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.
For the second time since I joined VisitNorwich, I tried to get an interview with him. After being put on hold for half an hour, talking to one elf, a snowman, one of the bears that work in the marketing department and then the same elf again, Santa has agreed to share his snaps with us – and friends, it looks like he was on a mad one…
"A beautiful building right in the middle of Norwich, and it looks fantastic inside. Reminds me of my own house. It’s nice to see all my old letters being put to good use too – they make wonderful decorations, and you know I am a big fan of recycling!"
The Royal Arcade is an Art Deco masterpiece, right in the centre of Norwich. This beautiful covered shopping street is located right in the heart of Norwich, and was designed in 1899 by local architect George Skipper. Over Christmas, Santa has his Post Office here too...
"The Cathedral looks quite different from down here to how it does from my sleigh. I’d only ever seen the roof before, so it was nice to have a walk on the green and see it from a different angle. And what a nice day it was too!"
Norwich Cathedral is one of the finest complete Romanesque cathedrals in Europe, with the second tallest spire and largest monastic cloisters in England. It houses more than a thousand beautiful medieval roof boss sculptures, and is open all year round for visitors, services and events.
"Here I am having a lovely rest and a coffee with Mrs Claus. I can safely say these are the best scones in the world, and I’ve had a lot of scones. It’s good for me to get a bit of variety in my diet too before I move on to mince pies for the season."
The Cathedral Refectory is a contemporary cafe of soaring glass, situated right inside the Cathedral. A completely unique setting, combining 21st Century and Medieval architecture, the Refectory sells all sorts from cakes to jacket potatoes, and during the December, a very special Christmas lunch...
"LOOK AT THESE GOOD BOYS".
"This is the most beautiful place, and so nice to say hello to all my friends at The Bear Shop. I think this is the most lovely street, although Mrs Claus wasn’t wearing the right shoes for cobblestones."
Elm Hill is the most complete medieval street in the city. A major fire here destroyed almost everything in 1507 but the properties were rebuilt and now you'll find a beautiful cobbled street with merchant's houses, thatching, individual homes, speciality shops and small cafes.
"Got lost on my way to find the Castle. Got directions and some biscuits from this friendly bunch. They’re all on the nice list now (they weren't before)."
You'll find the City hosts dotted all around Norwich, to guide both visitors and locals, providing a friendly welcome, and always on hand to give advice on the best places to visit.
"Rembrandt. I remember him as a boy. Lovely lad, I always knew he’d go far"
This exhibition of Rembrandt's etchings is on at Norwich Castle until the 7th of January. With etchings belonging to the Castle that haven't been seen in 30 years, plus loans from British Museum, National Galleries of Scotland, National Gallery, and Royal Collection (including three incredible paintings), this is an important exhibition that you don't want to miss.
"Found a dress up section! This is what I used to look like in the 1600s, when capes were in. The painter’s palette just adds a touch of fun."
In the same exhibition you'll also find am interactive area where visitors of all ages can read about Rembrandt, try their hand at an etching (etch a sketch style), and even dress up as the great man himself!
"Help! I’m stuck in a door! Hilarious photo of me with a mural I found on the way to Norwich Castle – it was such a nice surprise, and this door looks like it was made for my elves. The crouching really wasn’t good for my knees but it was worth it for this photo."
See murals commissioned by Norwich BID all around the city centre. Find these unexpected artworks by downloading the VisitNorwich app and doing the mural trail!
"What a lovely sight. This is the photo that we’ll be using on the December page of the 2018 Claus calendar, I think."
The Tunnel of Light - currently found on Hay Hill in Norwich - is the only one of its kind in Europe. This glittering walkway will be illuminated until the 5th of January - go and visit, and share your photos using #mytunneloflight
"We stopped for a pint at this lovely pub by the river. Mrs Claus made me ask for a straw so I didn’t get ale in my beard (we were going out that evening)."
The Ribs of Beef is a friendly local pub in the heart of old Norwich, just down the road from ancient Tombland. Situated by the river Wensum, and with a unique waterside terrace, this is the ideal place to stop off for a pint and some chips.
"I used to be able to drink more when I was younger."
**This image was sent to us with no comments, just a few others like it, and 27 slow motion videos of Santa’s feet**
Santa will be heading back to Bawdeswell Garden Centre before heading out on an immense night time delivery he's pencilled in for the 24th. We asked him what his plans were for the future, and he said he'll be heading back to The Refectory for more scones, before him and his wife head off on a cruise in the New Year (it's a big birthday apparently). We wish him all the best, and would like to wish a Merry Christmas to him, Mrs Claus and all of the hardworking elves in his logistics team.
Greater Anglia has 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.
To plan a Christmas trip to Norwich visit our website!