norwich lanes


With only a few days left until Christmas, what better place to grab those final gifts than the Norwich Lanes.

The Lanes are a series of alleyways and open communal spaces set just a few steps away from the imposing clock tower of Norwich City Hall. The medieval architecture is some of the finest to be found anywhere in the UK.

Today the lanes are home to a thriving independent retail area and a vast array of cafes, restaurants and bars. Mainly pedestrianised, the lanes offers something for every one morning, noon and night.

Wander the Lanes and find your new favourite places. Visit the Norwich Lanes to find out more.

Norwich is so much more than the Lanes. Plan a trip with Visit Norwich.

Photo: Paul Sturgess
jamie hall


Suffolk is known for its fantastic combination of landscape and wildlife, and this is most clearly seen in the photography of Jamie Hall.

Jamie began photography in 2010 by accident when he found himself at a loose end and had access to a Canon 50D. From that day, Jamie discovered a previously unknown passion for the hobby and it quickly grew into more than just a leisure pursuit. Jamie’s first recognition of his talent was by winning a regional photographic competition run by an East Anglian newspaper group at the beginning of 2011. This was his spring-board to taking the interest seriously, and in 2012 decided to leave his previous occupation of a painter and decorator to concentrate on developing his skill.

And, back in December 2015, visitors were able to catch an exhibition of Jamie’s work at Snape Maltings

Explore the beauty of the coast, including Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh and Southwold at The Suffolk Coast.

Photo: Jamie Hall

Dad's Army at Thetford


Don’t panic!

If you have a soft spot for stupid boys and bombastic captains then the Dad’s Army museum in Thetford is a must visit. Much of the series was filmed in Norfolk, Thetford especially, and this museum is a celebration of the evergreen sitcom. Visitors can see props from the show, watch old clips and even take a tour of the filming locations.

Find more information here.



Photo by Karen Roe (Flickr)
bach at christmas


In the second of three posts about Aldeburgh Music’s first-ever Christmas Weekend, we’re taking a closer look at tonight’s offering, Bach at Christmas.

A selection of choirs, including Aldeburgh Voices and Fellows of the National Youth Choir, will be performing a selection of Bach’s festive classics, including Magnificat and Gloria in excelsis Deo.

In addition to the evening performances at the Concert Hall, there are a series of free events taking place across Snape Maltings all weekend, find out more at Aldeburgh Music.

There’s a year-round programme of activity across the area, including the Aldeburgh Documentary Festival, FlipSide, FolkEast, and much more. Plan the perfect trip with The Suffolk Coast.

Photo: Aldeburgh Music
The church of St Michael and All Angels in Booton,


Churches are often famous for having impressive architecture, but the church of St Michael and All Angels in Booton, Norfolk, takes it one step further.

While the main body of the building match the traditional shape and style you’d expect, the church is adorned by numerous fantasy gothic columns, as well as two spindly towers and a slender minaret. This eccentric 19th century church was designed by the Reverend Whitwell Elwin, a man with no architectural experience, but wild imagination. He borrowed details from many other churches in the region, but the towers seem to have been 100% his own design.

See more of this Grade II Listed building by visiting this site and if you’d like to see more of this area, why not Visit Norfolk?



Photo: Fernando Butcher (Flickr)
great hospital


The Great Hospital, in the heart of Norwich, was one of England’s oldest hospitals, and it has been serving the people of the city since 1249.

Originally opened the aid the priests, poor scholars and paupers of the city, The Great Hospital is now used as sheltered accommodation for the elderly, but it still has strong links to its history, offering regular tours and talks about the building’s story.

Now, the building is appreciated for its architecture. It is the finest set of medieval hospital buildings in the country, and is included in the Norwich 12 (like previous 365 item, Surrey House). Today is the final chance this year to participate in a historical tour of the building,

Find out more about the history of The Great Hospital at Norwich 12.

Norwich is full of fascinating architecture, dating from the Medieval period through to the modern day. Plan a trip to explore with Visit Norwich.



Some of the work that formed the groundwork for 2015 Turner Prize-winning architecture collective Assemble’s The Granby Workshops was featured at Norwich Castle’s Build Your Own exhibition, which ran from October 2015 until January 2016.

Homework by Assemble and Will Shannon sees a domestic factory produce bespoke and beautiful fireplaces made from building rubble, which were all on show in the exhibition at Norwich Castle.

Shannon’s proposition to turn one of the houses in Granby Street into a domestic workshop to produce furnishings for the neighbouring homes, was the very idea developed by Assemble into The Granby Workshops, showcased as part of 2015’s Turner Prize.

Shannon and Assemble highlight the potential for us all to work with our neighbours and communities and utilise our domestic environments to change our living conditions, themes, which were also explored in the Build Your Own exhibition through the work of Rachel Rayns with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Linda Brothwell and Norwich Hackspace with DoESLiverpool.

Explore Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery.

Why not stay in the city for a weekend? There’s plenty to see and do, including Norwich Castle, the Theatre Royal and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Plan a trip with Visit Norwich.


Photo: Norfolk Museums Service
A pagoda in ivory


One of the more unusual pieces in the Blickling Collection, this beautiful ivory pagoda measures over a meter in height and 300mm in diameter.

It’s one of a pair that were carved in China in the mid-18th century. Look closely and you’ll see it has nine tiers, hung with ivory bells and there are small figures in each tier. The base has been designed to resemble a small garden, complete with miniature trees and greenery.

See this and hundreds of other historical items at Blickling Hall.



Photo: National Trust
signatures at the swan


It can be argued that Lavenham was at the centre of the US military presence in the UK during World War Two.

Four United States of America Air Force (USAAF) airfields were within six miles of the village, and a US hospital was only four miles away. Because of this, Lavenham was one of the favourite meeting places of the USAAF and many officers relaxed and socialised there, particularly at the Swan Hotel.

The wall of the small bar (now called the Airmen’s Bar) at the Swan is covered in signatures of the servicemen who spent much of their down time in the hotel.

Signatures at the Swan is a project in partnership with 8th in the East and Stour Valley Community Archaeology Group, which plans to identify the signatures and link them to any surviving relatives.

Explore the Swan Hotel, and discover the signatures for yourself.

If you’re interested in seeing the rest of Lavenham and the surrounding area, find out more with Visit Suffolk.

christmas at oxburgh


In the run-up to Christmas, there aren’t many sights more wonderful than a large home adorned with traditional festive decoration. Christmas at Oxburgh offers the perfect opportunity for visitors for experience just that, and take a trip back to Christmases past.

Every December, over two weekends, experience the atmosphere of the House as it would have been dressed for the festivities 100 years ago. Alongside this, the Oxburgh Hall Choir perform classic Christmas carols in the Hall’s Chapel.

Join in with Christmas at Oxburgh at the National Trust.

Whilst you’re at Oxburgh, why not explore the rest of the county with Visit Norfolk.

Photo: Oxburgh Hall