From museum takeovers to language lessons, there’s almost too many great things to do this month! If you don’t have the luxury of spending everyday exploring the city, never fear - we’ve whittled it down to our top 5.
On Saturday 9 July get yourselves over to Norwich Castle for their annual (and ever-popular) Late Night Takeover! For one night only (from 10pm to midnight) the Castle will come alive at night - it’s never usually open in the evening so this is a real treat – do not miss it! Join Young Norfolk Arts Festival and Norwich University of the Arts students for activities and entertainment all to celebrate the fantastic British Art Show 8 (which you’ll have the chance to see too, of course - and to find out more about the show read our blog post here)! Plus there’s free entry too, so it’s a great opportunity to go and see the Castle and its BAS8 exhibitions in a buzzing and eclectic atmosphere – quite a change from the usual serenity of the Castle during the day – we all love to shake things up every now and again! Make sure you get there early as it will be very busy!
Put your ball skills to the test (and witness the super-competitiveness unleashed!) at Eaton Park Crazy Golf, an 18-hole course located in the beautiful Eaton Park (a heritage park too) – the only one of its kind in Norwich! The course covers a range of difficulties and a game can be enjoyed at very reasonable rates – especially with their special evening offer, only available this summer! Enjoy crazy golf on any weeknight in July and August, between 6 and 8pm, for just £2.50 per person. Make sure you quote VisitNorwich to take advantage of this great rate! Whilst you’re at Eaton park check out the model train ride, boating lake, children’s playground and café too.
Norwich is now lucky enough to have two incredible gamification companies to tease your minds; History Mystery located in the atmospheric building of the Guildhall, and Cryptic Escape, in the beautiful historic area of Tombland. Though they’re both games, they’re very different, each offering a different gaming experience – so why not do both?!
History Mystery’s games are all about unravelling the mystery as you race against the clock, solving physical and mental puzzles that will enthral and entertain you – but can you save the day? This is your chance to be a hero, after all! There are currently two games to choose from: ‘Archived Alive’ where you’re tasked with unlocking the vault door to save a historian, and ‘Body of Evidence’ which is your chance to imagine you’re on Silent Witness, trying to identify a body and, whilst you’re at it, solve a murder! You’ll get to see rooms and areas in the Guildhall that have never previously been uncovered to visitors before, so that’s incredibly exciting in itself, and you can complete the game with anything between 2 and 6 players – choose your team well!
Cryptic Escape’s games put your logic and cerebral skills to the test by challenging you to get out of their ‘escape rooms’! Couples, families or teams of up to 5 people will be locked in and there your mission will begin: race against the clock to solve the puzzles and ensure your triumphant escape! If you get stuck, don’t worry – the game masters will help guide you through. There are 2 current rooms to choose from: explore ‘The Lab of Dr. Lev Pasted’ or search for Green Beard’s amulet in ‘The Treasure of Green Beard’, and coming soon and under construction is the mysterious new game ‘The Steampunk Explorer’.
What’s great about both of these is that if there are only, for example, two of you on a team, you won’t be stuck into the same room as random people you’ve never met - you’ll get to play the game - just the two of you!
Laugh in the Park promises fun and hilarity over 4 days of the festival, taking place in Chapelfield Gardens (28 - 31 July). This is no small-town festival; there are some fantastic renowned comedians in this year’s line-up including; Stephen K Amos, Tom Stade, John Moloney, Andy Parsons and Imran Yusuf - plus many more!
If you fancy making more of an evening of it why not have a spot of dinner at nearby restaurants beforehand. There’ll be a bar area for a pre-show drink and an MC each night to warm up the crowd! Tickets are £20 per night available from We Got Tickets or UEA Tickets.
Our experiences of workhouses are mostly (thankfully) confined to what we’ve read or seen in Oliver Twist and other Dickensian stories. There are plenty of misconceptions and mysteries surrounding life in the workhouse during the 1800’s, and Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse’s fantastic new galleries aim to challenge and explore those fallacies.
It’s all part of a three-year project, with over £1.8 million of Heritage Lottery funding helping to bring the project to fruition and meaning that Gressenhall is now a national centre for workhouse research and interpretation. You’ll be amazed at how immersive the experience is: find out more about the people in the workhouse and what their lives were really like through original accounts, immersive collections and galleries plus the historical building itself- so worth a visit!
Check out our blog posts on other amazing stuff you can do this month; BAS8, Language Lessons at Louis’ Deli and the Norwich Radical Film Festival (well, it’s next month but you can start planning now!)
Images from top: 1. Cryptic Escape, 2. Norwich Castle's keep, 3. History Mystery, 4. photograph of Gressenhall c.1948 (just after it changed from a Workhouse to a care home)