Everything new university students need to know about living in Norwich

The finish of the Norwich 100/50 Cycle event at Norwich Cathedral in June. Photo by Peter Dent.

The finish of the Norwich 100/50 Cycle event at Norwich Cathedral in June. Photo by Peter Dent. - Credit: Peter Dent

Heading to Norwich to study in September? Here's a rundown of what you need to know...

Norwich University of the Arts. Picture: Owen Richards

Norwich University of the Arts. Picture: Owen Richards - Credit: Archant

A bit about Norwich.

• It is the most complete medieval city in the UK, boasting a 900-year-old Norman castle and two cathedrals.

• It regularly ranks in top 10 lists of best shopping destinations, popular for its mix of big brands and award-winning Norwich Lanes, which is packed with independent shops and eateries.

• The rumour goes that Norwich once had a pub for every day of the year (it actually had many more).


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• Its Norfolk and Norwich Festival is one of the oldest surviving arts festivals in the UK.

• It's one of just 11 UNESCO Cities of Literature - and it was the first in England to become one.

A walk through Elm Hill Norwich. Picture: Peter Dent

A walk through Elm Hill Norwich. Picture: Peter Dent - Credit: citizenside.com

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Where are some of the best places to eat?

Topping TripAdvisor for restaurants in Norwich are two fish and chip shops - New Sole Plaice and Grosvenor Fish Bar, in the Lanes. It's followed by the upmarket Benedicts, Brick Pizza on the market and B'nou - a popular tapas bar.

In recent years, the restaurant in Norwich has boomed - with a string of new eateries, both known and independent, opening, and a growing street food collective springing up.

And what about nightlife?

Norwich University of the Arts. Picture: Owen Richards

Norwich University of the Arts. Picture: Owen Richards - Credit: Archant

If you're a University of East Anglia student (UEA), you'll most likely enjoy a few nights at the LCR (the Lower Common Room, if you're wondering...), its student union.

But when you decide to venture out, most students opt for Prince of Wales Road, which is packed with pubs and clubs, including the well-known Mercy.

It is, admittedly, an area which is less popular with locals - when asked, two of our reporters advised new students to go elsewhere - who instead opt for the bars and restaurants on Tombland and nearby areas, including Gonzo's, Vodka Revs and Mr Postles' Apothecary.

If you're after a more low-key night, there's plenty of pubs to pick from and a handful of cinemas.

There's plenty of venues in Norwich for music, including the Waterfront and the LCR, which often attracts well-known names.

And what's nearby?

There's plenty to discover when you leave the fine city - nicknamed so by writer George Borrow in the 19th century - and head into wider Norfolk.

The north Norfolk coast offers miles of stunning coastline and the Broads a chance to boat or kayak. You should probably experience the charm - and cheese - of Great Yarmouth while you're in Norfolk, as well as the history of many of the county's beautiful market towns.

How can I get about?

There's plenty of bus routes around the county from Norwich, which has its main bus station right in the city centre.

Routes to more rural parts of Norfolk can be rare, so it's worth planning well before you travel.

Another option is to get the train from Norwich's station, which is at the bottom of Prince of Wales Road. You can catch the 25 bus to the station from UEA.

There are direct trains to London from Norwich, which also call at Diss, and routes from Norwich to Cambridge, which take in Wymondham, Attleborough and Thetford.

What about its universities?

Norwich boasts two universities - UEA and Norwich University of the Arts (NUA).

Both have been rated gold under the government's Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) measure and score consistently highly in their categories in student satisfaction surveys.

While NUA's buildings cover much of the city's medieval centre, UEA's campus is on the edge of Norwich, a hop away on the 25 and 26 routes.

UEA's campus is best-known for its central square, 460-metre long teaching wall block and picturesque lake. It also has the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts - a renowned art gallery right on your doorstep.

The university is known for its creative writing courses and environmental science research, and is ranked 12th in the Complete University Guide 2018.

It's now coming up to five years since NUA was officially granted university status, with its student numbers having soared since then and its contribution to the city now at £16.7m.

Its added new buildings and introduced a raft of new courses, and there's more plans to grow on the horizon.

MORE: A-Level results day 2017 - everything you need to know

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