Angela Youngman outlines what the city of Norwich and its surrounding area can offer coach groups, with ideas for inclusion in your itineraries
Founded over 1,000 years ago, Norwich is a city of spires and historic architecture. It possesses the biggest concentration of medieval churches North of the Alps, as well as two historic cathedrals within easy walking distance. Norwich is England’s most complete medieval city. More recently, it has also become the annual City of Ale. That’s not all – from Valentines Day cards, teapots, art collections, food and vintage shopping to aircraft and tanks, Norwich has much to offer visitors.
The 800-year-old Romanesque Norwich Cathedral has the largest Monastic cloisters and Close in the country. The original stone benches used by the monks are still present, providing a relaxing place to sit and enjoy the serenity of the cloisters, before trying out the labyrinth on the green.
Built in Caen stone, Norwich Cathedral has had a turbulent history, having almost being burned down during a conflict between the monks and townsfolk. The building has some highly unusual features, especially the innumerable, colourful roof bosses illustrating some of the most popular bible stories as well as animals and the folkloric Green Man. In the summer peregrine falcons often make the cathedral spire their home, and can seen via a special observation point.
The grounds of the Cathedral also contain the grave of Edith Cavell, who served as a nurse in Belgium during WW1, and was executed for helping the resistance to aid Allied soldiers. Her last words ‘Standing as I do in view of God and eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness for anyone,” can be seen on her statue beside the Erpingham Gate. A gentle stroll through the Close leads down to the picturesque riverside setting of Pulls Ferry, where stone was originally unloaded during the construction of the cathedral.
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