A great Christmas break isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair, you know! Plan your trip away based on the style that suits you – whether you plump for traditional, contemporary, vintage or family-style breaks, we’ve got some great recommendations for you!
Image: Festive afternoon tea at The Assembly House
Image: Lou Lou's Norwich Vintage Fair
You are: a lover of all things vintage, whether it’s clothes, kitchenware, attending retro events or you just love the general aura of days gone by!
Take a room at Gothic House and combine history with a central location right in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter, only a short walk from the city centre - read our blog post all about Gothic House here.
Norwich is a vintage shopper’s heaven (read our blog post all about it here) and there are plenty of lovely shops to treat yourself in, or pick up that perfect vintage present. Try Magdalen Street, The Norwich Lanes and Norwich Market to start with and get hunting for those unique pieces!
Make sure you visit the city’s amazing museums to get a real sense of what Norwich was like over the years; book an appointment at the Castle Museum Study Collections to see their amazing range of retro magazines and clothes from over the years or head to Strangers’ Hall to explore a Merchant’s House built in the 14th century. The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell have an amazing display of shoes – Norwich has a long history of shoe and boot making, stretching back to 1792 when we were the first city in Britain to have a shoe shop that sold generic shoe sizes. This was set up by James Smith who realised that many people had the same size feet so bespoke footwear isn’t always necessary – and the company he started is actually still trading today as Startrite shoes! Alternatively, Van Dal (the last traditional shoe factory in the UK) offer interesting tours of their factory, so you can learn all about the shoe-making process first-hand!
For things to do, take note: Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair returns to Norwich on 27 November whilst St Gregory’s Antiques & Collectables, Loose’s Emporium and Aladdin’s Cave have a great range of vintage pieces to browse. Celebrating Street Style (3 Dec) is a great opportunity to see clothes, accessories and photos from the seventies onwards at The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell’s special event.
Image: The Paston Suite at the Maids Head Hotel
To you, a festive break should be all about the tradition and splendour of Christmas, so you should definitely book a room at The Maids Head Hotel. Having been a place of hospitality since the 12th century, it claims to be the oldest hotel in the country – and their festive advent breaks are tradition at its very finest. Choose from either a two or three night stay at the Maids Head with breakfast each morning and enjoy a tour of the magnificent Norwich Cathedral, a spot at the city’s amazing Advent Moving Feast and wonderful stories about Norwich on the Saturday. On Sunday evening you’ll attend The Advent Procession in the Cathedral. This break takes place on 25 November; for more details click here.
The city will be alive with traditional-style Christmas celebrations throughout November and December, so you won’t be short of entertainment! Highlights include; G4 ‘Christmas by Candlelight’ Concert (22 Nov), Candlelight Tours of Holkham Hall (North Norfolk) (30 Nov – 2 Dec), Christmas Tree Festival at St Peter Mancroft (1 – 5 Dec), St Nicholas Fayre at St John Baptist Cathedral (3 Dec), Christmas with Norwich Cathedral Choir (9 Dec), Christingle service at Norwich Cathedral (10 Dec), The Phil’s Family Christmas (20 Dec), The Big Christmas Sing at St John the Baptist Cathedral (22 Dec) plus many, many more! Check our ‘What’s On’ section for a full list of events.
If you fancy being away from the hustle and bustle of the city then take a room at the elegantly furnished Fritton Arms, in the grounds of the amazing Somerleyton Estate (East Norfolk) - it's right in the countryside, and ideal for long walks and plenty of fresh air!
Image: The Assembly House
If you fancy celebrating Christmas with a modern twist, then this kind of break is perfect for you! Book one of The Assembly House’s luxurious and individually-decorated new rooms, Barnham Broom Hotel, Golf & Spa’s stylish offerings or Number 17’s contemporary-styled bedrooms, with a great location in the heart of Norwich.
The Iron House, Benedicts, Bishop’s Dining Room and Wine Bar and Roger Hickman’s are all great choices for a sophisticated lunch or dinner. Alternatively, there’s East Twenty Six for tapas-inspired dishes, British seasonal dishes at Bill’s or head to Delice, on Castle Meadow, for lunches and amazing ice-cream sundaes! Finally, The Black Rock Grill (in East Norfolk) is well worth travelling to – their Black Rock Grill Experience serves up a selection of the finest quality fillets, seafood and shellfish brought to your table with your own volcanic ‘Hot Rock’ so you can cook the ingredients exactly how you’d like them!
Fill your trip with exciting events that have a modern twist to them – we love the sound of the Norwegian Handcrafters Christmas Market (19 - 24 Dec), The UK’s First Tunnel of Light (19 Nov – 5 Jan), the Projections onto Norwich Castle and City Hall (19 Nov – 5 Jan), It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (6 - 8 Dec), The Lock in Christmas Carol (10 Dec) and the Ghostly Dinners at The Guildhall with The Man in Black (18 Nov & 9 Dec), plus many more on our website!
Image: An Audience with Father Christmas at Holkham Hall
For a weekend which will please every family member, book No 51, a recently refurbished property located in Norwich’s popular Golden Triangle area - and only a short walk from the city centre.
For a countryside stay there’s a multitude of options including lovely B&Bs as well as apartments; a few worth checking out are The Dairy Barns in North Norfolk, Cobblestones in the market town of Aylsham, Poolside Lodges and East View Farm Holiday Cottages (both in the heart of the Norfolk Broads) or Moor Farm Stable Cottages, only 15 miles north-west of Norwich.
Norwich Castle, Cryptic Escape, History Mystery, Eaton Park Crazy Golf, and the Guided Walk of Norwich are all attractions that kids and adults alike will enjoy, whilst Fairhaven Woodland & Water Garden, Go Ape!, Africa Alive, Banham Zoo, Amazona Zoo, BeWILDerwood and Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse are all a little further afield but well worth a visit!
There’s an abundance of festive family-friendly events including Wynterfest in Wymondham (3 Dec), Make a Christmas Cracker at the Bridewell (10 Dec), Tea with Father Christmas at John Lewis (13 Dec), An Audience with Father Christmas at Holkham (17 – 20 Dec), Santa’s Magical Journey (26 Nov – 23 Dec) and Will The Crown Fit? (19 Dec – 4 Jan) – and that’s just to start!
For the finer details on Christmas in Norwich, visit our dedicated Christmas section on VisitNorwich.co.uk. There's info on where to stay, eat, shop and explore as well as lots of additional information - it's all here!
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