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Ever wanted to know what it's like to actually save a Russian space station?
Here in Norwich, the City of Stories, there is a very unique history of Valentine’s day celebrations. To continue the tradition, this year we’re offering you a once in a lifetime opportunity to have your 'declaration of love’ projected onto Norwich Castle for the whole city - and the person you love - to see.
Since manipulate festival (lower case ‘m’) announced that it would be coming to Norwich, we’ve all been very excited indeed. manipulate visual theatre festival is produced by Puppet Animation Scotland, and this year they will be bringing a series of shows to Norwich Puppet Theatre that will showcase the artform in a way that you’ve never seen it before (unless you’re a Plan B fan, but we’ll come to that later).
After the excitement of Christmas and New Year – and unless your birthday is in January or February, it can feel like there isn’t a great deal to look forward to for the rest of the winter season.
Now that the decorations are down and there's nothing good on TV anymore, check out our list of things to do around Norwich this week!
It seems to me that everyone I’ve spoken to this year has been feeling under the weather this festive season. Each “Happy new year! Did you have a good Christmas?” has been met with a fatigued "yeah it was nice thanks but…” followed by a tragic story about how Christmas was cancelled and discarded alongside a mountain of used Kleenex and the promise of 'getting out the house for a bit’ on Boxing Day.
The area around Tombland and Elm hill is not only picture-perfect beautiful, but also home to some of the finest independent shops and cafes that Norwich has to offer.
If you're still pondering how to spend the festive season, then this list is for you!
Regretfully, we must inform you there are only 12 shopping days left before Christmas. This means there is now very little time to get your Christmas shopping done, wrap it like an adult and appear as through you are a yuletide ocean of calm.
As it’s Christmas, we thought we’d give away a little gift of our own! Readers, it’s time to get the glitter out again…
This week we’ve got some Christmas Treets, a pop up for all you ve-gannets, or an orchestral performance that will tug the heart strings (you’ll just have to compose yourself).
Country and Eastern is a very, very special place.
Did you see him?! Reports of Santa-sightings around Norwich landed on the VisitNorwich desk on Wednesday last week, and after some digging our PR people found out that he was just here for some last minute sightseeing before the beginning of December.
This week sees December arrive, and plenty of festive events for all ages happening around Norwich (and beyond!)
It’s Christmas party season: Bar tabs are high, standards are low, and the next morning you promise yourself that you’re never drinking red wine/tequila/“because you lost a bet” again.
Now that the lights are on, Christmas events are kicking off in earnest this week – there’s lots going on all over the place to kick start your festive cheer, or keep you in the Christmas spirit if you’re one of those people that started watching Home Alone in October.
At the VisitNorwich office, we are awash with oranges at the moment. We’re all doing it. Every day. Clementines abound in desk drawers, and you can’t so much as look at one without their citrussy aroma permeating the air. One of our number even possesses a specialist peeling device in case of emergencies. So go hard or go home – this week the blog is dedicated to the mighty orange.
Perhaps this December, you feel like a bit of escapism. And you don’t have to go far; this year Norwich has loads of events that will transport you back in time (and one in particular that will actually transport you). With all sorts going on, immerse yourself in a traditional Victorian Christmas, swing dancing, a free Christmas Routmaster Bus ride, or maybe take a day to wander round Norwich’s many and varied vintage outlets. Here’s our run down of the city’s finest retro activities to get you in the Christmas spirit…
5 years ago, when I first moved to Norwich, I was given a ring that belonged to my great grandmother. It was very old and fragile, and the stone in the middle kept falling out. Chatting to a friend, they recommended that I visit a jewellers on the corner of Dove Street, who would be able to help me. I’d seen this place before: it stands out amidst other jewellers in the city for its modern, dark exterior, and clean, uncluttered displays which are mounted on plinths that almost – but not quite – take your eye away from the workbench that exists inside the small, open plan shop.
This week’s shopping spotlight is all about one of the most beautiful – and loved – areas of the city: The Norwich Lanes. An award winning pocket of cobbled streets, pedestrianised roads and alleyways, here you’ll find over 300 cafes, bars, shops and restaurants to explore.
Father Christmas is a very busy man at the moment. I tried as hard as I could, but I couldn’t get an interview with him as he is - of course - inundated with logistics enquiries and last-minute additions to the nice list. However, he did give me a couple of dates for my diary about where I can find him in Norfolk, and he’s asked me to tell you too (and he’s not where you’d expect him)…
This week sees Norwich illuminated for the festive season, a handful of Christmas fairs and a special birthday!
In a top secret location, somewhere in Norwich, there is a place where years of pantomime props and costumes wait patiently for another moment in the spotlight... I was lucky enough to go behind the scenes of Norwich Theatre Royal's Costume Store, and given a tour by Costume Hire Supervisor - the wonderful Catherine Majtenyi.
