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Free & Low Cost Things to do in Norwich

The South Asia Collection Museum & Shop

Philip Millward and his wife Jeannie are the proud owners and operators of The South Asia Collection Museum and Shop, more commonly recognized as Country and Eastern.

Their journey began in 1993 when they acquired and painstakingly restored the Old Skating Rink, an architectural treasure. The result is an unparalleled shopping experience housed within this historic gem. The building itself serves as an Aladdin's cave, showcasing exquisite decorative furnishings inspired by the traditional crafts of countries they import from, including India, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Burma, and China.

Step into a world of oriental rugs, meticulously crafted hand-printed table and bed linens, a diverse array of clothing, small yet charming furniture pieces, and an extensive selection of traditional crafts. From papier-mâché work to bronze statues depicting South Asian deities, jacquard loom scarves, intricately carved stone objects, handwoven shawls, and festive Christmas decorations—The South Asia Collection offers a rich tapestry of cultural treasures.

Contact: 01603 663890

Norwich Cathedral

Nestled in the heart of Norwich, the Cathedral, is often referred to as 'the village within the city.' Spread across 44 acres, the cathedral's surroundings, coupled with access to a picturesque riverside walk, create an awe-inspiring retreat that defies the bustling energy of the city centre.

This architectural marvel, with its spectacular design and impressive artwork, has a rich history waiting to be discovered. Renowned as one of Europe's finest complete Romanesque cathedrals, it boasts the second-tallest spire and the largest monastic cloisters in England. Wander through the halls adorned with over a thousand medieval roof boss sculptures, discover the traces of medieval graffiti, visit Edith Cavell's grave, or enjoy the live camera feed of the Cathedral's falcons.

There is a free tour, available every hour from 10 am to 3 pm, Monday to Saturday. For a more in-depth exploration of its hidden corners, consider joining one of the Cathedral's low-cost specialist tours.

The Cathedral Refectory is open from 8 am to 6 pm (Monday to Saturday) and 8 am to 4 pm on Sundays. Nestled beneath the Cathedral's spire, it provides the perfect setting for tea and cake, a light snack, or lunch.

Contact: 01603 218300

Marble Hall

Wandering down the bustling St Stephen’s Street in Norwich, the existence of Marble Hall remains a well-kept secret. Tucked away from the main road, a right turn into Surrey Street reveals the grandeur of Surrey House, the operational headquarters of Aviva.

As one of the highly regarded 'Norwich 12' structures, Surrey House showcases the architectural brilliance of Marble Hall, a masterpiece crafted by the local architect George Skipper at the behest of The Norwich Union Life Insurance Society's directors.

While the Palladian exterior is attractive, the real attraction lies within, with a breathtaking interior adorned with 15 varieties of marble, shaping 40 impressive columns, originally destined for Westminster Cathedral. You can enjoy the classically inspired frescoes, glass atrium, and discover intriguing features like the early form of air conditioning known as the 'air fountain.' The space also houses a remarkable 12-pointed floor medallion and a chiming skeleton clock crafted for the Great Exhibition of 1851.

Despite being a functioning office building, Surrey House opens its doors to the public free of charge during standard office hours from Monday to Friday.

NB - For those keen to delve deeper into the story of Marble Hall, The Shoebox Experiences presents the Magnificent Marble Hall Tour every Friday throughout the year. This one-hour tour unveils the history of this architectural gem and also provides exclusive access to the Directors' Boardrooms on the first floor, typically restricted from public view. Tickets priced at £15, with all proceeds dedicated to supporting local community projects.

Eaton Park

Eaton Park sprawls across 80 acres and boasts a variety of attractions, including a spacious children’s play area, a cozy cafe, tennis courts, a basketball court, outdoor table tennis, a petanque terrain, and a skate park. Conveniently located close to Norwich City Centre, it offers activities for everyone, from enjoying the boating lake and tennis courts to exploring woodland walks and meadows. As Norwich's largest park, Eaton Park guarantees you'll always discover a peaceful spot for a picnic.

For more information, visit

Plantation Garden

Only 600 yards from Norwich city centre, Plantation Garden stands as one of the city's hidden gems. This 3-acre Grade II English Heritage registered garden, established over a century ago in an abandoned chalk quarry, is often affectionately referred to as Norwich's Secret Garden. Tucked beside the Roman Catholic Cathedral on Earlham Road, it serves as a serene oasis in the heart of the bustling city.

