If you want to visit a city with shopping for every taste and budget, then Norwich is the place for you – and something we really excel at is our distinctly quirky shopping offer. With plenty of independent retailers and second-hand stores, alongside the usual high street favourites, it’s a great city to seek out unique and lovely products you won’t find elsewhere – a real shopper’s heaven!
Image: Soundclash on St Benedicts Street
Image: Antique shopping in the Norwich Lanes
One of the city’s most unique and characterful areas is made up of pretty alleyways and streets, and is one of the go-to spaces for shopping in Norwich. Pick up unique jewellery (we love Sonkai for special presents… or just a treat for yourself; you so deserve it!), records (Soundclash is a must-visit for any music-lover) and other gifts in quirky shops including The Giggly Goat and Lisa Angel – you’ll be spoilt for choice.
There is also a great selection of boutiques selling lovely clothing and accessories as well as vintage shops (see our post all about vintage shopping in Norwich here) and plenty of furniture shops with antiques and other unique items!
Image: Cathedral Cloisters
One of the most historic and picturesque areas of the city, the Cathedral Quarter boasts plenty of lovely businesses including a wealth of independent shops to browse and buy from (in fact, we wrote a post all about this wonderful area – check it out here). From butchers to book shops and the amazing Bear Shop on Elm Hill (with the largest selection of Teddy Bears anywhere in Britain), there’s plenty of diversity and choice here, all spread over some absolutely stunning streets. In fact, Elm Hill is widely regarded as the most famous street in Norwich, being the most complete medieval street in the city, and includes The Britons’ Arms which is the perfect place to enjoy a spot of post-shopping lunch!
Image: The Royal Arcade
Not only can you shop with a view of the wonderful Castle or the beautiful Art Nouveau building of the Royal Arcade, there are also a diverse range of retailers located in this area. The Royal Arcade houses some a great array of independent specialist shops; check out Digby's Fine Chocolates for an assortment of delicious Belgian and English chocolate, Juels' Limited for precious metals, antique jewellery and high quality alterations and repairs, The Tannery for high quality leather bags, handbags, luggage, shoes and accessories, Berrys & Grey for beautiful homeware and gifts, and Macarons & More for delightful and delicate sweet treats and cakes. Timberhill has a lovely mix of shops and pubs (a pint in the Murderer's is essential!) and the area around the Castle is home to a varied array of high street favourites and independent retailers. You’ll also find one of the city’s two shopping malls here: Castle Mall.
Image: the view out over Diss Mere
Diss is a delightful blend of lush parkland and has some great independent boutiques tucked away in hidden yards; if you love a bargain head to TW Gaze’s salesrooms for antiques and collectables (their Auction day is every Friday and it’s often televised!). The Sweetie Shop and Fredricks Fine Foods are great options for tasty treats whilst Ninnys Cave has some lovely handmade gifts!
Wymondham is packed full of heritage and a great place to pick up some mouth-watering treats; head to Reno Wine for refillable wines (bring a bottle and fill up to your heart’s content) as well as organic and speciality wines (including vegan, organic, low sulphur and many other varieties), or check out Disney’s Deli for fine foods that you won’t see in the supermarket! They have tasty pork pies and cheeses, and a sumptuous range of jams, chutneys, smoked hams, pates… let’s just say that if it’s delicious, it’ll probably be here!
Nestled on the old coaching route from London to Great Yarmouth, Harleston is a vibrant market town with plenty of character. Head there for speciality shops; Cornucopia at the Corn Exchange is a fascinating venue which houses an array of vintage shops, galleries, cabinets, refreshment venues and museum areas, or for mouth-watering coffee and cake head to The Apiary café.
Finally, Loddon is a really picturesque town sitting at the heart of the Southern Broads. Among the Georgian and Victorian architecture there are plenty of unique shops to browse and a lovely waterside picnic area for refuelling with a view!
Bargain hunters: remember that three out of the four still have market days to browse and pick up a bargain and tasty local produce; Friday for Diss and Wymondham and Wednesday for Harleston.
Greater Anglia have Advance fares from £10 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.