On Saturday, some friends and I took the opportunity to do a little sightseeing in Norwich. UEA is a campus university, but it has great links to Norwich, with the 25 and 26 buses regularly running between the uni and the city centre (£3 for a return). Despite being so close to the city, I realised that so far I’ve only really gone into town when I had something to do, like shopping or a meal out. Norwich is such a nice city, so it seemed fitting to have a touristy day, and explore the older areas of Norwich, rather than hanging around a shopping centre like Chapelfield or the main high street.
We managed to pick the rainiest day for our little sightseeing trip, but the lanes and river still managed to look nice! We headed towards Elm Hill, which is a picturesque cobbled street with Tudor buildings and plenty of small independent shops and cute tea rooms. From there we walked along the river to Cow Tower, a historic artillery tower (not a tower of cows unfortunately) which provided some shelter from the English weather.
After our rainy river walk, we decided it was definitely time to take shelter in a tea room, so wandered back to Elm Hill towards the Tea House, which serves homemade cakes and snacks along with a choice of over 35 types of tea! We all opted for cream tea, which includes a scone and a pot of tea. I love little tea shops, and Norwich is full of hidden gems like the Tea House.
When we’d finished our delicious afternoon tea and warmed up a little, we visited Norwich Cathedral. It was so peaceful and beautiful and also brought back Christmassy memories, as the last time I was there was for a Christmas Carol service hosted by the UEA Christian Union. Unfortunately there weren’t any mince pies or mulled wine available this time, but it was nice to look around the building in more detail when it was pretty empty, and wandering through the cloisters makes you feel like you’re at Hogwarts.
I really love the city of Norwich – it’s big enough to have everything you need and feel busy and modern and yet is small enough not to be overwhelming and has some amazing history and beautiful areas. I definitely enjoy living on a campus and being surrounded by students, but it’s great to have such an easy link to a city. If you’re coming to visit the university on an open day or applicant day, try and pop into the city for a little explore, even if it’s just an excuse for tea and a slice of cake in an adorable tea room!