A Norwich guide for student accommodation
Studying in Norwich is great choice – with plenty do and excellent transport links (and not forgetting some fab pubs!), it's a fine city to live in! The city centre is just two miles from the university campus, with a bustling nightlife and great cultural sights, it's the perfect mix of urban and countryside – with London under two hours away on the train and the beautiful Norfolk broads on your doorstep.
It's not just us that think Norwich is a great place to live, but it yet again made the Sunday Times Best Places to Live list (Sunday Times, 2019) and it's also one of the safest for students, making it into the top five safest universities in England in recent years (Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey, 2018). Let's just say, although we are a large city, students will always feel the local community spirit wherever they live in Norwich.
Norwich is a good place for students to live because...
Like we have said, London is on the doorstep, but not only that, did you know Norwich has an airport? If you fancy hopping on a flight with your latest loan (we, of course, recommend paying your rent first...), then Amsterdam is just an hour away!
There's every kind of food you can think of, but if you're on a budget, not only do you have all the usual chain restaurants you'd expect to find where you can use your student discount, but some hidden gems. Did you know, Grosvenor (a fab fish and chip shop bar) has been named one of the best places to eat on a budget in the entire country? (The Times, 2020).
We host some of the biggest artists in the UK at our venues, including the UEA campus itself. But, if live music isn't your thing, there's plenty of other options, with comedy, to the theatre, you won't be left sitting in watching Netflix every night.
Have you noticed? Norwich is bootiful! Head into the centre, just a 20-minute bus journey or an hour stroll and you'll find cathedrals, castles and cobbled streets. With stunning walks and plenty of free galleries, go and take a dive into the history of one of the UK's oldest cities.
Is Norwich an expensive place to live?
You may think with all this to offer that it may hurt your funds to live here. Well, Norwich is actually 31% cheaper than living in the capital (Expatistan, January 2020), despite being so close. There's always a bargain to be found, and the market – the best outdoor market in the country (The Great British Market Awards, 2019) – may soon become your bestie, with hidden gems in every row of stalls.
Budget-hunters won't just find the market a great spot to scour, there's plenty of nooks and crannies and ways to save money. With two shopping malls, there are all the high street names you need with plenty of independent stores to explore too.
What are the best things to do for fun in this fine city?
If you're into...
Home to the mighty canaries, if you're into your football, head to Carrow Road to watch Norwich City for some premier league action (most of the time...). If cricket is your thing, there's the Norwich Cricket Club, where you can join the club and play the sport in the beautiful Norfolk sunshine. Or, if Rugby is your thing, there's the Norwich Rugby Club too, where you can go and try out for the senior team.
If you fancy trying out a new sport, there's just about any sport you can think of in UEA's Sportspark, including: swimming, rock climbing, squash, badminton, martial arts, athletics, football, hockey and tennis!
For more extreme sports, head to the stunning Norfolk coastline, where you can try your hand at water skiing, windsurfing, paddle-boarding and rowing.
The UEA itself hosts the UK's artists most popular artists right in the campus at the LCR, so you won't have to travel far to see your favourite musicians. It boasts a standing capacity of 1,550 and the LCR is owned by the UEA Students Union, so you won't be stung when picking up a pint before heading into the crowd. Other large venues in the centre of Norwich include the Waterfront, Open and Norwich Arts Centre.
If you instead prefer to enjoy live music on a smaller scale, there's plenty of great pubs that offer live music while you enjoy a drink! The Brickmakers pub is a short bus ride away, and hosts all sorts of genres, as well as open mic nights if you fancy taking to the stage yourself!
Art and history
Norwich was the second-largest city in England for over 700 years, and as such, with its medieval roots, has plenty to offer in terms of culture. Let's point out the obvious, we have a castle. A big one. You can visit the museum and even take a walk around the dungeons if you're feeling brave. There's also an art gallery in the museum, showing many recognisable pieces, as well as the Castle Fine Art gallery nearby.
There's also East Gallery in the city centre, with exhibitions by Norwich University of the Arts or the result of collaborations with national and international partners, so if you're thinking of studying art in Norwich, you can gain valuable experience as a gallery assistant.
How do I get around and visit these amazing sights?
Transport in Norwich is easy.
You can get pretty much everywhere in Norwich from the UEA by bus. Not only this, but UEA staff and students can get a 66% discount on an annual First bus pass – meaning it’s one of the lowest-priced annual season tickets available to any university in the UK!
If the sun is shining and you're feeling brave, the city centre is just an hour walk away. Or, if you fancy studying in the sun, why not take a walk to Eaton Park from campus? It's only half an hour from the university and with 80 acres to explore, along with cafes, a putting green and a skate park, there's plenty to keep you entertained while you study too!
Norwich is a very cycle-friendly city to live in. With plenty of cycle lanes and places to lock up your bike, packing your helmet when you come to study is a must! There's a handy Norwich cycle map on the Norwich City Council website if you want to plan your best route around the city, take a look here: https://www.norwich.gov.uk/cycling.
If you fancy venturing a little further afield, Norwich has well-linked train lines. Head to the coast to catch a Cromer crab in around an hour, visit Cambridge for a spot of shopping in around an hour and 20 or London is less than two hours away. Head to Greater Anglia for more information.
Where are the best places to eat in Norwich?
Finally, last but not least, food. As we've mentioned, you can find pretty much every cuisine in Norwich, from authentic Chinese restaurants to Indian street food.
Some of our favourites include:
· The Blue Joanna, which serves Asian style street food, cool cocktails, and has vinyl records, live music....and ironically a blue piano.
· If you're looking for authentic Chinese food, the Baby Buddha Teahouse has a relaxed setting, with adventurous food such as chilli-salted frog's legs! Better still, there’s a 20% discount for takeaway and students eating in get 10% off on presenting their student card.
· Sticking traditional, there's no better fish and chip shop than Grosvenor's. They not only serve an amazing basic cod and chips, but they offer wraps, sandwiches, burgers and various fish such as sea bass, mackerel, tuna, squid and rock salmon. Another handy little tip, they deliver to the adjacent pub the Birdcage!
Where can I turn to for more information?
For a start, you can always call the friendly Tiili team with any questions about the living as a student in the city of Norwich – we are always on the other end of the phone to recommend a good local.
There's the UEA website for more tips on student life:
If you'd like to know more about transport specifically, the UEA has a travel and transport page.
And if you're after some ideas for things to do, try the Visit Norwich website.