We love a good story, and we’re a nation who (on the whole) love our pubs! So, with the arrival of Norwich City of Ale towards the end of May, we’ve selected a few of our favourite pubs in Norwich so we can tell you their stories!
This pub has changed hands many times over the years but today it’s one of the city’s best-loved real ale pubs!
The Great Fire in 1507 destroyed the original building, which actually dated back to the 14th century, so it was rebuilt (though a few of the remaining walls from the original building do still remain today). The building was owned by various people and trades over the years but registered in 1743 as an ale house, run by Thomas and Mary Holland and named The Ribs of Beef. It was then owned by Youngs and Crawshay brewery, and renamed the Fye Bridge Tavern in 1929 to celebrate the new bridge that was planned to be built over the River Wensum. In 1958 everything changed again, when Bullards brewery took over and delicensed the pub.
In subsequent years it had many uses but was eventually relicensed as the Ribs of Beef pub in 1987, by Roger and Anthea Cawdron – the current owners. Today it stocks up a range of beers and ales and serves up delicious hot food and snacks throughout the day which you can enjoy at one of the waterside tables! Find out more.
This hotel has its fair share of history, as it’s housed in a 13th century building and has been used for hospitality continuously since the early 1100’s, meaning it's likely to be the oldest hotel in Britain! Over the years it’s provided rooms for guests including: the eldest son of King Edward III, ‘The Black Prince’; Catherine of Aragon; Admiral Lord Nelson; and Queen Elizabeth I – reports differ as to whether she actually slept there, but some of her entourage definitely did, and there’s a Queen Elizabeth suite named in her honour. The Maids Head also boasts an impressive Jacobean bar and ‘snug’ (confirmed by Alan partridge as his ‘favourite Norfolk pub’). It’s been functioning as a bar since the late 16th century, so is believed to be one of the oldest bars in the area, and is an ideal place to nurse a beer and marvel at the history surrounding you! Find out more.
With a name (well, two, but we're particularly interested in the 'murderers') like this, you know there’ll be a great story to go with it! Check out this blog post for a little more detail, but in a nutshell, the pub got its nickname after the landlord’s daughter Milly was brutally attacked by her ex-husband, Frank. Milly died 3 days later and Frank handed himself in, sentenced to hanging for his crime. However his popularity with the locals led to his sentence being changed to life in prison. The moral of the story – always keep the general public on your side!
Pop in today for a great range of real-ales, tasty food, and sport screenings all combined with a great atmosphere! Find out more.
Located in a 17th century, grade II listed building, this pub offers beer-drinkers something a little different in Norwich. They started with the aim of providing the ‘whole Belgian experience’ to punters and stock a huge range of Belgian beers, as well as Belgian food and small plates. They’re also known for serving up delicious Mussels (sourced locally from Brancaster, though out of season they’re sourced from Scotland) - they apparently sell over ¼ of a tonne of mussels every week! The owners actually visit Belgium regularly to bring back authentic Belgian beer from a range of breweries, including some not stocked anywhere else in the UK! Find out more here.
Many of the aforementioned pubs are included in the Norwich City of Ale festival. Taking place from 25 May – 4 June, the festival is a celebration of many of the pubs, beer and breweries here in Norwich - a city that has a rich and significant history of beer brewing. Not only will there be plenty of amazing beers to try, there’ll also be lots of events in pubs across the city during these 11 days, including BBQs, pub quizzes, live music and much more.
Find out more about Norwich City of Ale festival here.
Greater Anglia have Advance fares from £9 one way between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Trains run every 30 minutes. Greater Anglia 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.