Cool Places - The best places to stay in the UK

The Best Places to Stay in the UK


One of England’s prettiest large towns, Norwich sits in a wide bend of the River Wensum, an ancient place that in its medieval heyday was the second largest city in the country. These days its cobbled lanes and narrow alleys zero in on the Market Place, a wide and open piazza that is very much the centre of town. There’s lots to see, not least Norwich’s amazing Gothic cathedral, and all of it is within easy walking distance; it also has great restaurants, a fantastic array of pubs (the highest density per square mile in the UK)and a lively performing arts scene, enervated by the city’s large student presence. In short, it’s a world away from the unfashionable rural backwater satirized by Alan Partridge and co, and as such makes for an ideal weekend away.

Quick History

First settled by the Saxons in the early tenth century, Norwich was sacked by the Danes in 1004, but subsequently became a busy trading centre with most of its imports and exports crossing the North Sea. The town boomed in medieval times as a centre of the wool trade, its success attracting a flood of Protestant immigrants from Flanders and France, who made up no less than one third of the population in the Tudor period. Its fortunes dimmed, however, when it was effectively bypassed by the industrial revolution, becoming a quiet backwater until it received something of a jolt with the creation of the University of East Anglia on the edge of the city in 1963. Norwich is now one of England’s most economically successful cities, but still one of its most attractive.

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Norwich's old cobbled centre has great restaurants and loads of pubs
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