Don’t lament winter, make the most of the chillier weather in the city’s snug pubs. Norwich may no longer have a pub for every day of the year, but we still have plenty to offer! Here’s our favourite pubs and bars to enjoy a warming drink in and feel just like a local!
Image: The Birdcage, Norwich
Image: The Bicycle Shop
Let’s start in the city centre. The Norwich Lanes area of the city is bursting with quirky bars and pubs; distinctively different options include The Bicycle Shop, Frank’s Bar, The Birdcage (bring your fish ‘n’ chips over from The Grosvenor and eat with a refreshing drink), The Plough, The Belgian Monk (Belgian beer at its finest), The Vine (a tiny pub also offering top-quality Thai food), The Rumsey Wells and The Ten Bells (whisky connoisseurs, take note - they stock a huge variety).
The Ribs of Beef is another cosy choice – their decking area offers lovely views of the river and they serve hearty meals too, or the Playhouse bar has a pretty garden area by the river for lazy drinks (wrap up warm, though!)
Café Marzano, in The Forum, is a stylish spot for daytime or evening meetups. They serve coffee and light lunches as well as alcoholic beverages, and the building’s glass front means it’s great for people-watching - as is East Twenty Six, with their glazed-fronted building. Book a table and enjoy delicious tapas dishes and cocktails with a great view.
Image: The Swan at Loddon
There are also plenty of choices outside of the city. The Waveney Inn is great for enjoying pub food in a cosy setting, right in the heart of the Broads, or in Itteringham, North Norfolk, sits the Walpole Arms: a traditional country pub with real charm and a great range of beers including locally brewed Woodforde’s Norfolk Ales and Adnams.
Wymondham, known for its excellent heritage offer, also has some lovely watering holes; The Green Dragon Tavern is a firm favourite, serving plenty of real ale and tasty meals, and it’s a great heritage site too – the building is a medieval public house dating right back to the 14th century! The Feathers is a great community pub with a beer garden and a range of real ales and bar snacks, and they serve traditional pub food too. For cosy cafes in Wymondham look no further than The Lemon Tree and the Mad Hatters Tea Shop.
Loddon is located right at the gateway to the Broads and is a very pretty village to visit. It’s small, but a great place to stop off for refreshments. We’d recommend The Loddon Swan for a leisurely lunch; it’s an 18th century inn which has a delightful courtyard garden and a cosy indoor seating area - you’ll feel right at home! They also have light, airy and comfortable rooms available, if you fancy staying the night. Also worth stopping off at is Rosie Lee’s Tea Rooms and the Spoon Cake Café and Bakery – and pay a visit to The White Horse at Chedgrave, located in the village next to Loddon.
Harleston is a great town for discovering historic cafes and pubs; Cornucopia houses the 1940’s Parlour Tea Rooms and the 1950’s Lillie Langtry Bar whilst The Swan is a 16th century pub/hotel, or alternatively head to Diss and check out the Saracens Head, a grade II listed building thought to date back to the 16th Century. Diss is also home to Fairchilds Tearooms and The Angel Café (often frequented by cyclists at the weekend as Diss is on The Angles Way walking/cycling route).
Greater Anglia have Advance fares from £9 one way between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Trains run every 30 minutes. Abellio also serves Colchester, Ipswich and Diss on the Norwich line. Direct trains also run from Cambridge.
East Midlands Trains runs services from Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham.
Flights into Norwich served from Edinburgh, Manchester, Exeter, Aberdeen, Jersey*, Guernsey* and Amsterdam.