Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Utopia in Norwich

On Sunday, after rowing, James and I decided that it would be fun to go for a walk along the Lee and Stort navigations. So we headed for the station only to find that all the trains that way were replaced by buses. Change of plan! We had a look at the departures board to see what other trains were running, and saw that there was one to Norwich in 7 minutes. So we hopped on.

An hour and 20 minutes later we arrived. It was raining but we were dressed up to go hiking so it didn't really matter. We had a lovely walk around the city centre, and particularly enjoyed the beautiful Art Nouveau Royal Arcade. It is a city of contrasts really. Arriving from the station, we passed about 20 nightclubs, but once in the historic centre, discovered loads of little trendy boutiques selling organic food and things like that. It also has so many churches, all decorated with lovely cut flint.

A very modern 'forum' has been built in the centre since my last visit. A very multifunctional building, it houses the city library, various shops, and a Pizza Express. It's quite a stark contrast to the older buildings around it, but I liked it.

One of the most amazing things we came across while wandering around was a disused building covered in writing. Intruiged, I looked it up when I got back and found that it is the entirity of More's Utopia, written on the building by artist Rory Macbeth.


  1. The Forum also houses another, very British, institution - a certain broadcasting corporation - where I work. It is a while since you were last in Norwich: we've been in there since 2003! Next time you come I'll have to show you round.

    I didn't know about the novel building - I'll have a look.

    When I moved to Norwich 20 years ago I was told that there was a church for every week of the year and a pub for every day of the year. I haven't tried all the churches yet.

  2. Incredible ship Lucky Duck! It's incredible how many different and beautiful a ship can be! :)