Kettle’s guide to why you should visit Norwich

Everyone knows Norfolk as the backwards, farming county where life is slow and nothing really happens. Most probably can’t even point it out on a map.

Everyone knows Norfolk as the backwards, farming county where life is slow and nothing really happens. Most probably can’t even point it out on a map. And yes, life might be more laid back than most cities, but the ‘Fine City’ of Norwich, as it’s known, and its surroundings show there’s more to do than bale hay and milk cows.

Go in search of the GoGoGorillas!

Bernard Matthews’ turkeys may be the county’s most well-known creature, but this summer, the streets of Norwich have been invaded by a troop of gorillas. 53 life-sized adults and 67 baby gorillas are dotted around the city as part of an art trail created by local artists, schools and community groups. Searching for the individually painted statues is a great way to discover and learn more about the city. Make sure you see them before they get auctioned off to raise money for charity.

Go punting on the river

Punting may be the preserve of Cambridge, but because Norwich isn’t flooded with tourists, you’ll have the river all to yourself. It’s a great way to see the lesser explored parts of the city and its medieval remnants. You might even spot the odd rogue gorilla or two. The haunted tours reveal the city’s darkest side, or simply take some champagne and enjoy the sun while someone else does all the hard work for you.

Enjoy a summer tipple at Mattishall Beer Festival

So this technically isn’t in Norwich, but the city’s own beer festival isn’t for another month. Mattishall is just a half hour bus ride from Norwich and plays host to one of the county’s biggest beer festivals. Taking place on Saturday, there will be over 50 beers available as well as some pretty decent local ciders. Local bands will provide a lively backdrop to the day’s entertainment and a BBQ and hog roast will line those ill-fated stomachs. Make sure you get there early as tickets sell out like a cold pint on a hot, summer’s day.

Kayak the mud-flats of the Norfolk coast

If punting on the river is a little tame, then why not get a bit more action by kayaking the North Norfolk coast. Brancaster, Cley and Blakeney are just another short bus ride from the city and are renowned for their beauty and teeming wildlife. Navigate narrow creeks in a kayak or canoe and get up close and personal with the stunning surroundings. If you’ve never kayaked before, you can even take an introductory session so you know how to survive in case you capsize.

Party at Peachy

Party the night away at one of Norwich’s wackiest events. On Friday, head on down to The Waterfront, a popular gig venue, to revel in Shakespeare inspired debauchery. The invite calls on all mystical creatures to cavort and jig at the fairy themed dance party until sunrise. There will be bands, DJs, film showings and fire and stilt performances in an underlit, intimate venue. Go on, you know you’re intrigued. 

What do you think of Norwich? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.