Shared Ownership in Norwich
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Norwich, the county town of Norfolk, benefits from a buzzing arts, music and cultural scene, an impressive cathedral with the second highest spire in the country and a centre packed with chain and independent shops. Plus there’s a premiership football team and great access to the best of the county like the stunning Norfolk broads and the picturesque coastline. But don’t just take our word for it: The Sunday Times included Norwich in its best places to live 2021 list. There’s never been a better time to be a shared home owner in Norwich.
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Norwich has a fashionable vibe and a reputation for fine architecture, culture (in 2012 it was named England’s first UNESCO City of Literature) and great opportunity.
The historic and much-loved open-air market is one of the biggest in Europe and is always thronged with residents and visitors. There’s also two shopping malls, multiple department stores and the vintage shopping vibe of the Norwich Lanes. Once shopped out visitors head for the varied cafes and restaurants that line the streets serving up anything from street food to high end cuisine.
The month of May sees Norwich come alive, as the city streets, performance venues, parks and public spaces host the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. The world-class arts festival takes in music, theatre, art, literature, dance and more and brings together the community for 17 fun-packed family-friendly days.
But it’s not just the bustling heart of Norwich that makes for a great place to call home. There are plenty of pretty villages set just a few miles out of the town itself such as Bawburgh with its French Riviera vibe, Bracon Ash and the riverside Brundall. Plus you’re within easy reach of the North Norfolk’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the region’s Blue Flag beaches and miles of unspoiled countryside.
There’s a lot to explore in Norwich and the wider country of Norfolk. Some of our favourites include:
Just a few steps from Norwich City Hall you can find the winding alleyways, courtyards and open spaces of the Norwich Lanes. It may be just one small part of the city but what a slice of Norwich it is. You can find over 300 independent retailers, cafes, restaurants, two museums, several art galleries and independent cinema and more live music venues than you can shake a stick at.
For a modern city, Norwich has a whole host of historic settings to admire. There’s no less than 33 medieval churches in the city to explore, while high on your must-see list should be Elm Hill – complete with cobbles, Tudor buildings and wealthy merchant houses. Pay a visit to the Norman Cathedral one evening during the week or on Sunday, when you can enjoy the beautiful Evensong from Norwich Cathedral Choir. And look out for the resident peregrine falcons who nest on the building’s roof – there’s an observation point in Cathedral Close.
Behind the walls of this Norman castle there’s over one million fascinating exhibits. Art from John Crome and John Sell Cotman is displayed, alongside the death masks of convicted killers, a giant polar bear and a mummified cat – eclectic just about sums it up, there really is something for everyone. Kids will love the opportunity to explore the castle’s dungeons and then head for the battlements to drink in the inspiring city views.
The River Wensum flows through Norwich city and is part of the Southern Broads. Whether you explore on foot or by boat you can’t fail to be impressed with the surroundings. The chalk river is home to all manner of birds, fish, plants and insects who make the most of the crystal clear water that is purified by the porous chalk. Its entire length has been designated both a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.
There can be no harder working building than Norwich’s The Forum. Open every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day families flock here to visit the public library or attend various events and activities. It’s also home to the BBC’s regional headquarters, a pizzeria, the tourist information centre, the Norfolk Heritage Centre and the Second Air Division Memorial Library. It hosts free art exhibitions, craft and food markets, films, music events and much more. This iconic Norwich landmark was built to celebrate the new Millennium and is always a hotspot of activity.
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding an outstanding school in Norwich. Chapel Break Infant School, Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form Free School and The Clare School all received the top Ofsted rating. Top independent schools in the area include Norwich School, a mixed school catering for ages 4-18 and Norwich High School for Girls, which is roughly double the size. Notre Dame High School and City of Norwich School cater to large numbers of secondary pupils. The University of East Anglia (UEA) is a 320-acre campus to the west of the city.
Norwich has a main train station offering links across the East of England and beyond. There’s a direct train from Norwich that will take you to London Liverpool Street and the local station has a car park and cycle storage. The Park and Ride network in Norwich offers multiple sites, with routes to the city centre and an Airport Park and Ride too. Buses regularly drop off and pick up from all around the city including from the UEA campus.
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust serves the local population for their healthcare needs from its Norwich-base. It also includes an A&E department and the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital. The region also has plenty of NHS and private doctor surgeries, dentists and other healthcare services.