After Halloween last week, and bonfire night at the weekend, Norwich is starting to gear up for Christmas – if you’ve been into the city you may have noticed that the lights have been put up, ready to be switched on next week! But before that, there’s plenty to keep you busy (and it’s not too early to start Christmas shopping)!
In the words of the great Sir Paul McCartney, the party’s on, and the feeling’s here. It is indeed very nearly wonderful Christmastime, which is a good reason to meet up with those friends you never see, get together with family, and wear those shoes that are simply too ridiculous to be acceptable at any other time of year. This is our list - arranged by outfit genre - of places to spend (or just begin…) an evening out, whether you’re in the mood for something quiet, or a bit more lavish.
It’s that time again. Now that bonfire night is over, it’s officially alright to wear glitter on your face, eat mince pies without explanation, and listen to East 17.
At this time of year, Norwich’s only independent department store is transformed into a beautiful, glittering haven for Christmas shoppers. From the outside, Jarrolds (which opened its doors in 1823) glows with bright bulbs draped, Victorian-pier style, all over the ornate 19th century building – a recognisable landmark for Norwich folk everywhere. Inside, you’ll find 5 floors housing 50 different departments, all elegantly decked with lights and Christmas greenery, with touches of sparkle everywhere.
You may have seen them around Norwich already. You may even be one of them.
Alongside the appearance of twinkling streetlights and vats of mulled wine on bars everywhere, the arrival of Festive Markets is a symbol that Christmas is well and truly on the way.
Christmas shopping can be tiring work. It is an activity that requires stamina, animal cunning and mathematical skill, and by the time it’s over all you really want to do is lie in bed and drink tea through a straw.
This week sees the kids back at school, and loads of grown-up events appear in the Norwich Calendar. Upcoming we’ve got fine art, fine wine, and of course – fireworks…
Norwich is famously a medieval city. Although the city itself is about 15 ½ square miles, the majority of its Medieval charm lies in an area of just less than two square miles, comprised of winding streets, ancient architecture and cobbles that can be uniquely treacherous when in stilettos or possession of a wheeled suitcase.
Christmas is well and truly, almost, very nearly here – and what is more classically Christmas than a trip to the Pantomime? VisitNorwich has teamed up with Norwich Theatre Royal and the Maid’s Head Hotel to offer you the chance to win the ultimate, chocolate-box-Christmas break for you and your family in beautiful, illuminated Norwich.
Every year, my best friend comes over from Germany to see the Norwich Christmas lights switched on. According to her, Christmaslightswitchonday – all one word – in Norwich is the most Norwichy of all Norwich things, and every November she comes back and we watch the lights and fireworks, drink spiced cider and walk around the illumined city eating roasted chestnuts from the van on London Street.
This week is a weird and wonderful one in Norwich, with an eclectic mix of Halloween and Half Term activities going on all over the city. Also – can you believe that next week sees November arriving already?!
Have most of us seen The Holiday? If you haven’t, it’s a Christmasish type rom-com, in which our heroines Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet swap homes over the festive season, and go on solo holidays to try and find some zen over the festive season.
Walking into Norwich Puppet Theatre is like going backstage in your own childhood. It’s a beautiful, dream like place that looks and feels like magic. Puppets and fairy lights adorn the walls and ceilings all over this Grade 1 listed medieval church, which today is one of the last strongholds in the country for the 3,000 year old art of puppetry.
This week is such an eclectic mix of things to do, there’s something for everyone. Russia is a theme this week, with a fantastic exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, and a performance by the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. Plus catch poetry, murder mystery, puppets and loads of free things to do at Norwich Castle!
We’ve all got coats on and I’ve got a conker in my handbag; it’s officially Autumn! There are so many things to choose from over half term and beyond for Halloween and Bonfire night – here are our top picks.
There is so much coming up in the city this week it was hard to choose just 7 things to do! We’ve got live music and sausages all over the place, two great theatre performances for the family, plus a trip back in time to windy 1987…
If you were to walk around the city today, you’d see the majority of shop windows in Norwich are decked in their Halloween finest. Walking around the city, you can see all manner of cobwebby tinsels, pumpkin props and witchy decals. If you look hard enough, there’s also the faintest whisps of Christmas lurking behind the scenes in glittery readiness. Unmistakably, it’s coming up to October Half term, which as I remember it was always a week full of magic: Halloween, bonfire night and the promise of Christmastime make this such an exciting week for children, and for adults too! For the half term break (21st to the 29th of October), take your pick of the wonderful events that Norwich and Norfolk has to offer: inside, outside, and even on the water!
Do you start every year with the idea of giving handmade and thoughtful gifts to your loved ones at Christmas? Do you imagine handing over a beautifully wrapped package containing something carefully crafted, slightly wonky, and maybe even the kind of thing that leaves glitter all over the house and everyone that touches it?