When visiting somewhere you want to get the most out of it, but especially for students it can be difficult to find things to do that are affordable. Luckily, having three Universities, Norwich is used to catering to students’ needs and there are many things you can do that won’t break your bank.
Slice and dice
If you are someone who enjoys a night of playing board games with friends and family Slice and Dice could be the place for you. An independent board game café and bar located on St Benedict’s Street, about 10 minutes from Norwich city centre. Slice and Dice combines delicious plant-based food with hours of board game fun. Whether you’re a board game pro or a novice just starting out, the staff of Slice and Dice are always on hand to offer help, recommendations, and teach you how to play. An affordable £5 cover charge gets you four hours of game play, plenty of time to try out several games. Plus, Slice and Dice is open late, closing at 10pm Monday through Thursday and 11pm on Friday and Saturday, so it’s the perfect place to relax after work.
Cinema City cinema, bar, and restaurant is located in Suckling House, a 16th century building that used to be the residence of Mayor, Sheriff, and Burgess Robert Suckling. It was restored and furnished with a cinema screen and projector in 1923 and intended to be used as a public space. In the early 2000s more screens were added, making the cinema what it is today. Cinema City has a historic, nostalgic feel to it that makes it unique compared to the other cinemas in Norwich. The bar and restaurant are also lovely, with a comfortable relaxed atmosphere and a pleasant outdoor courtyard to sit in during the summer months. Whether you go for the cinema, the food, or the drinks, Cinema City is a great way to spend an evening or an afternoon, with matinee screenings being shown at a slightly discounted price making it even more affordable.
Norfolk Tank Museum
A love of military vehicles and memorabilia will make the Norfolk Tank Museum the perfect place for you to visit on a day out. The museum is home to a collection of tanks and armoured cars, mainly from the Cold War period and the 20th Century, that are kept in working condition. It’s collection of Centurion Tanks can be seen in action during Armourfest in August driving along their purpose-built course, or on display during the rest of the year. You can also have a trip on the museum’s off-road course in their Hagglunds BV206 All-Terrain Vehicle. Unlike other museums the Norfolk Tank Museum tries to give visitors a hands-on experience, allowing you to get up close and touch many of the exhibits. The museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, and adult tickets are only £8 with one free child ticket per adult.
Norwich Theatre Playhouse
Recognised as one of the best fringe playhouses in the country, this cosy 300-seat theatre is the perfect place to experience intimate and diverse performances. One of the three theatres under Norwich theatre, an independent non-profit charity, Norwich Theatre Playhouse promises a great evening of food, drink, and entertainment. From comedians to magicians to interactive experiences and children’s shows, the playhouse has it all. You’re guaranteed to find something that appeals to you. Prices vary but in my experience it has always been very affordable.
Lovers of nature and manor houses won’t want to miss out on a trip to Mannington Hall, picturesque gardens and beautiful medieval architecture are sights to behold. The Hall was first built in the 15th century before being bought by Lord Walpole in the 18th and is still owned by the Walpole family today. While the gardens have a diverse range of plants, Mannington Hall is known for its roses. There is also a Sensory Garden which includes plants and features specifically chosen for their colour, feel, sound, smell, and taste. Various events are held throughout the year, such as the Little Vintage Lover Fair in May, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out and see what’s going on. Entry costs £10 for an adult and the gardens are open from 11am to 5pm.
Norwich market is an outdoor market just a few minutes away from Norwich Castle. It is one of the biggest and oldest outdoor markets in the country, made up of nearly 200 brightly coloured stalls it’s hard to miss. It has a wide variety of stalls, including food, crafts, flowers, clothes, books, soaps, and more. Plus, the market is open six days a week, from Monday to Saturday, with some stalls also open on Sunday. Everything is reasonably priced and affordable and even if you don’t purchase anything it’s nice just to look around.
Sainsbury’s Centre for Visual Arts
The Sainsbury’s Centre is a beautiful art gallery located at the University of East Anglia. It is free to view the centre’s permanent collections and sculpture park, as well as the shop and café, you can’t get more affordable than that, and you don’t even have to book in advance. Having said that there are also lots of different exhibitions on offer that you can book to see, such as Pablo Picasso: The Legacy of Youth which is running from March to July. Plus, if you’re a Marvel fan it might interest you to know that the Sainsbury’s Centre was used as the Avengers HQ in several Marvel films.
Founded by William the Conqueror as a motte and bailey, Norwich Castle is one of the castles mentioned in the Doomsday Book. It was later converted into a prison and is now a gallery and museum open to the public. The museum includes many exhibits about the history of Norfolk at various points in time including the Roman, Saxon, and WWI eras. It also has a very interesting Natural History exhibit which includes the Fountaine-Neimy butterfly collection. Norwich Castle is the perfect way to spend a quiet contemplative afternoon.
If you ever have some time in Norwich taking the time to visit some of these places is well worth it, they’re great ways to pass the time and completely affordable, so you don’t have to worry about draining your wallet.