Norwich’s open-top bus tour celebrates 10 years

The City Sightseeing bus passes by Norwich Castle.

The City Sightseeing bus passes by Norwich Castle. - Credit: Archant

It's a tourism offering which has been 'red-dy' to go for 10 years – Norwich's open top bus tour.

Former farm manager David McMaster is proud to have seen his idea develop over that time into one of the city's top tourist attractions.

And even after clocking up so many miles his enthusiasm remains the same as when he launched City Sightseeing Norwich in 2003.

Mr McMaster, who had started Awayadays providing tours of Norfolk five years earlier, said: 'Undoubtedly the best thing is meeting so many different and lovely people, many on holidays, and showing them your own city. The worst is probably when the weather is wet and cold.'

He still remembers how proud he was when he drove away on his first tour. 'The first couple of years were a struggle but now we seem to get busier every day, especially, of course, over the summer holiday season,' he said.

Mr McMaster, who came from a farming family in Suffolk and spent a number of years managing the farming co-operative of Aylsham Growers before he decided on a complete change of lifestyle, has no doubt about what makes the tour so successful. He said: 'We show everybody the best of Norwich from the castle to Mousehold Heath.

'We have a professional commentary which we make sure we update every year.'

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He had been to several conferences organised by the global franchise firm City Sightseeing and gleaned tips from other countries, he added.

Most of their customers came from the UK but they also had visitors from America, Australia and New Zealand as well as other parts of Europe.

He said: 'A lot of local people tell me, 'We've lived in Norwich for 20 years and felt it was time to do the tour. We've found out so much about our wonderful city'.'

Mr McMaster, who is a director of VisitNorwich and committee member of Norfolk Tourist Attractions Association, said he was looking at adding another bus during the busy season.

He said: 'I would love to build up my team of drivers even further. Currently we have three or four extra drivers helping out who come from all walks of life – a teacher, an ex-council passenger transport executive and a building surveyor.'