9 things you can do in Norwich now you couldn’t a decade ago
PUBLISHED: 14:26 03 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:31 03 January 2020
The last 10 years have brought many changes to Norwich and as the city continues to grow, we look back on how it has transformed in a decade and the new things you can do.
1. Enjoy a weekend of music festivals in Earlham Park
Over the May Bank Holiday, the park hosts a weekend of music festivals with Let's Rock on the Saturday, which celebrates all the best music from the 80s, followed by Sunday Sessions.
Topping the bill at Let's Rock Norwich this year on May 23 is Glasgow group Wet Wet Wet, whose number ones include With a Little Help From My Friends, Goodnight Girl and Love Is All Around, and The Boomtown Rats with hits such as Rat Trap and I Don't Like Mondays.
Rockers The Libertines, who are fronted by Carl Barat and Peter Doherty, will headline Sunday Sessions on May 24 and new for 2020 is Friday Night Live on May 22, with The Streets announced as the first act.
2. Battle against the clock in escape rooms
From virtual reality to a Victorian murder hunt, six escape rooms have popped up around the city and the game sees teams locked in a room for an hour and they need to work out how to escape by cracking codes and solving puzzles.
There are three History Mystery escape rooms in Norwich, which are in The Guildhall, with a choice of the Archived Alive or Body of Evidence game, The Merchants' Vaults at the Museum of Norwich, where you are trapped in the past with no money and must build your riches by exploring the secrets of the city's prosperity, and Secrets of the Tunnels in the hidden medieval street in Castle Meadow.
There is also Cryptic Escape in Tombland, a VR Escape Room in Castle Meadow and Clued Up! in Prince of Wales Road where you must stop a nuclear attack.
3. Visit the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts' Sculpture Park
The attraction is located across the UEA campus and is set within 350 acres of parkland and is completely free to visit.
The park includes work by Henry Moore, Elisabeth Frink, Lynn Chadwick, Liliane Lijn and Antony Gormley, who designed the Angel of the North, and around the university site you can enjoy buildings by leading architects such as Norman Foster, Denys Lasdun and Rick Mather.
Over the last decade, the Sainsbury Centre has also gained international fame, as it was used as the headquarters in the superhero film Avengers: Age of Ultron and Hollywood stars, including Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson, came to Norwich for filming.
4. Get your nails done in Primark
Fashion giant Primark re-opened in Gentleman's Walk in December 2019 with a newly-built store, set over three floors and it even has a salon.
Lashious Beauty first launched in 2009 and in recent years has teamed up with Primark and they offer nail, hair and brow services so you can "both shop and pamper yourself".
Primark temporarily moved to nearby St Stephen's Street whilst the shop was being built and the new store also features a large homeware section.
5. Sip cocktails with views across the city at Rooftop Gardens
Norwich got its first rooftop bar and restaurant a few years ago, located in The Union Building in Rose Lane, which offers 360-degree panoramic views across the city.
There is indoor and outdoor seating, with heaters to warm you up, and classic cocktails to try, alongside a range of wines and gins such as Bullards Norwich Dry.
You can also enjoy afternoon tea, tapas and mains including their popular Sunday roasts with all the trimmings.
6. Compete in dance-offs at Bongo's Bingo
The party bingo game has been sweeping the UK since starting in Liverpool in 2015 and in October 2019 it launched at Epic Studios in Norwich.
The event is for all ages and combines the traditional game with dance-offs, rave intervals and plenty of heckling.
Prizes on offer range from a pink unicorn and Philip Schofield cardboard cut-out to cash and the first event of 2020 takes place on January 25.
7. Eat street food from around the world at Norwich Market
Norwich Market has grown massively over the last decade and the food offering is almost unrecognisable, with everything from Chilean food at Concina Mia to a taste of Japan at Bun Box.
There is also plenty for vegetarians vegans too, such as Falafel and Friends and plant-based 'vish', made with banana blossom, at Lucy's Fish and Chips.
It's no surprise it was named the best outdoor market in the country at The Great British Market Awards 2019 and it isn't just food you can get, with Botanical going from strength to strength, selling over 1,000 plants a week, and clothes stalls such as Supply and Slayyy Vintage.
8. Dine and go bowling in the Castle Quarter
Castle Mall was recently renamed as the Castle Quarter to reflect the huge growth in its dining and leisure attractions in recent years.
You can now visit restaurants Bourgee, which specialises in Steak and Lobster, and Cocina, which serves Mexican food, and a new Pure Gym opened on the ground floor in 2019.
The centre also recently welcomed Superbowl UK, which alongside ten-pin bowling offers a soft play area and laser tag for children.
9. Release your anger at the Rage Rooms
Located on the corner of Dereham Road, at the Rage Room you can select your 'weapon of choice', which includes baseball bats, sledgehammers and crowbars.
You are then let loose in the room for 20 minutes to destroy a variety of household objects such as old china, flat screen TVs or computers.
The stress-busting activity is for over 18s only and you will also be provided with safety hats and clothing.
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