Explore the enchanting landscape featuring a grand gothic fountain, vibrant flower beds, expansive lawns, an Italianate terrace, a 'Medieval' terrace wall, winding woodland walkways, a 10-metre Victorian-style greenhouse, and a picturesque rustic bridge. The heavily wooded areas create a haven for wildlife, contributing to the garden's ambiance of peace and tranquility—a glimpse into a bygone era.

During the summer months, the garden comes alive with a vibrant program of live music, performances, family shows, outdoor cinema, and delightful Sunday afternoon homemade teas.

Individual and group tours can be arranged, and educational visits are warmly welcomed. Entry is £2 per adult, contributed to an honesty box upon arrival, while accompanied under-16s enjoy free admission.

For more information, visit

Norwich Market

Nestled in the heart of Norwich on Gentleman’s Walk, Norwich Market welcomes visitors Monday to Saturday. As one of the country's largest and oldest open-air markets, it has a rich heritage and a traditional charm that captivates all who wander through its stalls.

Explore the diverse array of goods and services, from clothing, children’s toys, and jewelry to household items, flowers, key cutting, and shoe repairs—the market has something for everyone.

Indulge in quality local food offerings, including fresh meat and fish, artisanal bread, flavourful jams and chutneys, and an extensive selection of cheeses. For a quick and tasty on-the-go lunch, treat yourself to fish & chips, sandwiches, ice cream, sweets, or even a hog roast.

For a comprehensive guide to Norwich Market, visit 

or contact 01603 213537

Whitlingham Country Park

Discover the charm of Whitlingham Country Park, nestled on the outskirts of Norwich and serving as the gateway to the Broads. Boasting over 280 acres of picturesque countryside, this park is an ideal haven for walkers, cyclists, birdwatchers, and family outings alike.

Explore the vast expanse featuring cycling paths, a delightful picnic meadow, and a visitor center equipped with a café, information point, and toilet facilities for your convenience.

For water enthusiasts, Whitlingham Adventure offers exciting activities such as sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, and kayaking. Land sports enthusiasts can partake in archery, bushcraft, and climbing experiences.

Phone: 01603 632307

Sainsbury Centre

Unleash your artistic spirit at the Sainsbury Centre, an awe-inspiring public art museum housed in the world-class Norman Foster building at the University of East Anglia (UEA), surrounded by acres of serene countryside.

The Sainsbury Centre proudly showcases a diverse collection of modern and world art, representing 5,000 years of human creativity. This array, generously donated by Lord and Lady Sainsbury, forms the core of the museum's offerings. The institution constantly reinvents itself with regular special exhibitions and an engaging event calendar, ensuring that each visit unveils something new and captivating.

In a groundbreaking move, the Sainsbury Centre has recently become the world's first museum to perceive art as sentient. Introducing the 'Art is Living' display, a permanent exhibit dedicated to this groundbreaking concept, the museum invites visitors to engage with art in unprecedented ways. Imagine hugging Henry Moore’s Mother and Child sculpture (yes, touching is encouraged), relaxing in a hammock while sharing a secret with an Alberto Giacometti portrait, or experiencing the unique sensation of being enclosed and displayed in a showcase with a self-described label. This interactive experience is a spectacular must-visit, catering to the artistic sensibilities of children and adults alike.

As you explore, don't miss the fantastic Sculpture Park spread across 300 acres of grounds, featuring masterpieces by renowned artists such as Henry Moore, Elizabeth Frink, and Antony Gormley.

Entrance to the museum is free, and visitors are encouraged to contribute as they can.

The Sainsbury Centre is open from Tuesday to Sunday, offering free guided tours for those eager to delve deeper into the art and its stories. The museum warmly welcomes groups and school visits, ensuring that the galleries are fully accessible to wheelchair users.

Before or after exploration, enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant, open from Tuesday to Friday, 9.30 am to 5 pm, with lunch served from midday to 2.30 pm.

Phone: 01603 593199

If you're looking for somewhere to stay while you visit the area, why not The Norfolk Broads Cottage? A luxurious thatched cottage sleeping up to 14, complete with hot tub and games room, it's the perfect base to explore everything that Norfolk has to offer!


⭐️ 5* luxury

👙 Private hot tub

🛌 Sleeps up to 14

🎱 Games cabin & streaming services 

🏡 Treehouse

🐶 Fully enclosed garden - dogs welcome

🥂 Join our VIP List for an exclusive discount code!

Fancy a private chef to cook for you? In-house spa session? We can do all this and more at:


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