Norwich is a cathedral city and district of Norfolk – of which it is the county town. Norwich is by the River Wensum, about 100 miles north-east of London, 40 miles north of Ipswich and 65 miles east of Peterborough. As the seat of the See of Norwich, with one of the country’s largest mediaeval cathedrals, it is the largest settlement and has the largest urban area in East Anglia.
In May 2012, Norwich was designated England’s first UNESCO City of Literature. One of the UK’s popular tourist destinations, it was voted by The Guardian in 2016 as the “happiest city to work in the UK” and in 2013 as one of the best small cities in the world by The Times Good University Guide. In 2018, 2019 and 2020, Norwich was voted one of the “Best Places To Live” in the UK by the Sunday Times.
Norwich currently has numerous development and redevelopment plans all over the city. These include:
- East Norwich Masterplan – a major project to build 3,500 homes and create 6,000 jobs in the city
- The Block – a new 300 seat arena made entirely out of shipping containers
- Offshore windfarm – a £1.1bn investment project that will help to assist with the UK going greener
Norwich stands north of the A47 (bypassed to the south of the city), which connects it with Great Yarmouth to the east, and King’s Lynn and Peterborough to the west. There are plans to upgrade the A47, especially sections that are still single-carriageway, prompted partly by ongoing construction of Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour. Norwich is linked to Cambridge via the A11, which leads to the M11 motorway for London and the M25. It is linked to Ipswich to the south by the A140 and to Lowestoft to the south-east by the A146.
Norwich railway station, east of the city centre, is managed by Greater Anglia as the northern terminus of the Great Eastern Main Line, with half-hourly services to London Liverpool Street worked by Class 745 electric multiple units. It is also linked to the Midlands and North West England, with hourly services to Liverpool Lime Street, operated by East Midlands Railway via Peterborough, Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester Piccadilly.
Additional hourly regional services to Cambridge, and out of Norwich as far as Ely, are run along the Breckland Line by Greater Anglia. This additionally runs hourly local services to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft (using the Wherry Lines) and to Sheringham (using the Bittern Line).
The principal local football club is Norwich City – known as the Canaries. In 2020–21 it finished first in the second tier of English football, the Championship, earning promotion to the Premier League for 2021–22. Majority-owned by celebrity chef Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn-Jones, its ground is Carrow Road Stadium. It has strong East Anglian rivalry with Ipswich Town.
Norwich also has an athletics club, City of Norwich AC (CoNAC), a rugby club, the Norwich Lions, a handball Club, Norwich HC, and five field hockey clubs. Outside the city boundary, the dry ski and snowboarding slopes of Norfolk Ski Club are located at Whitlingham Lane in Trowse.
Norwich has two universities – the University of East Anglia and Norwich University of the Arts. The student population is around 15,000, many of them from overseas.
Historically Norwich has been associated with art, literature and publishing. It was the site of England’s first provincial library, which opened in 1608