Norwich, “a fine city” according to the signs on entering via road. It’s a great place to visit and there’s lots to do. I grew up here but am always discovering new things. Read on for a sneaky tip for visiting the Castle Museum as well as budget lunch options and the best coffee in town.
The Castle Museum
Us Nor-folk just call it The Castle. This imposing Norman structure can be glimpsed almost all the time when wandering in Norwich. It houses everything from artwork to natural history exhibits, Egyptian mummies and changing exhibitions about local history. They’ve recently acquired a landscape by renowned landscapist JMW Turner and are currently displaying a portrait of local boy Lord Horatio Nelson on loan from London’s National Portrait Gallery. With the hefty price tag of nearly £10 a ticket you’ll want to spend the day there. But if you’re short on time there’s a special Twilight Ticket - entry during the last hour before closing is just £2.
Cheap and tasty lunch
Norwich Market is worth a wander even if you’re not hungry. There are stalls selling everything from an Asian supermarket to fruit and veg. But the food stalls are the main draw. There are plenty of vegan options but Falafel and Friends is my favourite. Don’t be fooled by the name, the food is adventurous and unique. Aubergine Schnitzel Burger, Cajun Potatoes and homemade kimchi are all on offer along with bao buns and tofu nuggets. Prices are around £5 per meal and you’ll be stuffed at the end. And make sure to try the black garlic mayo...!
Strangers Coffee - ethical, sustainable and spreading all over Norwich. The beans are sourced from the best places world wide and roasted right here in Norwich. Your life will be better for having drunk a cup. Sit in the window of the Pottergate location to watch the world go by.
Have you got top tips for your hometown? Let me know in the comments, and tag me in your food photos after your visit to the market!
Meeting some strangers in the back of an otherwise empty car park - at night - isn't necessarily how everyone likes to spend their Tuesday evening. But after seeing an open invitation on a Facebook group, my friend Lewis and I were meeting some Dunerunners for a night running workshop.
Neil, a founding member and coach of Dunerunners and a few other members were waiting for us next the lifeboat station in Caister-on-Sea. I grew up in Norfolk but there are still so many places I've never been. The sound of the sea accompanied Neil's explanation about how best to use a head torch and what the session was going to consist of.
TOP TIPS FOR TRAIL RUNNING AT NIGHT
Night is really dark out in the sticks. Down by the lapping waves, where the sand was compacted, my head torch focused my attention on the ground in front. We had a gentle run along the shoreline and heard a seal in the water. When Neil thought we were managing, we ascended into the dunes. Now we ran in single file, the beams of our torches illuminating rabbit holes and marram grass on the narrow, sandy paths. After a little stop for a photo shoot Neil decided to up the pace for the last section. Wider paths but at a faster pace were more of a challenge. I found I had to trust that my feet would find the floor, and if they didn't, it would at least be a soft landing.
At the end of our session (after everyone had attended to their Garmins) we talked through how we'd found it. It seemed mad to run in the dunes at night. But it was amazing! The sound and smell of the sea was in itself invigorating. The constant adjustments that trail running requires make for much more of a full body workout than the repetitive motion of roadrunning. The concentration level required made everything else leave my mind - I couldn't help but be present in the moment. It was also really nice to be trusting someone else to lead the way too.
At the friendly local pub we talked kit, trails, and left with an open invitation to return. I gained a lot of confidence in running with my headtorch and I will definitely be hitting my usual trails at night. And I can't wait to tag along with the Dunerunners for another run again soon. Thank you Neil for having us!
Find out about the Norfolk Dune Runners here. And check out the main page here for events and training sessions around the UK.
Hannah the traveller
is a travel and lifestyle blog with focus on running, vegan eating and of course global travel.