VIEWS: 1 PAGES: 3 POSTED ON: 4/17/2010
The scene Set inside the old city wall of Norwich dating back to the 14th century you will find a unique shopping destination with pedestrian areas, quirky independent shops, the largest 6 day open-air market in Britain and spacious modern shopping malls. Medieval alleys and winding back streets link the heart of Norwich from the Norwich Lanes including Upper St Giles, Pottergate, St. Benedicts, Bedford Street, and London Street to Gentleman’s Walk, The Royal Arcade (one of the finest in the country designed in 1899), St Stephen’s, Timberhill and the oldest street in Norwich – the beautiful cobblestone area of Elm Hill. In all these locations you will find independent small businesses and high street names that pride themselves on customer service and great knowledge of their products. Original gifts, specialist and lifestyle shops, or that something extra special, designer clothing, books, antiques, hairdressers, vintage clothes and even collectible teddy bears are among your many choices. You will not be disappointed by this magnificent modern cultural city with a beautiful heritage, vibrant nightlife, sophisticated shopping and mouth-watering restaurants. The route Day 1 At 10.00 am head up to Elm Hill. Here in the most atmospheric of narrow cobblestone streets you will find art galleries, antique shops, tea rooms, the Elm Hill Craft Shop and The Bear Shop, a great place to start your shopping. All independent retailers and all proud of their prime historic location. From Elm Hill walk towards St. Andrew’s Hall and make your way up Bridewell Alley. Passing The Bridewell Museum on your right and an eclectic mix of shops including deli’s, hairdressers and vintage. Turn right into Bedford Street. You will see Aurum a family run contemporary designer and jeweller and a little further up The Granary for lifestyle and interior design. At the top of Bedford Street you will find yourself on Exchange Street home to Brambles an independent quirky gift and gadget shop celebrating 30 years of trading this year. You will also come across Catfish women’s designer wear, La Crème wedding gowns and Jarrold of Norwich, the flagship independent department store in Norwich, founded in 1823. Jarrolds is twice winner of the UK’s Independent Department Store of the year, selling exclusively in the area lines such as; Hackett, Jaeger, Jesiré, Laura Mercier and Dr Hauschka. From Exchange Street travel through Pottergate – you are now at the centre of the Norwich Lanes. Take a look in Walkers, Soho Hip and Head in the Clouds. These shops offer a mix of women’s fashion, on trend jewellery, ethnic goods and exciting lifestyle/gifts. Moving up Lower Goat lane you will be delighted by more independent retailers: The Perfect Pad, The Blue Jean Company, Elements and Nova Silver to name but a few. Turn left at the top of Lower Goat Lane and walk up Guildhall to St, Giles and Upper St Giles. In this area of Norwich you will find some hidden gems such as the St. Giles House Hotel recently lovingly restored to its former beauty. This grade II listed building will entrance you – stop for a coffee and admire this amazing structure built by local architect George Skipper. Upper St. Giles is one of the prettiest streets in Norwich (don’t forget your camera). This intimate corner of the city with its stylish and cosmopolitan mix of independent shops, delis, cafes, restaurants, art galleries and antiques should not be missed. And if you visit in spring you will be treated to the glorious sight of the flowering wisteria growing in abundance in the grounds of St. Giles-on-the-Hill church. From here head back towards Guildhall, located proudly in front of City Hall, under a sea of multicoloured roofs sits the country’s largest Monday – Saturday market, unique to Britain. There’s been a market in Norwich since Saxon times and it’s been on its current site longer than any of the buildings that surround it – some 900 years! Refurbished in 2006, the market boasts over 190 stalls selling everything from organic local produce to spices from around the world. You can get just about anything here, clothes altered, shoes mended, butchers, fishmongers, deli products, fish and chips, coffee, luggage, shoes, jewellery, haberdashery, flowers, fruit and veg - the list goes on and on. This wonderful vibrant 6 day a-week historical market really is an experience not to be missed! Opposite the Market you find yourself at the entrance to the Royal Arcade, once the yard to the Royal Hotel Coaching Inn it was built in 1899 with art nouveau styling by architect George Skipper – he pops up again! Today it links Gentleman’s Walk with Castle Street and provides a very attractive setting for a mixture of independent and well known stores. Home to the famous Colman’s Mustard Shop and Museum (the only one in the world), Langleys toy shop, Waterstones, Marmalades and Slurp! Go through the arcade from Gentleman’s Walk and dive down the ‘Back of the Inns’ a network of side streets dotted with high street names; The Body Shop, Kew, Russell and Bromley, Habitat, Gap and East. On London Street a quaint pedestrianised area, don’t miss the highly respected Windsor Bishop jewellers, one of the leading independent jewellers in the country. Established in 1834, the present shape and style of the shop with its late Victorian mahogany showcases and counters has changed little since. A little further on take a look in Tickety Boo, a traditional and classic children’s toy shop and opposite that Nola, a woman’s wear boutique. Continue and take a left into Opie Street. Day 2 The top of Opie Street takes you onto Castle Meadow situated in front of the impressive Norman Norwich Castle. Further along Castle Meadow you will come across the entrance to The Mall Norwich. This houses all the high street names such as; Faith, Jane Norman, La Senza, The Perfume Store and TK Maxx. Take the Timberhill exit out of The Mall Norwich. To your right (and a little round the corner) you will see John Lewis Norwich, the flagship store for the area. To your left find yourself on a cobbled oasis of calm. Timberhill boasts some of Norwich’s award winning boutiques and best loved shops. Thanks to their owners, the shops retain that feeling of a bygone age much befitting the historic character of this charming avenue. Independence and individuality are the key words for this street, one of Norwich’s oldest walkways, where its residents keep up the traditional values of premium service and high quality. This small community of shops offers everything from beauty salons to unique shoes, lingerie to handpicked ladies clothing, bespoke tailoring and menswear to high-speed cameras, quality furniture and home accessories. Don’t miss; Ginger designer woman’s wear, Ward & Wright shoes and Mark Elliott bespoke furniture. At the bottom of Timberhill turn left and you will see Debenhams - refurbished in 2007. Opposite Debenhams you find Marks and Spencer another flagship store for Norwich and one of the best and largest in the country. Walk up St. Stephens and you will find Lakeland, Slaters, New Look and BHS – more high street names. Just past Starbucks you will come across one of the entrances to Norwich’s newest shopping centre, Chapelfield. Chapelfield opened in 2005 and covers 3 floors including a large food hall. It houses some of the top brands in the UK; House of Fraser, Monsoon, Zara, TM Lewin, Borders, Disney Store, Office, Esprit, French Connection and many more. Leave your shopping via Chapelfield Plain, here you can stop for something to eat in Wagamamas or just around the corner enjoy a leisurely meal or snack with a glass of wine at Mackintosh’s Canteen – a local business serving simple, fresh food made using locally sourced ingredients all in the atmosphere of a sophisticated modern building. Finally we complete our shopping trip by heading down Gentleman’s Walk – with more high street names to tempt you; Clarks, Swarovski, Top Shop, Primark, Next, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Fat Face, Accessorize and more.
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