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7 of the best hidden gems in Norwich tourists might miss

PUBLISHED: 15:12 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:04 14 August 2019

There's an underground street beneath the KindaKafe in Norwich. Picture: Nick Butcher

There's an underground street beneath the KindaKafe in Norwich. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Norwich is receiving international attention but local knowledge goes a long way in finding the best city secrets and hidden gems.

There's an underground street beneath the KindaKafe in Norwich. Picture: Nick ButcherThere's an underground street beneath the KindaKafe in Norwich. Picture: Nick Butcher

The city made headlines this week after it was rated as a top tourist destination on par with an Indonesian island by the boss of Vietnam Airlines.

Following the news national newspapers have produced lists highlighting the best of the fine city's virtues.

But while Grosvenor Fish Bar and Elm Hill deserve the praise, there's more to Norwich that the usual tourist attractions.

Here are seven of the best off-piste offerings drawn from local knowledge.

There is an underground street beneath the KindaKafe in Norwich. Picture: Nick ButcherThere is an underground street beneath the KindaKafe in Norwich. Picture: Nick Butcher

1 Norwich's own Diagon Alley

Visitors to Norwich could be forgiven for being oblivious to what lies beneath the city streets as it remains a mystery to many locals too.

Dubbed the city's own Diagon Alley after its likeness to the twisty clandestine street in Harry Potter, the secret passageways and abandoned houses below Castle Street can be accessed via Hidden History tours priced at £10.50 per person.

To find out more visit KindaKafe in Castle Meadow or check out tour dates at missingkind.org

The Plantation Gardens, Norwich. Credit: Denise BradleyThe Plantation Gardens, Norwich. Credit: Denise Bradley

2 Plantation Garden

Eaton Park and Chapelfield Gardens are popular spots but how many people just visiting Norwich know about the restored Victorian town garden near the Roman Catholic Cathedral on Earlham Road?

Plantation Garden tends to fly under the radar but the three acre Grade II listed site is well worth a stroll through.

It's open daily 9am-6pm and tours can be arranged.

Looses Emporium, Magdalen Street, has two floors of weird and wonderful items from more than 60 dealers. Photo: Neil PerryLooses Emporium, Magdalen Street, has two floors of weird and wonderful items from more than 60 dealers. Photo: Neil Perry

3 Magdalen Street

St Stephens Street and Gentleman's Walk might see more foot traffic but Magdalen Street deserves some love.

A little off centre both in terms of the city layout and the types of shops that can be found, Magdalen Street is full of character and Looses Emporium and Aladdin's Cave are full of their own hidden gems.

4 Pub and Paddle

Pub and Paddle tours have multiple routes. Picture: Nick ButcherPub and Paddle tours have multiple routes. Picture: Nick Butcher

Norwich is certainly famous for its pubs but did you know you could take a tour of them via the river?

There are a variety of routes to choose from starting from the Red Lion pub and going to Thorpe St Andrew, Bramerton and Surlingham with recommended pubs along the way.

Visit pubandpaddle.com for more information and prices.

5 Norwich Puppet Theatre

Norwich Puppet Theatre Christmas show, The Steadfast Tin Soldier. Puppeteer Paul Preston Mills.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYNorwich Puppet Theatre Christmas show, The Steadfast Tin Soldier. Puppeteer Paul Preston Mills. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich Theatre Royal might be the place to catch a big musical but the city has a few hidden gems in the arts and one of them is the unique Norwich Puppet Theatre.

Located in a converted medieval church, it's one of only three building-based puppet theatres in England.

As well as a calendar of family performances, the theatre hosts adult shows and talent development masterclasses for theatre makers, performers and puppeteers.

To see upcoming shows visit www.puppettheatre.co.uk/whats-on

Norwich Lanes Summer Fayre 2019. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodNorwich Lanes Summer Fayre 2019. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

6 Norwich Lanes

A favourite of city-dwellers but easily missed if you're just visiting Norwich, the Lanes is a hub of thriving independent shops steps away from Norwich City Hall.

The alleyways and courtyards of the Lanes are a characterful place to pick up a gift or grab a bite to eat.

You'll even find an independent cinema, a community theatre, two museums and several galleries there.

Jorge's Portuguese Restaurant in Orford Place, Norwich. Photo: ArchantJorge's Portuguese Restaurant in Orford Place, Norwich. Photo: Archant

7 Jorge's Restaurant

There are of course a number of fantastic independent restaurants in Norwich, but one that seems to go particularly under the radar is Jorges, as it's tucked away in Orford Yard off Red Lion Street.

If you want to get a taste for delicious Portuguese cooking in a friendly and intimate setting then be sure to seek it out.

People who know it's there rate it very highly.

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