Norwich - a medieval city that boasts a buzzing, cosmopolitan atmosphere - but what can you do for free? We take a look as a part of our regular series.
1. Make friends with animals
Animal lovers might like to visit Redwings Horse Sanctuary which is free to visit. Here, you’ll meet many horses, ponys, mules and donkeys who have been rescued and are being cared for, you might even like to adopt one. When visiting you’ll hear the individual stories of each one and get to know these adorable, friendly creatures.
Redwings has sanctuary across the UK, in Norfolk, Essex, Warwickshire and Scotland, so depednign where your group is headed, you may be able to visit one.
2. Take time to admire some of the Medieval architecture
Explore Norwich Cathedral and Hostry, said to be one of the finest complete Romanesque cathedrals in Europe, with the second tallest spire and largest monastic cloisters in England.
It houses more than a thousand Medieval roof boss sculptures. There is also a licensed restaurant beside the cloisters, housed within a striking modern building that has won numerous design and architecture awards.
Interesting for group travel organisers to know, the cathedral also hosts a wide variety of orchestral concerts, choral concerts, jazz ensembles, tours and lectures.
3. Wander around an exhibition
Norwich has a fine tradition of turning out some great artists, and this is reflected in the number of galleries you can enjoy as part of a group visit.
Watch out for the events programme at The Assembly House, The Forum, The Gallery at The University College of the Arts and The Old Skating Rink where you will find regularly changing year-round free entrance exhibitions and arts collections to view.
There is also a permanent exhibition that includes some Picasso at The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts located at The University of East Anglia.
4. Celebrate local tradition
In May the city plays host to a 200 year-old arts festival, the Norfolk & Norwich Festival.
Running for 16 days it offers a vast array of free performances, art installations and a weekend festival in a city park (Chapelfield Gardens) where for the period of the festival the park is renamed Festival Gardens. Paid for performances and shows run from around £12 upwards.
Dates for this year’s event are 10th - 26th May.
In July the city celebrates for four-days at the annual Lord Mayor’s Celebration. Visiting groups can enjoy street theatre, live music, a huge evening procession, outdoor cinema, fireworks at Norwich Castle and more.
Dates for this year’s event are 5th - 7th July.
5. Enjoy the gardens and green spaces
Norwich is surrounded by countryside, but there are also over 150 green spaces within the city itself, including 23 parks, 59 natural areas and nature reserves, with ten kilometres of riverside walks.
Take your group off to the Cathedral Gardens, Chapelfield Gardens and Eaton Park where you will find great places to picnic, walk and enjoy bandstand concerts, a boating lake and children’s play areas.
Find secret gardens, heritage gardens, parks, activity centres and places to relax and unwind. The imaginative planting of trees, shrubs, flowers and landscaping led Norwich to be a 2005 finalist in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom Campaign.
For further group travel information visit www.visitnorwich.co.uk.