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9 things in Norfolk we will never take for granted again

PUBLISHED: 17:03 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:44 31 March 2020

Pubs, beaches and Norwich City football matches are all things we are missing during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: JP Appleton/Ella Wilkinson/Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Pubs, beaches and Norwich City football matches are all things we are missing during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: JP Appleton/Ella Wilkinson/Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

JP Appleton/Ella Wilkinson/Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

From our thriving independent restaurants to beautiful beaches, once things return to normal after the coronavirus outbreak here are some of the things in Norfolk we will not take for granted again.

Wells Crab House. Picture: Victoria PertusaWells Crab House. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

1. Independent restaurants

From tasty tacos at Jive in Norwich to mouth-watering seafood at Wells Crab House on the Norfolk coast, we are spoilt for choice in Nelson’s county with an eclectic mix of independent restaurants.

All of them have now closed their doors following government advice, but thankfully some of them are ensuring customers can still get their fix of their favourite dishes by launching a delivery service.

The tide rushing by Cromer Pier Credit: JP AppletonThe tide rushing by Cromer Pier Credit: JP Appleton

2. Beautiful beaches

Although we can still visit some of Norfolk’s beaches at the moment while doing our daily exercise, as we have been advised not to travel far they are now out of reach for many. Attractions have shut too such as Cromer Pier, which has been fenced off, and the start of the 2020 season at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach has been postponed.

From the stunning stretches of sand at Holkham to the famous seals at Horsey, we will definitely appreciate our beaches much more when this is all over.

Norwich Theatre Royal Picture: DENISE BRADLEYNorwich Theatre Royal Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

3. Top notch theatre shows and gigs

Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive Stephen Crocker described his sadness at having to tell a restaurant full of people that the evening performance of Les Miserables was cancelled on March 16, following Boris Johnson’s announcement urging people not to go to theatres.

All shows and gigs across the county have been cancelled or postponed since then, including the Let’s Rock Norwich eighties festival in Earlham Park which has been moved from May to September.

Bun Box owner Tim Irven, right, and his team at Norwich Market.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBun Box owner Tim Irven, right, and his team at Norwich Market. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

4. The hustle and bustle of Norwich Market and Norwich Lanes

From weird and wonderful house plants at Bo-Tanical to Japanese-inspired street food at Bun Box, Norwich Market has gone from strength to strength in recent years and was named the best large outdoor market in the country at The Great British Market Awards 2019.

In the Norwich Lanes you will find thriving independents, such as Lisa Angel selling jewellery and trinkets and the latest fashion from Dogfish and Catfish, and when they reopen it will be important more than ever to shop local.

5. Fantastic football

Norwich City player Todd Cantwell Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdNorwich City player Todd Cantwell Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City fans have been left twiddling their thumbs at weekends with the cancellation of Premier League games at least until June 1.

Manager Daniel Farke broadcast a message over Twitter on Monday urging fans to look after each other and that he hopes to see everyone soon in “our living room at Carrow Road”.

6. Fun-filled family attractions

There are plenty of places to entertain the kids in Norfolk, from the dinosaurs at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure in Lenwade to the magical forest at BeWILDerwood in Hoveton.

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure Credit: Roarr! Dinosaur AdventureRoarr! Dinosaur Adventure Credit: Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure

They are all closed to the public to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but here is hoping there will still be some of the summer left by the time the restrictions are lifted.

7. The Royal Norfolk Show

The Royal Norfolk Show is the biggest event in the county calendar but this year it has been cancelled for only the second time in its peacetime history.

The Royal Norfolk Show 2018. Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe Royal Norfolk Show 2018. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Celebrating the best of Norfolk, the show attracts around 85,000 visitors, contributing around £20m a year to Norfolk’s economy, and it will be sorely missed in 2020.

8. Award-winning pubs

We have some of the best pubs in the country here in Norfolk, which are rich in history and in the summer the beer gardens are packed with people in high spirits.

Pub landlords Justin McKee and Emma Byrne who recently took on the The Leopard in Norwich - named CAMRAs Norfolk pub of the year in 2019. Picture: Ella WilkinsonPub landlords Justin McKee and Emma Byrne who recently took on the The Leopard in Norwich - named CAMRAs Norfolk pub of the year in 2019. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Although they are all shut at the moment, some of the region’s top distilleries and breweries are offering delivery including Bullards in Norwich who are posting gin pouches and Grain Brewery in Alburgh, near Harleston, who have created a collection drive-thru.

9. Watching the latest blockbusters at the cinema

All cinemas are now closed and the release date of upcoming films has been postponed, including James Bond: No Time to Die, which will now come out in November.

Cinema City, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCinema City, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

In the meantime, at least we have streaming services to keep us entertained such as Netflix and the new Disney+, which includes all of their animated and live-action films.

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