Discover why Norwich was chosen as one of The Sunday Times Best Places to Live 2022 in their words.
If we have learnt anything about a post-pandemic life/work balance, it is that to nourish is to flourish, and Norwich is the ideal liberal, progressive place to do just that.
Here among a patchwork of glorious ancient buildings, from the imposing cathedral to medieval cobbled alleys and the Norman castle, to the high-tech glass and steel Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (which doubled as the Avengers HQ in the Marvel films) and the 100-home Goldsmith Street development (the first social housing scheme to win the Stirling prize for architecture), residents can feed their minds and their bodies. And do the same for their kids: Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form is the stand-out school, ranking seventh nationally in The Sunday Times Parent Power guide.
Norwich may be hard to get to, but it’s even harder to leave. The city has been welcoming incomers since Protestant refugees from the Low Countries were invited to settle here in the 16th century — the “strangers” brought their weaving skills, Dutch-style architecture, and the canaries that are the football team’s mascot. And Norwich still prides itself on the culture of welcome it promotes towards refugees and asylum seekers.
Dr Steph Makins, who was born in Norwich and moved back here in 2006 to raise her family, is constantly awed by the beauty of her home city. “It’s incredible what you’ll notice if you look up while walking around — if you’re not looking up, you’re missing so much,” says Makins, who runs the Enjoy Norwich website. “It’s such a fantastic place, with thriving culture and lots to do. You’re also only half an hour from a fantastic coast and even closer to the countryside, with the Broads on the doorstep.”
There’s plenty of greenery in the city itself – don’t miss the tree-lined avenues and listed buildings of Eaton Park, while a sunset stroll on Mousehold Heath looking down over the city’s rooftops feeds the soul. Locals look after their bodies at myriad sports clubs (the running community is particularly active, while Norfolk Paddle Boards offers classes on the river) and there’s plenty to nourish the mind as well.
Norwich has two universities, several theatres and many art galleries and museums, plus an arts cinema in a grade I listed medieval merchant’s house. In February the uplifting Love Light Norwich festival illuminated the city; the arts bonanza Norfolk & Norwich Festival celebrates its 250th anniversary next month; the National Centre for Writing hosts regular events (this is a Unesco City of Literature, after all); and the Norwich Film Festival takes place in November (patrons include the actors Olivia Colman and Brian Cox).
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Prices are correct as of April 2022.
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