Coming to university in Norwich means there’s loads of really cool opportunities to go to gigs and live music events. On campus, the LCR hosts all kinds of musicians and bands, including Coldplay, the Fratellis, Bears Den, Jack Garratt, Sigma, the Kooks, Scouting for Girls and Busted, as well as so many more! There’s also lots going on in the city, such as the Waterfront (run by UEA Student Union) and loads of smaller places dotted around Norwich which are always hosting some awesome artists. The key is to keep an eye out for up coming gigs – joining mailing lists and following venues on social media is a good way to find out who’s coming up in the next few months.
Last Tuesday, my housemate and I went to see Foy Vance at the Norwich Arts Centre. Foy Vance is one of my favourite artists, so when I found out he was coming to Norwich, I had to buy a ticket – only £15! The Norwich Arts Centre runs a mixture of events, like live music, dance, theatre and spoken word. It’s pretty small, with a standing capacity of 260, but that makes it great for more intimate gigs, and in 2014 it was named ‘Britain’s Best Small Venue’ by NME.
It was such a good night, Foy Vance was incredible live, and it was a really great atmosphere. It was the first time I’d been to Norwich Arts Centre but I definitely will keep an eye out for upcoming events there, because it’s a brilliant venue.
If you’re interested in finding out more about live music in Norwich, check out upcoming events in SU managed venues here or visit the Norwich Arts Centre website.
Reading week is always a great week (if your subject is lucky enough to get one). This year I decided to stay at uni for reading week because there was quite a lot of work I needed to get through, but having no contact hours means you have a lot more flexibility with your time. So as well as scheduling a good amount of library time through the week, my housemate Tara and I decided we would do a day trip to Blickling Hall, a National Trust stately home. As history students, National Trust enthusiasts and lovers of autumn it seemed like a pretty perfect day out for us and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
To get to Blickling, catch the 44, X44, 43 or 44A coach from Castle Meadow to Aylsham (£4.50 for a young person’s return ticket) and then from Aylsham you can either walk about 1.5 miles to Blickling or get a taxi. If you walk, you will have to go part way on quite a busy road that helpfully has no pavement, but there is a public bridleway track for the majority of the walk – just be prepared for mud if you go in winter.
On the day that we went, the Hall itself was closed but all the gardens were open as well as the cafe and gift shop (crucial parts of a National Trust trip). We managed to go on the one day it didn’t rain last week and the grounds were crazy beautiful in the autumn sun. The estate is absolutely massive, so there were so many parts to explore, including the main gardens, a walled garden, the lake, an orangery and a ‘secret garden’.
We sat by the lake for lunch with a view (side note: Blickling hall has the most benches I’ve ever seen on one estate, the National Trust seem to have gone a bit overboard). Later we popped into the cafe for a cream tea and then we explored the second hand bookshop.
All in all it was a really lovely day, and I would definitely recommend a trip to Blickling if you’ve got a day to spare. I’d love to go back when the Hall is open, and I know they’ve got some Christmas events coming up which sound great – check out their website for more details.
On Friday evening I went to Gravity, a trampolining park in Norwich, with some friends from the Christian Union society at uni. Gravity is basically a massive room filled with lots of trampolines, as well as a dodgeball area, basketball hoops and a giant air mat you can jump onto. We paid for an ‘open jump’ which gives you access to all the areas for an hour. You have to buy special socks with your ticket to wear on the trampolines, off peak prices are £10.95 for an hour and socks, but then you keep the socks so if you go back you’d only pay £8.95 for an hour. If you have an NUS card you can also get 2 hours for the price of one Monday-Friday. It was a really fun hour, despite my initial skepticism after signing a waiver which talked of ‘unknown risks that could result in physical or emotional injury, paralysis or death’. I’m pleased to report none of us died, although my muscles are still sore! Gravity is in Riverside (near the train station) so it’s also really easy to get to by bus. Check out their website for more info if you’re interested!
After Gravity, we headed into the centre of Norwich to watch the castle fireworks. There were loads of people gathered to watch them and it was a really lovely atmosphere, even if it meant the buses were absolutely crammed to get back home. Norwich does an annual fireworks display around bonfire night and I’d definitely recommend going to watch it while you’re at university, you can make it into a really fun night.