in the city always draws a crowd on Thursday nights. The drinks prices are cheap, music spans Britney to Backstreet Boys and you even get karaoke on the bottom floor.
For popular music and busy nights look to Mantra on a Thursday. Drinks may be a little pricier than the LCR but there is always a great atmosphere.
The Crypt offers a more intimate atmosphere, and is located in a beautifully restored crypt beneath Bedford’s bar. It’s a beautiful setting with a range of different nights from live bands to oldies classics. However, bring cash as they often don’t accept card.
Crypt nights usually end before 3am, so if you believe your night can’t end there, just look across the road for Karma Kafe. With 3 floors, it’s especially large. With music ranging from drum’n’bass to house to oldies music, karma has it all. UEA’s Live Music Society often host events at Karma, which are always well received and not too pricey!
No matter your tastes in music, you are sure to find a great night out in Norwich. MK
UEA might be a campus based university, but we are also pretty lucky to have a well-rounded city centre close by – only a short bus ride away from campus on the 25 or 26. While it’s easy enough to pop into town to grab a new pair of shoes, or have a quick browse, it’s definitely worth taking a bit more time to explore all that Norwich has to offer. From the ancient city walls and cobbled lanes, to the well-stocked shopping malls, Norwich has everything you could ask for, and it’s right on your doorstep. It is definitely worth taking a trip to the city this Fresher’s – take your flatmates to see the sights and get to know your new home. The city is not only about nightlife, but has far more to offer during the day.
Home to an array of stalls, with everything from key cutting to vegan food, the market is a landmark of Norwich. The colours and atmosphere make the market the hub of the city, and if you head to the top you will find the City Hall, and a beautiful view of the castle and city. To get the best view of the market, head into the Sir Garnet pub and take your pint to the top floor. This is especially lovely at night, when the lights of the city shine.
Brick Pizza sits beneath the Sir Garnet, and serves fresh pizzas from an open kitchen. For a lighter bite, the hog roast stand has some of the best pork rolls and crackling in the city. Venture across the street to the old Arcade, where you can find a classic toyshop, fashionable interior design store and Macarons and More – perfect for presents!
The Cathedral Gardens
Norwich Cathedral is part of the Church of England, and is nestled in beautiful grounds. Step back in time through the cathedral gates to what seems to be a country village. The small streets and lanes are perfect for a city stroll, and the manicured lawns are perfect for a picnic. Hear the bells ring out over the city and head inside to see a selection of art, regular events and of course, religious services. UEA Christian Union society hold a Christmas carol service in the cathedral every year, with a lively and upbeat atmosphere. The ornate ceilings and ancient cloisters are worth a visit, and so is the cafe. Perhaps after your visit, you could exit the cathedral gardens and eat at La Tasca, Zizzi, Prezzo or have a drink at All Bar One
The Norwich Lanes
For independent shops and restaurants, the lanes are your best bet in Norwich. Head towards St Andrew’s Hall for a selection of intriguing pubs such as Tap House, restaurants like Mambo Jambo’s for Tex-Mex classics, or head to Gonzo’s for a drink – day or night!
The main thoroughfare of the lanes is St Benedict’s Street, home to the widest selection of cute restaurants and shops. The Bicycle Shop serves delicious food and hosting open mics in the downstairs bar, and Benedicts is great for a fancy meal. If you’re feeling really fancy, Roger Hickman’s is nearby, the namesake of a top Michelin starred chef.
Head to Cinema City for a meal at the dining rooms, or to watch a film in comfort and style. You can take your own bottle of wine into the cinema and can also buy a student membership card for discounted tickets. Run by Picture House, Cinema City often hosts exclusive films with live streamed Q&A’s, alongside the widest selection of independent and up-and-coming movies in the city.
If you’d like to see the historic cobbles of Norwich, be sure to visit Elm Hill, home to adorable bookshops and a quaint tea room.
Stay on the bus through the city centre, and you will reach Riverside. Home to a retail park, dining complex, cinema and bowling alley, it now also has a trampoline park which is always a fun day out. Riverside is also the location of Norwich rail station, which runs regular services to London, Cambridge, smaller Norfolk towns and even ventures further north.
Football fans can also visit Riverside to find Norwich city football club on Carrow Road. The Canaries play in the Football League Championship and their stadium holds over 27,000 people. Even if you do not hold a ticket to the game, you can still eat at the restaurants on site, all run by Norfolk’s beloved celebrity chef, Delia Smith.
Jarrolds is the independent department store in Norwich, and often sponsors the Christmas light and firework displays. Their products range from beauty, to clothing, to the art supply shop next door. They also have a bookstore! LK&LL
DIY YOUR OWN REFRESHERMENTS
Woo Woo Twist
This ingenious twist on the classic Woo Woo is fresh, fruity and colourful ñ and best of all, it’s incredibly cheap to make. Peach Schnapps is available from Aldi for as little as £4, and adds a sweet, fruity balance to sharp citrus cocktails. If you’re not a fan of pints or liquors, this cocktail is an easy (and tasty!) way to enjoy pre-drinks, and more of each element can be added to weaken or strengthen the flavours.
50ml shot Peach Schnapps
25ml shot vodka
100ml orange juice
100ml cranberry juice
Add all ingredients to glass, add ice cubes to top. Stir and enjoy!
This cooling drink is easy and cheap to make, and is even better with ice if you have any. If you like the sound of this but would like it a little stronger, vodka or gin both work well ñ add a shot for a boozy version.
Dash lime cordial
Small handful of fresh raspberries (Or buy frozen as it is cheaper!)
Pour the raspberries into your glass, and carefully mash them with a fork or the back of a spoon. Add a glug of lime cordial, cheaply found in the SU shop, and mix. Then, top up your glass with lemonade, and add a squeeze or even a wedge of lemon if you fancy.
This cocktail puts a fruity and floral twist on the classic G&T. We used regular gin, but a flavoured gin might make it even better. Perfect for a fancy evening, this tipple will surely impress. Try adding some blueberries or raspberries and serve in a mason jar for an instagrammable drink.
50ml shot gin
25ml shot elderflower cordial
150ml Tonic water
Optional berries (Fancy!)
Add the gin, elderflower, ice and optional berries to a tall glass and mix or shake in a cocktail shaker. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the top, then fill with tonic. Simple! LC